Gajendrakumar challenges Sumanthiran on Geneva discourse
The biggest betrayal is failing to do the needful at the right time to the Tamil people through demanding the international community to make the right decision. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and its nominated politician M.A. Sumanthiran have failed the Tamil people by reducing their scope of demands to fit the agenda of regime change and sabotaged every attempt by fellow Tamil representatives to advance the limitations, said Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, the president of the Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF) at a press conference held in Jaffna on Sunday in response to the accusations levelled against the TNPF by Mr Sumanthiran at an earlier press conference in Jaffna on Friday.
Everyone in Geneva expected the TNA, as the elected party with mandate, to spell out clearly what the Tamil people wanted. But, the TNA and its alliance partners were in fact sabotaging the representation of Tamil demands, the TNPF leader accused, citing examples from what really took place in Geneva.
Gajendrakumar was responding to Sumanthiran who had assailed all those who had critiqued the draft.
In the eyes of Sumanthiran, the resolution passed in Geneva consisted everything that could be achieved in the Human Rights Council discourse and all those who critiqued the resolution in order to strengthen it were destructive in their conduct.
Gajendrakumar said the resolution, although it had an international dimension, has limited the scope of the OHCHR investigation into the human rights paradigm along the path of regime change. There was no mention of the Tamil national question. In fact, the resolution has presented the case as that of ‘religious minorities’.
Out of the four possible international investigation mechanisms at the UN, two mechanisms are possible through the Human Rights Council and the other two need to be taken through the Security Council. What has been achieved at the UNHRC this year is the minimum possible one, which calls for the OHCHR to monitor and conduct investigations, which should result in a report to the UNHRC in one year.
Many countries would have supported a demand to strengthen the resolution into an independent Commission of Inquiry (CoI), which is the strongest one that could be achieved in the UNHRC. Also, it should have been possible to give a wider mandate to the investigating commission to pay a particular attention on crimes against humanity.
But, when the TNPF and civil society representatives met the representatives of these countries at Geneva, they told the TNPF that no Tamil representative had asked for wider mandate. All those who had come to see them from the Tamil side were only talking about wooing support to the US-draft.
TamilNet presents the press conference speeches of both M.A. Sumanthiran and Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam: