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UN officials meet with Families of the Disappeared and Sri Lanka’s President and PM

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.

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.

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”.

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.

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