May 11, Colombo: The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) is launching a series of regional-level public consultations, commencing in Mannar on Saturday, 12th May 2018.
The consultations are a vital step in the process to operationalize the functions of the OMP in its search for missing and disappeared persons, the Chairman of the OMP attorney Saliya Peiris said in a statement.
Consultations will be held with the families of missing and disappeared persons, activists, professionals and organizations working on the issue.
Within the next few weeks, the OMP will visit the districts of Matara, Trincomalee, Mullaitivu, Kandy, Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Batticaloa and Ampara. The visits are included in the first phase of tours planned by the office.
The purpose of these meetings will be to share the OMPís organizational plan and strategies, as they currently stand, in order to hear public views and incorporate suggestions on measures and processes.
The plans thus far attempt to build on the lessons learned and recommendations from previous commissions and the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms process.
The OMP understands the urgency and frustration of the families and individuals who have been searching for their loved ones over a number of years, but respectfully requests their patience to ensure vital processes are put in place in order to ensure an effective response and to avoid ad hoc measures.
These consultations mark the start of the outreach process of the OMP and are a positive indication that the search for missing and disappeared persons is underway.