Special Commission to probe abductions, disappearances and unexplained killings [Monday, September 04, 2006- 1.00 GMT]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will appoint a Special Commission of Inquiry that will include judges, human rights activists and representatives of civil society organizations from abroad, to probe incidents of abductions, disappearances and unexplained killings throughout Sri Lanka in the recent past.

This Blue Ribbon Commission will comprise persons of eminence and repute in their respective fields of activity, to ensure independence and credibility in their findings with regard to the matters they are expected to probe.

President Rajapaksa sees the need for such an independent commission, which will have acceptance among the international community, in view of the many allegations, often unjustly critical of the Sri Lanka Government.

The most recent of such statements is that issued by the departing head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, which placed the responsibility for the killing 17 local employees of a well known French non-government organization, ACF at Muttur, on the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. The Government has totally rejected these allegations and is awaiting the outcome of a judicial report.

The proposed Special Commission will be given wide powers to investigate all incidents of unexplained killings, abduction and disappearance during the period under review. The Armed Services and Police and all other relevant organizations of the state will be instructed to extend their fullest cooperation to the Commission to carry out its mandate.

This decision by President Rajapaksa is a response to attempts to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka, the Security Forces and the Police with regard to Human Rights violations, and allegations of lack of adequate investigations into incidents of unexplained killings, abductions and disappearances.

The President’s Office will soon begin consultations with foreign governments and reputed international organizations engaged in Human Rights and activities of Civil Society groups to obtain recommendations on persons to be appointed to this Special Commission.

President Rajapaksa has given the highest priority to the appointment of this Special Commission, and work has already been initiated on preparing the Terms of Reference of this Special Commission. Sri Lanka’s missions abroad will be asked to expedite the process of consultation with foreign governments and international organizations in the related fields to facilitate the process of selection of persons to be named to this Special Commission.  















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Last Updated Date: September 04, 2006 -1.00 GMT


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