Daily World News Digest, 25 January 2016

Sri Lanka: Fulfill Rights Council call for justice

Human Rights Watch issued a statement today saying that the Sri Lankan government should fulfill its commitments to the United Nations Human Rights Council by ensuring that foreign judges and prosecutors play a significant role in the mandated accountability mechanism for wartime abuses. Human Rights Council member should make clear that foreign participation in a war crimes tribunal was already decided by the council and is not subject to renegotiation. In line with its commitments, the government should be implementing its plans for a war crimes tribunal with international participation, a Commission for Truth, Justice, Reconciliation, and Non-recurrence, and an Office on Missing Persons. Progress on those commitments has been slow and not wholly transparent. http://bit.ly/1ntp4Qh

Missing Hong Kong publishers: Wife of Lee Bo says she reunited with her husband

The Independent reported on 24 January that the wife of one of the five missing publishers of books banned by Beijing has now told police that she has tracked down her husband to a guesthouse in mainland China. Mr Lee was said to be in “healthy and in good spirits” and was, he said, assisting Chinese authorities in an investigation in the “capacity of a witness”. In a strangely stilted letter to the Hong Kong police department, reportedly delivered by his wife Lee Bo says: “Firstly, I really appreciate the police’s concern. I have not been kidnapped and definitely have not been arrested on the mainland for [purchasing] prostitution,” says in the letter. http://ind.pn/1K675cz

Thai police unaware of Chinese disappearance case

The Bangkok Post, a daily from Thailand, carried a story on 24 January saying that Thai police say they have no information about a missing Chinese journalist who is feared to have been snatched and taken back to China and will only look into the case if the man’s wife reports him missing. The Chinese journalist, who said he was fed up with life as a government informant and fled China last year, went missing in Thailand on 11 January, his wife said on Friday, raising concerns he might have  been abducted by Chinese agents. The missing journalist is the latest in a string of disappearances of China-related activists in Southeast Asia that have raised suspicions of Chinese government involvement. http://bit.ly/1UlByDZ

President assures solution on missing persons issue in Sri Lanka

Colombo Gazette, a daily from Sri Lanka, reported on 24 January President Maithripala Sirisena today assured that he will look to resolve the issue on persons reported missing during the war. The President gave the assurance when he visited Puthukkudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu, a town which was once under Tamil rebels’ control. While in visit to one of the factories, some employees had also raised concerns over Tamils reported missing during and soon after the war and over the arrest of several Tamils under anti-terrorism laws. Hundreds have been reported missing, particularly in the North and the Government has already said it will establish a missing persons office to look into the issue. http://bit.ly/1NukllU

Mexican cartel members arrested in hunt for 43 missing students

The Independent carried a story on 23 January saying that three cartel members have been arrested over the disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014. Renato Sales, the National Security Commissioner of Mexico, announced the arrests on Friday. He suggested that the three suspects were members of the Guerreros Unidos crime syndicate, which is widely believed to have taken control of the students once they were abducted by corrupt police. These latest arrests mean that 113 people have now been arrested, including 44 police officers, and yet the authorities have still not located the missing students. http://ind.pn/1niV213

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.