The Office of Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Amendment Bill was unanimously passed in Parliament today.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, presenting the Bill to the House, said it was being presented in line with an agreement the government had with the opposition to present it in Parliament prior to the establishment of the OMP.
“This institution is paramount in order to put an end to the issue pertaining to the disappearance of persons as soon as possible,” he said.
In response to a question raised by joint opposition Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardene as to whether the members of the OMP had already been appointed, the PM said they would be appointed only after the Amendment is passed.
MP Namal Rajapaksa pointed out that the several clauses in Office of Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Bill will become defunct when the new Bill pertaining to forceful disappearances comes into effect.
JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said the amendment made yesterday would not guarantee that the government would expedite the establishment of the OMP.
Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said the Bill is essential in order to put to bed issues pertaining to disappearances that have been taking place for years.
TNA MP M A Sumanthiran pointed out that the LTTE too was culpable when it came to such disappearances and not just the security forces. (Yohan Perera)