Accountability issues: Govt. to set up judicial mechanism

11 August 2016 06:24 pm - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In the wake of the Office of Missing Persons Bill being passed in Parliament, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the Government would go ahead with the setting up of a judicial mechanism to hear accountability issues.

He said the new legislation would provide for the setting up of a Truth Commission next month to ascertain the circumstances under which people went missing.

Addressing a hurriedly summoned news conference, the minister said the new legislation fulfilled the commitment made to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and was in line with the mandate received by President Maithripala Sirisena.

He said there were conflicting figures with regard to the number of people gone missing under various circumstances and that it was important to confirm the actual number. The minister said the ICRC, in its latest report, had placed the number at 16,008, the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances at 12,000 and the Paranagama Commission at 24,000.

Of the number mentioned by the UN Working Group, he said 5,100 were from the security forces.

"This is not a judicial mechanism. It is a truth seeking mechanism. It will trace the fate of those who went missing and the circumstances in which it happened," the minister said adding that the Office of Missing Persons would recommend measures to avoid disappearances in the future.

He said funds would be raised from internal and external sources and the latter would be channeled through the External Resources Department of the Central Bank. He said foreign experts might be consulted by the OMP when carrying out its duties and pointed out that it would have accesses to any of the detention centres without prior notice.

The minister said an amendment by the JVP to notify the police within 48 hours after such a visit was incorporated in the Bill and added that one of the clauses provided for the protection of confidentiality of those giving information. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)

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  Comments - 8

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  • desh Friday, 12 August 2016 04:42 PM

    It's so treacherous. It's great isn't it? :D

    BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 12 August 2016 10:24 AM

    Since independence, State terrorism and criminality has been a norm in this nation. Each and every government that was in power perpetrated criminality using the State Machinery with complete arrogance and impunity. This needs to be completely stopped and persons in power realize that their illegal actions are not accepted in a civilized society. The OMP is just a small stepping stone towards that.

    ANTON Friday, 12 August 2016 10:31 AM

    SIR , MAKE SURE THAT THE SPARE PARTS TAKEN TO OPERATE THIS MECHANISM ARE CORRECTLY CHOSEN AND PROPERLY ALIGNED.

    Jude Friday, 12 August 2016 10:39 AM

    Whatever Truth seeking Mechanism, Don't allow foreign Judges, Period!!??? This whole process of reconciliation done in good faith by SL Govt. And SL under no obligation to any country or organization. So how SL doing this whole exercise should not be subject to scrutinize!!!!

    Missaka Friday, 12 August 2016 11:49 AM

    Initially passed the OMP bill without telling about Judicial Mechanism, and now once passed it bringing legitimacy to it. What traitorous thing to happen!!!!.

    Moulana Friday, 12 August 2016 12:32 PM

    Lets Lockup gota soon, that's all the nation need.

    BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 12 August 2016 01:06 PM

    This country is famous for manipulated judiciary and Police. The examples and references are too many. Therefore, if correct truth seeking mechanism is required, then go for anybody... even foreign judges as long as the system is free of manipulation and corruption. Their is no use of an OMP if it going to be manipulated for ulterior purposes.

    ashoka Friday, 12 August 2016 01:14 PM

    CAN THIS OFFICE LOOK FOR THE MISSING PERSONALS DURING RIOTS ALSO? MANY JVP UNP LOYALISTS AND INNOCENT PEOPLE WENT MISSING OR BURNT ON TIRES ...


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