Western countries have welcomed the adoption by Sri Lanka’s Parliament of the bill on the Office on Missing Persons.
On Thursday, the legislation was passed amid objections by the Joint Opposition (JO), a group favouring former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. This fulfilled one of the important commitments made by the Sri Lanka government to the UN Human Rights Council through a resolution adopted in October last year.
The passage of the bill has been termed by Atul Keshap, the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives a “historic milestone in the path toward meaningful national reconciliation.”
The EU described the development as an important statement of the Sri Lanka’s commitment to transitional justice. However, Dinesh Gunawardena, a JO member, said his group would not accept the bill as a “legitimate piece of legislation”.