UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay, who met a section of the uprooted people of Champoor in Trincomalee on Wednesday, told them that she was aware of their plight. On Tuesday, Ms Pillay, who visited Mu’l’li-vaaykkaal in Mullaith-theevu sympathized with the victims struggling to resettle amidst the prevailing SL military occupation and the ongoing structural genocide. Noticing fear in the people in speaking out in the presence of the surrounding SL military personnel clad in civil, she told them that they may whisper in her ears. Her direct contact with the victims in Vanni and Trincomalee comes after criticism on the conduct of the UN officials, who in Jaffna on Tuesday had opted to take her away through the backdoor following ‘advice’ by the SL authorities, preventing her meeting with around one thousand parents and victims of the missing people at the Jaffna Public Library.
Tamil rights activists in Jaffna blame the Colombo-centric UN officials as being instrumental in avoiding Ms Pillay’s contact with key civil society leaders and human rights activists on the ground.
Ms Pillay’s scheduled visit to former ‘High Security Zone’ in Valikaamam that is now being converted into a Sinhala Military Zone was also avoided citing practical problems.
However, informed sources in Jaffna told TamilNet that Ms Pillay had reacted to the usual ‘development’ showcase by the SL Governor Major General (retd) G.A. Chandrasiri.
Ms Pillay told the SL officials in Jaffna that she was more interested in witnessing what had been achieved on the human rights front. She also questioned whether the people on the ground had been consulted in designing the ‘development’ projects that were being displayed to her, the informed sources further said.
The SL military had temporarily dismantled more than a hundred check posts from Jaffna to Mullaith-theevu. Some posts were hurriedly bulldozed. The SL ‘victory’ exhibition-cites had been locked and some monuments were even covered with tarpaulin sheets. Uniformed soldiers were replaced with civil-clad and pistol-armed military personnel on the streets from Jaffna to Mullaiththeevu on Tuesday.
The Colombo-based reporters, who were focusing on the bizarre statement by the notorious SL gangster-minister Mervin Silva as saying that he was prepared to marry Ms Pillay, failed in exposing the ‘groundwork’ by the SL military in displaying a semblance of normalcy to the visiting UN Human Rights High Commissioner.
The foreign reporters based in Colombo have also failed in covering the nuanced situation that prevails on the ground.
On matters related to the island, an international media gang-up operates for a long time, carefully orchestrated by the architects who conducted the genocidal war without witnesses and who are now busy with the structural genocide and in keeping everything under the carpet. The international media had been told to handle Navi Pillay visit in such a way not jeopardizing the ‘agendas’ set for the forthcoming months, said an informed diplomat in Colombo.
Ms Pillay’s visit precedes the UNHRC session in Geneva in September, where she is expected to make an oral preliminary report on the progress in the implementation of the LLRC-based resolution tabled by the USA and fine-tuned by India in March this year.