Peace and reconciliation high on Govt's agenda | Page 9 | Daily News

Peace and reconciliation high on Govt's agenda

OMP has no judicial power
OMP’s work cuts across all ethnic and religious boundaries
Opposition hell bent on distorting facts

In a hard hitting statement Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said that the work of the Office of Missing Persons has been distorted and manipulated for political gain. The Minister criticising former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said: “A cause that was once close to his heart is today a tool of power hungry politicians, including the likes of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was ironically a founder of the Mother’s Front Movement”. “If the question of the missing still remains high on the agenda with the reported numbers of the missing rising each day, the question remains why it is no longer a cause worth fighting for,” he asks.

“The answer is sad and simple. Self-serving policies and party politics have taken precedence over the suffering families of those gone missing over the past 30 years.

For Mr. Rajapaksa in 1989, this cause was worth getting arrested for at the airport, while he carried documents with information regarding the missing to the UNHRC in Geneva, and today, the same movement has been portrayed by this camp as an attack on our War Heroes.”

The Minister dismayed by the discourse states candidly that the voice that once spoke so passionately against these crimes suddenly started changing their tone. These same voices began switching camps so unexpectedly that lately many of the attacks on the OMP have been directed from the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself.

Clarifying the work of the OMP, Minister Samaraweera states that it is not a law-enforcement or judicial body.

Citing the Act, he states that “the findings of the OMP shall not give rise to any criminal or civil liability.”

He also refers to the myths surrounding the OMP stating that claims of it being a witch-hunt to prosecute the War Heroes is a blatant lie and that the OMP cannot prosecute perpetrators of violence.

“These rumours are political manipulations to deter the fair and just actions taken by the government towards peace and reconciliation. The OMP gives the chance for renewed faith and hope for those who have lost their families and friends. It is not limited to an area or ethnicity but promises dignity and prosperity for all.”

He cites stats by the international of the Red Cross which states that over 16,000 individuals have gone missing during the civil war. Of them, 5100 belonged to the armed forces.

“These are the very same individuals who fought against the terror that the LTTE created. We as a nation, have a responsibility to find the Committee truth about where they are, and to bring an end to the agony faced by their families and loved ones.”

He also emphasises that the OMP’s work cuts across all ethnic and religious boundaries. That it seeks to investigate persons missing in connection with the conflict of the North and East and its aftermath. This includes those of all ethnicities; including the Armed Forces and police who have been identified as “missing in action”.

“It will investigate into those gone missing during political unrest or civil disturbances in the south as well as victims of enforced disappearances island wide. The mandate of the OMP ensures that it will carry out searching and tracing of missing persons, clarifying the circumstances in which such persons went missing and their fate, making recommendations to relevant authorities in order to reduce incidents of missing and disappeared persons, and identifying proper avenues of redress available to the families of the missing persons and informing them of the same.”


There are 2 Comments

Hon. Minister, Great attitude to work with. OMP is a genuine heart cry which needs peace, even though frauds, political motivation and many other agendas try to ride it for self service. There is a need to distinguish the genuine from the frauds so that the former can be laid to rest for completion. Craving for power specially to hide their robbery and murders will drive humans insane. You cited MR in 1989 risking carrying OMP documents to Geneva, now in opposite camp in crazy power suffocation. He did the same to SAITM students at A/L granting scholarships with media coverage and fanfare for local MBBS, but today opposing and joining hands with GMOA who plan to send some to Russia fraudulently on an illegal TWIN MEDICAL COURSE, financial bribes and academic twisting. Most humans are wild and need law and order so that innocent, gullible, unsuspecting students are not manipulated by mafia to lose all they have and their very ability to continue studies. Terror is real. Why cannot these already govt. approved eligible SAITM students to be transferred to KDU be taken as the one CLASS they are at present and allowed to complete local MBBS as registered. If there are minor discrepancies, surely H.E in his passion to eliminate fraud has the Executive power to EQUATE BOTH IN A ONE TIME TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE to bring solution of Peace and Reconciliation, Law and Order. Personal heart cleansing from trap of karmic recycling is the answer, not external rituals.

Missing persons success limited time not done is a factor a case of negligence in spite of all complaints by the public. Causes many murder kidnapping buried destroyed burned . Strong suspicion by public defence especially army in various titles across the land proper documentation with witnesses vital. Individuals different ethnicities fear hate suspicion lead to killing kidnapping who knows some escape the island living abroad. Investigating skills needed fear etc may prevent in some cases. Judicious use of facilities with intense desire to solve problems


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