In its first interim report, the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) recommended the government to suspend state officials including members of the armed forces and police who were named as suspects or accused in criminal actions relating to abductions and enforced disappearances, pending the final determination of such cases.
The OMP report said the government should ensure that suspected officials are not transferred, promoted or offered any other office in the armed forces, police or the public service while cases against them are pending.
“Some individuals suspected of having committed enforced disappearances and related offences are being permitted to remain in positions of power, especially within the armed forces and the police, where they can influence the progress of investigations. There have been instances where members of the armed forces, who were willing to provide information on disappearances, were subjected to harassment,” it said.
The OMP said that in at least one case, an officer of the armed forces who is a suspect in an on-going court case relating to abductions and enforced disappearances has neither been suspended nor removed from exercising the duties and functions of his office.
“There are reports that in at least one case, an officer has been granted a promotion within the armed forces, while the case against him is still pending. The OMP notes that under relevant regulations as well as the rules and established practices, it is reasonably expected for such suspected officers to be suspended from exercising the duties and functions of their office,” it said.
OMP Recommendations under ‘Investigation and Prosecution’ also included expediting and giving highest priority to prosecutions and other ongoing cases involving enforced disappearances.
It said all incidents of arbitrary arrest, torture and deaths in custody should be investigated.
While urging the government to recognize the continuing nature of enforced disappearances, the OMP recommended the government to immediately formulate policies to provide interim relief to the family members of the missing persons.
These interim relief included financial aid programmes, debt relief programmes, housing development programmes, educational support programmes and also an employment quota of 1% within the state sector for the family members of the victims.
“It is duly noted that interim relief in the form of welfare or other measures does not amount to reparations. Victims retain their right to reparations even if they accept interim relief from the State,” the report said.
A National Day for the Disappeared, preserving mass grave sites as memorial spaces and restoring ‘Ahinsakaramaya’ – Memorial for the Innocents - in Battaramulla in a manner that reflects the views of the public as well as the families of the missing and the disappeared were also recommended.
In terms of the Office for Reparations, the OMP said the proposed Office will play a pivotal role in providing redress to victims of the missing and the disappeared as well as others affected by the conflict.
“An independent Office for Reparations with a robust mandate and strong implementation powers is urgently required. The OMP urges the Parliament to strengthen the Office for Reparations Bill and ensure its prompt enactment and formulate operations,” the report said. (By Lahiru Pothmulla)
stardust Friday, 7 September 2018 00:29
this is really necessary via DM Android App
Reply : 8 28
GR Friday, 7 September 2018 04:23
There are many Indian Military officers responsible for mass murders and abductions in Jaffna,Kilinochchi and Mannar. These men are now living as free citizens in their own country. Do the OMP has anything to say about this matter ?
Reply : 24 21
Jude Friday, 7 September 2018 04:47
No suspension of officers based ONLY on accusations!!! Period!
Reply : 13 18
Looka Friday, 7 September 2018 05:12
Yes, good. First start with the 600 policemen disappeared after surrendering to the LTTE. In the case of others disappeared not a single cent of the tax payers money be spent.
Reply : 10 23
Dinosaur Friday, 7 September 2018 13:09
Definitely. Why Karuna Amman is free and even had a ministerial post? He should be prosecuted first.
Reply : 2 11
kumar Friday, 7 September 2018 05:17
Very good base for true reconciliation and preventive measures. It is now the responsibility of those in authority to immediately implement without postponing as usual. Practice the principles of Budhism without promoting criminal activities in the name of national sentiment.
Reply : 12 26
Jude Friday, 7 September 2018 10:32
Hey Kumar, how about I accuse you that you were Active terrorist and now you're a terrorist sympathizer and you loose your JOB and get arrested!!!???
Reply : 15 6
Palitha Friday, 7 September 2018 06:08
Really? What happened to Innocent until proven guilty? Did your paymasters already decide who is guilty? Who would have thought that these OMP losers, whom most probably ran for their lives when there was a mere rumor of an impending LTTE attack in Colombo now wants to suspend Armed Forces personnel because their terrorist lover paymasters say so? This despicable Yahapalanaya that agreed to set up these traitor's office in Sri Lanka should be send home.
Reply : 19 23
Lord Wolfstein Friday, 7 September 2018 09:58
Would you prefer if the policeman who beats you up later directs the investigation? Suspension does not mean dismissal. Dismissal takes place only after a guilty verdict.
Reply : 6 14
vithura Friday, 7 September 2018 15:23
If they were guilty they would not be suspended, rather sacked, period.
Reply : 2 2
Soam Friday, 7 September 2018 06:26
In order to move forward with "true" reconciliation and to progress the country. It is prudent that OMP carries out the investigations with out undue influences.
Reply : 5 22
chandu Friday, 7 September 2018 09:22
This is what West wants us to do! Hail Yahapalanaya
Reply : 11 7
vithura Friday, 7 September 2018 15:24
Not just the west anyone on the side of justice would support it, even Lord Buddha would if he were here today!
Reply : 3 3
Haramanis Friday, 7 September 2018 10:10
We are now trying to persecute the war heros who saved the Country from 30 years of terrorist scourge. Hail to the treasonous Yamapalanaya
Reply : 16 9
Karupan Friday, 7 September 2018 15:06
Government need to verify these claims, because many names in the list are not actually gone missing. These refugee people are living in other countries using fake identities in countries such as Canada, England and Australia .
Reply : 3 6
dickie bird Friday, 7 September 2018 19:23
What bunkum is this ? This is a Western road show?Go ask the Western Union (NATO), Blair/ Bush of missing persons in Afganistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen...….They would say they know "nothing" BUT to go an inquire from "Lord Wolfstien" in sheep's clothing.Vithura, do you know who is on the side of Justice? "The very perpetrators".GOSL does not need to verify any claims. They wanted a dirty fight and GOSL fought. clean as possible and won.Nothing is sqeaky clean in WAR.Only Victors and loosers.
Reply : 2 1
Buddhist Friday, 7 September 2018 19:31
A special court should be established to take up these cases daily so that those who violated the laws of the land can be punished. This special court should only deal with disappearances.
Reply : 0 4
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