Many of the mothers present say that they gave their children over to members of the Armed forces at the end of the war, some children as young as ten years of age, and they ask incredulously how the government can deny knowing the whereabouts of individuals entrusted to the state's care. They view the Office on Missing Persons as yet another state body that is unwilling to hold accountable those who are responsible for their loved ones disappearances. Their mistrust is partly because, they say, they were not consulted in the process that went into establishing the OMP. Civil society groups have criticised the marginalisation of affected communities in developing transitional justice mechanisms and call for the voices of the affected to be heard in decision-making.
The sentiment at the one-year anniversary of the protest reflects the struggle of the year gone past. Repeated meetings with the President have yielded nothing. Promises made by the government to them and to various international bodies remain unfulfilled; they no longer have any faith in the government, and firmly state that international intervention is necessary to bring justice to their loved ones. For some, the year has evolved from a search for justice to simply a search for truth - accountability and prosecutions can wait, their first priority is knowing where their loved ones are or what has happened to them.
The other four protests - in Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Maruthankerny and Trincomalee, will all reach one year soon, and the question for most of these people is how long they will have to wait before their pain is acknowledged, and their questions are answered.