Tamil families of the disappeared continue their struggle for justice.
On International Children's Day, Tamils across the North-East intensified their call for justice as families of the disappeared joined protests in both Mullaitivu and Vavuniya. The coordinated demonstrations sought answers regarding the fate of disappeared children, raising concerns about threats against Tamil officials in the island.
In Mullaitivu, where families have been engaged in a continuous protest for over six years, today's demonstration in front of their long-standing protest site brought together local civil society. Former North Provincial Council member Thurairasa Ravikaran, social activist Peter Ilanchezhiyan, and concerned citizens were among those who raised their voices against the actions of the Sri Lankan government. The resignation of a Tamil judge handling cases related to Sinhala colonisation further underscored the challenges faced by those seeking justice.
Simultaneously, in Vavuniya, families of the disappeared gathered in front of the Old Bus Station for a vigil demanding an international inquiry into the disappearance of children. The families called for a fair investigation into the fates of those who disappeared during the war and those who surrendered to the army.
Participants in both protests carried banners and slogans that conveyed poignant messages, questioning the whereabouts of surrendered students and emphasising the need for international intervention. "Are Tamil children terrorists? Are infants also armed? Where is the student who went to school?" echoed through the protests, highlighting the desperate plea for answers.
Photographs of disappeared Tamil children were prominently displayed in both locations, serving as a stark reminder of the unresolved struggles faced by these families. Parents, relatives, and children stood united in their quest for justice, creating an emotional gathering that demanded the attention of the international community.
The urgent call for justice takes place against the backdrop of an atmosphere where Tamil officials face threats, raising concerns about the safety of those involved in seeking answers. The international community has been implored to intervene and ensure a fair and just resolution for the families of the disappeared.
As the sun set over both Mullaitivu and Vavuniya, the protesters vowed to continue their fight until justice is served, and the fate of the disappeared children is revealed. The international community now faces the pressing question: how will justice prevail in a country where the very guardians of justice are themselves under threat?