Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The tragedy continues for the family members whose loved ones are still missing

The second public meeting for “Expression of grief of the families and friends of the disappeared” was held on August 1st 2007 at Brighten Rest in Colombo 12. It was organized by the Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC).

The lights in the hall were dim. The loved ones of the missing men and women looked worried. The atmosphere was sorrowful. They tearfully demanded the captors to release their loved ones unharmed.Men ,women and children were holding portraits of their missing loved ones-fathers, brothers, husbands, fiances and friends who have disappeared, grieved and requested for their safe return home. Women wailed, children cried, men mourned in silence. The hall was packed with more than 300 people who wanted to show their support for the families in pain. Almost everybody was in tears, when women started to wail while explaining their hardships. “Help us to find our loved ones”, “Release our missing men”, “Let us go and find our missing members of the families”, “Spread the message to the world to help us find our loved ones”, and “How long can we go through this trauma?” were often used by the relatives, while some wailed in public.

The meeting was attended by human rights activists, peace activists, diplomats and politicians. Leader of Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe, Convener of the Civil Monitoring Commission Mano Ganesan , Chairman of the Civil Monitoring Commission Sirithunga Jayasooriya United National Party’s Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake , and United National Party’s Parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella and Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene participated in the public meeting.