“Mothers Awareness Campaign to find the Disappeared” ignored for 1000 Days by Government of Sri Lanka
November 16, 2019 marks 1000 days since the “Awareness Campaign by Mothers” to find information about the disappeared began. Mothers and close relatives have been staging roadside vigils to try to get any information about their loved ones. Yet, the Government of Sri Lanka continues to ignore their demands for the past three years. There are credible allegations that people are held in secret detention camps against their will. Their relatives are not informed about the location or state of the disappeared. Although such internment would be a violation of human rights and, in the event of an armed conflict, a violation of international humanitarian law.
This human rights violation is still continuing today in Sri Lanka. During the civil war, Eelam Tamils were repeatedly arrested, tortured, and interrogated in secret internment camps. At the peak of the civil war in May 2009, several internment camps were built to hold those who were detained as prisoners who were then subjected to brutal torture. Many of the Eelam Tamils were not released from these internment camp.
The United Nations estimated that at the peak of the civil war at least 70,000 Eelam Tamils were killed. However, Reverend Father Rayappu Joseph carried out a count of the missing and found 146,679 Eelam Tamils are, still unaccounted for ten years after the war. Many of them were taken away by the Sri Lankan Army which was under the command of Shavendra Silva, who has now been appointed as the Army Commander.
According to the British Freedom from Torture (FFT), documented in February 2019, torture of Tamils in custody is still practiced even during the reign of the current government since 2015. A significant number of people have also reported that they were tortured when they visited Sri Lanka after they have been in the UK.
Previously, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), based in Johannesburg, South Africa, published details of 57 cases of abduction, torture and/or sexual violence by Sri Lanka’s security forces, which occurred in 2016/17. “Everyone can say that there is a new government, but there were only a few superficial changes while rape, torture, and abduction are still continuing. Nothing has changed,” a torture victim from Sri Lanka was quoted by FFT.
Today we would like to remind you of the 146,679 missing Eelam Tamils and urge the international community to carry out an independent investigation into war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide and alleviate the deep pain and anguish experienced by the kith and kin of the disappeared.
We call on the international community to stop the ongoing genocide and bring those leaders responsible for these crime to justice. We want justice and freedom for the Eelam Tamils now. Justice delayed is justice denied.
-International Council Of Eelam Tamils-