The OMP will bring about the first permanent independent entity to address the issue of missing persons in Sri Lanka. Previously, the government-appointed Paranagama Commission heard testimonies of families of the disappeared across the island, recording cases in the thousands of individuals who have gone missing during and even before the conflict.
The new bill provides the OMP with the following functions:
- Provide status reports on ongoing investigations to the family as long as it does not hinder the investigation.
- Establish a system for the protection of victims and witnesses coming before the OMP.
- Create, manage, and maintain a database with regards to missing persons.
The OMP can also make recommendations on the following: prevention of future disappearances, ways of commemorating and acknowledging those missing, publishing information relevant to a missing person, development of relevant laws and regulations, reparations, and the handling of unidentifiable and identifiable remains. The findings from investigations done by the OMP will not give rise to criminal or civil liability.
The legislation was passed in August yet to date, the office has not been set up.