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Armed forces will be betrayed through OMP Bill: MR

20 July 2016 11:08 am - 19     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today charged that the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill has many provisions designed to persecute armed forces personnel.

Issuing a statement, he said if the draft legislation becomes a law, every Member of Parliament who votes for it will be held responsible by the people for betraying the country and the armed forces.

“In the midst of all the political and economic chaos in the country, the government has placed before parliament draft legislation to set up an OMP. This is one of several institutions to be established ‘to deal with the past’ in terms of the UNHRC resolution that the Yahapalana government co-sponsored with the Western powers in September last year,” he said.  

“The Office of Missing Persons Bill has many provisions designed to persecute our armed forces and I wish to highlight some of them as follows.

1.       The Office of Missing Persons will not be a part of Sri Lanka’s State law enforcement and justice system, but an independent body incorporated by parliament which gives its members the power to function outside the normal rules and regulations that guide state institutions.

2.       Even though it is described as an ‘office’ the proposed OMP will be a tribunal for all practical purposes which can examine witnesses, issue summons and hold hearings. Its officers can enter without warrant, at any time of day or night, any police station, prison or military installation and seize any document or object they require for investigations. Anyone who fails or refuses to cooperate with the OMP may be punished for contempt of court.

3.       The seven ‘members’ of the OMP are to have experience in fact finding and expertise in human rights law and international humanitarian law which means that the appointees will for the most part be representatives of Western funded NGOs or those who have worked with Western sponsored international war crimes tribunals.

4.        According to Section 21 of the draft legislation, the OMP will have the power to receive funding directly from any foreign source.

5.        The OMP, acting on its own, can enter into agreements with foreign persons or organisations concerning its work.

6.       The ‘members’ of the OMP can establish units and divisions and delegate their powers and functions to those entities. They can also appoint and dismiss staff and consultants. It is not specified in the draft law that the members of the OMP have to be Sri Lankans.

7.       Complaints can be received not only from relations and friends of missing persons but from any interested party both local and foreign.

8.       Government bodies at all levels including the armed forces and intelligence services are mandatorily required to render fullest assistance to the OMP and the provisions of the Official Secrets Act will not apply to the proposed institution.

9.       According to Section 12 (c) (iii) the OMP can admit as evidence any statement or material disregarding the criteria laid down in the Evidence Ordinance.

10.   The provisions of the Right to Information Act will not apply to the work of the OMP. No court, not even the Supreme Court can order any officer of the OMP to submit to courts any material communicated to him in confidence.

The foregoing makes it clear that this Office of Missing Persons is meant to be an integral part of the judicial mechanism to deal with allegations of war crimes that the government has undertaken to establish. If this draft legislation becomes law, every Member of Parliament who votes for it will be held responsible by the people for betraying the country and the armed forces,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.

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  Comments - 19

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  • mithra Wednesday, 20 July 2016 02:10 PM

    Poor man struggling to exist. He is compelled to tell things what the others feed him without even knowing the meaning or without understanding head or tail.

    VJ Wednesday, 20 July 2016 02:11 PM

    Will this man ever shut up!

    Sarojini Wednesday, 20 July 2016 03:36 PM

    No, but you can VJ

    lucky Thursday, 21 July 2016 07:12 AM

    This report shows the kind of media we have. DM should publish the OMP bill so that the people will know what is in it rather than going by what MR says. What a person says will be an interpretation of the what is presented to parliament. This is what most media institutions keep doing. So the public get carried away by what the ministers say rather than what is exactly on paper.

    pras Wednesday, 20 July 2016 06:41 PM

    what ever any fools say he gave us peace. look at the country tdy. he gave us our identity via DM Android App

    MPR Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:24 AM

    You stay in there n vote against

    Pincha Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:25 AM

    Onna MaRa Billa Enawa!

    ruwa Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:25 AM

    Yahapalanayata..m3ta jayawewa... via DM Android App

    BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:39 AM

    We know our Armed Forces have a very poor record and implicated in many serious humanitarian crimes. The SLAF have got into this soup not because they are undisciplined, but bcos someone above them wanted them to do those cowardly activities for ulterior purposes. Now look at this list, sincerely isn't it a good thing for the rule of law for future generations, or are we going to continue the Ali Baba and forty thieves system of governance?

    Af Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:40 AM

    he seems against any tribunal foreign or domestic..you betrayed the armed forces by fueling the same hate they were fighting during the war..big man with small ideas

    Sharon Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:42 AM

    They have already betrayed the voters. Betraying armed forces is nothing for them.

    Kalaivaanan Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:44 AM

    Why should you bother if your hands are clean?.

    Independent Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:48 AM

    Why are you afraid? Only the politicians who used military personal for the abductions and killings they wanted should be afraid.

    SDeS Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:53 AM

    You betrayed all of us.

    BBM Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:55 AM

    He will be missing when acting.

    Sevana Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:58 AM

    It appears MR and family starting to get worried now. Looking to stir trouble among the people.

    DAily Boru Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:59 AM

    MARA you are frightened because at the end the army will betray you.

    cruso Wednesday, 20 July 2016 12:05 PM

    Armed forces are not frightened but MR. He knows what will happen to him and frightened. If he is not agreeable for an internal inquiry office then we have to go for international tribunal. via DM Android App

    Steven Wednesday, 20 July 2016 12:05 PM

    Sounds frightened in advance.No matter whatever happened to Yahapalanaya, people will never bring "Horu Wenuwen Horu" bacak to power.


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