[Relatives of the disappeared were blocked by the police; by Melani Manel Perera]
by Melani Manel Perera—
Relatives of people who went missing during and after the civil war want the government of Sri Lanka to stop atrocities against the Tamils and tell the truth about missing people.
About 700 people came together last Saturday in Vavuniya (Northern Province) to express their solidarity to these families. They included Sinhala and Tamil, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists, lay people as well as people religious.
“We believe that our children are still alive,” said a woman whose son was taken by the military when he was coming home. “For this reason we are crying.”
“I call on President Mahinda Rjapakasa to find a solution to our tears,” she added, “and stop once and for all these brutal kidnappings.”
“As citizens of this country,” said another mother, “we ought to enjoy the same freedom enjoyed by the president. We can no longer live without knowing what happened to our children.”
“We cannot accept death certificates without the evidence of what happened to our loved ones,” stressed another woman.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in Sri Lanka the fate and whereabouts of more than 16,000 people remain unknown.