“While Prime Minister Ranil Wicramasinghe is saying there are no secret camps or detention camps in country, we have strong evidence about missing people, according to media reports. Number of missing people is appearing in certain websites and Medias” said Brito Fernandio, President of Families of the Disappeared.
He was addressing the gathering of ten mothers at OPA auditorium, who lost their loved ones during the final phase of the war.
Further he said, “Six mothers identified their children and one husband in Tamil Thaipongal festival held in Welikada Prison on 15 January 2015. Their photos appeared on Internet. Unfortunately still we could not find details about them. Also, yesterday (26), we met Minister of Public Administration, Provincial Councils, Local Government and Democratic Governance and Minister of Buddha Sasana Karu Jayasuriya, Secretary of Prime Minister, National Executive Council members Manoganeshan and Wicrabahu Karaunaratne and discussed about these identified missing people.
Missing people’s photos were also appeared in former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election manifesto book.
It was because of the credible evidences that the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed a Presidential Commission to investigate missing people.
At the same time we are requesting from the government to give us (mothers) an opportunity to go to Welikada Prison or places where Tamil prisoners are detained. Therefore, mothers will have an opportunity to see if their sons are detained in the prison. If this request is denied we will have to do something until we are allowed.
We also organized a discussion with the Colombo DIG, Pujitha Jayasundara last Friday. Also, we will bring this issue to the attention of President, Prime Minister and Minister of Justice”.
Meanwhile, all eleven mothers are in possession of the photos of their children and husbands published in media attending Pongal festival in Welikada Prison. The mothers still believe that their children are still alive and living in one of the detention camps.
These mothers had come from Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya and Colombo. They are currently in the process of getting an appointment to meet former President Chandrika Bandaranaiake Kumaratunga on 8 April.