The Office of Reparations Bill was passed in Sri Lanka’s parliament on Wednesday.
The government’s official line is that the Bill provides for the provision of individual and collective reparations for aggrieved persons who have suffered violations of human rights or humanitarian law.
According to reports, there was opposition within the cabinet for the reparation formula as it included benefits to families of former LTTE cadres, which some ministers, including Champika Ranawaka, the leader of the extremist Sinhala-nationalist party - JHU, strongly resisted.
The bill has been criticised by Sri Lankan civil society for the fact the office would have no decision-making power or independence and would face excessive bureaucracy.
Human rights defenders have warned that the establishment of the office should not be used as an excuse to derail calls for accountability.