President to make OMP functional | Sunday Observer

President to make OMP functional

President Maithripala Sirisena will appoint the seven members of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP), including its chairman, based on the recommendations of the Constitutional Council (CC), Secretary to the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation, V. Sivagnanasothy told the Sunday Observer.

The CC will make its recommendations to the President for the OMP to effectively commence operations to search and trace missing persons, the most crucial issue since the war ended in May 2009, and which has drawn continued agitations from the affected families, as well as international criticism.

Sivagnanasothy said the CC members will meet for discussions, soon after President Sirisena returns from New York. “The discussions may take a few days and it will take a little more time to decide the final list,” he said.

With the President signing the gazette, the OMP started functioning last Friday, September 15, bringing into implementation one of the major commitments of the government towards national integration and reconciliation.

Secretary, Sivagnanasothy said the objectives of the OMP, in addition to searching and tracing missing persons, will be clarifying the circumstances that led to it and the fate that had befallen them.

“The OMP will also make recommendations on the ways and means to avert or reduce incidents of a similar nature in the future. Protecting the rights and interests of the missing persons and their relatives, and identifying proper avenues to redress the grievances of the relatives of the missing persons will be the other functions of the OMP,” Sivagnanasothy said.

The move is a sequel to discussions the President had with the family members of some of the missing persons a week ago.

The President’s decision has been commended by the international community, including the US and the EU.