OMP: seven members to be appointed shortly
Office headquartered in Colombo: Three year term for
Shortly after the Speaker signs the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP)
Bill, making it law, the Constitutional Council is expected to recommend
seven members to the OMP to begin its fact- finding mission.
Justice Minister Wijeyedasa Rajapakshe told the Sunday Observer the
Government was doing the groundwork to set up the OMP within the coming
weeks. President Maithripala Sirisena will appoint the members to the
OMP including the Chairman within a fortnight after the Constitutional
Council makes its recommendations.
“We will make the appointments shortly. We are waiting for the
Speaker to sign the Bill, he said adding that the office will come into
operation before the end of this year. The term of office for each
member will be three years.
The Bill provides for the appointment of seven members, representing
all ethnicities. The office will be headquartered in Colombo. The Bill
provides for the setting up of regional offices if necessary to achieve
the mandate of the OMP. Members must have experience in -fact finding,
investigation, human rights law, international humanitarian law and
humanitarian response among other things. Its mandate is to search and
trace missing persons, protect the rights and interests of missing
persons and their relatives and to ensure non recurrence of such
The setting up of the OMP is among the commitments undertaken by the
Government under the UN Human Rights Council resolutions adopted in
September last year.