His Excellency the President having received complaints to the effect that some persons, resident in the North and East of Sri Lanka were affected by unfortunate incidents particularly during the period 10th June 1990 and to a greater extent resulting in the second Elam War which culminated on 19th May 2009. At the end of the conflict in May 2009 allegations of persons been abducted or disappeared from their homes and complaints have been brought to the notice of the President of such abductions or disappeared persons have not been located. Their whereabouts and the perpetrators of such abductions and disappearances are unknown. His Excellency the President is concerned about the allegations and in order to ascertain the truth regarding allegations decided to appoint this Commission to investigate into complaints from relatives and next- of- kin of missing persons during the period 10th June 1990 – 10th May 2009. The scope and nature of the Mandate given by His Excellency the President is to identify persons responsible for such abductions or disappearances and to institute legal proceedings against such persons. The President’s concern to investigate such complaints is in the interest of public security and the Commission has been mandated to make recommendations as to what measures should be adopted to ensure that there will be no such occurrences. This Commission is the follow up on the recommendations made to His Excellency the President by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
The Commission has been given wide powers in the Mandate itself to investigate complaints in a transparent and independent manner. At the outset the Commission published notices in all three languages in all major news papers in Sri Lanka. The notices were issued in October, November and December 2013. The public were invited to submit their complaints in writing to the Commission. Accordingly Commission received a large number of complaints which to date stands at approximately 18,476 including 5,000 from Security Forces. His Excellency the President has recognized the importance of thoroughly investigating these complaints to ensure that if the allegations of violations of rights of any individual irrespective of cast, creed and religion legal action to be taken against such perpetrators. The Commission has held public sittings in Kilinochchi, Jaffna and Batticaloa. The oral evidence from witnesses who attended public sittings are analyzed and complaints which, in the view of the Commission needs to be investigated, the Commission will take necessary action to investigate such complaints in order to verify and ascertain the grievances of complainants.