30 June, 2022


Cabinet Approves Office Of Missing Persons

The Cabinet of Ministers has yesterday approved the establishment of an Office for Missing Persons.

Mangala Samaraweera - Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mangala Samaraweera – Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The Office will help several thousands families of missing persons across Sri Lanka to discover the fate of their loved ones, and the circumstances under which they went missing. The need to set up such an office is particularly acute as Sri Lanka has one of the largest caseloads of missing persons in the entire world – the result of uprisings in the South and the war lasting nearly three decades. This Office is the first of the four mechanisms dealing with conflict-related grievances that the new Government pledged to establish and legislation will soon be presented to parliament to make that commitment a reality “the ministry of Foreign Affairs has said in a statement today.

Last weeks, Tamil Civil Society organisations and activists has accused the government on the lack of ‘genuine willingness’ to consult the victims in the setting up of mechanisms for transitional justice, while also trying to rush through the consultation process in setting up the ‘Office for Missing Persons.’

“Sri Lanka has a long history of recognizing and assisting missing persons through ad-hoc structures. Law enforcement mechanisms have traditionally held responsibility for searching for missing persons. However, the Southern uprisings and civil war, created the need for new commissions to deal with this issue. The 1995 Zonal Commissions, established by former President Kumaratunga, and a subsequent follow-up commission, investigated cases beginning in 1987. More recently, the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) noted that the GoSL is ‘duty bound’ to ensure that allegations of missing persons are properly investigated. The LLRC asserts that relatives of missing persons have the right to know the whereabouts and the “truth about what happened” to their loved ones. This allows them the possibility of ‘closure’ and also enables them to seek appropriate legal remedies. However despite these commissions, some formed in the aftermath of the LLRC recommendations, and which have collected over 20,000 complaints, the vast majority of cases still remain unresolved. By contrast, this permanent Office will ensure that measures are taken and recommendations made so that Sri Lankans no longer have to fear being disappeared. The new office has been established to systematically address the issue of missing persons after a rigorous review of best practices both in Sri Lanka and across the world – including Uganda, Bolivia, Argentina, and Uruguay which have all had missing persons offices. Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Ghana and South Africa, which also had commissions that dealt with the issue of missing persons, were also studied.” the ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

“The OMP will be composed of commissioners and officers of the highest moral integrity, constituted at the highest level by the President, on recommendation of the Constitutional Council. It will have a victim and witness protection unit and will also provide victims access to administrative, legal and psychosocial support, when victims may require it. This Office will not duplicate the work of other Commissions. It will absorb previous records in to a centralized system, aiming to complete outstanding investigations and finally provide families with the answers that they have long sought. The OMP will work in tandem with the other post-conflict mechanisms, and along with the implementation of the convention on enforced disappearances, will prevent the re-emergence of the white van culture contributing to the safety and security of all Sri Lankans.” the ministry of Foreign Affairs further said.

Related posts;

Tamil Civil Organisations Accuse Government Of Rushing Through In Setting Up Office For Missing Persons

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Latest comments

  • 6

    This office have to find out how they are missing and where they are and if they are dead, then who killed them and if majority of them killed by the government/MR/Gotha then there is a need for a referendum for Tamils to decide their fate – live together, go separate or join with Tamilnadu. All the countries helped MR to wipe-out LTTE have moral responsibility to help Tamils to find a solution.

    • 4

      Setting up another office with half-baked regime acolytes to find “missing persons” will serve little purpose with all the DEAD WOOD blocking real progress in AG office and state institutions and the corrupt political culture. It is a show for international community and to fool Tamils.

      There are no CLEAN Tamils in high posts in State institutions – only the corrupt clown Arjuna Mahendran a the Central Bank who is insult to honest Tamils, because he is Ranil’s crony!

      Meanwhile, what has CBK’s Office of National Integration Reconciliation with her followers and their off spring and retired bureaucrat achieved? Not a single Tamil there to give Tamil side on reconciliation.
      ONUR is talk shop and joke while CBK go around world talking about reconciliation to international community!

      CBK and her cronies are expensive DEADWOOD, blocking the younger generation and minorities from any real transformation of political culture and reconciliation.
      Sri Lanka needs new institutional culture, get rid of DEAD wood politicians who are blocking system, action on corruption, cleaning up of political and the arrest of the King pins of crime – the Jarapassa brothers, their cronies and deadwood in the SLFP and parliament of corrupt clowns.

