Families of the Disappeared submitted a letter to the United Nations Office and several diplomatic missions in Colombo yesterday highlighting the failure of the authorities to deliver justice to the families of the victims of 11 youths allegedly abducted by a Navy abduction for ransom gang between 2008 and 2009. In the petition, the organisation requested the agencies and missions to demonstrate to the Government that the international community is actively monitoring and expressing interest in this case, whether by attending court proceedings, engaging with Government officials, or through any other means available.
They also appealed to the United Nations for assistance in facilitating transportation for the families to attend court dates and for covering their legal expenses.
The Families of the Disappeared also called on the UN and diplomatic missions to provide backing to public campaigns that call for the continuous and expedited hearing of the case, avoiding further unnecessary delays. The organisation noted that only three family members are now able to appear on behalf of the victims in court, and they are elderly and in poor health. “Tragically, another three have already passed away,” they said. The organisation highlighted that while the court case has been ongoing for nearly 15 years, no hearings were conducted at the trial bar since 2020 when it was initially appointed.
The families of victims also held a demonstration in front of the UN office following the submission of the petition.
In 2009 an investigation commenced and a case was filed against a group of Navy officers suspected of running an abduction for ransom racket. The ring and those accused of supporting it included several Navy top brass. The victims of the gang were identified as John Ried, Roshan Lyon, Amanan Lyon, Rajeev Naganathan, Pradeep Vishwanathan, Thilakeswaram Ramalingam, Mohamed Sajid, Jamaldeen Dilan, Mohamed Ali Anver, Kasthuriarachchige Anton, Thygaraja Jegan.