Sri Lanka: Government to search for assets lost 'after war'

The all party apex body set up by the Sri Lankan government has decided to investigate loss of material assets in the war zone. Spokesman for the National Executive Council (NEC) Anura Kumara Dissanayake told journalists in Colombo that they have agreed to 'establish a unit to extensively  investigate what happened to vehicles, property and gold destroyed in these areas after the war'.

The JVP leader Dissanayake who spoke following the NEC meeting on 20 January, did not say of any decision taken by the NEC to address loss of lives during the war. His party supported the war waged by the government that killed tens of thousands of civilians in predominantly Tamil areas of the island.

While the TNA has earlier said that over 75,000 lives have been lost in the war, Bishop Rayappu Joseph from the north have given evidence to the government appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) of over 1,46,000 people whose whereabouts are unknown. The United Nations has concluded that the number of civilian deaths can be up to 70,000. Following the policy of ousted president Mahinda Rajapaksa on war crimes allegations, the newly elected president Maithripala Sirisena has pledged that he will not allow any political or military leader to face an  international investigation. President Sirisena has said that a domestic mechanism will address any wrongdoing by the Sri Lankan military in the war against Tamil Tigers.

The new government appointed a former LLRC commissioner as the Governor of the Northern Province recently.


JVP parliamentarian Dissanayaka further said that a mechanism will be created to 'investigate abductions, assault, killings and intimidation in the recent past,' in order to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

All political parties as well as civil society organisations that backed Maithripala Sirisena to be elected as president take part in NEC deliberations. Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Democratic Party (DP) All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) and the Democratic People's Front (DPF) are the political parties representing the NEC. Its inaugural meeting was attended by the president.