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Disappearances: Police ordered to act swiftly

COLOMBO: President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday directed the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry and the Police Department to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Investigations Commissionís first and second interim reports on abductions, disappearances and deaths of civilians by assault.

The President has also called for a follow-up report pertaining to the action taken, within one week. The Presidential Commission had submitted their first interim report on December 22, 2006, and the second on March 23, 2007.

Although the Commission is yet to conclude their investigations, the President is of the view that recommendation made in the interim reports pertaining to the incidents already investigated fully should be implemented sans any further delay.

Therefore the Registrar General under the re-implementation of Registration of Deaths Act 17 of 2001 (temporary regulations), is to instruct the District Secretaries, Provincial Secretaries, Grama Niladaris and Registrars of Births and Deaths to give priority to requests made. Following the registration of such deaths, provision should be made to swiftly compensate those already entitled.

The Presidentís Secretary has notified the Police Department of 50 incidents where it has been revealed that the Police have not initially conducted proper investigations. Therefore, the Secretary has directed the Police to take steps to re-investigate these incidents and bring the culprits to book, by establishing an investigations unit with wide powers.

The unit is to comprise high-ranking police officers and officers of the CID, who should also obtain assistance from the Attorney Generalís Department as well.

 

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