A former member of a UN expert panel on Sri Lanka, Yasmin Sooka, has questioned the appointment of former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jayantha Wickremaratne to the Office on Missing Persons (OMP).
Sooka alleged that the appointment of the war-time police chief to the Office on Missing Persons in Sri Lanka completes the militarisation of the transitional justice mechanism established under the previous government.
“It is hard to make this up – the man who was in charge of three police units named by the United Nations investigation as involved in mass enforced disappearances at the end of the war is now investigating the disappearances himself,” Sooka, who is now the Executive Director of the International Truth and Justice Project, said.
The Office on Missing Persons is charged with investigating the fate of tens of thousands of missing and enforced disappeared in a country said to have the second largest case numbers in the world.
“We will be writing to the UN Peacebuilding Fund and international donors asking them not to fund such a body that has become so compromised and also sending relevant United Nations entities and member states a confidential dossier on the problematic appointments,” Sooka said.
She also urged victim communities inside and outside Sri Lanka to write to the UN and other donors to urge them not to use their tax money to finance what she says has become a vehicle for impunity designed to cover up the Sri Lankan government’s past crimes. (EASWARAN RUTNAM)