President Sirisena’s coordinating secretary has told UK based ITV news that a photograph used by Maithripala Sirisena in his successful 2015 election campaign is ‘bogus’.
The photograph in the four-page handout shows a smiling Maithripala Sirisena surrounded by a group of uniformed school children. Some of them have been identified by their mothers as their children forcibly taken away.
When ITV Senior International Correspondent John Irvine reporting on Sri Lanka’s disappeared, showed the photograph to the coordinating secretary of president Sirisena, all he got was absolute dismissal.
“Flatly denied by the state,” said attorney at law Shiral Lakthilaka.
“It is a bogus photograph. Doctored Photograph.”
Shocked, one of the mothers says the denial shows why Tamils have lost trust on the government and demand international intervention.
“We were asked for evidence and we provided them,” Kasipillai Jeyavanitha told journalists in the northern town of Vavunia. President’s officials who visited her in June last year had promised to provide answers in two weeks.
“We have got no answer so far. I am concerned whether my child was permanently made to disappear after we furnished evidence that she was with the president.”
Kasipillai Jeyavanitha strongly believes that her daughter Jeromy is in government detention.
“If not, let them come to me and prove that my child is no more.”
Shiral Lakthilaka has also denied figures on disappearances provided by international human rights watchdogs.
“I don’t agree with tens of thousands,” he said claiming that there was a “data conflict”.
Tamil mothers are on the streets for more than a year demanding the government reveal the fate of tens of thousands of loved ones forcibly taken away or handed over to the military.
Relatives of disappeared who came to the capital and met the president last September seeking answers have gone empty handed.
(By Athula Vithanage - jdslanka.org)