President meets family members of missing persons
Maithripala Sirisena held a
discussion with the parents of
the missing persons at the
Northern Governor's Office in
Jaffna on June 12.
A group of parents of missing persons representing all
the eight districts of the North and Eastern Provinces handed over a
letter to the President regarding their missing children.
President Sirisena listen to the grievances presented
by some of the family members of alleged disappeared persons and
promised that he would issue directives to the relevant authorities to
make speedy inquiries into the issue. If any persons are under detention
without charges, they would be released. But he clarified that there are
no detention camps in the country. He also promised that he would
instruct the National Security Council to release lists of persons who
surrendered to the Armed forces in the final phase of the war.
When some persons alleged that their relatives were
detained in some camps, the President immediately said that if they
could identify any place, he would send police together with them to go
into such camps and search.
The letter submitted by the relatives stated five key
demands requesting the release of lists of all who surrendered to the
armed forces, during and after the war, particularly during the last
phase, a list of all secret detention centers, their status and list of
detainees, and a list of all political prisoners held under the
Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
In August 2016, the government passed a Bill in
Parliament to establish a permanent Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and
the President has said that the parliament would debate on the OMP on 22
Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation and
Resettlement, D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Health, Rajitha Senaratne,
Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Vigneswaran , Provincial
Minister of Health Saithyalingam, Governor Reginald Cooray, Inspector
General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, and the SLFP General Secretary,
Duminda Dissanayake were present at the meeting with the families.
Earlier, speaking at a meeting to discuss development
programmes in the North, the President said, "The State funds which are
allocated for development projects in Northern and Eastern Provinces
should be used effectively. Political leaders who represent these two
provinces and the authorities should take the full responsibility of