The top United Nations human rights official has asked Sri Lanka to locate the remains of thousands of civilians reported missing in the civil war who the government says are probably dead.
Many Sri Lankan Tamil civilians have not been heard from since they were picked up by police or military personnel at their homes or abducted by pro-government militia during the war, which ended in 2009.
Newly elected Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said last month that most of those reported missing and whose names are not in the government’s database are probably dead.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein said on Tuesday that families that were hopeful of locating their kin are distressed by the statement. He asked the government to properly investigate whether the deaths were unlawful.