Profiles of the
Commissioners

2018-2021

The Chairperson and Commissioners of the OMP are appointed by the President of Sri Lanka on the recommendations of the Constitutional Council. The Constitutional Council follows a selection process that includes the issuance of a public advertisement calling for suitable candidates to apply. The OMP Act requires that the Board reflect the pluralistic nature of Sri Lankan society, with prior experience in fact-finding or investigation, human rights law, international humanitarian law, humanitarian response, or possess other qualifications relevant to the discharge of functions of the OMP.

Mohanti Peiris

Former Commissioner (February 2018 - February 2021)

Major General Mohanti Peiris (Retd) is an Attorney-at-Law who served as the Director-General Legal of the Army and Judge Advocate General. She was a Commissioned Officer of the Sri Lanka Army, holding the rank of Major General with twenty-nine years of service in the Regular Force, and retired from the Army in April 2011. From the years 2004 to 2010 she also served as the Director of the Directorate of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights in the Army. She served as the Judge Advocate General of the Army, and Judge Advocate at Court Martial Trials against personnel of the Armed Forces. She is a member of the International Society for Military Law and Law of War. As a CIMA qualified Accountant and Chartered Secretary, Major General Peiris served as the Hon. Treasurer of the Seva Vanitha Army branch (1985-2010). She hails from Jaffna, in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka and is proficient in English, Sinhala and Tamil.

Nimalka Fernando

Former Commissioner (February 2018 - February 2021)

Nimalka Fernando is an Attorney-at-Law and human rights activist who has been working at national, regional and international levels for over thirty-five years. She is also a trainer and resource person on human rights and gender justice. She served as an advisor during the formation of the Forum of Families of the Disappeared in the 1990s and continued to be engaged in advocacy for rights of the families of the disappeared. In 2012, she was awarded the People's Peace Award by the National Peace Council for her work in the field of human rights and peace. She has a Doctorate from The Academy of Ecumenical Indian Theology, Chennai, South India.


S. K. Liyanage

Former Commissioner (February 2018 - February 2021)

S. K. Liyanage is an Attorney-at-Law enrolled with the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. He has served for over forty-four years in the public sector of which thirty-six have been with the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. His last position was as the Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils (2002-2007). He has served as a trainer and Disciplinary Inquiring Officer during his period of service. He was appointed to several committees of inquiry and public committees as a member or chairman, including the Committee of Inquiry into the Incident at the Welikada Prison in 2012. He has also served on the boards of several public institutions. In 2007, he was awarded the National Integrity Award by Transparency International, Sri Lanka.

Mirak Raheem

Former Commissioner (February 2018 - February 2021)

Mirak Raheem is a researcher who has worked on human rights, reconciliation, land, displacement and minority issues. He was appointed as a member of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (2016) by the Government to consult with victims and members of the public on the government’s proposed reconciliation mechanisms. He worked as a principal consultant in drawing up the ‘National Policy on Durable Solutions for Conflict Affected Displacement’ for the Ministry of Prison Reform, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Affairs (2015-2016). During his work with civil society organizations, including the Centre for Policy Alternatives as a Senior Researcher, he was involved in advocacy and research, and produced several publications. He is a Fulbright Scholar and has a Masters in Peace Studies.

Kanapathipillai Venthan

Former Commissioner (February 2018 - February 2021)

Kanapathipillai Venthan has worked in the humanitarian sector for over a decade. He has worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)  for over eight years, along with the Danish Refugee Counsel (DRC), Save the Children International and the Legal Aid Commission in Sri Lanka. He is a trained counsellor from the National Institution of Social Development (NISD) and works in his home district of Mullaitivu and other parts of the country.  He has also worked in South Sudan as a Protection Officer for DRC.

Punniyamoorthy Jeyatheepa

Former Commissioner (February 2018 - February 2021)

Punniyamoorthy Jeyatheepa is trained as a counsellor and psychosocial worker. Over the past seventeen years, she has worked with survivors of gender-based violence and victims of other human rights violations. She has experience working within both government and non-government sectors in her home district of Batticaloa. Since her husband’s disappearance in 2009, she has actively engaged in the search for him with numerous national commissions, to ascertain his fate and to assist other victims to search for their missing loved ones. She has worked closely with victims and their families, as well as members of civil society organisations to devise proposals to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and the Public Representations Committee for Constitutional Reforms. She was a member of the Batticaloa Zonal Task Force, which was a part of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (2016).

Saliya Pieris

Former Chairperson (February 2018 - September 2020)

Saliya Pieris is a President’s Counsel who specialises in human rights, constitutional and criminal law. He has represented victims of human rights violations and served as a member of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (2015-2018), until his appointment to the OMP in 2018. He holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of London and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the Open University of Sri Lanka.