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Sirisena to review interim report on war missing

world Updated: Mar 16, 2015 23:05 IST
Sri Lankan panel

A Sri Lankan panel that probed over 20,000 cases of people who went missing during the three decades of civil war will present an interim report to President Maithripala Sirisena this week, it was announced on Monday.

The secretary to the Special Presidential Commission, H.W. Gunadasa, told reporters that the report has been finalised and it would be handed over to the president on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

The commission recorded statements from witnesses regarding 303 cases of disappearance in the first week of this month. It also received 471 complaints, mostly from the northern and eastern regions of the island.

Since its establishment in August 2013, the commission has received 20,106 complaints, including some 5,000 from relatives of missing security personnel.

Some 16,000 applications were received by the commission initially from families of people who disappeared during the war that ended in May 2009 when the military crushed the Tamil Tigers.

After Sirisena took office in January, the timeline for the investigation was extended for the third time.

The three-member commission is mandated to inquire into and report on alleged abductions or disappearances during the war -- from 1990 to 2009. The Tamil separatist campaign, however, began in 1983.

The commission's work continues as the Sri Lankan government faces a United Nations investigation into allegations of rights abuses including war crimes during the last seven years of the conflict.

The Sri Lankan government has rejected the probe and insisted that domestic mechanisms such as the commission on missing people will adequately pave the way for reconciliation.

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