Sri Lanka body on war missing holds fresh inquiries

Colombo, June 27 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to look into complaints regarding people reported missing during the country’s civil war began holding fresh inquiries on Saturday.

The public sittings will be held till Tuesday in the eastern towns of Trincomalee and Mutur, Xinhua quoted the commission as saying.

The secretary to the commission, H.W. Gunadasa, said people who had already made complaints from the areas had been invited to appear before the commission to make oral statements.

The commission has also invited people and groups in the areas to submit fresh complaints.

The commission, which expanded from three to five members, submitted its interim report to President Maithripala Sirisena in April.

The Presidential Commission was appointed to inquire into and report on alleged abductions or disappearances that occurred between January 1, 1983 and May 19, 2009.

The Tamil separatist campaign erupted in 1983 and ended in May 2009 when the military crushed the Tamil Tigers.

In its interim report, the commission headed by Maxwell Paranagama said it received 16,153 complaints from residents in the northern and eastern provinces and 5,200 complaints from the families of security personnel.

The commission noted in the report that allegations of forced disappearances, abductions and arbitrary arrests have been made against the Tamil Tigers, security forces, armed groups and unknown groups.

Based on the inquiries conducted thus far, accountability and responsibility by these parties vary from district to district.

In the Northern Province, 60 percent of the allegations were levelled against the rebels, 30 percent against the security forces, five percent against armed groups and five percent against unknown groups.

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