08/17/2019, 08.08
SRI LANKA
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Mothers of the disappeared in the civil war: Gotabaya Rajapaksa must not be president

by Melani Manel Perera

The man is the Sri Lankan People's Front candidate.  He was Secretary of Defense during his brother Mahinda's regime and defeated the Tamil Tigers rebels.  Supporters consider him a "war hero".  Tamil and Sinhalese women: "If he comes to power, he will begin a new period of violence, kidnappings and killings".

 

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of former dictator Mahinda Rajapaksa and secretary of defense during the civil war, must not be the president of Sri Lanka.  This is what Tamil and Sinhalese mothers are asking for missing persons during the conflict, at the news that the man is a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections in December.

Gotabaya is considered the "strong man" of Sri Lanka, having defeated the Tamil Tigers rebels in 2009 and restored peace in the country.  His candidacy for the political face of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna ["Sri Lanka People's Front" in English, ed] is arousing concern and admiration at the same time.  According to the relatives of dozens of young people who disappeared into thin air, "if he were to come to power, a new period of violence, kidnappings and killings will begin".

This is why mothers are appealing for the people to "not campaign and vote for a criminal who wants to become president. We do not know who will be candidate in the other political parties.  Whoever it is, we don't like the fact that this criminal can lead the country.  Even in the absence of such a power, when he was secretary of defense he committed enormous atrocities, violence and murders.  How can such a person be the president of a country? "

 Among the women who for years have been imploring to know the truth about their children is Jenifer Weerasinghe, Dilan's mother who disappeared in 2008 on her way to visit a friend.  In a post on Facebook, she writes: "In this country justice has failed.  We have lost our children.  There remains only the hope that one day the guilty will face the wrath of nature.  My eyes cry tears that cannot be dried.  I await justice.  We watch in silence the drama of these politicians who are allied with the culprits covered by the cloak of war heroes.  We look at them with a heavy heart.  They continue to live with the joy of their children.  People are blinded by patriotism and refuse to recognize the crimes committed by them, continuing to praise them as war heroes ".

 According to Jenifer, "all these people try to use our pain to their advantage.  Only a few, despite great difficulties and threats, struggled to do justice.  Every day for 10 years mothers and fathers have been crying silently in their hearts, with a pain that is difficult to bear.  We look at everything that is happening with the agony in our hearts.  Even if there is no law to punish these criminals, we continue to keep watch, until nature and karma take their course ".

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