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* Certificate of absence for Sri Lanka's missing instead of death certificates
Thu, Mar 6, 2014, 01:17 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 05, Colombo: The Presidential Commission investigating the alleged disappearances of persons in conflict affected areas in Sri Lanka has considered issuing a Certificate of Absence instead of a Death Certificate to the persons went missing during the armed conflict.

"We have held discussions on the possibility of issuing certificates of absence in place of the current practice of issuing death certificates," Chairman of the Presidential Commission, Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama said.

The families of the missing or disappeared do not want to believe they have died, so issuing a death certificate would hurt them, Paranagama said.

He added that a system followed in other countries of issuing an alternate to the death certificate is being considered in Sri Lanka by the Commission.

The certificates of absence would have the same capacity as death certificates for legal purposes and the relevant laws have to be amended to give legal recognition to the absence certificates, Paranagama noted.

He said the measure is likely to be implemented.

The three-member Commission, comprising Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama (Chairman), Mrs. Priyanthi Suranjana Vidyaratne and Mrs. Mano Ramanathan, has been given the authority to conduct inquiries and investigations necessary, and submit a report to the President.

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