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Tamil families of the disappeared call on Pompeo to help 'alleviate our suffering'

Ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Sri Lanka tomorrow, Tamils families of the disappeared in Vavuniya called on the United States to ensure that it pushes into the wherabouts of their disappeared loved ones, as roadside protests continue across the North-East.

"We request Secretary Pompeo to help us find the disappeared members of our family," relatives told journalists. "During the ethnic war that took place in the Vanni region, over 25,000 Tamils were disappeared."

"For the 1347th day, we are protesting by taking meals only once a day. We will continue our hunger strike until our missing children are found."

"Sri Lanka has not met our request to bring back our children from detention centres and other hiding areas," they said. 

The Tamil families, who said they have also sent emails to US officials with requests for assistance in locating their forcibly disappeared family members, went on to make a direct appeal to Pompeo.

"America alone has the powers to find our disappeared children," they said. "We request Secretary Pompeo to use his good offices to alleviate the suffering of the mothers of the disappeared children." 

Pomep is set to raise issue of human rights and justice when he meets with  Sri Lanka’s war crimes accused president and prime minister in Colombo tomorrow, with US officials stating that Sri Lanka is “at a point to make some choices about where they head”. Earlier this week Amnesty International called on the US Secretary of State to address the 'deteriorating human rights situation' in Sri Lanka during his visit.

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