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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Sri Lanka: Paranagama Commission to Probe over 1,600 Missing Persons Cases

Investigations into all complaints of missing persons in three districts – Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu – will be concluded before the end of March, according to a top official from the President-appointed commission to probe missing persons.

The five-member investigative team of the Presidential Commission Investigating Cases of Missing Persons (PCICMP) will commence its probe into over 1,600 cases of missing persons in the three districts from 25 March.

The commissioners, who are now conducting their investigations in Jaffna, will commence their six-day visit to Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu from 26 March.

Confronted by over 23,000 complaints of enforced disappearances, of which over 18,000 complaints were lodged by civilians and over 5,000 by relatives of security force personnel, the PCICMP is mandated to investigate cases of missing persons from 1983 to 2009.

Five highly experienced police officers will carry out their investigations under the supervision of a retired High Court judge.

Investigations into missing persons in the remaining districts – Kilinochchi, Baticoloa and Ampara – are scheduled to be completed before the end of June. “We will be able to complete investigations into cases of missing persons in the three districts during May to June,” he said.

He said that with the conclusion of investigations of missing persons in these three districts, the investigations into missing persons in the entire North and East will be completed before the end of June.

The PCICMP, which is also known as the ‘Paranagama Missing Persons Commission’, is headed by retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama and comprises Suranjana Vidyaratne, Mano Ramanathan and two other additional commissioners – retired High Court Judge Tillekeratne Ratnayake and retired Ministry Secretary H. Sumanapala- who have been appointed by President Sirisena to expedite the investigation process.

By Shanika Sriyananda


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