The protest is being staged to find out the truth about their loved ones and hold accountable those responsible for their disappearances.
President Maithripala met with the families of the disappeared in June and November last year and promised to release a list of surrendees who surrendered to the Army at the end of the war in 2009.
The families handed over a letter stating five key demands to the President, requesting the release of lists of all who surrendered to the armed forces, during and after the war, particularly during the last phase, a list of all secret detention centers, their status and list of detainees, and a list of all political prisoners held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). To date, none of their demands have been met with.
The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) which was supposed to have been operational by now, has seen delay after delay, it’s setting up has been shrouded in secrecy with no consultation with victim families, and decisions relating to some appointments being heavily politicised and influenced by the President.
Almost a decade since the end of the war, pleas by these families have fallen on deaf ears and they are now fed up and desperate for answers.
About seven elderly parents of the disappeared have passed away over the course of this protest. (Colombo Gazette)