Mother's Front demands candidacy in next election

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 January 2004, 04:06 GMT]
Subbu Satkunam, Secretary of the Jaffna Missing Persons Guardian Association (MPGA), tabled a motion during a meeting of the representatives of MPGA and Jaffna Mothers Front (JMF), Sunday, demanding the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to include candidates from JMF as part of the alliance to compete in the next elections, local media in Jaffna reported.

The meeting was convened at the offices of JMF located in Vembadi Road, Jaffna, on Sunday morning, according to the report.

Mr. Satkunam said, "the President of the JMF must be given a chance to stand as part of the Tamil National Alliance in the next general election. The MPGA and JMF members are not satisfied with the current parliamentarians in articulating the agony and anguish of the parents and relatives of the Jaffna missing in the Sri Lanka parliament and national fora.

"Little progress has been made by the Sri Lanka Government and Human Rights Organizations in investigating the disappearance and to bring a closure to this matter. Therefore we have been forced to present our members to stand for election.

"Ten members from MPGA and another ten representatives from JMF are also planning to meet Sri Lanka's President soon to explain our predicament," reports quoted Mr. Satkunam as saying.

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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