Parents of Jaffna Missing to Protest in Colombo

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 December 2003, 16:13 GMT]
Fifty four mothers and fathers who are Members of Jaffna Missing Persons Guardian Association (MPGA) and Jaffna Mothers Front (JMF) will picket in front of the Justice Ministry and Offices of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission in Colombo on Monday and Tuesday, said Subbu Satkunam, president MPGA.

Relatives of disappeared
President of MPGA, Subbu Satkunam
Vavuniya Head of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), Mr.Suthan, welcomed the group that was travelling to Colombo Sunday morning.

Minister Maheswaran provided financial support for the trip and will personally participate in the picket campaign, the parents of the missing said.

Mr. Satkunam said that the group is expected to meet with Sri Lanka's President Ms.Kumaratunge on Wednesday, 30 December to determine first hand her position in relation to their children who went missing after being arrested by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) between 1995 and 1997 in Jaffna.

Relatives of Jaffna disappeared
(R-L) President of MPGA, Satkunam, TELO Vavuniya district Head Suthan and Secretary of Mothers Front Vivekanandan Premalatha and other Parents of Missing Youth seen before embarking on their journey to Colombo

After the Sri Lankan armed forces captured the Jaffna Peninsula from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in early 1996 over 600 young people disappeared. The disappearances were particularly heavy after the attempt on the life of a visiting government minister and the fall of the army camp at Mullaitivu in July, 1996 and only came to a halt under heavy international pressure by Amnesty International and others.

Amnesty International said in 1997 that as many as 600 people who "disappeared" in the Jaffna peninsula after the Sri Lankan Army moved into the area in 1996, "died under torture or been deliberately killed."


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