UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer, and UN Regional Director, David McLachlan-Karr met with the Tamil Families of the Disappeared, civil society organisations and held a separate meeting with Sri Lanka’s President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardene.
For over 2000 days families of the disappeared in the North & East have continued to voice their demands for justice & truth about the fate of their missing loved ones. They have shown courage, commitment & determination & they deserve answers. Met them today with @DMcLachlanK pic.twitter.com/W8EMRImxlh
— Hanaa Singer-Hamdy (@SingerHanaa) August 19, 2022
In meeting with the Families of the Disappeared they took note of their courage and commitment whilst stressing that they “deserve answers”.
McLachlan added that the UNCT will continue to work through the human rights mechanism to ensure justice for victims and inter-communal reconciliation in the North and East.
Moving stories from many brave representatives of missing persons, victims of the #SriLanka civil war @Jaffna today. #UNCT will continue 2 work through the #HumanRights mechanisms 2 ensure justice for victims and inter-communal reconciliation in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. pic.twitter.com/Rox834V4ya
— David McLachlan-Karr (@DMcLachlanK) August 20, 2022
2,000 days have passed since the Families of the Disappeared began their protests on the roadsides. They have continuously faced harassment and intimidation by Sri Lanka’s security officials. Since the beginning of the protests, 138 parents have passed away without knowing the truth about their disappeared children.
Speaking with the district secretary of Jaffna, an emphasis was placed on the “fight against impunity”.
President @RW_UNP in our discussions today, outlined his vision for effective reforms that safeguard health, education, the environment & the rights of all communities. He also expressed to DCO Regional Director @DMcLachlanK plans to engage with @UNHumanRights & diaspora groups pic.twitter.com/cJDhmzOchw
— Hanaa Singer-Hamdy (@SingerHanaa) August 18, 2022
Speaking with the President, the UN officials discussed the need for effective reforms that “safeguard health, education, the environment & the rights of all communities”. Wickremesinghe also reportedly discussed his plans to engage with the UN Human Rights Council and Diaspora organisations.
The statement comes in advance of the UN Human Rights session and whilst some Tamil organisations have been delisted a great number still remain prohibited.
Meeting the #UN Field Team in Northern Province #SriLanka @Jaffna. Great collaborative work by #UNHCR #IOM #UNDP #UNICEF #WFP #ILO #UNOPS with #DCO coordination support to deliver #SDG results & justice, peace/reconciliation, #IDP resettlement, social protection, #GBV #gender pic.twitter.com/VILTf2s6MJ
— David McLachlan-Karr (@DMcLachlanK) August 19, 2022
DCO Regional Director @DMcLachlanK met with Mayor of #Jaffna and we discussed the need for meaningful reconciliation and the engagement of Sri Lankans overseas to support inclusive economic development in the North. pic.twitter.com/416ydxQOpq
— Hanaa Singer-Hamdy (@SingerHanaa) August 20, 2022