UN rights chief visits Jaffna, faces protest
Colombo: Families of those who disappeared in Sri Lanka during the three-decade-long ethnic war protested on Tuesday as UN rights chief Navi Pillay visited Jaffna - the former stronghold of the rebel Tamil Tigers - on a fact-finding mission.
Pillai, on a week long assessment visit of the country,was having meetings in the Jaffna library when the kith and kin of the disappeared demonstrated outside, demanding her intervention to trace them.
Women, mostly Tamil, held placards showing portraits of their disappeared kin.
Among them was the wife of Prageeth Eknaligoda, a Sinhala cartoonist whose whereabouts has not been know since 2010.
They said they were not allowed to meet with Pillay whose visit is aimed at assessing the human rights accountability progress made by Sri Lanka since the end to the ethnic war.
Military defeated the LTTE in May 2009, putting an end to their bid to create a separate state for Tamils.
According to human rights groups, over 500 people had disappeared from Jaffna during the military`s victorious onslaught against the LTTE.
According to a UN report, Sri Lankan army might have killed 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final phase of the war.
Sri Lanka has come under intense international pressure to probe disappearances and rights abuses allegedly happened during the military campaign.
Sri Lanka was put to bear pressure as the UN Human Rights Council headed by Pillay has adopted two resolutions binding the country to show progress on rights accountability.
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