Sri Lanka missing asked to verify information

Colombo, Feb 9 (PTI) A special office set up in Sri Lanka to determine the status of all persons who went missing during the brutal civil war against the LTTE has asked affected families to verify a provisional list of names prepared by it.

The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) statement comes after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last month called for a probe into the disappearances of over 20,000 people in the country's brutal civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels.

Families of the missing and disappeared are encouraged to contact the OMP to ensure that the information concerning their missing or disappeared loved ones is included in the provisional list, the OMP said in a statement.

If information does not appear or in case of inaccuracy, family members are requested to assist the OMP in updating the information, it added.

The OMP, since its inception in February 2018, has compiled information on missing persons using three methods of information gathering -- complaints directly received by the OMP, complaints received or forwarded to the government and data provided by the armed forces.

The OMP's provisional list of missing persons is subject to a process of verification. The office was set up as part of the UN Human Rights Council's reconciliation moves, which had called for accountability in alleged war crimes committed during the armed conflict.

The OMP was mandated to establish the fate of persons who went missing or disappeared in connection with the armed conflict.

A government panel appointed in 2013 to probe the missing persons said over 20,000 had disappeared due to the armed conflict.

Last month, President Rajapaksa had said some 20,000 people who disappeared during the country's brutal civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels over a decade ago are 'dead', while calling for related investigations in order to pay compensation. PTI CORR IND IND