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Sri Lanka government must address pressing demands of families of disappeared before discussing Office of Missing Persons says Adayaalam

Jaffna-based think-tank, the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research, today released a brief examining whether there was a path forward for addressing the issue of disappearances and the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). 

The brief notes that families of the disappeared having been roadside in protest for over two months now are completely disillusioned with the current government, and are demanding urgent and immediate action. ACPR finds that before a discussion about the OMP can be had, the government must address pressing demands of the families, including releasing a list of surrendees/detainees from the end of the war. 

When it comes to the OMP, ACPR finds that it is legally possible to incorporate three of families' key concerns into its establishment, namely the demand for regional offices, credible appointments and linkages to criminal prosecutions. "The question of whether the OMP can be set up credibly rests entirely on the political will of the government," ACPR states. 

"As the international community continues to place pressure on Sri Lanka to set up the OMP which it legislated over eight months ago, it is critical that families of the disappeared and the victims are kept at the centre of this process. It will not be enough to set up yet another commission with the same inadequacies of those before it."

Read the full brief here.