A government-appointed panel probing the cases of thousands of missing people during the nearly three-decade-long war with the LTTE will provide counselling to the kin of those disappeared, an official said today.
H.W Gunadasa, Secretary to the Presidential Commission inquiring into cases of alleged disappearances in the North and Eastern Provinces, said the Commission was working with the health authorities.
"We have learnt from the Commission's sittings held in north and east that some families had suffered multiple disappearances. They have as a result suffered much mental stress. The Commission therefore decided to have a strategy to tackle the issue," Gunadasa said.
The panel appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa last year received some 18,000 complaints of disappearances, including 5,000 from the government troops.
The three-member panel is mandated to inquire into and report on alleged abductions or disappearances between June 10, 1990, and May 19, 2009.
"The Commission's work is being hampered by the lack of evidence on these cases. The relatives do not want to accept death certificates or receive compensation. They are hopeful that we will be able to find their relatives," he said.
The national plan of action monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has listed several action to address social, economic and health needs of the vulnerable groups in the former conflict zones.
Provision of counselling and psychosocial support is to be a key area under the action plan, officials maintain. (PTI)