Tens of thousands are presumed to have disappeared in the conflict between the LTEE and the military which ended in 2009, and in an earlier counter insurgency campaign by the security forces against leftists in 1989-90 and only a very few cases have been resolved, a leading human rights group said today.
The London based Amnesty International said that there has also been blatant intimidation reported against families who have dared to ask questions about the whereabouts of their loved ones.
In a statement to mark the international day of the disappeared which falls on Sunday, Amnesty International noted that several commissions have been appointed by successive governments since 1990 implicating leading politicians and high ranking officers in the police and security forces. However, the authorities have mostly ignored recommendations that these figures, some of whom remain in their positions, should be prosecuted.
Now, even in peacetime, the disappearances continue. Newspaper cartoonist Prageeth Egnalikoda was disappeared shortly before the 2010 presidential election.
His wife Sandya told Amnesty International that seeing justice done and the perpetrators convicted has become Sandya’s main struggle in life now.
The use of enforced disappearance by governments to silence its critics and instil fear into targeted groups continues unabated in every region of the world, said Amnesty International.
The organization is currently actively campaigning on the cases of more than 500 individuals who have been subjected to enforced disappearance, and is continuing to pressure governments to determine the fate and whereabouts of all those who have been disappeared. (Colombo Gazette)