File photo : Gopalakrishnan Rajkumar at a protest last year.
The Sri Lankan Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) summoned the secretary of the Vavuniya Families of the Disappeared Association for investigation on Monday.
Gopalakrishnan Rajkumar, was investigated by TID officers near the Department of Agrarian Development in Vavuniya, for his involvement in the hunger strike and protests earlier this month. The president of the association, Kasipillai Jayavanitha was also questioned by TID officers.
“Two officials of the TID initiated an investigation with me today. They inquired about the hunger strike protest we are undertaking. They also asked whether we marched from the on December 10th 2020, holding US and European Union flags,” said Rajkumar.
The families of the disappeared have engaged in continuous protests for the past 1465 days demanding the Sri Lankan government to disclose the whereabouts of their forcibly disappeared loved ones. Recently, they carried out hunger strikes and multiple protests, urging the UN and international community to help deliver them justice ahead of the 46th UNHRC session in Geneva.
“Even though we have been protesting for many years, we have not got justice the justice we deserve. I told them, we sought support from the international community because we lost trust in the Sri Lankan government,” added Rajkumar.
When questioned about whether the protests have been carried out due to the funds coming from abroad and whether that was the motivation behind their demonstration efforts, Rajkumar insisted “All we expect is justice and not funds”.
He emphasised that despite the TID’s efforts – which he suspects were to intimidate and undermine their protests to the international community – the families of the disappeared will not stop demonstrating.
The TID has previously investigated Gopalakrishnan Rajkumar in the past, without citing reasons for his summoning. Recently, there has been concerted efforts by the Sri Lankan security forces to interrogate and intimidate Tamils and Muslims, across the North-East against those who participated in the peaceful Pottuvil to Polikandy protest march earlier this month.