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'We need an international justice mechanism!' - Tamil families of the disappeared

Tamil families of the disappeared protested in Jaffna on Friday as they continue to call for an international justice mechanism to investigate the fate of their forcibly disappeared relatives. 

Protesters chanted that they don't want compensation, death certificates or the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). They reiterated that only a international justice mechanism will be able to provide the truth as successive Sri Lankan governments have either denied any responsibility or failed to deliver on their promises to investigate the disappearances. 

Despite their skepticism, the families engaged with the OMP when it first became operational but quickly realised that truth and justice would not be achieved domestically. Last year, in an interview with Tamil Guardian, Leeladevi Anandanadarajah, the Secretary of the North-East Relatives of the Missing Persons Association said that in 2019, the families of the disappeared gave evidence and information relating to five enforced disappearance cases to the OMP.

The families told them that if the OMP can investigate and solve one case within three months, then they would trust the OMP. However, the families only received an acknowledgement to the evidence they submitted. 

Since their roadside protests began in 2017, at least 125 parents have passed away without knowing the fate of their loved ones. 




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