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Ranil to present Reparations Office bill to Parliament despite civil society concerns

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister is to present a bill to establish an Office for Reparations in Parliament on Tuesday, despite concerns raised by civil society.

While the international community has urged for speedier progress in establishing a reparations mechanism, civil society members have pointed out that the government is trying to push through a bill in which the Office would have no direct policy-making power and would not be politically independent.

The Bill, which was gazetted last month, is supposed to provide for the provision of individual and collective reparations for aggrieved persons, described as persons who have suffered a violation of human rights or humanitarian law, their relatives and missing persons.

The legislation covers reparations for wartime incidents in the North-East as well as “any political unrest or civil disturbance, systematic gross violations of the rights of individuals, groups or communities of people of Sri Lanka, and enforced disappearances”.

See also: Civil Society Raises Concerns with the Office for Reparations Bill (Centre for Policy Alternatives)