COLOMBO, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — The Sri Lankan government has ordered an investigation into all water wells in the country’s Northern Province which have been closed since the 30-year conflict period, a government minister said here on Friday.
Deputy Women’s Affairs Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran was quoted by the local media that she had ordered the wells to be re- excavated and investigated after local residents in northern war- ravaged Jaffna suspect that most of those who had disappeared during the country’s civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels must have been killed and buried inside these wells.
The minister further said that the existence of many such closed wells in the area where many cases of disappeared have been reported have strengthened this suspicion.
Thousands of people continue to be missing in the island nation, even five years after the Sri Lankan military ended the war against Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.
According to local NGO’s, disappearances occurred on a ” massive scale”, especially between 2006 and 2009 with family members now urging the new Sri Lankan government for a speedy investigation.
Sri Lanka’s major Tamil Party, the Tamil National Alliance also passed a resolution this week urging the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate the war in Sri Lanka alleging that acts of genocide had been committed against the Tamils.
The new government has, however, rejected this claim, saying no genocide was committed against the Tamils and reassured that it would investigate the final stages of the war through a domestic mechanism.