OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title and date of operation.

2. Objectives of the Act.

PART I

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS

3. Establishment of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP).

4. Constitution and composition of the OMP.

5. Chairman and members of the OMP.

6. Term of office of members.

7. Removal of members.

8. Meetings of OMP.

9. Quorum.

PART II

POWERS, DUTIES AND MANDATE OF THE OMP

10. Mandate of the OMP.

11. General powers of the OMP.

12. Powers of investigation.

13. Functions and duties of the OMP.

14. OMP to ensure the rights of missing persons and relatives.

15. Confidentiality of information.

PART III

SECRETARIAT, TRACING UNIT, VICTIMS AND WITNESS PROTECTION DIVISION OF THE OMP

16. The Secretariat of the OMP.

17. OMP Tracing Unit.

18. OMP Victim and Witness Protection Division.

PART IV

FINANCE

19. Finances.

20. salaries of OMP members.

21. OMP to raise funds.

22. Financial year.

23. Reporting.

PART V

GENERAL

24. Offences.

25. Protection from action.

26. Rules.

27. Interpretation.

28. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

14 of 2016.

AN ACT to provide for the establishment of the office on missing persons; to provide for the searching and tracing of missing persons; to provide assistance to relatives of missing persons; for the setting up of a database of missing persons; for setting out the procedures and guidelines applicable to the powers and functions assigned to the said office; and to provide for all matters which are connected with or incidental to, the implementation of the provisions of this act.

[Date of Commencement: Not yet in force]

1. Short title and date of operation.

(1) This Act may be cited as the Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Act.

(2) The provisions of this Act shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may appoint, by order published in the Gazette (hereinafter referred to as the ‘appointed date’).

2. Objectives of the Act.

The objectives of the Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Act is to ensure that all necessary measures are taken—

(a) to provide appropriate mechanisms for searching and tracing of missing persons, and to clarify the circumstances in which such persons went missing, and their fate;

(b) to make recommendations to the relevant authorities towards reducing the incidents of ‘missing persons’ within the meaning of this Act;

(c) to protect the rights and interests of missing persons and their relatives as provided for in this Act;

(d) to identify proper avenues of redress to which such missing persons or their relatives may have recourse.

PART I

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OFFICE ON
MISSING PERSONS

3. Establishment of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP).

(1) There shall be established an Office which shall be called and known as the “Office on Missing Persons” (hereinafter referred to as the “OMP”)

(2) The OMP shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in its corporate name.

(3) The head office of the OMP shall be situated in Colombo. The OMP may, from time to time, establish such number of regional offices as may be necessary, to achieve its mandate.

4. Constitution and composition of the OMP.

(1)—

(a) The OMP shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council.

(b) One of the members of the OMP shall, on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, be appointed by the President as the Chairman of the OMP:

Provided that the Constitutional Council may recommend more than one name for consideration by the President, to be appointed as the Chairman of the OMP.

(2) In making recommendations for the appointment of members to the OMP, the Constitutional Council shall, have due regard to—

(a) ensuring that the composition of the OMP reflects the pluralistic nature of the Sri Lankan society; and

(b) ensuring that the members of the OMP shall be persons with previous experience in fact finding or investigation, human rights law, international humanitarian law, humanitarian response, or possess other qualifications relevant to the carrying out of the functions of the OMP.

5. Chairman and members of the OMP.

(1) The President shall appoint, within fourteen days of receiving the recommendations of the Constitutional Council for such appointments, the Chairman and the members of the OMP.

(2) In the event the President fails to make the necessary appointments within such period of fourteen days—

(a) the persons recommended to be appointed as members of the OMP, shall be deemed to have been appointed as members of the OMP; and

(b) the person whose name appears first in the list of names recommended to be appointed as the Chairman, shall be deemed to have been appointed as the Chairman of the OMP,

with effect from the date of expiry of such period.

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