Paranagama Commission rejects Darusman findings-Udalagama Commission faults police over probe into killing of aid workers
Posted on October 21st, 2015

By Saman Indrajith The Island

The Commission of Inquiry that probed Abductions and Disappearances (better known as the Maxwell Paranagama Commission) has found that it was the LTTE which killed majority of Tamil civilians during the last 12 hours of the final stage of the war, according to the commission report tabled in Parliament yesterday.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tabled the Maxwell Paranagama Commission report and the Udalagama Commission report along with the UNHRC report on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.


The Paranagama Commission report has said: “In coming to its findings about the LTTE, the Commission was cognisant of the fact that every major NGO and many international organisations recognized the parasitic conduct of the LTTE in its treatment of Tamil civilian population, including the forcible recruitment of children as soldiers, particularly in the last stages of the war. It has been estimated by a respected Jaffna-based NGO that in the final 12 hours of the conflict the majority of the Tamil civilian casualties were caused by the LTTE,” Paranagama Report said.

The report “rejects the suggestion that civilians were either targeted directly or indiscriminately by the SLA as a part of an alleged genocide plan.”

“The Commission finds that the Darusman Report, as well as other reports, have taken a particularly narrow and restricted view of the obligation upon the GOSL to prosecute international crimes.”

The report says, “The LTTE was principally responsible for the loss of civilian life during the final phase of the armed conflict through their actions which included taking 300,000 to 330,000 civilian hostage, implementing a strategy of killing Tamil civilians to suit their military aims, using civilians as a strategic human buffer leading to considerable loss of civilian life, using hostages to dig trenches and build fortifications thereby exposing them to harm, sacrificing countless civilian hostages to keep the LTTE leadership in power, arming hostages and forcing them into the front line leading to the deaths of large numbers, forcing a great number of children to man the frontlines; deliberately preventing civilians, under their effective control, from fleeting to areas away from the fighting and executing civilian hostages for attempting to escape their captivity; shelling civilian hostages in order that the LTTE might assign those deaths to the SLA for media purposes to provoke international humanitarian intervention; placing their heavy weaponry amid civilians making it inevitable that there would be civilian casualties; killing civilians through the use of suicide bombers; placing mines and other explosive devices that resulted in civilian deaths; causing the deaths of civilians who drowned in an attempt to flee their LTTE captors; and adopting a practice whereby a significant number of its cadres fought in civilian clothes, thus blurring the distinction between combatants and civilians inevitably leading to civilian deaths.”

“Commission is of the view that the principal reason for the loss of civilian life during the final phase of the war was the hostage taking and use of human shields by the LTTE.”

The commission accepted that shelling by the SLA undoubtedly led to a significant number of civilian deaths, “but the commission stresses that this was an inevitable consequence of the LTTE’s refusal to permit civilians to leave their control in order to use them both as a shield and a pool for recruitment, even when the GOSL permitted a ceasefire on April 12. No government could be expected to permit young children to be forced into the front lines without taking all available measures to put an end to such ruthless exploitation of a civilian population,”

“The commission rejects the Darusman Report’s finding that ‘a number of credible sources’ have estimated that there could have been as many as 40,000 civilian deaths.”

The Commission has recommended dealing with the issue of missing persons and the establishment of effective mechanisms at various levels for that purpose. “Different contexts might require different solutions and no approach that fits every situation has yet been identified. Coordinating mechanisms and national mechanisms should always liaise with the families and communities concerned about their work, its limitations, the chances of success and the probability of finding the missing person alive or of finding the remains through exhumation and forensic identification. In addition, families should be informed about whether and how they might obtain assistance and reparation and about the possibilities for punishing those responsible for the disappearance of their loved ones.

“Several complainants stated that their family members who were abducted or caused enforced disappearances were from their place of residence, while some stated that their members were abducted from places other than their homes, which information were transmitted to the members of the family by a third party.”

The commission recommends the legal process against the inmates held in prisons related to LTTE activities, should be expedited.

“Livelihood assistance should be provided to families of missing persons by providing assistance so that they can sustain a continued livelihood for a period of time until such time they are able to sustain themselves independently. It has been observed by the Commission that livelihood is being drawn back due to the traumatic conditions of the missing persons family as a result of the war.”

The Commissions also suggested a process of counselling and psycho social related services.

The Commission of Inquiry into Abductions and Disappearances (Maxwell Paranagama Commission) conducted 12 public sittings in the North and the East. Each public sitting was spread over a period of four days.

The Commission chaired by retired senior judge Maxwell Paranagama comprised Suranjana Vidyaratne, Mano Ramanthan, W.A.T. Ratnayaka and H Sumanapala.

The second report tabled in Parliament yesterday was the final outcome of the Presidential Commission (Udalagama Commission) of Inquiry appointed to investigate and inquire into alleged serious violations of Human rights arising since August 1, 2005.

The Udalagama Commission says that the way police have conducted the initial investigations with regard to the killing of 17 aid workers of the international non-governmental organization Action Contre La Farm in early August 2006 lacks professionalism. The commission recommends that it is necessary to incorporate a comprehensive component on human rights and international humanitarian law in all police and armed forces training schemes.

