Saturday, May 26, 2018 04:07:00 AM

The OMP and the Aspirations of Families of the Missing and Disappeared

By MCM Iqbal - Thu May 17, 7:45 am

The first permanent official body created to search and trace missing persons in Sri Lanka is the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) established under Act No. 14 of 2016.  This was done to comply with a recommendation in the 2015 UNHRC Resolution which was co-sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka. However the office was set up about two years after the Act was passed. It started functioning only in May 2018 with members visiting Mannar to meet the victims of disappearances in that District.

Following the conclusion of the war in May 2009, there was a clamour by the families of missing persons to find out what had happened to their  loved ones who had surrendered to the military at the end of the war and those whose whereabouts remain unknown.  Consequently a Commission of Inquiry into Missing Persons, known as the Paranagama Commission was appointed in August 2013. Its mandate was amended later in July 2014 to enable it to inquire into, inter alia, the circumstances that led to the loss of life and other violations by the protagonists during the final phase of the war in 2009.

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