180 people have been abducted by ‘white van’ squads, since January 1st 2008 thru July 20th 2008 says P. Radhakrishnan MP, a parliamentarian of the Up Country People’s Front (UPF).
Mr. Radhakrishnan, Deputy Minister of Vocational Training in the present United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government of Sri Lanka also says, within the last six months the pace of abductions have increased compared to 2006 and 2007. The deputy minister regretting the increase said it’s a disturbing trend that is affecting all parts of the country including capital Colombo, in a report published in the premier Tamil daily of Sri Lanka – Virakesari.
In the past few days three abductions have been reported to Deputy Minister P. Radhakrishnan MP, the Police and the Committee to investigate disappearances.
Disappearances of Selvarajah Suthan (25) of Vavuniya – Karuveppangkulam, R. Vincent Vimalraj (26) of Vavuniya – Ootrukulam and Sinnaraja Janarthanan (32) of Vavuniya – Sri Nagar disspearing in Wellawatte have been reported to the minister.
Recently, the new Inspector General of Police in Sri Lanka, Jayantha Wickremaratne mocked the whole ‘white van’ kidnappings by requesting journalists to identify the so called white vans.
“I have not seen the dreaded white van. I have only heard about it. Please help me to find one,” he said at a media briefing.
Responding, Convener, Civil Monitoring Committee (CMC) and MP Mano Ganesan said that this issue concerned the blood and tears of the families of the abducted and it was not a matter for amusement.
[Affected families stand outside the United Nations office in Colombo holding pictures of their missing relatives October 11, 2007]