Written by Tharushan Fernando
21 Oct, 2015 | 8:50 pm
The Udalagama and Paranagama Commission reports which were tabled in Parliament by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday will be taken up for debate on Thursday.
The Paranagama and Udalagama Commissions which were both appointed by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa were mandated to investigate into Complaints of Abductions and Disappearances; and to investigate and inquire into alleged serious violations of human rights respectively during certain periods of the armed conflict .
The Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to investigate and inquire into alleged serious violations of human rights arising since August 1, 2005, was tabled in Parliament.
Chaired by late Retired Supreme Court Judge, N.K. Udalagama and appointed by former president Rajapaksa, the commission was mandated to inquire into and report on 15 incidents of alleged serious violations of human rights.
Of these 15 incidents which the commission was mandated to inquire into, reports on seven of them have been concluded. They are:
1. The killing of 17 aid workers of Action Against Hunger organisation in early August 2006.
2. The alleged execution of Muslim villagers in Muttur in August 2006, and the execution at Welikanda of 14 persons from Muttur who were being transported in ambulances.
3. The killing of five youth in Trincomalee in January 2006.
4. Death of 51 persons in Naddalamonttakulam, Sencholai in August 2006.
5. Killing of 10 Muslim villagers in Pottuvil in September 2006.
6. Killing of 68 persons in Kebithigollewa on 15th June 2006.
7. Killing of 98 security forces personnel in Digampathana, Sigiriya on October 16, 2006.
On the 15th of August 2013, Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons, headed by Retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama.
In July 2014, the mandate was exapanded to address facts and circumstances surrounding civilian loss of life, and responsibility for International Law violations during the conflict.
A legal advisory council to the Paranagama Commission, comprising legal international experts and an expert military report by Maj. Gen. John Holmes was also appointed.
The commission, consisting of 5 members, comprised of:
1. Maxwell Paranagama
2. Suranjana Vidyaratne
3. Mano Ramanathan
4. Tillekeratne Rathnayaka
5. Hewahettige Sumanapala
The Udalagama Commission report recommends:
1. Further investigations into certain cases.
2. A new Commission to be constituted and directed to compelete the balance pending cases before the Commission.
3. Appropriate measures of reparation to the be provided to the victims of serious violations of human rights investigated and inquired into by the Commission of Inquiry and their next of kin.
The Paranagama Commission recommends the implementation of several proposals, in order to bring about a measure of closure that will assist in peace and reconciliation, including:
1. Creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a War Crimes Division of the High Court.
2. That the Attorney General be empowered to place before a judge evidence in relation to any individual who may be criminally liable for violations of the laws of war.
The Paranagama and Udalagama Reports were commissioned by Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during the tenure of the previous administration in order to look into
The Commission was originally mandated to receive complaints and investigate abductions and disappearances in the Northern and Eastern Provinces during June 10, 1990 and May 19, 2009, in order to identify responsible persons, and initiate legal proceedings against them.
Under the Justice N.K. Udalagama Commission, the cases set to be investigated were:
1) The Assasination of the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar PC
2) The killing of 17 aid workers of the International Non-Governmental Organization Action Contre Law Faim in early August 2006.
3) The alleged execution of Muslim villagers in Muttur in early August 2006, and the execution at Welikanda of 14 persons from Muttur who were being transported in ambulances.
4) The assasination of Joseph Pararajasingham, Member of Parlaiment on the 25th of December 2005.
5) The killing of 5 youths in Trincomalee on or about the 2nd of January 2006.
6) The assasination of the Deputy Director General of the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat, Ketheesh Loganathan, on the 12th of August 2006.
7) Death of 51 persons in Sencholai in August 2006.
8) Disappearance of Rev. Nihal Jim Brown of Philip Neri’s Church at Allaipidi on the 28th of August 2006.
9) Killing of 5 fishermen and another at Pesalai beach and at the Pesalai Church in June 2006.
10) Killing of 13 persons in Kayts Police area in May 2006.
11) Killing of 10 Muslim villagers in Pottuvil police area in September 2006.
12) Killing of 68 persons in Kebithigollewa on 15th June 2006.
13) Incident relating to the finding of 5 headless bodies in Avissawella on 29th April 2006.
14) Killing of 13 persons in Welikanda on 29th May 2005.
15) Killing of 98 security forces personnel in Digampathana, Sigiriya on 16th October 2006.
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