Sri Lanka to quickly settle over 14,000 cases of ‘missing’ persons: Justice minister

PTI | Colombo | Updated: 05-12-2023 15:23 IST | Created: 05-12-2023 15:05 IST
Sri Lanka to quickly settle over 14,000 cases of ‘missing’ persons: Justice minister
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
  • Country:
  • Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is currently saddled with more than 14,000 cases related to persons who went ''missing'' during civil conflicts in the country, including the war against the LTTE, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said on Tuesday, pledging their quick resolution.

The Office of Missing Persons (OMP), a special office set up for determining the status of all missing persons, has so far finalised investigations on nearly 4,800 cases, he said.

”All outstanding complaints lodged with the Office of Missing Persons are expected to be resolved by the coming year,'' Rajapakshe said, adding that to ensure the efficiency of the judicial process, a comprehensive set of eight new bills is set to be submitted to Parliament.

The OMP is seeking a quick resolution of cases, he told reporters.

The OMP set up in 2016 is a state institution tasked with bringing closure to suffering victims and their relatives by determining the status of all missing persons in Sri Lanka. It is a transitional justice mechanism to bring redress to the kin of the victims of the civil conflicts on the island.

Rajapakshe said the current caseload in the judiciary exceeds 1.1 million cases, and “concerted efforts have been undertaken in recent times to mitigate delays in case adjudication. Substantial measures have been implemented to address the backlog and streamline the judicial process, with a particular focus on the establishment and operation of conciliation boards aimed at facilitating the expeditious resolution of select cases”.

The delay in criminal proceedings represented a substantial issue, jeopardizing the administration of justice and leaving all parties involved without timely recourse.

“To address this challenge, a draft law aimed at expediting the resolution of criminal cases is currently under development and is slated for submission to Parliament in January,'' he said.

According to an estimate, around 20,000 people are believed to be missing after the end of the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE), which killed over 100,000 people.

There are cases of armed conflicts involving the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) in the country's south too.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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