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Thousands missing three years after war ends

COLOMBO, 17 May 2012 (IRIN) – Three years after the government of Sri Lanka declared an end to decades of civil conflict with separatist rebels, thousands of people are still missing, according to the UN and Sri Lankan activists.

The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) of the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded 5,671 reported cases of wartime-related disappearance in Sri Lanka, not counting people who went missing in the final stages of fighting from 2008 to 2009.
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“Dubbing Sri Lankan Conflict as ‘war without Witness’ is Simply not True”

Frances Harrison at the Frontline Club debate, London-May 16, 2012

By Frances Harrison

Today marks three years since the end of the fighting in Sri Lanka . I would like to mourn the dead but still I do not know how many. Estimates range from seven to 147,000. It is a shocking difference.

How is it possible in this world of satellites, rolling news and internet we have no idea how many human beings really perished, even rounded up to the nearest thousand?

It is because as journalists we have failed to get close to the truth. On one hand the Sri Lankan government says the 2009 war was a magnificent humanitarian rescue operation, while on the other many Tamils say it was a genocide. [click here to read in full ~ on “Dubbing Sri Lankan Conflict as ‘war without Witness’ is Simply not True”]