Mandate of Missing Persons Commission extended

By Subashini Samaranayake

The mandate of the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons (PCICMP) has been extended by three more months.

The commission had requested the President to extend its mandate as it was receiving a large number of new complaints of missing persons during its public sittings, PCICMP Secretary H. W. Gunadasa told The Island.

The mandate was to expire on Monday.

The PCICMP would compile its final report following the conclusion of investigations within its stipulated time period, the Secretary said.

Since its establishment on August 15 2013, the commission has received in excess of 23,586 complaints including approximately 5,000 from relatives of missing security forces personnel.

The Commission has since then held Public sittings in Killinochchi, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Ampara. During these sittings, the Commission has heard oral evidence from 4,247 complainants. The recorded evidence is being analysed for further investigation through an independent investigative team.

The Commission has held regular meetings with the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The three-member Commission comprises retired High Court Judge Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama (Chairman), Mrs. Priyanthi Suranjana Vidyaratne and Mrs. Mano Ramanathan.

In July last year, the scope of the mandate of the Commission was broadened and a three-member Advisory Council was appointed to advise the commission.

The enhanced mandate of the Commission sought to, inter alia, inquire into and report on several matters contained under the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), which the Commission has deemed as requiring further inquiry. The Advisory Council, comprising three eminent international experts, has been entrusted with the task of advising the Commission on its enhanced mandate.

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