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Interim Report of the Commission of Disappearances in Western Zone



1. Interpretation of the Terms and Scope of the Mandate


  1. Enlargement of Mandate to cover period 1984 to 87.
  2. The inclusion of a preclusive clause, ruling out judicial review of proceedings before the commission, in the Commissions of Inquiry Act.
  3. The inclusion of a provision similar to Sec: 18B of the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry (Special Provisions) Law No. 4 of 1978, in the Commission of Inquiry Act.

2. The Nature of the Destruction Disclosed by the Evidence and the Measures Necessary for the Prevention of Recurrences in the Future

  1. Disciplinary Action, including legal action, against miscreants.
  2. (i) Requisite Qualifications for police officers and grama Sevakas to be identified; (ii) Promtions to be on the basis of (i) above + past performance; (iii) New Recruitments to be on the basis of (i) above.
  3. Training Programme in investigation to be started immediately for police personnel.
  4. A System of Police-Lay-Visitors' Panels to he instituted for each police area.
  5. Citizerns' Advisory Bureaus for each provincial Secretariat area.
  6. The re-introduction of thr "24-Hour-Rule" regarding police custody.
  7. The enforcement of the requirement of a valid detention order in respect of every person in state custody.
  8. Commissioner of Prisons to have over-all supervisory powers in respect of all places of detention.

3. The Investigation and Prosecution of Perpetrators

1. The agency of investigation to be -

  1. the civil investigative arm of the state, always;
  2. the special Investigation Unit on the Police to handle complaints v. Police Officers.

2. Jurisdiction to be with the Courts.

3. The treatment of suspects until the conclusion of the inquiry/case to include:

  1. The transfer out of the area of the officer concerned;
  2. Interdiction until the end of the inquiry/case;
  3. Suspension of eligibility to promotion to be automatic.

4. The protection of witnesses by:

  1. an amnesty be declared for persons confessing to Human Rights violations to this Commission.
  2. Immunity from Prosecution.

4. Relief Measures

  1. The payment of compensation to be without any political discrimination.
  2. The introduction of a new tax, on the lines of the Defence Levy, to generate adequate funds for the payment of fair and adequate compensation.
  3. The public sector be instructed to do away with the requirement of a clearance certificate from the police.
  4. A scholarship Programme for school-going children of missing persons, to be integrated into the existing scholarship programmes administrated by the Ministry of Education.
  5. The provision of vocational training to tile Head of female-headed families and youth in families of missing persons, through their integration into general training schemes provided by the Government.
  6. For the purpose of Emotional Rehabilitation we recommend:

    (i) The Educational Services and Health Services plan out and put into operation a scheme for the sensitization of all their personnel to the need to be alert to this aspect;

    (ii) and to setting up of a referral scheme whereby affected children or adults needing attention way be referred to the counselling services;

    (iii) to mobilise the mass media to make the public aware of the emotional aspects of this phenomenon, including the likely repercussions to the society as a whole, if these aspects continue to remain unaddressed.

5. National Reconciliation

  1. The erection of "A Wall of Reconciliation" whereon are inscribed the names of all who have disappeared or died in this tragic period of our country's history.
  2. The above is in addition to:
  1. The manifestation of the requisite political will by the re-affirmation of the right to peaceful dissent, to free and fair elections, and the commitment to over-all development.
  2. The payment of compensation by the state as an acknowledgement of state responsibility;
  3. The prosecution of perpetrators subjects to an amnesty for those conferring to Human Rights Violations.
  4. Meaningful steps to be taken immediately in respect of the above steps.

Posted on 1999-01-01


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