Sri Lanka's Disappeared: No closure
The wounds of Civil War remain raw.
“I Still believe he's alive,” says Tharsini Santhirabose with a glazed, fixed smile.
She last saw her husband, a fellow guerrilla for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in the final days of the civil war that ended with the Tigers' obliteration in 2009.
Up to 40,000 civilians were killed, according to the UN, along with most of the remnants of the 10,000-strong separatist army and perhaps 5,000 hangers-on.
The chances that Ms Santhirabose's husband will reappear are virtually nil.
No one knows precisely how many died or disappeared in the war.
A fervently Tamil-nationalist Catholic bishop claims that, after the 26 years of fighting, 147,000 people, civilians and fighters, remain unaccounted for.
The foreign ministry says that more than 65,000 queries about missing people have been received since 1994.
A few thousand former Tiger “cadres”, as they are known, have re-emerged from government “rehabilitation” camps.
Many Tamils believe that secret detention camps still exist.
Others claim, bizarrely, that the government has sent thousands of defeated fighters to undisclosed destinations abroad.
Many also say that the Sri Lankan army's reluctance to give back land now used as army bases is because they do not want mass graves to be discovered.