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Families of the disappeared ask for pressure to keep President accountable to his promises

Families of the disappeared today called on the media, local and international community to place pressure on President Sirisena to fulfil pledges he made to them earlier this week about releasing lists of surrendees, detainees, secret detention centres and political prisoners. In a press conference held today at the Jaffna Press Club, families of disappeared from across the North-East spoke about the results of their meeting with the president on June 12 and their protest which reached 100 days on May 30.

Speaking about the June 12 meeting, Kala from the Association of the Forcibly Disappeared in Kilinochchi stated that the President after reading aloud the families’ petition agreed to take steps towards all five demands. In particular, she emphasized that the President stated he would order the National Security Council to meet the first demand of releasing the list of surrendees and detainees in a meeting on Tuesday.

In reference to the second demand of releasing a list of all secret detention centers run by the security forces, Sirisena stated that if families knew where their loved ones were being kept, he would arrange to take them.

The families of the disappeared noted they are awaiting for commitments by Sirisena to be fulfilled and requested for the media and the general public, both locally and abroad, to stand in solidarity and help keep the President accountable to his words. 

Families of the disappeared have been protesting for months throughout the North-East for answers as to the fate of their loved ones – many districts have now passed the 100th day of protest including Trincomalee today.