In today’s Telegraph, the journalist writing the article on the eve of CHOGM presumably as part of the advance guard of the media contingent is harping on a list of 5000 missing. Why is there no responsibility of names, as it is considered likely that they would be asked to leave?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/10417831/Sri-Lankas-tragedy.html Saying we are second only to Iraq. It shows how little they know. Our missing list tops Iraq in the past 33 years as there are many times that to add to the list of people killed without trace (basically family members NOT knowing what happened to their kith and kin) when the prime of Sinhala youth disappeared during the JVP uprisings.
Even today when I meet with people in the Polonnaruwa district, I have people telling me the sordid tales of where they hid, when police or army came in search of them. Many innocents were killed, due to local grudges, where people gave false information of someone being in the JVP just to get rid of someone they disliked. It was chaos those days, not knowing who to trust, and people were led away never to be seen again.
The Matale skeletons are part of the same issue, and for the sake of accuracy, don’t make it a disappearance of LTTE suspects issue only. There were non LTTE people who disappeared, suspected to have been taken by the LTTE too, and the parents still live in hope that they may appear. So let us just call it disappearances and let us first have an accounting, for all those not accounted for, not just some names given by one interested group to the UN.
If my son disappeared in 1989 from Kandy, whilst an undergraduate at Peradeniya or if my daughter disappeared in Kilinochchi in 2009, the suffering is the same, the injustice is the same. The culprits are different. They are all part of the disappeared of Sri Lanka.
Accountability responsibility and closure is what is required, so that it will never happen again, or at least the likelihood is reduced, as Sri Lanka is a country that has suffered enough brutality and violence, that we must take all steps to ensure they are never repeated and we have sufficient deterrents in place where anyone contemplating a repeat knows they will be caught. Right now the perpetrators are living, many enjoying perks and privileges knowing full well that they will never be brought to justice.
The right to life is important, and must be respected. The right for bereaved to have closure is also just as important and their rights must also be respected.