No formal complaints on most disappearances

The government informed the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today that there have not been formal complaints for over 60 percent of those alleged to have disappeared in the country.
In a statement issued during the interactive dialogue with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the government said that during the past year the Ministry of Defence has created a database to clarify cases referred by the working group.
The government told the Council it has transmitted clarifications to 264 cases to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
“It is noteworthy that eighty percent of the cases under consideration date back to the pre-1990 period and that in relation to more than 60 percent of the cases no formal complaints have been lodged with the law enforcement authorities,” the Sri Lankan delegation said.
The government says it had established an inter-agency working group comprising representatives of the Ministry of Defence, External Affairs and the Attorney General’s Department to clarify the cases of alleged disappearances and to take follow up action as deemed necessary.
The Sri Lankan delegation said it has taken multiple initiatives to address allegations of disappearances including by strengthening the State’s institutional framework to deal with all aspects of disappearances.
“In addition Sri Lanka has also strengthened its legal process,” the Sri Lankan delegation added.
Meanwhile a demonstration which was scheduled to take place in Colombo today by family members of those who had disappeared, organized by the convener of the Civil Monitoring Commission Mano Ganeshan, was cancelled after several people from the north who were scheduled to take part in the demonstration were prevented from proceeding to Colombo by the police late last night. (Colombo Gazette)