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The LLRC recommendations were to investigate that disappearances and abductions of persons and ensure accountability and responsibility on missing persons. The responsibility of the Presidential Commission headed by Mr. Maxwell Paranagama was to investigate into the cases of Missing Persons in Sri Lanka and ascertain the facts and whereabouts of the missing persons. The Presidential Commission has received 23,586 complaints inclusive of approximately 5,000 complaints from families of security forces personals.

The Presidential Commission was disbanded and Office on Missing Persons (OMP) was established to look into the fate of the missing family members.

The objective of the OMP is to ensure necessary measures are taken

  • to provide appropriate mechanisms for searching and tracing if Missing persons and to clarify the circumstances in which such persons went missing and their fate;
  • to make recommendations to the relevant authorities towards reducing the incidents of ‘Missing Persons’.
  • to protect the rights and interests of missing persons and their relatives as provided for in this Act;
  • to identify proper avenues of redress to which such missing persons or their relatives may have recourse;

The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) has been Gazetted by His Excellency the President as the Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation and the Constitutional Council has advertised in the newspapers to recruit Seven Commissioners with suitable and appropriate qualifications. OMP will be established with required technical capacity and know-how to conduct excavations or exhumations where necessary. According to Office on Missing Persons Act, Clause 12 Powers of Investigation Sub-clause (d) it states that ‘appropriate Magistrate’s Court having territorial jurisdiction, for an order of Court to carry out an excavation and/or exhumation of suspected grave sites, and to act as an observer at such excavation or exhumation, and at other proceeding, pursuant to the same’

The Ministry is in the process of collecting District wise information of missing persons to facilitate the OMP.

 

The Reconciliation Focused High Priority Economic and Social Infrastructure Projects are aimed at upgrading, developing, improving and modernizing the infrastructure facilities in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. 

The 30-year long conflict has affected the economic and social infrastructure in the Northern and Eastern Provinces specially in the areas of irrigation, agriculture, water supply and sanitation, health and education. After the war, the social and economic infrastructure has drastically deteriorated making the region geographically disadvantaged leading to poor accessibility, low connectivity and weak integration resulting in low income, high unemployment and increased incidence of poverty.

A Cabinet Memorandum on the proposed project which was submitted by His Excellency the President as Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation and has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. This project is aimed at addressing the social and economic infrastructure gaps in conflict affected lagging regions in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The project proposal includes irrigation, water supply and sanitation and health covering laboratories, equipment, care facilities, expansion of healthcare facilities and coverage , education including IT Centre, water supply and sanitation, laboratories, classroom and facilities, sport facilities, vocational training facilities, pre-schools, fisheries infrastructure including anchorages, jetties , ferry services and agriculture specially market access, technology, access roads and rural roads  and salt water extrusion bunds , social welfare such as market, elders home and other reconciliation related interventions in relation to social and economic infrastructure. The Tentative list of Projects are attached in Annex – I. The project is envisaged to benefit directly about 72,000 beneficiaries and indirectly 60,000 beneficiaries in the North and 20,000 direct beneficiaries and 20,000 indirect beneficiaries in the Eastern Province on an annual basis.

The project will support to strengthen the agriculture, fisheries sectors in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and establish strong connectivity, bring local and foreign investment into the conflict affected area and thereby improve job opportunities, rural economic development and reduce incidence of poverty and help to establish sustainable peace, national integration and reconciliation.

The project will also contribute to effectively resettle the IDPs and Refugee Returnees and ensure social integration of rehabilitated ex-combatants, uplift the quality of life of the war affected women headed families, support economic opportunities for the families of missing persons, disabled and provide catch-up education for conflict affected children.

The Ministry in collaboration with World Concern has organized walk by school children on peace and reconciliation in Mullaithivu District with over 6,500 school children on October 7, 2017 which signified thematic areas on peace, unity, reconciliation, respecting ethnic and religious diversity.

An event also has been organized by the Ministry in collaboration with non-Government organization to create awareness on human rights capitalizing the upcoming Human Rights Day which falls on December 10, 2017. Through a special National level programme in which Human Rights principals, values and importance will be emphasized.

The Ministry is in the process of developing a of reconciliation scorecard including a perception survey based barometer study to track the progress of reconciliation and peace building process. In this regard, a preliminary workshop has been organized by end of November, 2017 by the Ministry to deliberate and conceptualized the context specific scorecard for Sri Lanka. This initiative is being supported by the UNDP and the ADB. Experts from ADB and South Africa will visit Sri Lanka to share the experiences and best practices of Reconciliation score cards.

The Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on Reconciliation in collaboration with the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation and Westminster Foundation has organized lessons learning and experience sharing programme.  The strategies and mechanisms with special focus on Northern Ireland practices were shared by the UK Parliamentarians. Also experts from South Africa visited Sri Lanka to share best practices and the key aspects were integrated into the reconciliation action plan of the Ministry.

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