Paranagama Commission proposes Special High Court and Truth Commission
Posted on August 21st, 2016

By Chandani Kirinde Courtesy Sunday Times

The Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons in its final report has recommended the setting up of a two-way domestic mechanism — a Special High court and a Truth Commission — to deal with persons accused of human rights violations during the last phase of the war.

Suspects who plead not guilty to alleged criminal charges should be charged in the High Court while those who plead guilty should appear before the Truth Commission where they can be offered accountable amnesties,” the Commission has recommended, the Sunday Times learns.

The term of the three member commission headed by Maxwell Paranagama ended last month and it handed over the final report to the Presidential Secretariat a few days ago. This report deals mainly with the Second Mandate of the Commission. This was to investigate matters relating to international humanitarian law, international human rights law and customary international law, during the final phase of the war.

The Commission has said that for those who plead not guilty the entire probe should be a domestic one with local investigators and judges and prosecution by the Attorney General.

For those who pleaded guilty, the Commission has recommended that they be given the opportunity to explain before a Truth Commission the circumstances under which certain acts were committed and be offered accountable amnesties” with punitive action to include fines and withholding of promotions if they are members of the security forces.

The Commission has warned that as some of the charges are in contravention with international humanitarian laws, failure on the part of the government to undertake a credible domestic mechanism could lead to direct intervention by the United Nations in such matters.

The Commission has emphasised that all the charges of enforced disappearances and missing persons have been documented based on accounts of civilians in the North and East and as its mandate expired, it did not have adequate time to summon members of the armed forces or paramilitary groups which operated in these areas and are among those alleged to have been involved in such activities.

Additionally, the Commission has said that the compensation paid to families whose bread winners are listed as missing should be at last Rs. 500,000 and that the state must do more, not only to uplift them economically but also have more counselling programmes to help people traumatised by violence.

It was noted that social welfare programmes such as Samurdhi are yet to reach the majority of these people whose main problems in the aftermath of the war were social economic problems, many of which remained unaddressed to date.

The Commission was set on August 15 2013 by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Its other members were Mano Ramanathan and Suranjana Vidyaratne. Its term was extended several times by President Maithripala Sirisena too.

2 Responses to “Paranagama Commission proposes Special High Court and Truth Commission”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “Additionally, the Commission has said that the compensation paid to families whose bread winners are listed as missing should be at last Rs. 500,000 and that the state must do more, not only to uplift them economically but also have more counselling programmes to help people traumatised by violence.”


    Singhalese will get NOTHING.

    IF there are 100,000 missing people, that is 50 BILLION rupees. NO TAMIL breadwinner went to war. LTTE used child soldiers. What foolishness!

    This is an incentive to fudge the numbers.

  2. plumblossom Says:

    This Is How The Office Of The Missing Persons (Which Will Become A Bogus ‘Evidence’ Manufacturing Machine) Manufacture Bogus ‘Evidence’ Of 40,000 Missing Persons To Try Our Brave Armed Forces For So Called War Crimes They Never, Ever Committed

    In the Missing Persons Act, a relative or a friend can make an official inquiry (but a totally bogus inquiry) from the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) by email inquiring as to the whereabouts of their relative or friend.

    There are over 8 lakhs to 10 lakhs Tamil diaspora asylum seekers (actually economic migrants), a vast majority of who support the separatist terrorist LTTE and its aim of a separate state. If even 40,000 of these Tamil diaspora who support the separatist terrorist LTTE write bogus emails to the OMP inquiring the whereabouts of their friend or relative (but this friend or relative is actually living alongside them in these countries i.e. the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.) these inquiries will officially be accepted by the OMP as 40,000 missing persons.

    According to the provisions of the OMP Act, even if the OMP inquires after these let us say 40,000 and finds out that these are all bogus inquiries and that all these 40,000 persons are actually living alongside the inquirer i.e. their relative or friend and these complaints about these persons being missing are all bogus, the missing persons, now found by the OMP, can request that their whereabouts not be revealed to their relative or friend or be made public. So officially these 40,000 persons will still be missing!!!

    Then the OMP will use these bogus 40,000 missing persons (who are actually living comfortably in the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.) as manufactured ‘evidence’ that war crimes happened in Sri Lanka (and all these bogus inquirers will state that these persons went missing during the 2006-2009 period) and our Sri Lankan Armed Forces will be persecuted for committing war crimes that they never, ever committed by a judicial process using these bogus email inquiries.

    The Missing Persons Act states specifically that if the missing person who is now found requests that the fact that they are now found not be revealed to the public that person will remain as missing as far as the OMP is concerned. That is how the OMP will manufacture bogus ‘evidence’ of 40,000 missing persons so that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces can be persecuted for committing bogus war crimes.

    The OMP emails cannot be checked by any outside body as stated in the Act since all evidence (almost all bogus) gathered by the OMP remains confidential. The OMP cannot be taken to the Supreme Court on this issue. However the OMP should absolutely and immediately be taken to the Supreme Court regarding what has been written above which is what would happen when this OMP is set up.

    The OMP will become a bogus ‘evidence’ manufacturing machine which will gather such bogus inquiries via email from those members of the Tamil diaspora who are supportive of the LTTE terrorists and who will send bogus email inquiries by their thousands. All these bogus inquiries (of people who are actually living in the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.) will then be misused as missing person inquiries.

    I did not realize that the Sinhalese were this stupid as to allow such a process within the Missing Persons Act which can be blatantly misused in order to manufacture bogus ‘evidence’ like this. The OMP process is not transparent, it will happen in total secrecy, no one in Sri Lanka will be able to question it, not our police, not our courts, not our Sri Lankan citizens, nobody. All the OMP will do is gather bogus email ‘evidence’ such as described above which will then be misused as missing person inquiries to try the Sri Lankan Armed Forces for bogus war crimes that they never, ever committed.

    The OMP process as described above must be stopped immediately. If a relative or a friend really and genuinely wants to find out about their genuinely missing relative or friend (i.e. perished LTTE terrorist), they can make a complaint to the OMP in person in public. This is the only way that Sri Lanka and the world will know that their inquiry is genuine. This was the methodology followed by the earlier Paranagama Commission which then received 23,000 complaints from relatives or friends of the missing person (i.e. perished LTTE terrorist or our perished Sri Lankan Forces soldiers) but they made their complaint in public in person to the commission. This is the only way to ensure authenticity and make the process transparent since this happens in the public arena. However, even with such safeguards, even some of those complaints may have been bogus.

    The OMP should be stopped immediately since it is not a transparent process at all as described above but a totally secretive process where no one and nobody can request to be provided an opportunity to even peruse, investigate or look at the email inquiries received by the OMP. If the UNHRC, the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India, the TNA and the separatist terrorists genuinely want to find out about perished LTTE terrorists, this Yahapalanaya Government could expand and extend the scope of the already set up Paranagama Commission in order to make such inquiries. This process should be totally following Sri Lankan Law, within Sri Lankan jurisdiction, paid for totally by the Sri Lankan Government only and with only Sri Lankan citizens appointed as commission members and investigators. In fact the entire staff should be composed of Sri Lankan citizens only. The process should be a totally domestic process with no interference or input whatsoever from foreign countries. Most importantly, all complaints should be made in person by relatives and friends in public if their complaint is genuine.

    The Missing Persons Act is totally dangerous as pointed out above and should be dismissed totally as it is highly dangerous and a totally secretive process as described above designed and set up to manufacture bogus ‘evidence’ against the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

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