Tamil families of the disappeared and activists rallied in Mullivaikkal this morning, to mark Sri Lanka's 74th Independence Day, which is regarded as a 'black day' for the Tamil nation.
They began their rally by lighting a flame at a memorial in Mullivaikkal, to pay respects and remember the tens of thousands of lives lost in the genocide perpretrated at the hands of the Sri Lankan state.
Protesters hoisted black flags, in rejection of Sri Lanka's Independence, as they crossed Vadduvakkal bridge and marched towards Mullaitivu despite the heavy presence of plainclothed Sri Lankan intelligence officers who took photographs of the demonstrators.
Selvarani Thambirasa, the coordinator of the Amparai Disappeared Relatives' Association, recounted how she handed over the husband to the Sri Lankan security forces in May 2009.
"I handed over my husband Muthulingam Gnanaselvam at this exact Vadduvakkal bridge. My heart ached when I came back here today...It's been 11 years since that happened and to this day, I still don't know what happened to my husband," she said.
"Alongside my husband, there were thousands of others loaded on to buses. The Sri Lankan authorities are now asking us for the bus registration numbers. We were not in the right frame of mind to note down their vehicle numbers," Thambirasa added.