22 April 2019
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A silent protest and a handing over a petition to the UN at UN office

un protestA silent protest in front of the UN office – Sri Lanka was held and a petition was handed over  to the UN requesting to interfere to the Laos People’s Democratic Republic to  send  Mr. SombathSomphone back and to tell the truth about his abduction, two years ago.

Mr. SombathSomphone a citizen of Laos Republic, married, MAGSAYSAY award winner, Teacher, A farmer  and a Human rights defendant,was abducted  and disappeared on 15th December 2012, two years ago, in Laos  near a Police check point. The abduction was clearly recorded in a nearby CCTV camera.

Whatever the requests made and with all the actions took demanding to know the truth  aboutSombath , by His family and many organizations, the Laos Government has not given any satisfactory answer up to now.
Asian Federation Against Disappearances ( AFAD ), A coalition of organizations  works on the issue of disappearances   conducts a campaign in Asian countries , Philippine, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Nepal and Sri Lanka, between December 15th to 20th ,  demanding the Laos Government to come out with the truth, about Sombath.

The “ Families of the disappeared  “ ( FoD ), a member of AFAD  conducted  a silent protest and  handed  over a petition to the  UN- Sri Lanka  office today,  making the same request  to interfere  to the Government of Laos to come out with the truth, about SOMBATH’s disappearances.

On behalf of the UN permanent Resident officer, Mr. Steve Pantling ,UN deputy security advisor  received the petition  in front of the UN Office. And He said He will forward the petition to the necessary section of the UN office and through the UN mechanism  They will try to involve with the Laos Government to find the truth.

Mr. Brito Fernando, the President of FoD, before handing over the petition said, that “ We as FoD with some other organizations is doing this protest and the petition handing over , representing the campaign in Asia organized  by AFAD during the period  between December 15th to 20th. The similar campaigns are being held in front of the Laos  embassies or in front of the UN offices in  Philippine, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Kashmir , organized by the member organizations  of AFAD of those countries. As  We are fighting against disappearances since 1989 , WE think that We have a duty and a responsibility to stand against the disappearances in Asia and in the world. We treat Sombath also as one of our activist and we do involve with the campaign by his loving wife and by AFAD to find the truth. We demand the Un to use whatever mechanisms They have to force the Laos republic to come out with the truth and to stop the disappearances taking place in Laos  and in the whole world”.

Mr. Herman Kumara, The coordinator of NAFSO also addressed the gathering.

38 participated representing FoD, Right to Life ( R2L ), Movement of national  land  and agricultural reforms ( MONLAR ), National Fisher Solidarity  ( NAFSO ), Committee to investigate into Disappearances ( CID ) Sri Vimukthi  women’s center,   Maligawatta HR organization and “ Against Craze- Street protest “ movement.

We  think two years is too long to give an answer about a Human rights activist’s disappearances.


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