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'There is no connection between the OMP and us' - Vavuniya families of the disappeared

Tamil families of the disappeared in Vavuniya rejected the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and recent remarks made by Sri Lanka's foreign minister at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in regards to the progress the mechanism has made in investigating enforced disappearances. 

One mother said that they will continue to protest until their find their relatives who were forcibly disappeared by Sri Lanka's security forces. 

"We will never accept the OMP," she said.

"The OMP has sent us a letter stating there are not enough details to find our children but we never gave them any information about our children nor did they ask us for any information," she added. 

"The OMP are claiming that 80 per cent of the families of disappeared's problems are resolved but that’s a lie. Our struggle is ongoing and we are still protesting for justice.

At the end of the war, we hand our children to the Sri Lankan military. What happened to them?"  

"There is big difference  to disappearances and enforced disappearances," she went on to add. 

"There is no connection between the OMP and us."

Earlier this month, G.L Peiris told the UNHRC that the OMP  had “met more than 83% of persons invited for panels of inquiries as part of its verification process" although Tamil families of the disappeared have repeatedly denounced the OMP and expressed their lack of confidence in a domestic mechanism. The families have decried the mechanism since its establishment as its findings cannot be used in any civil or ciminal cases that seek justice. 

Vavuniya families of the disappeared have been protesting for over 1,950 days demanding to know the fate of their disappeared loved ones. Despite protesting for over 5 years, their demands have been ignored. 


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