The United States has welcomed the passage of the bill to establish the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) in the country. OMP is the first of the four mechanisms dealing with conflict-related grievances that the new Government has pledged to establish.
United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap said the OMP is a path towards meaningful reconciliation in the country.
“New Office of Missing Persons law is an historic milestone in the path toward meaningful national reconciliation for all in Sri Lanka,” the Ambassador said in a Twitter message.
The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal said the OMP law is a huge stride forward for Sri Lanka in advancing truth and reconciliation.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski congratulated Sri Lanka for the historic step of passing the OMP bill.
“Congratulations to Sri Lanka for passing OMP – an historic step in pursuit of justice, reconciliation, and accountability for all,” Malinowski said in a Twitter post.
Sri Lanka’s parliament on Thursday passed the Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Bill with amendments. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera tabled the Draft Bill in Parliament.
The passage of the bill allows the Sri Lankan government to set up an Office on Missing Persons to help several thousands of families of missing persons across Sri Lanka to discover the fate of their loved ones, and the circumstances under which they went missing.