Jaffna abductions probe begins next week
The Presidential Committee to Investigate Disappearances and
Abductions will visit Jaffna next week to inquire into the alleged
abductions and killings in the North, Construction and Engineering
Services Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.
Addressing the media yesterday on disappearances and abductions,
Senaratne noted that there was a drastic drop in the number of
abductions and disappearance since President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed
"Many abduction and disappearance cases were mostly reported in
Colombo and its suburbs and the North and East. Many of these cases have
been dealt with successfully in Colombo and the East. We are now moving
into the North," he added.
Around 1,138 cases of abductions and disappearance have been reported
in various parts of the country, most prominently in Colombo and its
suburbs, and in the North and the East. "Since the President formed the
Committee most cases were handled successfully leaving only 141 to deal
with," the Minister said.
"In many cases, the Security Forces have been accused. But when we
launched investigations it was found many of those claimed to have been
abducted were actually in hiding for personal reasons and others were
Some have returned home unhurt. There were also many of those deemed
abducted who were in fact taken for detention at Boossa without their
parents or loved ones being informed," Senaratne said.
He pointed out that the Committee had visited Boossa with top ranking
police officers and had an independent discussion where he was able to
free 45 detainees, mostly Tamils who were arrested in clearing
operations in the Colombo city.
"When we count killings in Jaffna, at least three innocent civilians
have been killed by the LTTE per day for personal reasons. Other than
that, many have disappeared or been abducted.
Due to the ground situation we had difficulties to investigate those
cases in Jaffna. Next week, a team from the Committee together with
police personnel and prison officers will visit Jaffna," the Minister
He said the situation in Jaffna differed from other areas. Many
youths had surrendered to the Human Rights Committees fearing the LTTE
in Jaffna and they have been handed over to the police for
rehabilitation and these detainees were facing lack of facilities in
"Our team will take all measures to carry out investigations
including on the spot independent investigations with detainees, look
into the conditions of the detainees and direct the Security Forces to
stem disappearances," he added.
Replying to a question by a journalist whether the Government would
allow International Organisations to investigate abduction and
disappearances, Senaratne said the Government has no objection to any
"The Government has always opened doors to the International
Organisations. Many international representatives arrived on fact
finding missions. They however said abductions are a local issue and can
be dealt with the by the local law enforcement apparatus, the Minister
Deputy Minister of Vocational and Technical Training P. Radha
Krishnan said the President appointed a four member committee to
investigate the abductions and disappearances and that it was performing
successfully to bring the culprits to book.