Appointment of ex-Maj. Gen. to OMP riles some organizations

The decision to appoint a retired Major General as a member of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) has come under fire by certain civil society groups and activists who claim that it indicates that the government doesn’t care about winning the trust of Northern families who have lost loved once.

Kumaravadivel Guruparan, the spokesperson for the Tamil Civil Society Forum, a ‘network’ of Tamil activists living and/or working primarily in the North and East said "The Government doesn’t care about winning the trust of families of the disappeared in relation to the OMP. Why would they otherwise appoint a Major General? Most fundamentally insensitive."

Major General (Rtd.) Mohanti Antoinette Peiris, was the Director (Legal) of the Army and Army’s senior legal adviser for humanitarian law and human rights. During the armed conflict she assisted the Sri Lankan government in countering LTTE propaganda.

President Maithripala Sirisena handed over the appointment letters to the commissioners of the OMP on February 28. The Commissioners appointed for three years and Rs 1.3 billion have been allocated for the OMP from the 2018 budget.

"The commissioners were selected in an open and competitive process conducted by the Constitutional Council (CC) of Sri Lanka and were nominated by them for appointment to the President," President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

Saliya Pieris is the Chairman of OMP and its other members are Jayatheepa Punniyamoorthy, Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Mohanti Antoinette Peiris, Dr Sriyani Nimalka Fernando, Mirak Raheem, Somasiri K. Liyanage and Kanapathipillai Venthan. (RK)

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