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Disappearances, abductions recede: Sri Lankan gov't
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21:31, August 31, 2007

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A one-man commission appointed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said Friday that incidents of abductions, disappearances and mysterious killings of individuals in the island have seen a decrease over the last few months.

The retired Judge Mahanama Tillekeratna, the one-man commission, said that stringent action by the authorities had led to the improved situation.

"Complaints reached a peak in December and January but from March onwards they have slowed," Tillekeratne told reporters.

He said that out of the 1,992 complaints of disappearances, abductions and killings received since Sept. 14, 2006 to July 1, 2007, more than 1,400 people have been traced back and are alive.

"We are continuing investigations into the balance of 567 complaints and we can finish them in another one to two months," Tillekeratne said.

He pointed out that stringent action by the police and relevant authorities had led to the decline of cases.

The Sri Lankan government came under intense international pressure over the continued allegations of rights abuses in the escalation of the conflict between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.

"The incidents are not as bad as projected," Tillekeratne said, adding that there was an "invisible hand" to discredit the Sri Lankan government through wide publicity to alleged rights abuses in the island.

Source: Xinhua

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