The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) strongly condemns the Sri Lanka’s police and military forces’ halting of the families of the disappeared and human rights defenders in NorthSri Lanka from travelling to join a protest action in Colombo.
A mobilization of 600 people gathered in Vavuniya on 5 March to demand for truth and justice for their disappeared kin in a protest action organized by the Association of the Families Searching for theDisappeared Relatives set on the following day. The families initially intended to submit a petition to theUN office in Colombo to determine the fate of their loved ones.
Women everywhere are deeply affected by the global scourge of enforced disappearance. They are the wives, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters who are in the abysmal state of uncertainty and in perpetual search for their disappeared loved ones. They are often left behind to bear the socio-economic and psycho-emotional brunt of enforced disappearance. In cases when women are made to disappear, theyare particularly at great risk of sexual and other forms of violence.
After 16 long years of concerned citizens’ hard-fought struggle to criminalize enforced disappearance in the country, there is now a law against Enforced Disappearance in the Asian region with the passage of RA No. 10353, otherwise known as the “Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012.” What’s more, its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) have been recently crafted and signed.