The head of Sri Lanka’s Office of Missing Persons (OMP) told Reuters that a genocide of Tamils did not take place and instead claimed the military had “rescued 60,000 civilians” during a 2009 offensive that was littered with massacres.
Mahesh Katundala, chairman of the much criticised OMP claimed “there was no evidence” that the many thousands of Tamils who had surrendered to the Sri Lankan military in 2009 had been abducted by the security forces.
For more than 13 years, Tamil families across the North-East have demanded to know the whereabouts of their loved ones. Many of them personally witnessed handing over their relatives to the army.
Katundala however, claimed it was the LTTE who had abducted the “majority” of the disappeared people.
According to Reuters, he defended the OMP, despite ongoing criticism from Tamils.
“Denying claims of a genocide of Tamil civilians during the war’s final offensive in Mullivaikkal, he said the army had instead rescued 60,000 civilians,” Reuters added.
Read more from Reuters here.
Earlier this year, Tamil families of the disappeared spoke to the Tamil Guardian and reiterated their lack of confidence in domestic mechanisms such as the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) and how the Sri Lankan state has been trying to quash their continuous roadside protests.