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UN uses Tamils to ‘learn lessons’ but denies justice to their genocide: Ananthi

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 March 2014 13:58 No Comment]

The Right to Protect (R2P) concept, accepted by the World Summit in 2005, has totally failed to save Eelam Tamils from the genocidal war in 2009, said NPC councillor, Ms Ananthi Sasitharan at the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday in Geneva. She addressed the council twice, one of them being in Tamil language. Although the United Nation, which has admitted its systemic failure on the conflict, chose to learn lessons from the failures in the island and came up with the Rights Up Front initiative, it has failed to deliver justice to the victims on whose fate these lessons were learned, Ms Ananthi told the Council. “As the victims of a continued genocide, we are disappointed with the resolutions being tabled at this respected assembly, year after year, failing to address the root-problem, which is genocide,” she told the Council.

At least three NGOs, including veteran human rights activist Karen Parker, demanded investigation on Tamil genocide at Geneva on Tuesday.

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The full text of Ananthi Sasitharan’s 3rd address on behalf of the Belgium-based Collectif des Femmes Africaines du Hainaut (CFAH), follows:

Thank you Chair,

We welcome the focus on mass atrocity crimes by this August assembly.

Today, I stand before this assembly, also as an elected representative of the Tamil National Alliance of the Northern Provincial Council from the island of Sri Lanka. I am also a victim, who lost her husband in the hands of the Sri Lankan military, after personally witnessing the surrender my husband at the end of war.

Following the genocidal war in the island, more than 146,000 Tamil people are still un-accounted for. The UN has said that tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed in 2009.

The 60-year-old genocide is still going on. We are subjected to cultural genocide, demographic genocide and structural genocide.

The democratic Northern Provincial Council has passed an important resolution demanding international investigation on situation akin to genocide.

The Tamil Nadu State Assembly in India has passed resolutions demanding independent international investigations into all crimes including genocide against Tamils. The Tamil Diaspora has also been demanding the same.

As the victims of a continued genocide, we are disappointed with the resolutions being tabled at this respected assembly, year after year, failing to address the root-problem, which is genocide.

In our opinion, it is not enough to look only at the war crimes of the final months. It is not enough to treat the whole affair, as something related to individual human rights violations alone. The approach of equating the crime-of-genocide in the North and East, with the individual human rights violations in the South, is not helping the victims on the ground.

The judges of the Permanent People’s Tribunal have found Sri Lanka guilty of genocide in their verdict given last December at Bremen in Germany.

In the opinion of Tamil victims, the R2P concept, accepted by the World Summit in 2005, has totally failed in saving Eelam Tamils from the genocidal war in 2009.

After 2009, following reports after reports, the UN has admitted its systemic failure on the conflict.

Learning lessons from the failure in our conflict, the UN has come up with Rights Up Front initiative.

However, Justice is not delivered to the victims, on whose fate these lessons were learned. Justice delayed is Justice denied.

Thank you very much for your attention!

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Representing Vivekananda Sevakendra-O-Sishu Uddyan, an NGO with Special Consultative Status with United Nation-ECOSOC, Ms Ananthi Sasitharan gave an address in Tamil. The English version of the statement, released to media by the NPC concillor in Geneva, follows:

Thank you Chair,

We welcome the focus on mass atrocity crimes by this August assembly.

Today, I stand before this assembly, also as an elected representative of the Tamil National Alliance of the Northern Provincial Council from the island of Sri Lanka. I am also a victim, who lost her husband in the hands of the Sri Lankan military, after personally witnessing the surrender my husband at the end of war. I also represent thousands of people, who are still searching for their family members.

Following the genocidal war in the island, more than 146,000 Tamil people are still un-accounted for. The UN has said that tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed in 2009.

But after May 2009, genocide has intensified as a process in different forms.

The Sri Lankan military which is made of Sinhalese occupies our homeland. The number of military men occupying has increased year after year. We do not have rights to our land. Our land is taken away from us by the Sri Lankan military and Sinhala settlers. Due to the military occupation, there is no safety for women and girls. Rape and sexual violence happens regularly.

Even as I speak here today, two prominent human rights activists, Rev. Fr. Praveen and Mr Ruki Fernando who went to Kilinochchi to voice for the rights of a Tamil mother and her daughter have been put under arrest by the Sri Lankan State under the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Several of our temples and churches are destroyed and Buddhist statues are built. Our culture is being destroyed day by day. We are not even allowed to light candles for our dead. The Sri Lankan state wants to erase our land, our culture, our history and our memory.

All of this can be read from several reports.

The Bremen-Permanent People’s Tribunal concluded that what happened to the Tamils during the war and what is on-going is genocide.

Yet, the UN has done nothing to stop it. It has not even recognized it. I can speak for the Tamils in the homeland that we are very disappointed with the earlier resolutions and this draft resolution. They do not address any of the problems we face. Even the word “Tamil” has not been mentioned.

The Sri Lankan state is incapable of reforming itself. It is a genocidal state and it cannot conduct an inquiry on itself. There must be a UN mechanism for independent international investigation into the genocide. There also should me measures to halt the on-going genocide.

I again speak as a mother and as a representative of Tamil mothers back home. We want our children, our future, to be secure in our homeland. With our identity. With peace. With dignity. With justice.

The world has this responsibility to our Tamil nation which has suffered brutal state persecution for over 60 years.

Thank you very much for your attention!

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