Sri Lanka: probe into missing persons

Four special teams to be constituted, each team having one Sinhala-speaking official, one Tamil-speaking official and a woman

May 06, 2015 04:36 am | Updated 04:36 am IST - COLOMBO

A few days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Sri Lankan government to pursue vigorously complaints on missing persons and take the cooperation of the United Nations and the International Red Cross, the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons has announced its move to have four special teams to probe such complaints.

“There are a few cases which require thorough investigation by experienced and independent teams,” H.W. Gunadasa, secretary to the Commission, told The Hindu on Tuesday evening.

Established in August 2013 by the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Commission has three members with former High Court Judge Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama as the chairman.

The interim report was submitted to President Maithripala Sirisena about a month ago.

Consisting of four members, each team would be headed by a senior police official, invariably an officer of the rank of Inspector. It would have one Sinhala-speaking official and one Tamil-speaking official besides a woman.

Asked whether the move had anything to do with Mr. Kerry’s advice, Mr Gunadasa denied it and said a proposal was sent to the President two weeks ago for approval. A week ago, the Commission discussed the matter with the Secretary of the Ministry of  Public Security, Law and Order, Mr. Gunadasa added.

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