Colombo: Sri Lanka's Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Disappearances would entertain public complaints over war crimes and human rights abuses in the country, according to a top official.
"The Commission has decided to entertain public complaints on any war crimes and human rights abuses in the north and east. This could be done until December 31," said HW Gunadasa, the Secretary to the Commission.
On July 15, President Mahinda Rajapaksa extended the mandate of the Commission to include in the background of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission "whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly bears responsibility in this regard by reason of a violation or violations of international humanitarian law or international human rights law."
Since its establishment in August last year, the Commission has received nearly 20,000 complaints of disappearances of individuals. This includes over 5,000 disappearances of the soldiers.
The three-member panel headed by the retired judge Maxwell Paranagama was complemented by the appointment of three international experts, Sir Desmond de Silva, Sir Geoffrey Nice and Prof David Crane.
Sri Lanka is currently facing a UN Human Rights Council mandated war crimes investigation.
Both the government troops and the now defunct LTTE have been accused of war crimes during the military campaign which ended five years ago with the defeat of Tamil Tigers.