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Commission to deal with small arms proliferation

President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has appointed a National Commission to deal with the Proliferation of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in Sri Lanka in accordance with a resolution adopted at the United Nations, the Ministry of Public Security, Law and Order said yesterday.

Tilak Ranaviraja, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security, Law and Order has been appointed the Chairman of the Commission.

The other members of the Commission are Malini Peiris, Advisor, Ministry of Defence, G. Hettiarachchi, Additional Secretary Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Chitranganie Wagishwara, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, R. M. Abeyrathna, Senior Assistant Secretary, Prime Minister's Office, Punya de Silva, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Dappula Livera, Senior State Counsel, Attorney General's Department, K. L. G. T. Perera, Deputy Director Department of Customs, Brigadier Krishantha Silva, Sri Lanka Army, Brigadier Ranjan de Silva, Retired (Sri Lanka Army), Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, Chairman, Sarvodaya and Kingsley Rodrigo of the South Asia Small Arms Network.

The terms of reference of the Commission are:

1. Formulation and implementation of a public awareness programme with a view to obtaining the maximum co-operation in preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

2. Formulation of a plan of action to collect illicit arms and light weapons and implementation of the same.

3. Examine the adequacy of the punitive measures currently in force to combat the problems and propose amendments where necessary.

4. Formulation of a rewards system for informants.

5. Formulate a scheme under which amnesty could be granted to those who surrender illicit arms and light weapons.

6. Obtain the assistance of independent technical experts and NGOs as and when necessary.

7. Identify sources of supply of illicit arms and small weapons and suggest ways of effectively curbing such trafficking.

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