Enforced Disappearances Demonstration
On the 30th of August 2019, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam along with other Tamil diasporas staged a demonstration on the enforced disappeared in Sri Lanka outside Trafalgar Square London. This was a public demonstration and Tamils living in all parts of Britain attended this demonstration. It was a great turnout with many victim’s families who had lost their loved ones ranging from different eras making a stand and sending out a strong message to the government of Srilanka.
The demonstration consisted of role plays that were acted out of how innocent civilians were arrested and detained by the Sri Lankan Army and later got rid of whilst the victim’s families were ridiculed and lied to. This role play brought heartache and tears to many spectators on that day.
A direct family member of the victim also gave her harrowing story to the public. Her thirst for justice has only been growing. Her graphic detail of how her child went missing after being taken by the authorities and later denied by the very authorities of such an arrest taking place is yet again all too familiar of a story to many families of the victims. The state of Sri Lanka seems to be in a complete state of denial.
The hundreds of placards showing the pictures of loved ones, pictures of wailing mothers and fathers cannot and will not be forgotten, the thirst for the truth, to hold perpetrators accountable and to attain justice is forever strong with the Tamil Diaspora community.
Though the protest was very successful, there was a lack of clarity in terms of how this struggle should be taken forward. Protest of the families cannot go on forever. It is no use in relying on United Nation or any western government such as Britain to deliver justice. Sri Lankan authorities have already claimed of the disappeared are dead. However, they have taken no effort to communicate who died and how it happened, etc. In addition, they refused to publish the details of personal they still keep in secret camps. We need a consistent campaign to be built on the ground, linking up with the forces such as trade unions to mount an opposition to Sri Lankan government on this issue. It will be ridiculous to believe that the Sri Lankan government will deliver justice. Clarity and focus is much needed to take this struggle forward.