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Families of the disappeared not fooled by TNA ‘election theatrics’ and slam TNA 'neglect to support in past 11 years'

The families of the disappeared in Vavuniya have responded to the Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) election campaign and recent comments by insisting they are not going to be deceived by “Mavai – who is changing his disguise as we get nearer to the elections - and his friends of the TNA.”

They said they “do not need the commentary and endorsement of the government or the military leadership [but] the people who need to answer are Mavai and the TNA.”

“The fact is the Sri Lankan military, a United National Party (UNP) government or the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) government will not investigate the Tamil genocide or the Tamils forcibly disappeared ​​during and after the civil war. Sri Lanka’s Sinhala politicians and leaders have made this abundantly clear to the US, Europeans countries, Tamils and to humanitarian organisations. This means it is pointless to appeal to the Sinhalese [parties] about our missing relatives,” they added.

The TNA’s international commitment to families of disappeared issue;

“Mavai and his party members have been representing Tamils in the parliament for the last 11 years. However, they have failed to raise any questions about the families of the disappeared at the UNHRC, US or EU council meetings. Most notably, they refused to listen to the countries that wanted to help Sri Lanka.

Due to fears of how they will look in Colombo, they have failed to listen to the countries with power. Mavai and his friends know if they complain at the meetings with the US or EU countries, they lose the benefits the Sri Lankan government currently provide them with.”

Continuous protests for their loved ones prompting no answers from the current government;

“We have been protesting for 1230 days, we have been protesting in all our districts and it is important that we keep on having these protests everywhere.

This is because even today we do not know where our children are, they have not even showed us our kids for even one day. Even when we have presented evidence [for these disappearances], the government has not given us any answers.”

Lost faith in the current government with international support the only avenue they feel they can appeal to;

“We want international support, whether that is from the US or the EU, we want to take this issue to the international court of justice. They are the only ones that can solve our problem. These local MP’s think they can dismiss our issues and swipe it under the rug. We are protesting on the streets for our loved ones and they are giving mangoes to the same Sri Lankan government officials that brutally slaughtered thousands of Tamils. This confirms that what they are doing is election theatrics.

How are we able to endorse these MP’s when they are cosying up to the President that was in charge during the civil war? It is very frustrating when they are offering mangoes to the very people that have our children locked away. It is very painful for us mothers to see.

We need to think long and carefully consider who to elect and who will bring about a solution for us!”

TNA leader, R. Sampanthan was also criticised for “previously publicly insulting Tamils by appearing on Uthayan news and saying he does not have the ‘key to the prison’ for the families of the disappeared.”

The families of the disappeared stressed they know clearly “what we need to do in the upcoming elections”;

“We need Tamil leaders who are able to prompt and encourage an international investigation into the whereabouts of the Tamils who have been forcibly disappeared, to be launched. It is also important we have Tamil leaders from this election that are able to give us a safe homeland and provide us with young lawyers that can negotiate and discuss the real pertinent issues at hand to protect our homeland, with the US, the EU and the UNHRC.

If we elect Mavai and his friends to parliament, in 5 years’ time in the name of good governance, even the land that Tamil people inhabited would be erased.”

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