The Association for Relatives of the Enforced Disappearances has expressed a great shock about the statement made by Gotabaya Rajapaksa regarding missing persons.
“We, Families of the disappeared continuing our justice-seeking protest for 1675th day… In the midst of this, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has attended United Nations General Assembly. While meeting with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Gotabaya said that the Sri Lankan government would take immediate action with regard to missing persons and expedite the efforts such as the issuance of death certificates. We were extremely shocked when we heard it through news,” said in the association’s statement.
“The President of Sri Lanka, who has been directly accused in the enforced disappearances and recommended by the UN Human Rights High Commissioner to the International Criminal Court (ICC), has been invited to attend UNGA. We are anxiously watching that the international community is shaking hands with the same accused Sri Lankan President.”
The families of the disappeared association also expressed their concerns about the failure in questioning the Sri Lankan President on the status of missing persons and justice mechanism by the UN Secretary-General and other international representatives.
The association further says, “Moreover, Solving our with the internal mechanism is the solution like eating dried fish after drying up the sea. Tamils in Sri Lanka rarely get justice. Yet rarely in a case or two, even if justice is done, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will use his power to grant them amnesty. A recent example is the release of Sunil Ratnayake, who was convicted for killing eight Tamil civilians in Mirusuvil, Jaffna Peninsula, and sentenced to death.”
The association concluded that the families don’t need death certificates, don’t need the office of missing persons, don’t need compensation. We need our relatives back. The UN must take action to ensure that justice is done without any delay.