Despite the Rajapaksa regime repeatedly raising doubts over the credibility of the officials in the investigation team put together by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Sri Lanka, it seems similar concerns can be raised over UK QC Sir Desmond de Silva who was recently named by President Rajapaksa as the Chairman of the Advisory Panel to the Commission on Disappearances .
De Silva was appointed the Chairman of the Advisory Panel when President Rajapaksa recently expanded the mandate of the Commission on Disappearances that is presently headed by retired judge Maxwell Paranagama.
A report published in UK’s leading newspaper – the Guardian in 2012 has revealed that a report compiled by de Silva following an investigation into one of the Northern Ireland’s most controversial killings, had been heavily criticized by the victim’s family as ‘sham’ and ‘white wash’.
The report had been compiled on the death of Patrick Finucane who had been murdered on February 12, 1989 by one of the loyalist gunmen. Patrick’s wife – Geraldine had been campaigning for over two decades for a public inquiry into the murder of her husband but when the inquiry was finally concluded, it had offered scant relief to her.
The Guardian states that ‘Report of the Patrick Finucane Review’ has been described by Finucane’s wife as one that was lacking any input and had accused it as an attempt of the government to suppress the truth behind her husband’s murder by giving the benefit of doubt to the state, its cabinet and the Minister to the army and to the intelligence services.
“At every turn, dead witnesses have been blamed and defunct agencies found wanting – serving personnel and active state departments appear to have been excused,” Geraldine has been quoted in Guardian in expressing her views on the report, adding the report has in fact only attempted to sweep the dirty under the carpet without any serious attempts made to lift the lid on what really happened.