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Tamil families of the disappeared mark 2,000 days of protest in Vavuniya

Tamil families of the disappeared marked 2,000 days of continuous roadside protest in Vavuniya today as their struggle to know the the fate of their forcibly disappeared loved ones goes on. 

The families have been appealing to the international community for accountability as they have no faith that domestic mechanisms will provide justice or accountability. 

Speaking to the press, the secretary of the Vavuniya families of the disappeared association, Gopalakrishnan Rajkumar, said that the "struggle will continue until the US or the EU help us." 

"Since the first day of our protest in Vavuniya, we have lost 12 mothers and 4 fathers," he added.

138 parents have passed away without knowing the fate of their forcibly disappeared loved ones. 

One of the mothers, Cassipillai Jeyavanitha, said:

"We've been protesting for 2,000 days but we still do not have any answers. We know this government will not give us any answers, that's why we are appealing to the international community."

"If we are not given any answers regarding the children that we handed over, then how can we go home?" 

"If the government doesn't understand our struggle after 2,000 days then the international community must step in," she concluded. 

These families have been relentless in their search for justice despite facing increasing levels of surveillance and harassment by Sri Lankan authorities. Earlier this year, Adayaalam Centre for Policy and Research (ACPR) released a briefing which highlighted that the Tamil families of the disappeared are under “increasing verbal, physical, and serious psychological harassment” from the Sri Lankan security forces. 

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