|But even if peace talks resume, it is unlikely that disappearances will be addressed any time soon. According to Dr. Jehan Perera, director of the National Peace Council in Colombo, a well - respected NGO that supports the peace process, the issue of the missing will only be dealt with once there is a legitimate end to the war.
"There must be a beginning of disarmament within the military and the LTTE," said Perera. "It is only at that stage that we will be able to address more seriously the issue of disappearances, only when there is a lasting political solution to the ethnic conflict. Prior to that it's going to be very difficult."
In the meantime, thousands of families, including the father, Kumaran, continue to search for answers about the fate of their missing loved ones.
At the Eastern University, 20 km from the northeastern town of Batticaloa, Dr. Thangamuthu Jayasingam, the rector of the Eastern University, recalls the events that led to the disappearances at the campus 14 years ago.
"The military ordered everyone on the campus to line up in rows, and masked men identified those who were taken aside," explained Jayasingam. "They were gagged and their hands were tied behind their backs. After that, they were put on buses and taken away. The army said they would be released as soon as they were questioned, but it's been 14 years, and so far nothing has happened."
The next day, a nearby Hindu temple hosts an annual fire - walking ceremony. According to local custom, walking across fire is the ultimate act of spiritual purification. For the father, Kumaran, it is a chance to pray for his son to come home.
Since sunrise, dozens have men have been reducing a roaring blaze into a path of burning hot coals. Kumaran waits at the front of a line of hundreds of worshippers preparing to step across the fire. Lifting a coconut over his head - a symbol of his devotion - he sets off lightly and speedily over the embers.
When he reaches the other side, his body trembles, and he repeats prayers under his breath. Moving back to the front of the line, he steps across the fire again, and then for a third and final time.
Outside the temple, Kumaran describes his experience walking over the fire and what he was praying for.
" For the past 14 years, I haven't had any information about my son," said Kumaran. "But I still believe I can get him back. Today I walked across the fire three times, but I didn't feel a thing. I prayed to God to give me back my son. Wherever my son is, he has to come back and join us in our prayers."
Whether his son will ever come home is unclear, and if these rituals really help, no one can truly say. But with thousands of people still missing, the task of building a lasting peace in the country seems incredibly daunting.