Sri Lanka’s president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, admitted that more than 20,000 people are missing since the cruelest civil war died. The war started between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers on 23 July 1983.
President Rajapaksa was a former defense secretary who played an integral role in concluding the 30-years long Sri Lanka war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s revolt. Official steps to issue death certificates will be taken, it said in a statement.
Many citizens were hoping that their relatives were alive and in the safe custody of national security forces, but the president cast-off their belief. Families of missing people meet and vigil daily to devote time to keeping their memories alive.
Government records say more than 20,000 people are missing amid deadly rebels begun by Tamil Tigers, with the government claiming over 100,000 people.
People accused, thousands of mostly Tamil people were slaughtered during the last stage of the war when government security forces murdered LTTE founder Velupillai Prabhakaran. However, Sri Lankan forces rebuffed against the allegation saying the act was done as a humanitarian operation to relieve Tamils from LTTE’s hands.
According to international rights groups, nearly 40,000 Tamil inhabitants were massacred in the final stage in the war of separatism, but the figures were challenged by the government. The Sri Lanka government denied any role in the disappearances, saying all accusations of war crimes are baseless.
Rajapaksa explained that the number of disappeared people is of dead civilians. Most of them were captured by the Tamil Tiger or enlisted forcefully in the organization. Missing people’s families confirmed this. No one knows where they are or what they have become, so it’s better to claim them as missing, Rajapaksa said.