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* Sri Lanka to release report on census data on dead and disappeared during conflict next month
Thu, Jan 30, 2014, 08:25 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Department of Census and Statistics said that the report of the census on human death and property damages during the three-decade long conflict would be released next month just ahead of the challenging United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva in March.

Director General of the Department of Census and Statistics D.C.A. Gunawardena told local media that the field work had been completed and the data were being processed at the moment.

The nationwide survey commenced in December last year was a key recommendation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

President's Special Envoy for Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the data collected by the Department of Census and Statistics on the deaths and missing persons in the island will be presented before the UNHRC at the March session.

The Task Force which is appointed for the implementation of the LLRC recommendations and headed by the Secretary to the President has prepared a National Action Plan which has recommended conducting a professionally designed household survey covering all affected families in all parts of the island to ascertain firsthand the scale and circumstances of death and injury to civilians, as well as damage to property during the period of the conflict.

The Department has deployed about 17,000 officials for the survey to collect detailed information on the deaths, missing persons, injured and/or disabled persons, and damages to the property.

The census covered the he conflict period from 1983 up to the end of war in May 2009.

The Department asked the general public to provide accurate information on their losses to the village officers in their areas.

Minister Samarasinghe said the census data will prove that the claims of over 40,000 civilians killed during the final stages of the war were false.

The major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance expressed doubts on the survey saying that the census conducted by the government on human and material losses due to the war will attempt to play down the number of casualties.

The Department said the census was carried out completely following international standards and practices of data collection with every aspect of losses being addressed.

** Related Story :: Sri Lanka begins island wide census on dead and missing during war

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