Target: U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Patricia Butenis
Goal: Demand that the Sri Lankan government aids protesters in their search for their missing family members
The Sri Lankan security forces stopped hundreds of protesters from travelling to the country’s capitol of Colombo, claiming that the government did not want the protests to continue. The protesters were attempting to demand justice for their relatives who disappeared during the war, most of whom were civilians.
The government claimed that the roads to the capitol were unsafe, but the protesters don’t believe that. The protesters were mainly elderly women demanding help for their missing families, or to at least know what happened to them. They protested nearly 200 miles away from the capitol instead, holding up photos of their missing relatives and asking for the government’s help in finding them.
The war in Sri Lanka was between a group of revolutionaries fighting for an independent state, and the then-current government. Lasting over 15 years, the war resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths, as well as war crimes and torture accusations. A UN panel claims that the Sri Lankan government was responsible for the majority of the atrocities committed during the war. Demand that the Sri Lankan government begin to search for what happened to its missing civilians.
Dear Ambassador Butenis,
The war in Sri Lanka has been over for four years, but its effects are still felt. Hundreds of civilians still mourn missing family members, not sure whether they should stop hoping for their return. Many of these disappearances were caused by the revolutionaries, and many were caused by government forces. Either way, the current Sri Lankan government must begin to search for those still missing.
While living bodies may not be found, just knowing the truth will allow many families to begin to move on. Simply hearing that a loved one has passed away will be a comfort, and this information must be found out and given to those who want it as soon as possible.
The complete lack of information is disgraceful, and every family deserves to know what happens to its members. The Sri Lankan government has a responsibility to its people, and that means protecting them and putting their interests first. The government was directly involved in the war, and it is time leaders began researching what the extent of its effects were, and sharing this knowledge with the public. Parents deserve to know what happened to their children. The Sri Lankan government must begin looking into civilian disappearances.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: trokilinochch via Flickr