Odhikar believes that ‘democracy’ is a form of the State and that freedom and human rights are its foundations. Democracy is not merely a process of electing a ruler; it is the result of the peoples’ struggle for inalienable rights, which become the fundamental premise to constitute the State. Therefore, the individual freedoms and democratic aspirations of the citizens – and consequently, peoples’ collective rights and responsibilities - must be the foundational principles of the State.
Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND)
Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)
With no tombs or columbaria to visit, the families of the disappeared who are members of FIND gather every year on All Souls’ Day at the Bantayog ng mga Desaparecido at the Baclaran Church grounds to pray, offer flowers, light candles, and share memories of the sterling lives and martyrdom of their missing loved ones.
Today, these poignant memories are mocked and dishonored by Bongbong Marcos who insists that the best administration was that of his father’s as he glosses over the existence of some 100,000 victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime. Among these, FIND has documented 882 victims of enforced disappearance, with the number of undocumented cases believed to be much higher.
Statement: Sri Lanka’s National Day of Disappeared Persons
27 October 2015 – Today, marks the 24th year of commemoration of the National Day of the Disappeared Persons in Sri Lanka. Mostly from the Northern and Eastern regions, families and friends of those forcibly disappeared during the country’s armed conflict have been gathering before the Monument for the Disappeared at Raddoluwa Junction to remember their disappeared relatives and demand accountability from the government for its past crimes.
The tradition of commemorating the victims of enforced disappearances can be traced to the killings of H.M Ranjith and M. Lionel that took place in the Raddoluwa Junction in 1989. Families, friends and supporters of the two began to assemble in the junction in October 27, 1991. From a group of seventeen (17), the crowd expanded over the years.