Hundreds of individuals held candles and carried photographs of loved ones as they marched in Sri Lanka’s capital on Friday, demanding that there be some vindication or reprisal for the loss of loved ones during the country’s civil war.
The vigil, which marked the International Day of the Disappeared, coincided with the UNHC for Human Rights Navi Pillay assessing the governments progress into the wartime abuses by the government.
During the 25-year civil war that finally finished in 2009, there were an undetermined tally of suspected rebels, media personnel, and general activists that were abducted by “White van squads” that were allegedly operating under the pro-government factions. Many of those taken by such groups were never seen again.
Nearly 500 people from the Dead and Missing Person’s Parents Front were in strong order during the candle vigil, shouting slogans and holding place cards that read, “Ms. Pillay we are waiting 30 years for justice.”
The EU has stated it hopes the government-appointed committee investigating the disappearances “”will approach its important and challenging task with determination and independence” and observe international standards.
A delegate from the EU stated that the movement “encourages Sri Lanka to draw on the support of international partners who may be able to assist with this challenging task.”
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