The draft Bill to establish an Office on Missing Persons (OMP) was passed with amendments in Parliament without a vote.
The Bill was adopted despite objections raised by the joint opposition which alleged that the Bill will betray the military.
The government had earlier said there have been strong requests for providing true information on disappeared or missing persons to their relatives to know their actual fate.
“It will enable such families to be reunited, closure with regard to such disappearance, or granted with reparations and other relief and support,” the government said.
A proposal made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to establish a independent institution as office on missing persons by a Parliament act, was approved recently by the cabinet.
The Office on Missing Persons will help search for and trace missing persons and identify appropriate mechanisms for the same, submit recommendations to authorities to take measures on missing persons, protect the rights of missing persons and their relatives, identify channels that missing persons and their relatives can obtain reliefs and inform them the same, and collate data related to missing persons obtained by Government institutions and other institutions and centralize all available data within its database.
Joint Opposition Protest
Parliament proceedings were temporarily suspended this morning following a protest staged by the joint opposition.
Members of the joint opposition attended Parliament proceedings today wearing black arm bands.
The joint opposition protested against the Office on Missing Persons Bill