The Office of Missing Persons says victim-centeredness will be a guiding principle for the operations of the OMP.
The Chairman of the Office President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris issuing a statement said the Office will establish a credible, efficient and strong institution, which over a period of time will be able to provide relief to the many affected persons and communities.
Peiris accordingly said the OMP will examine both civilians and combatants, including several thousand members of the Armed Forces, Police and Civil Defence Force who have been identified as missing in action, in addition to members of various armed groups.
The Chairman further noted the two main responsibilities of the OMP is to trace missing and disappeared persons, clarify the circumstances in which the act took place and protect the rights and interests of those missing or disappeared and their next of kin.
He also noted the Office of Missing Persons is also responsible of identifying avenues of redress for those affected and making recommendations to the relevant authorities in order to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
The statement also explained the OMP consists of a cross-section of society, comprising individuals who are experienced in the field of human rights as activists, public servants and professionals, including a family member of a disappeared individual and a retired legal advisor to the Sri Lanka Army.
The Office meanwhile said the OMP will ensure that efforts of previous commissions to examine and investigate disappearances will inform the design of processes and structures of the OMP.
The Chairman added the Office will also employ a consultative approach, speaking to victims and other stakeholders.
Meanwhile the OMP requested the public to provide the strength and support required to achieve the objectives of the OMP Act.