Commissioner appointed to PCoI on alleged human rights, IHL violations


A Commissioner has been appointed to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing alleged human rights violations, serious violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and other such offences in Sri Lanka.

In a gazette notification issued on February 12, Secretary to President, P. B. Jayasundera announced that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed former Mayor of Jaffna, Yogeswari Patkunarajah as a commissioner of the said three-member panel.

The relevant PCoI was appointed in January to investigate, inquire into and report or take necessary actions on findings of preceding commissions or committees, which probed the alleged human rights violations in the country.

The commission, chaired by Supreme Court Judge, A. H. M. D. Nawaz, consists of retired IGP, Chandra Fernando and retired District Secretary, Nimal Abeysiri.

The commissioners are tasked with:

  • Finding out whether preceding commissions of inquiry and committees which were appointed into human rights violations have revealed any human rights violations, serious violations of international humanitarian law and other such serious offences;
  • Identifying what are the findings of the said Commissions and Committees related to the serious violations of human rights, serious violations of international humanitarian laws and other such offences and whether recommendations have been made on how to deal with the said facts;
  • Looking into the manner in which those recommendations have been implemented so far in terms of the existing law and what steps need to be taken to implement those recommendations further in line with the present Government policy;
  • Overseeing if necessary action is being taken.

They have been directed to submit the final report with its investigations, inquiries and recommendations within a period of six months since its appointment.