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‘A day of mourning without our children’ - Tamil families of the disappeared on Sri Lanka’s Children’s Day

 

Families of the disappeared in Mannar conveyed their disappointment in both the Sri Lankan government and the international community’s response to their struggle to find their missing loved ones, stating that the recent Children’s day was marked as a "day of mourning” without their children.

President of the Association for the Search for Disappeared Persons in Mannar, Uthayachandra Manuel expressed the regret endured by the families of the disappeared, particularly following Children’s day on October 1st

‘‘International Children’s Day is being celebrated everywhere, but many children are missing in the North-East,” stated the head of the Mannar association.
We are not in a position to celebrate Children’s day while searching for our missing relatives, it is a day of mourning for us.’’

Several individuals including children were handed over to the Sri Lankan military believing that they would be safe during the 2009 Mullivaikkal massacre following the government’s request. 

Tamil families of the disappeared in Mannar, who have been fighting for answers regarding their loved ones for the last 11 years, still have no answers. 

‘‘We do not know who to ask, it is the same government that massacred thousands of people that has returned to power,’’ she said, further adding,

“It saddens us to see that the Sri Lankan government and the International community have overlooked our continuous struggle; we demand that the International Community and the Sri Lankan state give us answers. We would not need to act against you if you release our missing relatives.’’

Since the Mullivaikal massacre in 2009, the families of the disappeared across the North-East have run continuous protests calling for answers from the state, for which Sri Lanka has incessantly failed to comply. 

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