Some civil organisations published baseless statements showing a higher number of people as gone missing in the North, the Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons Maxwell Paranagama said today.
He said one organisation had claimed that more than 100,000 had gone missing only in Mannar.
“When we asked the organisation to forward the family members of those who went missing, if there is such high number, the organisation failed to do so,” he said.
He said the Commission published newspaper advertisements, gazette notifications and informed the villagers on the sittings of the commission’s three months prior to the hearings.
He said if there were 100,000 missing persons, their families could have complained to the Commission because of the previously given publicity.
“After all the publicity that was given, we only received about 375 complaints from Mannar,” he said.
Mr. Paranagama said 157 complainants had turned up for the hearings held in Mannar District from August 8 to 11.
The commission held public sittings in Mullaithivu in July and in Batticaloa in June. It had previously conducted public sittings in Kilinochchi and in Jaffna.
Mr. Paranagama said they have not made a decision on the place of the next sitting.
The Commission has so far received 19,284 complaints. Approximately 5,000 complaints had been received from relatives of missing security forces personnel. (Lahiru Pothmulla)