Amnesty International (AI) has commended Sri Lanka for its ‘welcome progress’ on the issue of disappearances with the criminalization of enforced disappearances in March 2018, giving partial effect to the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance and operationalizing the Office of Missing Persons.
AI said the government must support the spirit of these measures by proactively supporting truth-seeking efforts by the families of the disappeared to get answers, almost a decade after the end of the armed conflict.
Likewise, Sri Lanka should promptly recognize the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of victims or their relatives, AI said in a news release.AI also called on the Government to provide information to the families of the disappeared, with detailed lists and information of persons who surrendered to the armed forces in the final phase of the war.
AI said the Government, acknowledging the grievances presented by family members in June 2017, promised to release these lists. According to surviving family members, more than 100 cadres of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who surrendered at the end of the war in May 2009, have subsequently disappeared. In August 2013, 13 of those families filed habeas corpus applications in the courts of Sri Lanka, seeking information about their whereabouts.