In August 2013, the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons was established to look into disappearances or abductions of residents of the North and East during the period of January 1983 to May 2009. This was a follow up to a recommendation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).Now, a year and a half into its mandate, approximately 20,000 complaints have been registered and that number is steadily rising with each new hearing registering a number of new complainants.
The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has monitored several initiatives appointed to address issues of truth and justice in Sri Lanka including the present commission and the LLRC. CPA has critiqued these processes and advocated for reform. Concerns raised by CPA include the fact that investigations into the cases heard are yet to begin. With the Commission’s mandate extended in terms of duration and scope, there are also concerns as to the Commission’s ability to carry out their mandated task and their ability to deliver on a genuine and credible domestic process at truth, justice and accountability.
CPA monitored the most recently concluded sittings of the commission held in Trincomalee (28 February-3 March). This was the 10th round of hearings of the commission. Some families of the disappeared and civil society groups from the Trincomalee area staged a protest on all four days of the hearings.
CPA has followed the Commission and critiqued its processes a number of times.