Oct 10, Colombo: The Office for Reparations Bill was presented for debate in the Parliament on Wednesday and passed with a simple majority vote.
In the second reading the Bill received 59 votes in favor and 43 against it.
Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Ananda Kumarasiri stated that the Bill with amendments was considered in the committee stage and passed by the House in the third reading with the amendments.
Presenting the draft bill in parliament, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that the Bill would be presented for the rights of all the people.
"The disappearances not only in the North but also in the South have been reported. Reparations have to be made, Steps should be taken to provide relief to the victimized parties," the Prime Minister said at the debate.
The Bill provides for the provision of individual and collective reparations for aggrieved persons who have suffered violations of human rights or humanitarian law.
The Office for Reparations, will carry out policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring of its progress. The board of the Office for Reparations will consist of four members, the Prime Minister said.
The reparations Bill facilitates any monetary payment or material benefit to an aggrieved person, micro-finance and concessionary loans, educational programs, training and skills development programs, measures of restitution, including the provision of land and housing and other appropriate measures identified by the Office for Reparations.
The Office for Reparations is part of a four –pillar mechanism agreed by the Sri Lankan government with UNHCR.
In October 2015, the government agreed to a consensus resolution at the UNHRC to establish four pillars of transitional justice including truth, reconciliation, and accountability for past abuses arising from the war. Office of missing persons has already been set up as part of the resolution.