On the 29th of July 2015, the Batticaloa Peace Committee and friends gathered together to remember all those who died in the senseless violence of 1990 and also those who still live with its consequences. We did this with a deep sense of sadness for the past, but also hope for the future.
Elijah Hoole: “It was around six in the evening. Friendship Villa in the South Eastern University was full of activity. As I made my way through the corridor in search ofdrinking water, a batch mate from Batticaloa beamed at me. He was shaking with excitement. Sinhalese students could be heard shouting from their rooms. I soon came to know the cause of all the commotion: the opposition had unveiled Maithripala Sirisena as the common candidate.”
The families seemed to have come to terms with the fact that they were probably massacred on the beach, even though their bodies have not been found or even been excavated yet from where they are suspected to be. 24 long years have passed, and loved ones still come before a Commission, like they have in the past, to provide testimony. They want their stories recorded, for history, for posterity.
At a time when the Sri Lankan government claims to be on a path of peace and development post war and calls Sri Lanka the wonder of Asia in international forums, it is imperative that the violence that is taking place against women and children is stopped, especially violence against women and children from minority communities.