Sri Lankan army officials threatened Tamil families of the disappeared in Mullaitivu, as they prepared to stage a protest to mark Children’s Day on Thursday.
As preparations were being made for the Children’s day protest the night before (September 30th), two military officials threatened the head of the Mullaitivu Missing Persons' Association, Mariyasuresh Easwary at her house and demanded information about the protest.
The relatives of the disappeared in Mullaitivu commemorated Children's Day yesterday (October 1st) as a day of mourning and engaged in an attention-grabbing protest with the raising of black flags.
A large number of investigators visited the families and took photos and videos, intimidating the protestors.
‘‘We are constantly in fear of our lives due to the large number of military investigators and police presence. There is concern that they will kidnap us too’’ stated Easwary, who also requested the government stop imposing threatening conditions upon them and calling them in for enquiries.
‘’However we will continue to fight until the individuals including minors who were handed over during the 2009 Mullivaikkal massacres are released’’ she affirmed , demanding that the government hand over minors that were handed over to them before next Children's Day.
The families of the disappeared in the North-East, have come under increasing intimidation from Sri Lankan security forces, particularly since the election of accused war criminal Gotabaya Rajapaksa as president.
The latest threats come as the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres raised concerns over the Sri Lankan government’s intimidation of human rights activists labelling any such activities “absolutely unacceptable”.