On July 12th, the families of the disappeared in Mullaitivu conducted a protest to demand international oversight during the ongoing excavation and exhumation of a mass grave discovered in Kokkuthoduvai, Mullaitivu.
This protest is part of a long-standing struggle by the families of the disappeared, who have been continuously voicing their concerns for over 2,500 days since March 2017.
With the possibility that the human remains could be of former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres, who surrendered to the Sri Lankan military, the families stress the need for a sensitive and impartial approach. The families emphasised the crucial role of an international mechanism in monitoring the exhumations and investigations. This oversight is seen as essential to ensure justice is served and to establish the credibility and transparency of the process.
Moreover, the families highlighted the importance of identifying the victims in the mass grave and returning the remains to their closest relatives. This would allow the families to conduct their respective religious observances, providing a sense of closure and the opportunity to mourn their loved ones in accordance with their traditions.
The demand for international oversight in the excavation and exhumation process reflects the families' mistrust in local authorities and their desire for an impartial and comprehensive investigation. They believe that the involvement of international experts will contribute to a fair and unbiased process, reassuring them that their demands for justice will be fulfilled.