Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Father searches for answers as son remains missing for 17 years

In a press conference held at his home in Kalviyankadu, Jaffna, Sutharalingam Arunakirinathar revealed the 17-year journey of searching for his son, who was taken into custody by the Sri Lanka Army. Despite compelling evidence from two separate media reports indicating his son's presence in prison, Arunakirinathar has not only been denied access to his son but also witnessed his effective disappearance from all prison records.

On October 25th, 2006, when Arunakirinathan Suthan was arrested at the Arasadi military checkpoint by the military. Over the years, activists and relatives reported glimpses of Suthan's presence in various prisons.

One significant breakthrough occurred when Douglas Devananda's visit to Boosa prison revealed Suthan's name on a list of 48 other prisoners. Despite his son’s name in the list of prisoners, his efforts to secure his son's release failed.

In a news report dated September 8th, 2007, published by Thinakural, the headline read, "Prisoners in Boosa request Dougals Devananda’s assistance to be released saying 'We are innocent, please help us to get released'" where Suntharalingam identified his son in a photograph within the report.

The same report mentioned visits to Boosa by state officials, including MP Rajitha Senarathne, V. Radhakrishnan, K. A. Baiz, and Tamil National Alliance Vanni District MP Sivanathan Kishore.

In a second media story, prisoners were depicted engaging in educational training and exams. Once again, Suntharalingam identified his son in a photograph from the report.

Despite relentless efforts to seek answers by reporting his son's disappearance to the Office of Missing Persons, the Human Rights Council, and the Department of Prisons, Sutharalingam Arunakirinathar remains trapped in a limbo, desperately seeking closure and the safe return of his son.

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.