Feb 12, 2017

Tamil disappeared family members reject Colombo offer for private deal

Frustrated family members of disappeared Tamils returned north from a meeting with authorities in the capital after rejecting a government bid to strike a private deal.

War victims were angered at a group of top level ministers who offered to probe into fate of the disappeared family members of the represantatives, instead of providing an acceptable solution to all affected.

Collective justice

The delegation of war hit families had categorically rejected the government offer as selective.

tna ma sumanthiran cropped 09 02 2017"We came to get collective justice for thousands of our people who have gone missing, not only for our sake," one family member told journalists in Colombo after the meeting.

Representatives of family members visited Colombo on Thursday (9) after agreeing to give up their hunger strike on its fourth day following personal assurances given by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over the phone.

Two weeks ago the PM had promised to meet them with the Attorney General to help find the missing tens of thousands.

The assurance had also been given in writing by State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardena who flew to the northern town of Vavunia to meet those in the hunger strike.

PM gone missing

Shattering their hopes neither the PM nor the AG met the war victims delegating the task to a group of ministers and the police chief.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians led by Senior Lawyer MA Sumanthiran had also been invited to the discussion by the government.

However, the TNA lawmakers were compelled to leave the meeting at the request of the family members.

The representatives wanted to discuss the way forward without involving politicians, TNA parliamentarian Selvam Adaikkalanadan who was asked to walk away from the meeting told journalists.

“Betrayal”

However, MP Sumanthiran who was not present at the meeting has accused the war victims who had been searching for their loved ones for years, of “betrayal”.

He had “heard” that representatives had struck a private deal with the government on behalf of only their family members, the TNA stalwart has told Colombo based journalists.gosl delegation cropped 09 02 2017

Failing to get the war victims approval to find only their loved ones the government delegation had proposed to appoint a special commission of inquiry led by the police chief, family members told journalists in Colombo.

Rejecting yet another commission, representatives had requested the government to release hundreds of Tamil political prisoners to demonstrate their sincerity in addressing the plight of war victims.

Land-grab victims

Meanwhile, a group of military land-grab victims from the Mullaitivu district who met the Prime Minister in Colombo returned after they were told that their ancestral land will be returned after “identification”.

The PM has directed an aide to hand over the private property in Puthukudiyiruppu (PTK) occupied by military after identifying state land for relocation.

However, another group of landgrab victims from the same district who refused going to Colombo to meet government authorities continued with their indefinite sit-down protest in Pilakkudiyirippu for the eleventh day on 10 February.

(By Athula Vithanage - Jdslanka.org)

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