By Waruni Karunarathne
President Maithripala Sirisena had given the green light to implement certain recommendations made by the Presidential Commission to investigate reports on missing persons, after it submitted its long-awaited interim report last Friday.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Chairman of the Commission Maxwell Paranagama said that the interim report consisted of several recommendations.
“The interim report was submitted to the President last Friday. We made certain recommendations in the report and President Sirisena approved them. Based on that we will appoint some officers to assist the Commission to carry out investigations in to certain cases,” he said.
He also said that based on those recommendations, a team will be appointed to conduct counselling in the North and East for those who require it.
He also said that some cases will be referred to the Attorney-General.
Meanwhile, the Commission concluded another round of public hearings in the Ampara district last week.
Secretary of the Commission, H.W. Gunadasa told The Sunday Leader that the hearing took place in Kalmunai on the 6th and 7th of this month and on the 8th and 9th it was held in another two areas in the Ampara district. “We sent letters inviting 300 witnesses to give their evidence during these 4 days and we received another 532 new applications taking the total number of applications to 16,153,” Gunadasa said. He said that during the last session in the Ampara district, the Commission managed to record evidence from 324 people.
However it was reported that there were mass protests against the Commission’s public sittings in the Ampara district.
When inquired, Gunadasa alleged that external parties organised those protests.
“Those protesters were outside people sent by certain civil society organizations. They tried to discourage the people from giving evidence. But those protests were very unsuccessful,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking to The Sunday Leader Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) member M.K. Sivajilingam said the TNA has no faith in the Commission and therefore would not rely on any report or approve the manner in which the evidence are being taken.