The protest was staged by the family members of the missing persons claiming that there is absolutely no purpose in establishing an office of the OMP.
Paranagama report missing?
Representatives on behalf of the families of the missing persons R. Rajeshwary said that during the previous government a commission known as the Maxwell Paranagama Commission was formed and it had gathered information from the missing persons families but to date no one knows what happened to its report.
“Now after this government came into power they formed the OMP and they obtained information from the families of those missing in Vavuniya, Mulaithivu, Killinochchi, Jaffna and Mannar. Its been five years and all that this government has also done is gather our information but so far nothing has been done. Now tey have opened another OMP office in Jaffna. All this is being done because the elections are round the corner. This is something they should have done right at the start. Now they are trying all sorts of gimmicks just to obtain votes. We urge the government to stop all this pretentious activities and do something to find out what happened to our loved ones and provide us a proper solution to this issue. This is why we oppose the setting up of the OMP office in Jaffna,” she said.
Information regarding 19,000 missing during the war
The families of the missing claim that during the Paranagama commission it had been discovered that around 19,000 persons had been reported missing during the war. A report to this effect was handed over to parliament but so far nothing has been done for the families of these missing persons.
They charge that despite having to spend a big amount of money for bus fares for travelling to give evidence before this commission and to obtain photocopies of documents etc to produce to the commission, it has been a waste as nothing positive has come of it.
These relatives of the missing claim that the OMP office in Jaffna would also be another useless exercise and added that the government is powerless to provide solutions to the issues faced by the families of the missing persons.
We will seek international assistance
The families of the missing persons in Vavuniya said that the government has done nothing for them so far despite staging a protest over 917 days.
Hence, they urged international intervention to find solutions to their grievances, adding that Sri Lanka could not provide them a solution locally.
(Madhawa Kulasuriya- Vavuniya Corr.)