Commemorating day of the disappeared in Sri Lanka

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

“Give space for life, Not for violence”

An annual commemorative service was held for the disappeared. It is being held annually on October 27th. It was held on Raddoluwa junction in Seeduwa on October 27 th 2006.

It was organized by the Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared.

Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared commemorates October 27th as a day of the disappeared; the day when Ranjith Herath and his friend M. Lionel were abducted and found dead on October 27th 1989 in Raddoluwa junction, Seeduwa.

There are almost 1,000 missing people registered with Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared from 1989 to 1994, according to the organizers.

Jayanthi Dandeniya bursts into tears, while demonstrating. Her fiance Ranjith Herath and his friend M. Lonel were abducted and found dead on October 27th 1989 in Raddoluwa junction, Seeduwa

Monument for the Disappeared -Against Every Single Disappearance was created by Chandragupta Thenuwara under the guidance and initiative of Kalape Api and Asian Human Rights Commission. It was inaugurated by the Friends and Relatives of Disappeared on February 04th 2000, in Raddoluwa Junction where Ranjith Herath and his friend M.Lionel were killed and burnt on October 27th 1989

“My son Krishantha Weerasinghe was abducted on January 11th 1990 from the field at 3.30pm, where he was working as a labourer. He was 19 year-old. Since then, I have had no information about him. I know neither his death day nor time. I am unable to carry out any religious rituals as a result. I come to Raddoluwa annually since 2000 to pay tribute to my son” says W.A.W.Weerasinghe (68) of Kandy

750 friends and parents of the disappeared participated in a silent demonstration held near the Monument for the Disappeared, despite heavy rain throughout the day

“My husband was abducted by unknown persons on December 7th 1989. I have no trace about my husband since then. He was 39 year-old at the time of abduction. He was a labourer. My youngest son was just nine month old baby. I feel lifeless. Because my my husband was everything for me. I brought up my four children all alone. It’s not that easy to be a single parent” says J.A.Ranethena (56) of Gampaha

Gayan Kumara (8) of Galle participates in the demonstration

“We lost our loved ones in all parts of the country earlier. When people disappeared in Jaffna in 1982, we all kept quiet. We did not experience it until disappearance happened in 1989 in the South of Sri Lanka. Now Tamil people are disappeared in Jaffna and Colombo. We should not keep quiet about it. We have to get together and stop the disappearance” says Sunila Abeysekera, Executive Director of INFORM. human rights centre in Sri Lanka

“I come to Raddoluwa every year to pay tribute to my missing son. He was a student in Empilipitiya. He went missing on August 2nd 1989. I do not know what has happened to him. I miss my son. Nobody can bring my son back to me” says S.R.Heengami (68) of Empilipitiya

“I am helpless without my younger brother. He was abducted on August 26th 1989 from our house at 10.30pm in the night. They told us that, he will be released after his statement is obtained. My parents went behind them, and pleaded for my brother’s release. But they were threatened by the abductors. I am living in a very bad condition. If my brother is alive, he will help me” says A.M.V.Seelavathi (50) of Kandy

Friends and relatives of the Disappeared say that justice should be made for their missing loves ones

“My son went to watch a cricket match, played between the local teams on January 6th 1990. He went missing since then. He was 24 year-old. He was a labourer. He was the bread winner of the family. We are suffering a lot after he disappeared. I do not even have his death certificate. Because I am unable to get it. I am blind. I do not have money to buy a pair of spectacles” says Hapuruge Dili Nona (66) of Rathawaduna, Gampaha

Give space for life
Not for violence

Source: humanityashore

Contact: Dushi.Pillai@gmail.com