Sri Lankan mothers from the “Dead and Missing Person’s Parents” organisation stage a protest in Jaffna on November 15, 2013. Sri Lanka has opened a Commonwealth summit amid criticism over its human-rights record and alleged war crimes committed against the country’s ethnic Tamil minority during a 27-year civil war that ended in 2009. Hundreds of Tamil people protested in the northern Sri Lankan city before David Cameron’s arrival, demanding answers about the thousands who went missing near the end of the war in 2009.
At least 100,000 people lost their lives in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict between government forces and Tamil fighters. There are allegations that up to 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the final weeks of the war in 2009. The northern Jaffna peninsula, home to around 800,000 Tamils, was the main battlefield in the decades-long conflict. Before the war, Jaffna had a flourishing economy that was second only to Colombo in terms of wealth. But its towns and villages are now littered with shelled-out buildings, farmland is abandoned and some 30,000 people still live in refugee camps.
[Credit : Lakruwan Wanniarac/AFP/Getty Images]