Families, distraught over the disappearance of their loved ones, lined the streets holding photographs of the missing and demanding that their fellow campaigners be released.
Ms. Jeyakumari and her daughter Vipoosika, came to prominence for their campaigning over the disappearance of her husband and son, particularly during the British Prime Minister’s visit to Jaffna.
Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, leaderof the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) said) police had attempted to disrupt the protest, and government intelligence agents were “chasing away” Tamils from taking part in the protest.
Ms. Jeyakumari and Vipoosika were arrested on Thursday, by the Sri Lankan police and reports suggest that Ms. Jeyakumari is being held at Boosa camp on a magisterial order.
“Through this arrest, the Sri Lankan Govt. is sending several messages to several target audiences,” said Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam to the Tamil Guardian.
“To the Tamils it’s saying – protest at your own risk. I can come after you with impunity. To the International Community it’s saying – you don’t have the will to touch us. But even if you do, we have friends in all the right places, who will protect us. To the Sinhala nation it’s saying – we will not wilt to any pressure. No matter what we will pursue to the end our sacred interests in making this a Sinhala Buddhist state and we will destroy all obstacles to achieving that. At a time when the world is scrutinising Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, and draft resolutions are being discussed, that the government is brazen enough to do this, shows how it views the current narrative at the UNHRC as impotent.”
Protests were held by Tamils in Toronto and the UK.