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* Presidential Commission probing disappearances in Sri Lanka receives complaints on ruling party Tamil politicians
Sun, Apr 20, 2014, 10:49 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 20, Colombo: The Presidential Commission investigating the alleged disappearances of persons in conflict affected areas has received several complaints on Tamil politicians of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government.

The Commission has said that several complaints against Leader of Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) Minister Douglas Devananda, Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman and former Eastern Province Chief Minister, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan have been filed with the investigative body, according to a report in Ceylon Today.

Secretary to the Commission, H. W. Gunadasa has said that the Commission received a majority of the complaints during its public sittings in the North in January and February.

The relatives of the disappeared have submitted complaints to the Commission alleging that their family members disappeared after being abducted during the conflict period, by outfits operated by the Tamil politicians during the conflict period.

The Commission is yet to analyze and process these complaints, the Secretary has said.

The official has said that following the analysis of the submissions, the Commission if deemed fit, will summon the relevant politicians before it as the investigative body is empowered under its mandate to do so.

The Commission has so far received a total of 16,000 complaints from all parts of the country and 5,799 of them have been analyzed and entered into a computerized database and will be scheduled for public hearings.

The Commission has amended the time period to cover the period from 1983 to 2009. Previously, the time period consisted of the years from 1990 to 2009.

The three-member Commission, chaired by Attorney Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama, comprises former Director General of Census and Statistics Priyanthi Suranjana Vidyaratne and former member of the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka Manohari Ramanathan. Both Paranagama and Ramanathan were members of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

The Commission has been given the authority to conduct inquiries and investigations necessary, and submit a report to the President.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently extended the mandate issued to the Commission by another six months to August 12, 2014.

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