06/10/2014, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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Batticaloa, government closes investigations into civil war abductions

by Melani Manel Perera
The Presidential Commission heard 195 people and registered 216 new complaints. The new phase of inquiry to be held in Mullaitivu. The president of Families of the Disappeared (Fod) says they have "no confidence" in the work of government officials.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The Sri Lankan government yesterday concluded the fourth phase of its inquiry into "forced disappearances" and alleged abductions in the provinces of the north and east between 1990 and 2009, during the Civil War. This time the investigation has focused on the Batticaloa district.

The Presidential Commission appointed to carry out the investigation has heard 195 people and registered 216 new complaints. Divided into four days, this session was held at the secretariat of Kattankudy (June 6 to 7) and that of Manmunaipattu (June 8 to 9).

The Commission's investigations began last January in Kilinochchi. To date, government officials have received 18 590 complaints, of which about 5 thousand from family members of missing soldiers. Overall, the Commission has already investigated 462 complaints, which were transferred for further investigation to an independent team of inquiry.

Appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Commission will have until August 12, 2014 to collect data and information. The organization has also launched an official website (here) to provide updates on the investigation. The next phase will take place in Mullaitivu in the north.

Meanwhile, Brito Fernando, president of Families of the Disappeared (Fod), told AsiaNews he had "no confidence in the Presidential Commission," because "in the past there have been many other committees, but no action was ever taken".

 

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