Appointment of Mr. Motoo NOGUCHI as an expert to the Advisory Council of the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons in Sri Lanka
November 27, 2014
1. On 26 November, the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka appointed Mr. Motoo NOGUCHI, former International Judge of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims of the International Criminal Court, as an expert to the Advisory Council of the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons in Sri Lanka.
2. With the end of the conflict in 2009, realizing national reconciliation towards the firm-establishment of peace has been a main challenge in Sri Lanka. While the Government of Sri Lanka is continuing its domestic initiatives by establishing the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons in order to promote national reconciliation through the investigation of missing persons during the conflict, the Advisory Council bears important responsibility for ensuring the reliability and neutrality of Presidential Commission’s activities. The appointment of Judge Noguchi is a part of Japan’s contribution for the national reconciliation, which was announced by Prime Minister Sinzo Abe during his visit to Sri Lanka this September.
3. Peace building is one of Japan’s main foreign policies, and it has proactively contributed to the peace process in Sri Lanka for a long time. Japan will continue its engagement with Sri Lanka to support its effort to achieve true national reconciliation and strongly hopes that Judge Noguchi will contribute to the Advisory Council with his knowledge and experience and that national reconciliation will be further promoted through Commission’s activities.
[Reference] Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons
(1) In Sri Lanka, the 26 year long conflict with LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) since 1983 came to an end in 2009. Japan has actively been involved in and contributed to Sri Lanka’s peace process by appointing former UN Under Secretary-General Yasushi AKASHI as Government Representative for Peace Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka in 2002. Japan has also supported Sri Lanka’s effort towards national reconciliation to achieve enduring peace and sustainable development after the end of the conflict.
(2) In August 2013, the Sri Lankan Government established the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons to investigate cases of alleged disappearances during the conflict, to identify the persons responsible and relief measures, and to compile a report on the findings to submit to the President (Mr. Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama, former Supreme Court Judge, is the Chairman). The Commission has been presented with 19,571 cases to date and is currently holding public hearings in Northern and Eastern Provinces.
(3) In July 2014, the Sri Lankan Government extended the scope of the mandate of the Presidential Commission to include the investigation of facts and circumstances regarding the loss of civilian lives during the conflict and violations of international humanitarian and international human rights laws and newly established an Advisory Council consisting of foreign experts. Total of six experts from Western and Asian countries have been appointed so far.
(4) List of members of the Advisory Council
- The Right Honourable Sir Desmond de Silva (UK) (Chairman)
- Sir Geoffrey Nice (UK)
- Prof. David Crane (USA)
- Prof. Avdash Kaushal (India)
- Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi (Pakistan)
- Mr. Motoo Noguchi (Japan)