Tamil mothers call for ICC probe

image: from internet

The peaceful protest by the Tamil mothers searching for their kith and kin who either surrendered, handed over or went missing during the final phase of the war has entered the eighth year.

This protest could potentially be considered one of the longest in the world in recent times.

Hundreds of mothers have continued to march daily since February 2017, searching for their husbands, sons, brothers, and other relatives whose fate is yet to be known since the brutal civil war against the LTTE came to a bloody end in May 2009.

In a march coinciding with the completion of seven years and the beginning of the eighth year, the war-affected Tamil mothers continued with their long march in Kilinochchi seeking to know what happened to their beloved ones they have reiterated their long-term demand for an international inquiry and taking Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Leeladevi Anandanadarajah, Secretary, Association for Relatives of the Enforced Disappearances (ARED) read out a letter written to the Volker Turk, High Commissioner, UN Human Rights Council seeking his attention to their long-standing demands.

“Legal action should be taken against those who were responsible at the check-post where our relatives surrendered, and handed over. The status of our relatives should be known and those responsible should be brought before the law”.

The protesting mothers along with other elders called upon the international bodies to show the same amount of concern that South Africa did in the case of Gaza by referring Israel to the ICC. A banner calling the same was carried by the lead marchers.

“Oh International Community! Whilst appreciating the action taken by SA in favour of the Gaza victims, we the Tamil victims too are anticipating the same humanitarian stand from the International countries,” the banner read.

They recalled the recommendations of the international community to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC and wanted the UN Human Rights Commissioner to act upon them.

“Refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court based on the proposal by UN officials. An internal report by the UN says nearly 70,000 people were killed in the final six months of the war. We request that Sri Lanka be referred to the International Criminal Court as recommended by many including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights”.

Leeladevi Anandanadarajah on behalf of the protestors called for the removal of the army from the North and East – the traditional Tamil homeland. “The Sri Lankan military that is responsible for the enforced disappearance of our relatives is still staying in our homeland. This occupying army should be immediately removed,” Anandarajah said.

Any solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka should comprise solutions that are globally accepted, the protestors sought.

“The ethnic problem of the Tamil people on the island remains an unresolved story. Racism and ethnic violence are still rampant. A permanent political solution is necessary to protect the Tamil people from genocide and ensure non-recurrence. For any permanent political solution to the Tamil national ethnic problem, the choice of the Tamil people must be known through a referendum. It should clearly include internationally recognized solutions to the ethnic problem,” they noted.

The protest march which entered its eighth year started from the Killinochi Kanthasamy Kovil and ended at the depot junction and culminated with the breaking of coconuts at a local Amman kovil for the fulfillment of their prayers.

Sandhya Eknelikoda, wife of journalist Prageeth Eknelikoda, who disappeared following his abduction in the capital 13 years ago, also joined the Tamil mothers in their protest march.

Tamil mothers call for ICC probe (lankaleader.lk)

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.