As people around the world celebrated Valentine's Day on Wednesday, a group of women in Sri Lanka instead came together to remember their family members and other loved ones who have been missing for years.
Sri Lanka's civil war — between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists in the north and east of the island — has been officially over since a ceasefire in 2009. But the reconciliation process has been slow.
The "Missing Lovers Day" event was held at the Dutch Hospital in Colombo, the country's capital, hoping to keep the world's attention on the disappearances.
Sri Lanka announced in 2016 it would open an Office of Missing Persons to investigate the disappearances, but its progress has been slow.
President Maithripala Sirisena, whose administration was heralded as a change from the wartime leadership that preceded him, has come under fire in recent months for the glacial pace.
Last week, Sirisena told the Tamil community that he's "concerned" about the missing, while assuring them that there are no secret torture or detention camps where they're being held.
The event was organized by a local NGO called Families of the Disappeared. The group described the event as "an evening of love stories, love songs, and hope."
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Families of the Disappeared for comment and more details about the gathering.