UN group on missing begins meetings

The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances began meetings in Colombo yesterday as part of its official visit to Sri Lanka which will conclude on 18 November, the Foreign Ministry said.

During its mission, the UN experts will study the measures adopted by the State to prevent and eradicate enforced disappearances, including issues related to truth, justice and reparation for the victims of enforced disappearances.

They will also gather information on cases of enforced disappearances, including those pending before the Working Group.

The Working Group will start and end the visit in Colombo and will travel to Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Batticaloa, Matale, Trincomalee, Ampara and Galle.

They will meet government officials from the Ministry of Law and Order, the Attorney General Department , Ministry of Justice, Defence , Resettlement, Health including Judicial medical officers and they will also meet the Commanders of the Sri Lanka Army and Navy and IGP and  the Police officers .  They will also meet with members of Parliament and local authorities, the Governors of the Northern, Eastern and Southern Provinces as well as the Chief Ministers of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

The expert body will meet with State officials, both at the central and provincial levels, as well as with relatives of disappeared people, representatives of civil society organizations and of relevant UN agencies.

The Working Group will be represented by Vice-Chair Bernard Duhaime, Tae-Ung Baik and Ariel Dulitzky. The independent experts will be accompanied by staff of the Secretariat of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Working Group will hold a press conference at the end of the visit, on 18 November 2015 in Colombo.

A final report on the visit will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2016. (Colombo Gazette)