The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, a global non-partisan movement, has urged the Sri Lankan Army to release the records of people who surrendered before the security forces at the end of the war in 2009.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the movement said that even after almost seven years of the conclusion of Sri Lankan civil war, there are still many unanswered questions about the whereabouts of hundreds of LTTE ‘surrendees’ and Tamil civilians, who were taken into custody by the Sri Lankan army at the end of the war.
According to the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, there is strong evidence that suggests the extra-judicial killing of many by the armed forces.
In this context, Major General Chanayaka Gunaratna of the Sri Lankan Army’s 58th Division said the army is in possession of a list of people that surrendered during the final stages of the war.
“This would apparently be the first time that the army has confirmed that a record of individuals moving across the front-line at the end of the war was kept and – whilst the number of individuals accounted for by the record remains unclear – could potentially be a major development in helping to establish the last known whereabouts of many of the disappeared,” Colombo Page quoted the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, as saying.
The movement said the army must disclose this information as a matter of urgency and urged the international community to exert pressure on the Lankan government at the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The organization also stated that amid the drafting of new legislation for an Office of Missing Persons, and Sri Lanka’s recent ratification of the International Convention on Enforced Disappearances, the Sri Lankan state now faces a big opportunity to clearly demonstrate the real depth of its commitment to establishing the truth about the 24,000 plus cases of missing persons in Sri Lanka. (ANI)