      • 3


        “Setting up another office with half-baked regime acolytes to find “missing persons” will serve little purpose with all the DEAD WOOD blocking real progress in AG office and state institutions and the corrupt political culture. It is a show for international community and to fool Tamils.”

        You are mistaken.

        The “Office Of Missing Persons” is the best place to hide those who had committed war crimes and crime against humanity.

        • 0

          Arasa, need of the hour is
          1. Culture of Meritocracy
          2. Inclusion with reservations for under-represented Tamils in all public institutions at the Nation Level, including all Ministries and Universities.

          • 2


            ” Inclusion with reservations for under-represented Tamils in all public institutions at the Nation Level, including all Ministries and Universities.”

            How about an equitable share of the loot, the ministers and bureaucrats are entitled to at the centre, by the virtue of their office?

            Think about it.

            • 5

              “”How about an equitable share of the loot, t””

              Don’t think to speak the truth.

              why do you think? loot shared, does not keep the lokkas in power.

              Nawabs, Nabobs, Nawatte’s

              Get the tamils and they know how to bite the hand and sabotage- samsara.

    • 0

      Mr Senthil,
      Please do not jump the gun so soon. MR avoided this for 6 long years. After a lots of persuation by the UN other stake holders the matters are starting to roll. There is long way to go.
      Kindly do not start talking about separation, referendum and some such things, which will be fodders to the bad elements who wants to buckel this kind of positive effort.
      Things will be sorted out in time. It has a way. Thank god we got rid of MR/Gota/LTTE, all of whom were anethima to the peaceful civil society/living.

  • 2

    I think you have misunderstood OMP.
    It is not just tamils are missing there are quite a few sinhalese come under this category of missing people.

  • 3

    Coming colours no good as they say in pithy English!

    Since,an office has been set-up for missing persons,chances are that more persons will go missing!

    • 2

      Mentioning the word missing, with SL track-record of centralised Office
      for this good purpose will end up a red-herring in UN ideals. The 1st
      act would be to man it with the majority community and the next act
      will be “missing-files” as the white-van mafia will come in to block
      progress. This is the SL modus-operandi. WHY NOT THIS OFFICE BE
      DIRECTED/MNAGED BY UN ECEXUTIVES -as SL has agreed to accept technical-assistance?

  • 2

    “Foreign Affairs further said.
    “Cabinet Approves Office Of Missing Persons.””

    Bohemian Rhapsody,,,Is this the real life?
    Is this just fantasy?
    Caught in a landslide,
    No escape from reality…….(queen)
    Is he gonna save your soul from turmoil?

    When the earth begins to crumble
    Why do you feel you have to hold on?
    Imagine if you let go
    Blame, no one is to blame
    As natural as the rain that falls
    Here comes the flood again.

    Lanka/UK Democracy is set up a committee to kill the idea!

    NO politician is EVER…EVER well-meaning.

    It’s not just the bulk of Tamils, but almost all ethnics that have gone missing.

    It was a muslim/buddhist brawl with it stupidity of criticism, sociopaths, a mountain of work, and kerry call,that this little mouse MR2 was born.


    Liberals love to drive chaos, massage facts and
    figures like GDP so that they can rule like dictators.

    Democracy consists of choosing your dictators after
    they’ve told you what you think it is you want to hear…
    the sound of distance drums.life of purpose???

  • 3

    Brilliant another round of fooling the world & tamils….How long????

  • 1

    This is one of the ways to trap the good governance leaders to make sure that they dance according to the West. Professional fashion designer will find out soon that he is in a wrong field :~))))

    The Americans, Canadians, Aussies and Kiwis don’t even live in their country, but good preachers of democracy and human rights. This shows how good they are in fooling others.

    The missing list will be exaggerated by Tamils, but the West loves it. Because more pressure on Sinhalese to dance according to the West. The fashion designer doesn’t have guts to ask Australia to reveal the reason for deleting my citizenship, but keen to find a solution for a fake missing list. Smart Lankans know what is coming…

  • 0

    Another hogwash organisation.

    If you believe, that those within the military and those that are incumbent within the present administration will proclaim themselves, “mea culpa”, you will believe anything.

    Those responsible for the disappearances, meaning those who tortured and killed these unfortunates are still in positions of power. Those that are not in power, like MR and his cronies are well protected by the present administration.

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