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Move to accelerate issue of death certificates of missing persons
Register General E. M. Gunasekera on Tuesday said that the Government had decided to re-in-introduce the Temporary Provisions Act- No 17 of 2005, to enable issue of death certificates where persons have gone missing due to natural or unnatural causes or where bodies had not been found or causes of death cannot be certified.

Informed sources said this decision was taken following appeals made by family members of thousands of persons who had gone missing due to acts of terrorism and other related events or natural disasters such as the Tsunami.

The Register General said that on the advice of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Dr Sarath Amunugama had obtained Cabinet clearance to accelerate the process of issuing death certificates and the draft of the Bill was to be presented in Parliament shortly.

The Register General said the Temporary Provisions Act No. 17 of 2005 was introduced to grant relief to the kith and kin of persons who had gone missing due to natural or unnatural causes where their bodies had not been found or identified and the causes of death could not be certified.

This Act, which came into force on June 12 of 2005, had a time frame of only 3 years and it became defunct on June 12, 2008. At present people have no way of obtaining death certificates of their missing family members.

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