Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission distorts figures of missing persons

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 August 2012, 22:48 GMT]
The ‘Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission’, run by the Sri Lankan State in Colombo, has begun to conceal and twist the figures of complaints registered by its regional offices in the North and East. While announcing that a ‘high level’ delegation from Colombo is scheduled to visit Jaffna in the coming days to ‘investigate’ the registered complaints of missing persons since the year 2006, Mr. S. Kanagaraj, an official at the Jaffna office told media Wednesday that only 472 people were reported missing after the year 2006. However, informed human rights activists in Jaffna said that the office had registered 1,500 to 2,000 cases since 2006. There were at least 599 cases registered by the office in the year 2006 alone, they further said.

Between 1998 and 2001, more than 800 persons were reported missing in Jaffna peninsula under the occupying Sri Lanka Army. The SL HRC is silent about these cases.

Recently, there were 800 cases of persons who were missing in Vanni after the end of Vanni war in 2009. These details were also registered at the Jaffna office by the resettling people in Jaffna. The SL-HRC doesn't want to talk about these cases.

Usually, the SL-HRC office archives the complaints registered by the kith and kin of those reported missing. The office also seeks information from the SL military and files the response it receives from Palaali in the same file.

The people of Jaffna, who use to register the details of the missing for the sake of the record, have no faith in the follow-up work done by Colombo's mechanism of SL Human Rights Commission, human rights activists in Jaffna told TamilNet.

The latest twist from the Jaffna office is that there has been ‘no response’ from the families of the missing to a questionnaire it had posted to them in advance.

In the meantime, some of the families of the missing persons have left the island seeking asylum after 2006, the rights activists said.

There are also parents who are afraid of actively engaging in the search for their missing family members. Especially, parents having other young members in their families are cautious of not provoking the Sri Lankan military intelligence.

The SL Human Rights Commission is financially dependent on the genocidal State of Sri Lanka. The SL President, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the SL armed forces, appoints the commissioners of the outfit.

in 2007 itself, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticised the composition of the SL-HRC that the SL president had personally appointed five commissioners to the outfit in violation of article 41B of the Sri Lankan constitution.

 

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