The Sri Lankan Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) summoned the secretary of the North-East Relatives of the Missing Persons Association for interrogation, just days after questioning the Vavuniya Families of the Disappeared Association secretary and president.
Leeladevi Anandarajah, was investigated at the Kilinochchi TID office by officers from Colombo on Wednesday (24th February), which she described as “efforts taken by the Sri Lankan government is taking to silence their voice in the Human Rights Council Session”.
The 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is currently taking place in Geneva, with delegates from the Sri Lankan government and NGO’s participating via digital means due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mrs Anandarajah criticised the TID’s questioning, in which they enquired about her bank details and source of income, details about the protests she has been involved in, and what sort of information and questions will be presented at the UNHRC session this year.
The TID probed her about her source of income, asking whether she had received money from abroad to support the protests to be carried out, to which she replied “no”.
TID have recently received a statement from the secretary of the Association of the Relatives of Disappeared persons, North and East. They questioning about the money deposited to bank.
— Pragas Gnanapragasam ✍ (@PragasGnanam) February 25, 2021
She added that the money was sent to her by her son in the United Kingdom and the receipts of the money they presented to her was not from anyone else but her son.
According to Mrs Anandarajah, the TID had “absolutely every piece of information” about her.
She was also questioned whether she has been carrying out activities to promote the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and if she had held any submitted any complaints against the Sri Lankan military.
Mrs Anandarajah dismissed these claims and insisted that she was only angry at the Sri Lankan government for their neglect towards the issue of her and many other families of the disappeared.
The TID officials also went on to further scrutinise Mrs Anandarajah’s participation in previous UNHRC sessions. She said that they asked her whether she took part in the session in the year 2010 to which she said 2018 was the first time she participated in the UNHRC session.
The secretary stressed that these attempts by the TID are meant to intimidate and prevent her from participating in the 46th UNHRC session which is currently underway. She also mentioned that the officials inquired her about the issues that would be raised in the event and reaffirmed that her association is engaging in these struggles in order to pressure the Sri Lankan government to return the disappeared members of their family.