Speaking to the families of the disappeared, Ven. Dr. Atipola Sumangala thero admitted that this not a period of hope for the families of the disappeared, hence the Right to Information Act is important as it provides us the Right to demand information. However the activation status of this Act depends on the civil society that has to activate it by using it. If we seek to find solution for our problems as a civilized society, it is important for the victims of all communities to be in solidarity and demand for Justice.
Ms. Jayanthi Dandeniya, the chief organizer of the disappeared families since 1990 and instrumental in erecting the monument of the disappeared at Seeduwa, speaking on behalf of the southern families of the disappeared said that most of the disappearances took place during JVP insurrection was on personal grudges. Further she said that she was an eye witnesses to incidents of abduction and murder in broad day light. “People were abducted and killed and buried in mass graves without leaving a trace”. She said that her husband and brother were shot, poured kerosene oil and firewood and burnt at the Seeduwa junction and she said they were forced to disappear.
Valentina Daniel, speaking on behalf of the Northern families of the disappeared said that she was born in Jaffna and in 1995, they fled the area due to the civil war and her mother had an injury in the leg which made walking difficult for her and requested her to move, however Valentina has found a piece of mat and dragged her along the road until she found an army camp, where she handed her mother over to the soldiers at the camp. Ever since then Valentina has never found her mother. She said that this is just only one story, but there are so many children searching for their parents, wives searching for their husbands believed to have being disappeared.
The disappearances days programme continued with the Human Rights exhibition until afternoon and religious, civil society members, school children, teachers and parents visited the exhibition, while the staff and the members of the HRO support group went into the streets, distributed the leaflets and explained in detail.