Sri Lanka: “Fast unto death” of the parents of Missing Persons

The following article based on an open letter written by the author to Mr. Ranil.Wickramasinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

by V. Anandasangaree

( January 26, 2017,Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian ) Permit me to intervene in the above matter. I visited the location where the fast is undertaken and I noticed that almost all of them appear to be thoroughly exhausted and in my opinion anything detrimental could take place within the next two three days, if prompt action is not taken by you immediately. It may cause much embarrassment to the government, to you and to His Excellency Maithiripala Srisena the President of Sri Lanka in particular.

We can’t afford to play with human lives. Since the Sathyagragees are mainly elderly women who can’t stand the strain of the fast, immediate action should be taken by you, to call off the fast with the promise to take action within the next two weeks, based on my suggestions or as you thing fit.
What you should know is that, they are not demanding their children who ran away from home on some flimsy grounds like quarrel with somebody or reluctant to go to school or such other similar trivial matters. What they want to know is above the children who were handed over to the authorities by the parents themselves or arrested at their homes by the Forces or the Police on suspicion. It won’t be difficult to find out from the records available at the office of the authorities concerned who did the arrest. As regards those handed over by the parents can be easily verified by those who were present at the time of handing over. In any case it will not be acceptable to anybody if the government says that it is difficult to trace the missing persons. If the government claims that some could have left the country on their own illegally, that too can be checked up by various means and through our Diplomatic Missions abroad later. In any case the details about how to trace the missing persons also can be sorted out now. What action that should be taken immediately is to find out a reasonable excuse that will be acceptable to the Sathyagragees, to call off the Fast. A special Presidential Commission could be appointed to go into this matter without delay.
Before I conclude I say that this is not a matter that we can take easily. Please remember that those involved in the fast, mostly women who are very weak more due to the agony they had been undergoing for a long period from the time of arrest of their children. Please don’t give any room for any regrets in this matter and act immediately without any further delay.

V.Anandasangaree , Secretary General – TULF


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