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UN WGEID says families of disappeared have ‘waited too long’

Families of the disappeared in Sri Lanka have “waited too long to know the truth” about the enforced disappearances of their relatives, said the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UN WGEID) in a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.

The report stated that “families of the disappeared in Sri Lanka have waited too long to know the truth about the fate or whereabouts of their loved ones”.

“This is an absolute right under the Declaration and an obligation that the State should meet in accordance with international law,” it added.

The submission, examining activities over the last year, noted that the Sri Lankan government had set up the Office of Missing Persons and called on it “its functioning and implementation and take into account the recommendations made after the visit carried out in November 2015”.

At the time the UN WGEID announced that it had discovered a “secret underground detention cum torture centre” located in Sri Lanka and called on the government to reveal the existence of other such centres if any existed. A statement released to mark the end of the 2015 visit added:

“The time for promises is over. The time for action has come.”

See the full text of the report here.