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‘I tried to kill myself many times’ – Tamil families of the disappeared still living in pain

Tamil families of the disappeared have spoken about the pain they continue to feel, including suicide attempts, as they continue to search for their abducted loved ones.

Speaking to Reuters, government employee Valantina Daniel said her 66-year-old injured mother was forcibly disappeared in 2009.

Reuters also spoke to Arumuga Lakshmi, whose daughter Ranjinithervy went missing in 2004, followed three years later by her son Sivakumar.

See extracts from the Reuters piece below:

On May 17, 2009, a day before the government declared victory, Daniel handed her ​mother to authorities, believing that she would be taken to hospital, but has had no word of her since.

"I developed this sense of hatred and so I tried to kill myself," said Daniel, 51. "I've tried many times. I just can't bear the pain of this separation."

Daniel, whose younger brother also disappeared in 1999, while an older one was killed in a shelling attack that decade, wrote to the authorities about her mother’s case, which they acknowledged in 2011.

For Daniel, the crisis pales besides the hardships of 2009, when she went from village to village with no food and just the clothes she wore, for fear of a shelling attack.

"Finding our relatives will never, ever happen," Daniel said, accusing the government of inaction. "Even now I'm living with so much pain."

"I just want to see my son's face," said Lakshmi, as she wiped away tears, adding that she did not know if the two, ​aged 16 and 20 when they disappeared, were dead or alive.

Read the full piece here.

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