The term of the Presidential Commission investigating alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces has been extended to February 15, 2015.
The three-member Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons is chaired by attorney Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama and comprising former Director General of Census and Statistics Priyanthi Suranjana Vidyaratne and former member of the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka Manohari Ramanathan.
The Commission appointed by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa in August 2013 and has been given the authority to conduct inquiries and investigations into complaints of missing persons, and submit a report to the President.
In July of this year, President Rajapaksa broadened the scope of the mandate of the Presidential Commission and appointed a three-member Advisory Council to advise the Commission. The Advisory Council, comprising three eminent international experts, has been entrusted to advise the Commission on its enhanced mandate.
The enhanced mandate of the Commission, issued by Presidential Proclamation, and published under Gazette Notification 1871/18 dated July 15, 2014, seeks to, inter alia, inquire into and report on several matters contained under paragraph 4.359 of the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), which the Commission has deemed as requiring further inquiry.
The Commission, to date, has received 18,789 complaints, and approximately 5,000 were from relatives of missing security forces personnel.
It has held public sittings in Northern and Eastern provinces covering Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullativu and Batticaloa Districts.
The Commission will hold its next public sitting sin Mannar district from 08 August to 11 August.