Relatives take issue with President’s statement
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
Convener of the Relatives of the Disappeared in the North and East, Kalaranjani said on Tuesday (21) they strongly oppose President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s comment in New York prior to the UN General Assembly that death certificates will be issued for missing persons.
When President Rajapaksa met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he said compensation would be paid to the victims and that the Government would take immediate action with regard to missing persons and expedite the efforts such as issuance of death certificates.
The relatives of the missing persons, issuing a statement, said there are 1,675 days of a series of attention-grabbing struggles demanding justice for them. They said having lost so many during the war, they are determined to fight until justice is served over the enforced disappearances. They said the President, who went to attend the UN General Assembly, spoke about the issuance of death certificates and compensation for missing persons in Sri Lanka during a special meeting.
“We were also shocked and deeply concerned by the Media reports regarding his claims such as internal problems should be resolved through internal mechanisms.” As the international justice system is their last hope, they hope that the international community will go beyond these diplomatic procedures and bring justice to the victims. “We are deeply concerned that international representatives, including the UN Secretary-General, have not questioned the status of the missing and the justice system,” Kalaranjani said. “We don’t want death certificates or the Government’s compensation. We want the truth,” they said.