A Legacy to Remember: Sri Lanka's Commissions of Inquiry 1963-2002
23 December 2020
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: In answering the question as to whether any organized body of persons was directly or indirectly involved in the plot, which in the view of the Commission was “the most important and far-reaching”5 question of the Terms of Reference from which all other questions derived, the Commission answered in the negative. [...] It was unreasonable to have expected the Commission of Inquiry to re examine the questions which had been finally decided by an order of the highest judicial authority of the Country.”6 It therefore proceeded on the case “as finally established in the Court proceedings as a fixed basis.”7 With regard to the individuals acquitted by Court, the Commission was of the view that “as they had both face. [...] A criticism of the Commission has been that “the terms of reference limited the scope of the inquiry, and the commissioners failed to use the full extent of their powers, thus failing to obtain all the information necessary to the inquiry.”27 25 For a report of the incident, see “The Kokkadichcholai Massacre and After,” in University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), The Debasement o f Law and o. [...] According to the Schedule A, the Commission was to inquire into allegations “that persons are being involuntarily removed from their places of residence by persons unknown” and report on the following: (i) any complaints of such alleged removal, and/or the subsequent lack of information of the whereabouts of the person or persons so removed; (ii) the evidence available to establish the truth of su. [...] The Commissions also helped facilitate the issue of death certificates, the grant of compensation and the provision of services specifically tailored to address the particular needs of family members of the disappeared.