Jaffna missing persons’ parents, relatives protest

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 November 2001, 07:21 GMT]
More than a hundred parents and family members of the persons who were arrested by the Sri Lankan security forces and went missing in Jaffna began a demonstration in front of the Jaffna District Secretariat from 7 a.m. Monday. The families of the missing allege that the Sri Lankan government has deliberately shelved investigations. Policemen who arrived at the secretariat later in the morning abused the demonstrators who were seated across the entrance of the Secretariat holding placards and attempted to disperse them. The protestors, however, refused to move and vowed to continue with their sit in demonstration until 3 p.m. this afternoon. More than 600 persons, mostly young men and women were arrested by the SLA in the northern peninsula in 1996-97. All are believed murdered.

Evidence emerged in 1998 that many were buried in mass graves in Chemmani, near Jaffna town. Despite court orders and forensic examination of human skeletal remains unearthed at the site, Police investigations have been stalled to protect the perpetrators in the security forces, parents of the missing persons say.

The demonstration was organised by the Missing Persons Guardian Association and the Jaffna Mothers’ Front. The Jaffna University Student’s Union issued a statement Monday in support of the protest.

The Government Agent for Jaffna Mr. K. Shanmuganathan met the protestors and told them that he would take up the matter with the President. The protestors refused to accept his pledge and said they would step up protests in the future to demand justice.


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