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DateLine Sunday, 3 June 2007

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Majority of abduction complaints fake

President assures speedy action against genuine cases

Police investigations to some true abduction cases too get delayed unnecessarily due to majority of false allegations which keep the sleuth busy, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told a gathering of families of abducted and disappeared persons at "Temple Trees" on Friday.

"Certain persons with ulterior motives like asylum seekers in foreign countries and, others become cat's paw of some politicians make complaints of abduction disappearance and threat giving more work to the police", he said. After all police cannot go beyond Vavuniya to investigate some of these cases due to LTTE threats which also heavily contribute to the delay, President Rajapaksa said.

"These families face many difficulties as the majority of them had lost the breadwinner", he said.

Abductions and extra judicial killings were reported during the tenure of former President Ranasinghe Premadasa and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, but President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only leader who personally met the families of such victims and assured them redress, Minister Radhakrishnan said.

The President reiterated that the government was bound to protect the rights of all communities in Sri Lanka. The government or any State institution do not wish to abduct any civilian, as there is a formal legal system in operation in the country.

He assured these families that their complaints would be investigated by the police soon and added that the government has instructed the police to take speedy action to bring the culprits before the law.

President Rajapaksa who listened to the grievances of wives, children and parents of 56 families of those who had disappeared or were abducted, said that the government take people into custody under Terrorism Act, following detention orders. He said several groups, including those who deal with terrorists, the underworld and several other parties, who were trying to get political mileage were involved in these abductions.

"The government treats all Tamils equally and, Armed Forces and the police always ensure their security. A special program to protect and strengthen their security has been launched", he said.

Meanwhile, the President has appointed a committee to look into extra judicial killings and abductions. The Committee headed by the Minister of Human Rights and Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe will look into issues of disappearances and abductions. The committee comprises Ministers Dr. Rajitha Senaratna, P. Radhakrishnan, Dullas Alahapperuma, Vasudeva Nanayakara and Puttalam MP K.A Baiz.

"We cannot inform the President about each and every killing and abduction. We even cannot inform the police and the CID. So we requested the President to appoint a Committee to look into the matter", Leader of the Upcountry People's Front (UPPF) and Minister of Community Development Periasami Chandrasekaran said.

He told the 'Sunday Observer' that those who were abducted or killed were from the Colombo district and over 117 complaints on disappearances and abductions have been reported to the UPPF office in Colombo.

Appreciating President Rajapaksa's decision to meet these families Minister Chandrasekaran said that the President who gave a sympathetic hearing to these families assured to provide a 24-hour telephone service to receive complaints on disappearances and abductions.

 

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