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3.7 The Board of Investigation into Disappearances in Jaffna

In 1996, a large number of people fled from the Jaffna peninsula into the Vanni while government forces were engaged in an operation to regain control of Jaffna from the LTTE. Many people returned after the security forces had taken over the peninsula, but following the suicide bomb attack on the Jaffna Town Commander,  Maj.Gen. Hapangama, in July 1996, instances of youth disappearing in custody began to be reported. It is alleged that nearly 600 persons disappeared in Jaffna during this period. 

 When the government came under considerable pressure to trace and account for the disappeared, it appointed a Board of Investigation in 1997 to inquire into these complaints. However, as this Board consisted of officials of the Defence Ministry, it failed to win the confidence of the relatives of the victims.  The Board conducted its inquiries inside Palaly Army Camp, which is a high security zone, and most of the complainants did not attend the hearings.  This Board concluded its sittings in 1998; however, its report to the President has not been published to date.

Posted on 2003-06-15


Cyberspace Graveyard for Disappeared Persons
Asian Human Rights Commission

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