Deeds, not mere words, count: Families of enforced disappeared

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 June 2017, 21:14 GMT]
The representatives of the families of enforced disappeared from the 8 districts in the North-East, who met the SL President Maithiripala Sirisena at SL Governor’s office in Jaffna, told media after their meeting with Mr Sirisena that they would continue their protests until the SL President fulfills what he had assured them on Monday. “The protest continues for the 114th day and we want to see SL President fulfilling what he promised us today. He loudly read out our demands and said he agreed with all of the demands and promised to instruct the three armed forces at the security council meeting on Tuesday evening to act upon them,” Kanagaranjani Yogarasa, who represented the protesting families from Ki’linochchi district told TamilNet.

“When we asked whether there was a way to publicly verify the instructions being passed to the military, he said the meeting instructions were not open to the public. However, his promises to us were witnessed by the lawyers who represented us,” she further said.

The meeting comes following the assurance given to the families through the SL Governor to North on the 100th day protest held in Ki’linochchi on 30 May that the SL President would be meeting them in person and discuss their demands within two weeks.

The families of enforced disappeared were also making arrangements to expand their protests against Colombo if no such meeting took place. Diaspora Tamil activists have also started to stage simultaneous protests in 6 cities in support of the enforced disappeared families and their struggle.

On Monday, Mr Sirisena met the group of 8 representatives of enforced disappeared (one from each district), 2 religious dignitaries and 2 civil activist lawyers, who were supporting their struggle. SL Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan accompanied Mr Sirisena along with the SL Governor.

The representatives of missing person’s families handed over a five-demand appeal with the following messages, Ms Kanagaranjani said:

  1. Release the names of persons who surrendered or filtered away from the families by the SL military during 2008 – 2009 when the people entered the SL military controlled areas
  2. Release the details of locations including the secret detention camps where the detained persons were held incommunicado after 2009 May
  3. Release all the Tamil political detainees and prisoners;
  4. Release details of all camps and inmates by year since 1983 including the details and locations of torture camps;
  5. Provide a definite list of all Tamil political detainees and prisoners.


The heads of SL State are well-known for giving promises, appointing commissions and sitting on them without any implementation, commented Tamil political activists in Jaffna who have been observing the unfolding PR stunts of Mr Sirisena.


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