Tens of thousands went missing during the civil war ending in 2009, including people who were killed in battles as well as those said to have been shot in custody. But there have long been rumors of secret camps holding thousands of detainees, a notion Mr. Wickremesinghe sought to dispel.
“There are a few hundreds, I think, not thousands,” he said. “There are people who are missing whose names are not found anywhere,” which means they either “are not among the living or they left the country. That’s all.”