In 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the consensus Resolution tilted ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ which provided a framework for transitional justice in Sri Lanka, including the establishment of four specific mechanisms. The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) is to be the first. The Government of Sri Lanka introduced a bill to establish the OMP on the 22nd of May and the bill was gazetted on the 27th of May 2016. The bill is now before Parliament and it is essential that the legislature strengthen the mandate of the OMP in keeping with the demands for truth and justice by victims across Sri Lanka. Subsequent to enactment, it is crucial that full implementation takes place without any delays and that independent and experienced individuals are appointed and the necessary resources and assistance provided for its effective functioning.
This short guide is the latest by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) to raise awareness on the OMP’s mandate as set out in the draft bill and related issues. The bill can be changed by Parliament during the committee stage debate and CPA hopes that this guide will help those who want to engage with that process. Once the bill becomes law CPA hopes to update this guide in order to ensure that stakeholders are aware of the OMP and able to engage with it in the pursuit of truth, justice, reparations, and non-recurrence.