Colombo (AsiaNews) - "Where's my husband? Why did they take him? Why is it that in nine months neither the police nor the authorities have been able to answer my questions? Why is no one investigating?" said Inoka Mauri, a young mother from Anuradhapura as she spoke to AsiaNews.
Accompanied by members of the Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM), she submitted two petitions to the Human Rights Commission in Colombo on Monday, asking for an investigation into her husband's disappearance. After he was abducted by suspected police agents, Madushke Haris de Silva was not heard of any more.
On 2 September 2013, Madushke was returning home from work - he ran a fruit stand - along with two friends, Janitha Kumar and Lakshman. Suddenly, a white van blocked their path. Six men got out and told them they were police officers. After blindfolding and tying them up, they threw them into the van.
As the van drove off, the "police agents" began beating the prisoners. However, when they discovered that Janitha was a college student, they stopped hurting him.
The next morning, Janitha and Lakshman were released at an unspecified place, and given a few rupees. Madushke, however, was not with them.
Later, the two friends told her that her husband screamed all night from non-stop beating, until they could hear someone perform CPR. This is all that is known about Madushke's fate.
At the time, Mauri was pregnant with twins. When her husband did not come home for dinner, she called him. On the phone, she heard someone shouting at him to stop. When the line went dead, she tried to call again, for the next hour.
Afterwards she went to the police to file a complaint, but the officers refused to register it because Madushke's older brother had already done it.
"Without my husband I am alone and helpless," she told AsiaNews. "Although I am a good Buddhist, I can say with pride that only the love of Jesus has sustained my life until now." In fact, the Sisters of the Holy Family and a number of local priests have helped her in such trying times.
"The day I found out that Sister Deepa and Sister Ramani were coming from Colombo to see me I felt life coming back," she said. "Buddhist monks may not show any interest in me, but I know there are people of good heart who want to take care of me."
"I don't know what I would have done without the love of the Sisters of the Holy Family and the priests," she explained. "Through them I recognised how strong Jesus' love is - a love unknown to me, but at the same time so close."