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Tamils in Mullaitivu demand new Sri Lanka govt returns disappeared loved ones

Placard reads: "We voted for change. Will you change our lives????"

Tamils in Mullaitivu protested on Sunday calling on the new Sri Lankan government to return their missing loved ones and release all political prisoners, almost six years after the end of the armed conflict.

Placards read: "New government, release our loved ones", "Wanted, wanted, international investigation is wanted", "Tears formed thinking of our missing loved one".

Holding photographs of their missing children, parents, together with local Tamil politicians, protested in front of the Mullaitivu district office.

In a letter to the government body, the 'Association of Families Searching for their disappeared relatives - Mannar District,', calling for forcibly disappeared Tamils to be returned, said,

"As the commissions formed by the government failed to find a solution for the affected people, the people who were affected are expecting an international intervention to give them an unbiased solution, on behalf of those who made to disappear. "

Placards read: "Where are our loved ones? Where? Where?"; "Wanted. Wanted. An international investigation is wanted"; "New government, release our loved ones"; "New government, give us an answer" and "Please help us".

The protest is the latest in a series of demonstrations taking place over recent weeks across the North-East by families of the disappeared.

Related articles:

Protesters across North-East call on government to return detained relatives (03 Feb 2015)

Tamil mothers demand new Sri Lanka govt returns missing children (02 Feb 2015)

Relatives of disappeared protest in Batticaloa (30 Jan 2015)

Tamils in Mannar urge international community to investigate war crimes in Sri Lanka (26 Jan 2015)

Extracts from the letter reproduced below:

"During the final stages of the war, in May, many tens of thousands of people surrendered to the government, many were forcibly taken by the army, they have not been found yet; Bishop Francis Joseph surrendered to the army with hundred of LTTE cadres, their whereabouts still unknown. Besides, many that tried to flee from war zones to government controlled areas were also captured and forcibly taken away by the army."

"12,000 people held in detention camps by the [Sri Lankan] army have been made to disappear, this number increased when the war extended to North East, between 2006 and 2009, the peak of the war, this [the number of disappearances] has soared to the point that it could not be counted in numbers"

"Former president  appointed a commission, but many did not attend this due to fear, many that attended it criticised it as 'Social groups' monitors are trying to ignore flaws in the commission, it encourages [only] 'compensations', and tries to issue death certificates and decrease the number of disappearances in the record due to pressure from the government"

"No action, neither from the government side nor legally were taken despite the pressure from the Human Rights organisations internally and internationally and (despite) the UNHRC's instructions to implement recommendations made by the LLRC commission."

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