Organization for missing relatives urges Independence Day mourning

Organization for missing relatives urges Independence Day mourning

Representatives of the organization for finding missing relatives from all eight districts of the Northern and Eastern provinces had urged the people to observe the upcoming Independence Day as a mourning day as the existence of their relatives is yet to be established and investigated.

On the upcoming 68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka on 4 February, in all the eight districts of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, from morning to evening, representatives of this organization will be staging a hunger protest with black cloth tied around their mouth and at the same time the political prisoners are likely to carry out a hunger demonstration in the prisons.

Representatives from Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar and Mullaitivu districts and the Mannar Citizen Committee Chairman Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Sebamalai said there are eyewitnesses who have seen their relatives surrendering to the Security Forces or taken by the police and Armed Forces for questioning on suspicion. The relatives will be able to clearly answer the question as to who have taken them, and from where, when, how.

“There is such compelling proof and evidence that one cannot deny the existence of secret camps in this country. The UN panel of experts, the US Watch committee, and Sri Lankan military officials have confirmed this,” he said.

“If those who went missing are not alive, then what happened to those who surrendered to the Security Forces? Were they abducted or arrested? What will be the just solution to the victims? In which secret camps have they been detained? What punishment will be given to those who have killed our relatives against the principles of international law on war and violated their human rights? In relation to this we need a justice mechanism with accountability,” he said.

A signed memorandum by the relatives of missing persons was submitted to President Maithripala Sirisena through the Tamil National Alliance leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan last week.

The Tamil-speaking people of Northern and Eastern Provinces will be observing this day as Karinal (Black Day), announced the Forum for Searching Kidnapped and Forcibly Disappeared Relatives of the Northern and Eastern provinces on 28 January 2016.
(MT)