Thousands of desperate relatives of the disappeared have testified before a disappearances commission this week, in vain hope of discovering the fate of those who have been missing for years, reported the BBC.
The commission, declared open by the government just weeks before it faces a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, has been dismissed as a farce by NPC member Ananthy Sasitharan and NPC Deputy Chairman Antony Jeganathan. For the anguished thousands who continue to search for their loved ones, however, few alternative avenues exist.
A few months ago, as British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Jaffna, hundreds of desperate mothers blocked a convoy of British vehicles, in a plea to highlight the thousands of cases Tamil men and women who remain disappeared.
Sri Lanka has the 2nd highest number of outstanding disappearances in the world, according to the UN.
The BBC’s Charles Haviland noted that many of the Tamils blamed either the government or their aligned paramilitaries, adding,
“These are just a few of the thousands of men and women here in Sri Lankan who grieve, and yet they don’t quite know how to grieve because their relatives, their loves ones are missing – disappeared.”
“Some of these people have testified to earlier commissions and they really don’t know what the results will be, but they have come here because they can only hope that this commission will somehow make a difference.”
See the full report here.