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OMP claims 20,000 missing since 1983

Sri Lanka's Office of Missing Persons (OMP) claimed this week that about 20,000 are missing since 1983. 

The OMP, which has been deeply criticised by Tamil families of the disappeared for lacking independence and failing to take their views into consideration, is yet to formally finalise figures of missing persons. 

“We have data of previous reports released on missing persons. The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) says it is about 16,000 people including 5,100 military and police personnel. The Paranagama Commission says 21,000 people have gone missing while the government had received 13,000 complaints through Grama Niladharis on missing persons. These numbers may overlap,” the OMP chairman, Saliya Pieris was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying at a press briefing. 

“However, if there are any who have previously not complained to any entity about their missing family members can send complaints to us,” Mr Pieris added.

The OMP said this week that its interim report would be released on August 30 and would be handed over to the president and prime minister. 

"We expect the family members of missing persons to attend this meeting and express their views. The keynote speech will be delivered by Human Rights Commission (HRC) Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama. The reason for holding this meeting is to make people aware about the issue of missing people and the disappeared and to acknowledge the sufferings of their families,” he said.