President Gotabaya Rajapaksa received the interim report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, which was established to investigate alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, at the Presidential Secretariat on Tuesday (20).
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa through Extraordinary Gazette notifications on 22 January 2021 and on 12 February 2021 appointed the 4-member Commission of Inquiry (Col) to investigate, inquire into and report or take necessary actions on findings of preceding Commissions or Committees appointed to investigate into human rights violations, serious violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and other such offences.
Supreme Court Judge A. H. M. D. Nawaz has been appointed as the Chairman of the Commission. The other members of the commission headed by Mr. Nawaz are, retired IGP Chandra Fernando, retired District Secretary Nimal Abeysiri and Jaffna Municipal Councilor Yogeshwari Pathkunaraja.
The Commission, which disagrees with the view that the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be repealed, in its report points out that the Act should be amended after studying the laws introduced to prevent terrorism in other countries, including Great Britain.
Inputs from Colombopage
The Commission, which has paid special attention to Sections 9, 11 and 13 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and has made three proposals in the interim report on the implementation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act in a more democratic manner.
The report suggests that in enforcing detention orders by section 9, for persons detained for a minimum of three months or more, indictments should be filed and trials should be completed.
Furthermore, the report points out the possibility of detaining the arrested under Article 11 at their home or village under special security instead of being held in prison.
The Interim Report of the Commission suggests the importance of appointing an Advisory Council of at least three members representing all communities to advise the President in accordance with Article 13.
It is the policy of the Government to work in collaboration with the United Nations and its agencies to achieve accountability and human resource development to achieve lasting peace and reconciliation.
The Government is committed to resolving the issues that need to be resolved within the framework of democratic legislation and to ensuring justice and reconciliation by making institutional amendments as necessary.
The Presidential Commission of Inquiry to evaluate the decisions of the previous commissions and committees and take further action has space to submit the Commission’s final report within the next six months.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill