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Speaker signs OMP Bill

Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya signed the Bill to set up the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) today, the Speaker’s Office said.

The parliament passed a law to establish an office to trace people who disappeared during a 26-year war and another insurrection amid protests by former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa’s supporters on August 11.

The Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) was passed without a vote. It will enable independent investigations of thousands of cases of missing people, measures to trace them and protection of their rights and interests and those of their relatives.

The office of missing persons will trace those disappeared during the war against the LTTE and an armed revolt by a radical Marxist group against the government in 1987-89.

After the Speaker signed the Bill, it began to function as a law with immediate effect.

The government assured that the findings of the OMP would not give rise to civil or criminal liability but the joint opposition said the findings could be used as evidence when the judicial mechanism is set up to hear accountability issues

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