In addition to the case on killing of 17 aid workers, the commission compiled separate reports with regard to the killing of 51 persons in Naddalamottankulam (Senchoali) in August 2006, alleged execution of Muslim villagers in Muttur and the execution at Welikanda of 14 persons from Muttur who were being transported in ambulances in early August 2006, killing of ten Muslim villagers in Radella in Pottuvil Police area on Sept 17, 2006, killing of five Tamil youths in Trincomalee.

“Out of the 16 cases mandated to be inquired into by the Commission proceedings seven cases have been concluded. With regard to the balance nine cases the COI is not in a position to conduct the inquiry during the mandated period. Two of the cases namely the killing of 17 aid workers of the ACF and the killing of five youths in Trincomalee attracted the attention of many parties including international organisations and foreign governments. Proceedings of these two cases took most of the time of the Commission.”

The Commission, chaired by Justice N.K. Udalagama, comprised Upawansa Yapa, Devanesan Nesiah, K.C. Logeswaran, Manouri Muttettuwegama, Jezima Ismail, S.S. Wijeratne, Javid Yusuf, Douglas Premaratne, M Faizal Razeen and Denzil J. Gunaratne.

5 Responses to “Paranagama Commission rejects Darusman findings-Udalagama Commission faults police over probe into killing of aid workers”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    So what are the FINDINGS?

    This article AVOIDS findings!! We need to know what are the FINDINGS of the commissions.

  2. SA Kumar Says:

    We need to know what are the FINDINGS of the commissions- What is the point ? because Bala Bala Commission rejects Paranagama findings !

    Actual truth is 17 aid workers are VP’S trained black or brown kodiyas ! We Happy now ???

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    I too think the 17 Aid Workers may have been LTTE cadre.



    The section in the Paranagama Report, viz ” The Report says ‘the LTTE was principally responsible …. etc ” covers the findings adequately.


    Our grateful thanks to Mr Paranagama for the Report. Also our thanks to the members of the Udalagama Commission.

    What about the THIRD Report by Sir Demond de Silva et al ? That Report also must be submitted to Parilament.

    PROPER TRANSLATIONS (both Sinhala & Tamil) of every report must be done so that the INTENT of each section is intact.

    The Reports by themselves cover only limited time periods in the of war with the LTTE. To give a whole and accurate picture and in order to find lasting solutions to the problems Lanka faces today, the problems must be examined, even briefly, in the context of the Nations Culture & History and the role of Colonists & India, the Cold War and the two World Wars.

    All Reports must be used for the purpose of finding PERMANENT SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEMS faced today by Sri Lanka’s govt & People, and not for backbiting and revenge as appears to be the motive of Yahap govt.

  4. Hiranthe Says:

    These reports must be unbiased as they look to be. Why we have not used them to tell the world that we have done the right things and show the world that we are serious in reconciliation. Why it took so long for them to come to surface? who was sitting on them? If we have issued to the UN the mad UNHCR TIGER team would have got a hit by their heads.

    Was someone delaying these purposely?? an NGO probably?? Now as we have brought them to the parliament, once debated and rectified, we should implement their recommendations and there is no need for another Court setting up based on US / UN / Yahap plan.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    Hiranthe has brought out a valid point. Why indeed were the Paranagama Report plus two other reports not discussed in Parliament and our foreign Embassies earlier & UN bodies earlier ?

    * Was it due to the early War Crimes charge foisted unfairly on the MR govt & the SL Armed Forces ?
    * Was it because the US was involved in training the SL Army plus locating the LTTE arms ships, and the west had a say in matters re govt inquiries ?

    Whatever the reasons, the entire country now has to sit down together and solve the problems once and for all, the goal being to bring a lasting peace & some prosperity to all in Lanka. I think the MR govt could not have tackled these post war problems alone – the opposition to the MR govt was too heavy with Indian & west heavy weights added on. The solutions require the consent or at least partial agreement by all sections of society in Lanka.

    Face the Facts :

    The fact that Sri Lanka govts past and present still has the Tamil Language in place as an Official/National Language in Lanka, plus free Education & Health Care with NO caste lines on birth certificates, makes Lanka the most attractive place in the world for over 15 Million Tamil Dalits in neighbor sub-state Tamil Nadu. That the downtrodden Tamils of low caste seek other pastures for growth and caste removal is obvious. Does Lanka want to hand over the entire island for this purpose to them ? However, if any Eelam is formed in Lanka, Eelam will come under the jurisdiction of Tamil Nadu, and the Caste structure will be reimposed by TN on Eelam, as that is the way TN handles society.

    If a Fed State (per CM Wigneswaran) is given, then it is just a matter of time before it edges to Eelam.

    PM Ranil proposes a BRIDGE (Chunnel) to connect Lanka with Tamil Nadu too ! “Panina relawunta inimung bandinawa !”

    What do the people of Lanka want ?
    What will they choose ?

    I think this matter of f Fed State > Eelam may have to be decided through a National Referendum. The Question about the Tamil Language may have to be put to the People too.

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