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People on hunger strike demand info on Sri Lanka’s missing persons

By   /  January 26, 2017  /  Comments Off on People on hunger strike demand info on Sri Lanka’s missing persons

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Colombo, Jan 26: The hunger strike by the relatives of people who disappeared during Sri Lanka’s two-and-a-half- decade-long separatist war, entered its fourth day today, with condition of at least four women fast deteriorating, activists said.
The people on the hunger strike that began on Monday in the northern town of Vavuniya are protesting against the lack of information on their relatives despite the government action to set up an Office of Missing Persons, they said. Expressing concern on the deteriorating health of protesters, the Chief Minister of Lanka’s ethnic Tamil- dominated northern province – CV Wigneswaran – in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, yesterday, said: “For the third day they have not consumed any water, let alone food.
Many are quite old and are now looking extremely tired. Soon they would get dehydrated. Unless something is done immediately we may lose the valuable lives of some.”
The Office of Missing Persons, the Chief Minister alleged, exists only in name and has no teeth.
Commenting on the hunger strike, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in the Parliament yesterday that he believed a majority of those who remain missing may not be among the living.
“It is up to the government to decide on compensation to be paid on their behalf,” he said.
In August last year, Sri Lanka’s Parliament has unanimously approved a bill to set up an office to help find some 65,000 people reported missing during the country’s civil war with the LTTE (1983-2009), and clarify the circumstances under which they disappeared. Relatives of the missing people allege that the Lankan state particularly its army, navy and police – were behind most of the disappearances.
Many Lankan soldiers and LTTE cadres who had surrendered before the government troops were also among the missing.

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  • Published: 2 years ago on January 26, 2017
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  • Last Modified: January 26, 2017 @ 9:10 pm
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