Tamils in Sri Lanka demand govt to disclose whereabouts of missing relatives

Lankan Tamils has demanded concrete action from President Maithripala Sirisena

PTI July 24, 2017 16:15:07 IST
Tamils in Sri Lanka demand govt to disclose whereabouts of missing relatives

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party TNA has demanded concrete action from President Maithripala Sirisena on disclosing the whereabouts of their relatives who are still missing eight years after the end of the country's nearly three-decade-long civil war.

Tamils in Sri Lanka demand govt to disclose whereabouts of missing relatives

AFP

In a letter to Sirisena, main Tamil party leader Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan demanded the government disclose names of all the detainees and the places where they were being held besides allowing their relatives to visit them.

He said the issue of missing persons was a "serious issue" and relatives of the disappeared persons in the north and east had called for revealing the names of all those held in custody when they met Sirisena at a previous meeting.

Referring to the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) which is due to become operational soon, Sampanthan said he wished the issue of the missing persons would be credibly dealt to ensure relief for the families.

Sirisena signed a gazette on the OMP last week, paving the way to set up an office to trace around 20,000 people still missing due to the civil war.

The OMP was set up as a response to UN Human Rights Council's resolution which called for credible international mechanism to probe the alleged war crimes committed during the last phase of the civil war. The UN has lauded Sri Lanka for setting up the OMP, terming it a "significant milestone" for all searching for their loved ones.
The government now faces pressure to make the OMP operational and nominate and appoint its members soon. According to the government estimates, around 20,000 people are still missing due to various conflicts including the 30-year-long separatist war with Lankan Tamils in the north and east which claimed the lives of at least 100,000 people.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which led the separatist war for a separate Tamil homeland, was finally crushed by the Lankan military in 2009 with the death of its supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

'Myanmar military must stop oppressing the innocent', UN envoy makes emotional speech
World

'Myanmar military must stop oppressing the innocent', UN envoy makes emotional speech

Opposing the military coup in his country, Myanmar's UN ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun appealed for the 'strongest' action from the international community

Myanmar coup: At least 38 dead on 'bloodiest' day since military seized power, says UN
World

Myanmar coup: At least 38 dead on 'bloodiest' day since military seized power, says UN

Security forces opened fire on anti-coup protesters across Myanmar, day after neighbouring countries called for restraint and offered to help resolve the crisis

Myanmar forces escalate crackdown on protesters; UN envoy opposes coup in dramatic speech
World

Myanmar forces escalate crackdown on protesters; UN envoy opposes coup in dramatic speech

In Yangon, Myanmar police used rubber bullets to disperse a demonstration at Myaynigone junction, the site of an hours-long standoff the day before