Daily World News Digest, 26 May 2016

Sri Lanka to set up Office on Missing Persons

The Hindu reports today that the Sri Lankan government has decided to set up an Office on Missing Persons (OMP), one of the four mechanisms proposed to deal with grievances related to the long conflict. The OMP will not engage in prosecutions. However, it will have the power to investigate for the purpose of clarifying the fate of missing persons and the circumstances related to the disappearance, and communicating the status to relatives of the missing persons. The existing official body, set up during the regime of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has so far received complaints related to nearly 24,000 persons including 5,000 members of the security forces. http://bit.ly/1XURRLP

Three journalists disappear in Colombia

CNN reported on 25 May that Spanish journalist Salud Hernandez has gone missing while working on a story in Catatumbo, a remote region in northern Colombia with a heavy guerrilla and organized crime presence. Colombian TV network RCN then said that two of its journalists, correspondent Diego D’Pablos and cameraman Carlos Melo, have disappeared in the same region while covering the disappearance of Hernandez. RCN news director Claudia Gurisatti told CNN en Español on Tuesday that a government human rights official had confirmed the disappearance of the journalists. The disappearances of the three journalists may become an obstacle for peace talks between the Colombian government and two guerrilla groups. http://cnn.it/25niP4h

Indigenous women, girls still disappearing in Canada

The Columbus Dispatch, a daily from the US, carried a story on 25 May saying that dozens of Canadian women and girls, most of them indigenous, have disappeared or been murdered near Highway 16, a remote ribbon of asphalt that bisects British Columbia and snakes past thick forests, logging towns and impoverished Indian reserves on its way to the Pacific Ocean. A special unit formed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officially linked 18 such cases from 1969 to 2006 to this part of the highway. More women have vanished since then, and community activists and relatives of the missing say they believe the total is closer to 50. http://bit.ly/248PXXE

Over 500 migrants rescued after vessel capsized

The Financial Times reported on 25 May that a large wooden fishing boat overcrowded with migrants had capsized off the coast of Libya, the Italian navy said on Wednesday, with some 562 people rescued and five found dead. Women and children were among those rescued, but no details of the migrants’ nationalities have been given. Before the rescue could get underway the boat flipped over due to the sudden movement of the passengers. Italy’s coastguard said 5,600 migrants were rescued on Monday and Tuesday. http://on.ft.com/1Z1TsxT

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.