Photograph : Twitter - @PragasGnanam [1990 Sri Lanka army roundup at Batticaloa - Chittandi 30th anniversary remembrance]
The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) has extended its support to the families of the disappeared in the North-East ahead of their protests scheduled for the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, in a statement released on Sunday.
The party tweeted that it affirms its “fullest support and solidarity with protest action by families of the disappeared on August 30th, the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, and reiterate their demand for an international criminal accountability mechanism.”
In their statement, they insisted they “fully support the protests and rallies in the North-East by the relatives of those forcibly disappeared by the Sri Lankan Army and those who surrendered at the end of the war and were handed over by relatives” and “urge all public organisations and the general public to extend their support” to the protests being organised.
The statement highlighted the failures of internal inquiries into accountability and previous government’s establishing of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) that has been unsuccessful in investigating cases of missing and disappeared persons effectively.
“The Resolution 30-1 of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2015 stressed the need for an internal inquiry. However, the affected Tamil people from the beginning said the OMP was a shambles and justice would never be served to the affected Tamil people. It was merely a figment of imagination that we rejected,” they stated.
The long-standing lack of justice and accountability for the affected families of the disappeared was emphasised;
“For the past six years, victims have been pushing for a full international impartial criminal justice inquiry into the disappearances and those responsible for the killings. However, their demands were ignored and an internal inquiry was not only granted but extensions were granted to stall their inquiry. To this day, justice is not available to the relatives of those who went missing due to this.”
The deadline to extend the internal inquiries was criticised;
“Those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed during Sri Lanka's final war have risen to power. Allowing a two-year extension, granted to Sri Lanka at the Geneva Human Rights Conference in March 2019 to continue until March 20, seems be a tactic to stall the course of justice.
We urge the revoking of the granted extension to Sri Lanka and recommend an international impartial criminal inquiry into justice for the disappeared and genocide.”
Read the full statement in Tamil here.
Earlier on Sunday, the 30th anniversary of the disappearance of 100 people during the 1990 Sri Lanka army roundup at Batticaloa - Chittandi was remembered.
Photos: Twitter - @PragasGnanam