Saturday, October 27, 2012

Disappearance Is A Crime Against Humanity; Let us not allow it to happen again!

Text and Pictures by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Mother of two sons who have gone missing kisses the portraits and weeps at the Monument for the Disappeared

Death is merciful than disappearance"",  " We don't know whether to place flowers and mourn or wait for some more time?”, “We don’t know whether to continue wearing the “Pottu” and “Thaalikkody” (symbols for married women) or not”, “We have not yet given up the search”, ‘We don’t know what to tell our children about their fathers, who have been disappeared”, “Authorities say “we don’t know anything about our loved ones or their whereabouts””,  “We are struggling as single women to look after our families”, " War is over, but our loved ones are still missing",  "" "Our plight is forgotten"", “If they tell us we can carry out the funeral rites according to our beliefs” ~ these are some of the emotional thoughts shared by the family members of the disappeared who have travelled from North, East and South to Raddoluwa, Seeduwa to remember the disappeared.

Relatives of the people who have either gone missing or killed during the period of 1987 ~ 1990 gathered to commemorate the National Day for the Disappeared Persons on 27th of October 2012. Family members from the North and East of Sri Lanka joined the commemoration to show solidarity. The day marks the 23rd death anniversary of Ranjth Herath and M. Lionel who were abducted, killed and burned. Their bodies were found on 27th of October 1989 at the Raddoluwa junction in Seeduwa. 

Monument for the Disappeared against every single disappearance was inaugurated in 2000 in Raddoluwa, Seeduwa. Families of the Disappeared has been commemorating the National Day for the Disappeared Persons from 1991.

Plaques in all three languages (Sinhala, Tamil and English)

Monument for the Disappeard

Tamil mother cries (thinking about her missing son) after paying floral tribute to Sinhala men who have gone missing during the period of 1987 ~ 1989

Tamil fathers whose sons have have been disappeared over the past few years

On HAJ festival day to pay tribute to the Sinhala men who have been disappeared for more than two decades

Locating the loved one

"Where is my son?" ~ Annalakshmi Velauthapillai (70) from Mannar

Father's worship  to his dear son

Mothers and wives of the disappeared persons from the North and East of Sri Lanka participating at the commemoration event

Place with patience

"Disappearance is more painful than death!" ~ Uthayachandra Manuel from Mannar. Her son was abducted from home in 2008

Mother's prayers to her beloved son

 Marble portraits of the people who have been disappeared and or killed

Reverend Fr. M. Sathivel paying floral tribute to the disappeared

Family member taking a closer look of the portrait of her loved one who has gone missing

"Newspaper reported my husband has been released. If it's true,where is he?" ~ Ravitha Anthonipillai from Batticaloa

"Wher is my son?" ~  Pathmavathy Jeevaratnam (54); "Where is my father?" ~ Pavithran Jeevakumar (11) from Mannar

 "Tell me, what happened to my husband?" ~ Sandya Eknaligoda, wife of missing cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda

 "Who has abducted my two sons?" ~ Paththirakaali Suyampunaadar (63) fro Mannar. Her two sons were abducted in Mattakkuli in 2007

An array of protraits of the disappeared

"Where is my son who went missing in Omanthai in 2009?" ~ Indrathevi Rasathurai from Madhu, Mannar

"Bring my father (who kissed and cuddled) home!" ~ Pavithran Jeevakumar (11) from Mannar

Portrait of Richard de Zoysa, who was abducted and killed

Love with Flowers : Woman pays tribute to her loved one

Remember the disappeared with flowers

"Where are they?" ~ two Sinhala men who went missing

Mother touches a portrait of her son who has been disappeared

 "In North and South our children go missing" ~ banner in Sinhala and Tamil

 "People in North and East are prevented from mourning for their loved ones killed in war. People in North and East should be allowed to mourn for their loved ones who were killed in war. People in other parts of the country  think that the war is over and Tamils in North and East are living happily and peacefully. But it is incorrect! There is a silent war going on in North and East of Sri Lanka. Government rapidly closed down the Menik Farm before the upcoming UPR (Universal Periodic Review)!Media needs to highlight the "hidden issues" in the North and East" ~ Reverend Fr. Jeyabalan Cross, Parish Priest of

"Where is democracy in Sri Lanka?" ~ Bandiwewe Diyasena Thero

"Rights of the Tamils were violated. People were made to "disappear" in Sri Lanka" ~ Reverend Fr.M.Sathivel

"Where are the people who disappeared? Government should be accountable!" ~ Brito Fernando, President, Families of the Disappeared

"Government keeps on stamping people who work for democracy and rights" ~ Chandraguptha Thenuwara, artist who made the Monument for the Disappeared

"Hitler introduced disappearance to the world" ~ Sudarshana Gunawardena, Rights Now

 "Where are our loved ones?" ~ family members of the disappeared persons from North, East and South

 Families and friends of the disappeared picketing after paying floral tribute


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