Jun 13, 2017

Loss of faith due to Mangala’s portfolio change (video) Featured

The present government appears to be unable to cope up with racism threats, says human rights activist Britto Fernando who is a key figure in the regime change.

The government cannot face the racist war now underway, he says, noting the cabinet reshuffle as an example. quotes him as saying that there was certain belief that justice would be served for the missing persons when Mangala Samaraweera was the foreign affairs minister, but with the change of his portfolio, that belief has been dashed.

Samaraweera, who had acted on behalf of of the missing persons, even had to face difficulties as the foreign affairs minister in fulfilling the promises given, Fernando says.

Promises given to international community

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‘Govt. should fulfill promises given to international community…’

Relatives of missing persons have lost their faith in the government as it has only partially fulfilled its promises to them, he says.

The government has been given a breathing space by the UNHRC when it granted two more years to implement its proposals, says Fernando, noting that despite the change in Samaraweera’s portfolio, the government should deliver those promises.

He demands that the missing persons office, for which parliament has adopted a proposal, be set up.

Ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that she would assist in investigating the thousands of persons who had gone missing since their surrender to the military.

Early April, minister Rajitha Senaratne asked for one month from persons involved in a sit-down protest in Vavuniya demanding their missing relatives, to act upon their request.

But, nothing has been done yet.

Second only to Iraq

The UN action committee on missing persons says it has reports of 5,750 missing persons in Sri Lanka since 1980, which is second only to Iraq.

A committee panel that visited Sri Lanka last November was told by human rights activists about 22,000 persons locally documented as missing.

The government, in approving the OMP bill, has admitted that around 65,000 persons had gone missing.