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Tamil families rally across North-East to mark International Human Rights Day

Tamil families of the disappeared held protests and rallies today across the North-East today, marking International Human Rights Day with calls for justice for their forcibly disappeared loved ones.

A protest was held outside the United Nations office in Jaffna by mothers of the disappeared holding photographs of their abducted relatives.

As protestors chanted slogans calling for accountability, armed Sri Lankan soldiers watched on from a military truck parked nearby. Sri Lankan police officers were also deployed to watch over the protest, as mothers of the forcibly disappeared called on the international community to take action.

A protest was also held in Mullaitivu, where families of the disappeared called for international intervention to ensure justice for their abducted loved ones.

Families held photographs of forcibly disappeared Tamils, including that of Rev. Fr. Francis Joseph, who disappeared after surrendering to the Sri Lankan Army alongside hundreds of LTTE cadres and high ranking LTTE officials in May 2009.

In Vavuniya, Tamil families of the disappeared marched to the Vavuniya Municipal Council office, as they held both European Union and USA flags, in their appeal to the international community.

“Today, all possible human rights in our homeland are being denied,” said one of the family members in remarks to the media. “We do not know what happened to the missing Tamil children. We don’t even know where the government hid them or to whom they sold our children?”

“We want answers to everything,” she said calling on the United States, the European Union and India to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan state.

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