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Documenting stories of forced disappearances in Lanka - The Hindu

Documenting stories of forced disappearances in Lanka - The Hindu: "Sri Lanka has a long history of unexplained disappearances: in the 1980s, during the armed revolt of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, and later as the civil war intensified in the 1990s up to recent years. The victims were Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims and the perpetrators - all parties to the conflict. Often, victims were taken away in a white van, never to be heard of again.

‘White Van Stories’ is not a damning portrayal of any one side over the other. As an emotionally charged relative of a missing person is shown yelling at a rally organised in Jaffna in August this year, “We are neither against the LTTE nor the Sri Lankan Army. The war has been over for four years now. We deserve to find out what happened to our missing relatives.”

Leena says she was inspired to work on the subject of enforced disappearances when she visited Sri Lanka for a literary festival (41st Ilakkiya Santhippu) in July, and stayed back to travel. The stories she heard of people searching for their loved ones, thousands of whom vanished in the last stage of war in 2009, moved her to make the film.
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