File photo: TNA MP Sivagnanam Sritharan
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Sivagnanam Sritharan told Sri Lankan parliament that, “39 [Tamils were] arrested in North-East in last three months” during a discussion on children's rights on Thursday.
“We still do not know what happened to the boys who were surrendered to the army during 2009” he said. “When can we expect justice when the law of this country operates in such a way that the Tamil people cannot even memorialize their children, relatives, and Maaveerar’s?”
During 2009, “I was the principal of Kilinochchi Maha Vidyalayam [and] my students are among those disappeared.”
“Today we are discussing the justice mechanism [in this country], we are discussing child rights” however, “what of the children who were surrendered [...] the son of LTTE leader Prabhakaran was in his sixth year and was killed upon surrendering to the army.”
“In Trincomalee, a boy was arrested for a photo he posted on his Facebook page and is still in jail [...] families are in tears [...] will they get justice?”
Following the conclusion of the EU delegation’s visit of Sri Lanka, as part of its GSP+ review process, Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa claimed that he would take 'immediate action' to address enforced disappearances and reform the PTA.
In June, the Sri Lankan government granted presidential pardons to 16 alleged "former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)" which Human Rights Watch “welcomed” but called an "empty gesture" that failed to address the need to repeal the PTA.