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Hunger strike begins in Batticaloa as calls for international justice ramp up

A hunger strike has been launched in Batticaloa, in solidarity with a British Tamil woman who is protesting in London, as calls for Sri Lanka to be referred to the International Criminal Court continue to ramp up.

Families of the disappeared and civil society members commenced their protest in front of the Mamankeswaram Pillaiyar temple in Batticaloa yesterday, as similar hunger strikes also took place in Jaffna and Canada.

Amala Nayagi, the vice-president of the North East Families of the Disappeared Association and the president of the Batticaloa District Association, told reporters that their demands centred around ensuring Sri Lanka is referred to the International Criminal Court.

“We have been searching for our relations for the last eleven years,” she told reporters. “There are still many missing persons in the Eastern Province since the 1990s. We have lost faith in the Sri Lankan government and are relying on the international community to find justice for the abductions, disappearances and massacres.”

“The persecution of Tamils ​​here has not abated,” she added. “Threats to victims, civil society, journalists and human rights activists continue to mount.”

The rotating hunger strike in Batticaloa was in solidarity with a hunger strike by Ambihai K Selvakumar which has entered its sixth day, Amala Nayagi added.

“We are on the streets with tears in the midst of so much suffering,” she concluded. “We therefore urge all those involved to take our case to the International Criminal Court and come together to support us and seek justice for us.”

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