Relatives of Sri Lanka are Missing Vent Grievances at U.N.
Jaffna – Protesters in Sri Lanka criticized the United Nations for a second day on Tuesday during a visit by U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay who is assessing rights in a country still divided by a 27-year war. Angry members of the majority Sinhalese community protested in the capital, Colombo, on Monday, calling on Pillay to get out of the country and stop criticizing its rights record. Pillay visited the northern town of Jaffna on Tuesday, which was at the heart of a bid by member’s ethnic minority Tamil guerrillas to break away and where protesters criticized the United Nations for not protecting them.
“The U.N. failed in its responsibility,” said Ananthi Sasitharan, a 42-year mother of three girls, who holds out hope her missing husband is alive, perhaps in a secret detention camp. The husband, Velayutham Sasitharan, was a top Tamil rebel leader. Sasitharan was demonstrating with about 300 other people outside the town’s main library where the Pillay had a meeting.
They said they had protested after failing in their bid to meet Pillay to discuss their grievances over disappearances and what they see as land-grabs by the military. The Sri Lanka government battled separatist Tamil guerrillas from 1983 until finally defeating them in 2009. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the final months of the war, a U.N. panel said earlier, as government troops advanced on the rebels’ last stronghold. Many hundreds of people, most of them Tamils like Sasitharan’s husband, simply disappeared. (Reuters)