Missing Persons Commission to investigate vital cases

Thursday, 18 February 2016 00:14 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Shanika Sriyananda

Given an extension of three months, the Presidential Commission Investigating Cases of Missing Persons (PCICMP) will give priority to ‘important’ complaints to expedite its investigations and release its final report before 15 May.

The five-member investigative team had visited houses of the complainants of missing persons in the north and east. 

The term of the Commission ended on 15 February, following which it was given an extension.

“During the next three months we will take up the most important cases of missing persons and also the cases that have not yet been investigated since we have to finalise our report before  May 15,” PCICMP Chairman Maxwell Paranangama told the Daily FT.

The PCICMP, which is also known as the ‘Paranagama Missing Persons Commission,’ has received over 23,000 complaints. Of the total, over 18,000 complaints on disappearances have been lodged by civilians and over 5,000 complaints of disappearances have been lodged by relatives of security forces.

It is also mandated to investigate into cases of missing persons from 1983 to 2009. The PCICMP, which is headed by retired High Court Judge Paranangama, also comprises Suranjana Vidyaratne, Mano Ramanathan and two other additional commissioners – retired High Court Judge Tillekeratne Ratnayake and Retired Ministry Secretary, H. Sumanapala – who have been appointed by President Sirisena to expedite the investigation process.

The five Commissioners of the PCICMP are scheduled to visit Jaffna on a four-day visit commencing 26 February to conduct investigations into 600 missing persons from the Jaffna District.

“We expect to record oral evidence from parents and close relatives of the 600 missing persons in Jaffna peninsula,” he said.