You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Sri Lankan protest demands information on civil war missing

Associated Press logo Associated Press 27/04/2017

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Shops, offices and schools were closed and public transport was halted in Sri Lanka's former civil war region on Thursday in support of families who are demanding information from the government about loved ones listed as having disappeared during the conflict.

The protest came after weeks of sit-ins by families of missing people across the ethnic Tamil-majority north and east brought no results.

Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran told the provincial chamber that the shutdown was a reflection of people's frustration over the government's inability to say what happened to thousands of people reported as missing in the conflict.

"Continuous disregard of our people and their concerns and demands is not good for anyone," Wigneswaran said.

"Our demands are reasonable and related to our people's fundamental rights. The reason for today's protest is the government's reluctance or delay in addressing these problems," he said.

Government ministers could not immediately be contacted for comment.

A large number of people have been reported missing in the civil war that ended in 2009. Many were abducted by government paramilitary personnel for alleged links to the now defeated Tamil Tiger rebels. Rebels also abducted civilians as forced conscripts. Many people who gave themselves up to the military in the final stages of the war are also unaccounted for.

There is no clear record of the missing from the nearly 26-year conflict, but a missing person's commission has received 20,000 complaints.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon