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Sri Lanka to recognise around 65,000 people missing since civil war as dead

world Updated: Jun 08, 2016 10:51 IST

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Tuesday announced a landmark law to recognise as dead an estimated 65,000 people still missing seven years after the end of a bitter civil war, allowing relatives to claim inheritances. Ministers approved a draft bill to issue “certificates of absence” to the families of those who went missing during a 37-year war with Tamil separatists and a Marxist uprising. “This measure will help tens of thousands of Sri Lankans whose family members and loved ones are missing and who are unable to address practical issues relating to their disappearance,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. Under the current law, families cannot access the property, bank accounts or inheritances left by missing relatives unless they can conclusively prove they are dead — an often impossible task.

First Published: Jun 08, 2016 10:51 IST