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Families of disappeared accuse international orgs of derailing campaign

Tamil families of the disappeared have accused international organisations of working to derail their campaign for justice by trying to convince families to abandon their protests in favour of welfare payments and other buy offs.

Families in Mullaitivu have been campaigning for over two years for answers about their disappeared relatives, many of whom surrendered at the end of the war.

Their representative said organisations were working in the district to phase families out of campaigning for answers and justice, and instead pushing them towards accepting government buy-offs via the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), such as monthly welfare payments.

“We have been saying we don’t want the OMP from the beginning, we just want answers and we want justice,” said the Mullaitivu spokesperson. “But now we have global organisations working underhand in the district, smearing our activists and canvassing our families to drop their campaigns and accept monthly welfare payments from the OMP and other types of hush money.”

Earlier this year the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) raised concerns over the OMP’s lack of results, while international experts have also noted the office’s lack of power or authority to bring about the resolutions that the families seek.