Daily World News Digest, 5 March 2015

Families of missing persons in Sri Lanka continue protests

The TamilNet news portal reported on 4 March on continuing protests in Sri Lanka over the fate of those who went missing during the 30-year conflict. Family members calling for an international investigation protested on Wednesday in front of government offices in Jaffna, following reports that the UN has acceded to the expressed wish of the government in Colombo to continue with a domestic rather than an international investigation into war crimes and missing persons in Sri Lanka.  http://bit.ly/1M8bd6W

Yazidi survivors struggle to identify loved ones found in mass graves

The Breitbart news portal reported on 4 March on the aftermath of the assault by Islamic State, IS, on the Yazidi population in Syria and Iraq during the summer of 2014. After airstrikes forced IS to retreat, Yazidi survivors slowly began making their way home. Mass graves were discovered in Pirdya with 24 bodies, Xanesur with 26 bodies, and Zummar and Senun with 52 bodies. A total of 17 mass graves have been identified; bodies have been exhumed from two of these graves and sent for post-mortem examination. The report says DNA tests will be conducted before identifications are announced.  http://bit.ly/1NhVa9S

DNA tests fail to identify body in UK missing persons case from 1978

The BBC reported on 4 March that tests have failed to identify remains which police believed might have been those of a woman who has been missing for 37 years. Priscilla Berry, 39, vanished from Mochdre in Wales in 1978 and officers believed her body had been found at sea in 1980. However, when the remains were recently exhumed for DNA tests, the tests showed that they are not those of Mrs Berry. The DNA profile of the unidentified woman will be uploaded to a national DNA database.  Under Operation Orchid, North Wales Police are re-examining 17 missing persons cases that date back to 1968. None are believed to have involved criminality. http://bbc.in/18ldH4s

Colombia: new killings, disappearances in Pacific port

Human Rights Watch issued a report on 4 March in which it states that paramilitary successor groups are abducting, “disappearing,” and dismembering residents of the mostly Afro-Colombian port of Buenaventura, despite government measures announced a year ago to curb the violence. On 6 March 2014, after police reported finding several “chop-up sites” in Buenaventura where victims had been dismembered, President Juan Manuel Santos announced a “special intervention” to improve public security and dismantle paramilitary successor groups there. But new Human Rights Watch research shows alarming levels of abuses by the groups since the intervention began, including disappearances, sexual violence, and child recruitment. http://bit.ly/1DYo61i

“We’ll continue to seek the truth about Flight MH370”

Deutsche Welle reports today on the painful year experienced by families of those who went missing when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014. Despite the most expensive search and rescue operation in history, an international team of investigators has yet to find evidence of any wreckage. Some family members are unwilling to accept the Malaysian government’s conclusion that the passenger jet was lost as the result of an accident and that all people on board are dead. They are angry over how both the airline and the authorities have handled the passenger jet’s disappearance, arguing no evidence has been found to support such claims. They have also expressed fears that the search operations might be called off. http://bit.ly/1M883QF

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.