Feb 18, 2017

Office of the Missing Persons under the purview of PM Featured

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested President Maithripala Sirisena to assign the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) under his purview even for a few months, according to internal political sources.

Although the proposal for the establishment of the OMP has received the parliamentary nod, the President has still not gazetted who will handle the functions of the OMP.

August 11, 2016, was a significant day for those who had faced injustice in Sri Lanka during the past. It was the day that Sri Lanka’s parliament established the country’s first permanent establishment to investigate forcible and involuntary disappearances and missing persons.

Parliament approval was recently obtained for the inclusion of an amendment proposed by JVP parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake, with regard to the OMP, which had accidentally failed to be tabled in parliament.

Relevant to the Geneva Conference:

The establishment of the OMP is a relevant factor in the upcoming Human Rights Conference in Geneva in March and also in obtaining the GSP plus concessions.

The Sri Lankan government has failed to keep to its promise made to the International community for the establishment of the OMP, NP Chief Minister C.V. Vigneshwaran complained to the European Union Ambassador during his visit to the North last week.
The OMP is a seven member committee appointed by the President on the recommendations of the Constitutional Council.

The OMP committee members should be independent persons well versed in human rights, humanitarian issues and many such fields. Each member is appointed for a fixed term of three years and limited to two terms.

While the main head office of the OMP has to be established in Colombo, field offices can be established elsewhere depending on the requirement.