16 June, 2009 - Published 15:02 GMT

MP murder probe 'inadequate'

Police investigations into the murder of a Tamil MP are 'unsatisfactory' says a presidential commission of inquiry into serious human rights violations.

Former High Court Judge Mahanama Thilakaratne, president of the presidential commission of inquiry (CoI), told BBC Sandeshaya that police have filed charges against two soldiers on killing Joseph Pararajasingham, MP, without finding any evidence.

Mr. Pararajasingham was shot dead by unidentified gunmen as he was attending a Christmas mass in Batticaloa in 2005.

"Police even did not know whether a T56 rifle or a pistol was used for the killing," he said.

He expressed disappointment over the conduct of police in a serious investigation.

Security in east

"Police filed charges against two soldiers but later said they did not have evidence. Later, the Bishop accused Karuna and military intelligence of killing the MP".

Karuna (Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan), then a paramilitary leader was later appointed as an MP and a minister by the government.

The CoI have also begun investigations into the abductions of Prof. Dhammika Ganganath Dissanayaka and media trade union leader Poddala Jayantha.

"It is too early to comment on police investigations but I am watching. I will advise them how to focus if needed," Justice (rtd.) Thilakaratne said.

If police investigations lack progress on the abduction of Poddala Jayantha, he said, he will advise the president to hand over the probe to another body.

The CoI was appointed by the president to look into the serious rights violations since 2006.

The retired justice added that violence has decreased in the east since re-establishing civil administration in the province.

However, security is still tightened in Batticaloa district, he said.