Dec 13, Colombo: The presidential commission investigating cases of persons who had gone missing during the period of the war in Sri Lanka has extended its deadline to accept complaints of disappearances in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
The three-member Presidential Commission on Enforced Disappearances and Missing Persons appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa initially had a 30 November deadline to accept complaints.
However, due to the requests by many institutions and public representatives to extend the deadline, the Commission has decided to accept complaints up to 31 December, the state run radio reported.
The Commission will receive complaints of disappearances reported from June 10th 1990 to 19th May 2009 from the Northern and Eastern provinces.
It has been reported that by the end of November, the Commission has received over 5,000 complaints of disappearances from the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
Reportedly the Commission has received over 10,000 complaints now and 4,307 among them are from the families of security forces personnel.
After the deadline, the Commission will hand over the complaints to the Attorney General Department for further action.
Following the submission to the Attorney General, Commission members and the officials of the Attorney General Department will visit the areas of the particular complainants and conduct investigations.
Establishment of the Commission to investigate the disappearances is one of the recommendations by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.
The three-member Commission is headed by Attorney Maxwell Paranagama and the other two members of the Commission are former Director General of Census and Statistics Priyanthi Suranjana Vidyaratne and former Deputy Legal Draftsman and former member of the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka Manohari Ramanathan.
Both Paranagama and Ms. Ramanathan were members of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.