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US seeks info on 30 missing persons in SL

The government has directed the police to ascertain the whereabouts of 30 persons following a request made by the US Embassy in Colombo on behalf of some NGOs.

Authoritative sources told The Island yesterday that the request had been made in the wake of the adoption of a US-led resolution at the recently concluded United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) in Geneva. A senior US diplomat had made available a confidential list containing 30 names seeking an urgent inquiry amidst allegations that in spite of the conclusion of the conflict disappearances were continuing, sources said.

The government has assured that a comprehensive inquiry will be made and the US mission briefed on the situation.

Sources declined to identify those listed by the US Embassy due to the on-going investigations. Asked whether those missing persons had been involved in any unlawful activities, sources alleged that the police, too, would like to question some of them.

The police are expected to interview families of the missing persons.

The US has intervened in the wake of the disappearance of two key members of the breakaway JVP group in Jaffna on Dec. 9 last year. JVP rebels have also sought the intervention of the UN to locate their missing activists.

The government has declared that it did not have any information on the whereabouts of Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganathan.

Quoting from a police report, Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva told the Parliament recently that police were yet to get any important leads on the incident.

The Appeal Court had earlier accepted a petition submitted by the parents of two missing human rights activists asking the Court to order the army commander in Jaffna to produce them before Court.

Some human rights activists raised the alleged disappearance of Lalith and Kugan at the UNHRC.

By Shamindra Ferdinando



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