While claiming that reports on disappearances have dropped significantly in recent months, former High Court Judge Mahanama Tilakaratne, who heads the one-man Commission on abductions and disappearances yesterday said of the 1,992 thought to have disappeared from September last year to June this year, 1,425 had returned.
`Since last March, abductions and disappearances have significantly dropped mainly because of the government`s move to prevent such acts,` the former High Court Judge told journalists at the Information Department in Colombo.
He said the committee was still probing the cases relating to the remaining 567 who had disappeared and the outcome of the probe would be made known within the next two months.
The High Court Judge also said the highest number of abductions and disappearances had been reported between last December and January this year.
According to the Commission head most of the disappearances were linked to private matters.
`When a person is abducted, relatives make a complaint, but when he returns no one informs the authorities. This is the reason for the high figure,` he said.
Praising the police department for its contribution to prevent such abductions and disappearances the Judge said the government had paid serious attention by ordering the police to take every possible step to curb such actions.`
Commenting on the situation in the north including the Wanni region, he said 178 were reported to have been abducted but 50 had returned. Of 463 cases of disappearances, 143 had returned. He also said 321 killings were reported from the region during the same period.