Protest by relatives of missing servicemen

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 May 1999, 17:43 GMT]
Almost 500 relatives of Sri Lankan Security Forces personnel who have been listed as missing in action marched to the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo this evening following a public meeting held at the auditorium of the Buddhist Youth League.

The protest was organised by the Association of Relatives of Servicemen Missing in Action.

SLA soldiers give a gun salute for their fallen colleague, Lt. Nolin Chaminda, at his funeral in Panadura, south of Colombo, today (May 17). Lt. Chaminda was killed in a battle with the Liberation Tigers in the north of the island.-Photo: AP
The protestors handed over a memorandum addressed to the President, Chandrika Kumaratunge, demanding among the other things, that they be allowed to travel to the Vanni and hold talks with the Liberation Tigers and that parents of Tamil detainees held at Kalutara and Welikade be allowed to visit their children.

The memorandum also urged the President to take the steps necessary to bring an end to the war and to provide assistance to the relatives of service personnel listed as missing in action.

The protest was led by Janaka Wenuwara, a member of the security force who was listed as missing in action by the Ministry of Defence and then released by the Liberation Tigers, three months ago.

The President's Secretary promised that their demands would be considered.


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