The Government of Tamil Nadu should come forward to take a lead in the future in representing the aspirations of Eelam Tamils in the world arena in demanding justice for the genocide committed against the Eelam Tamils, Ananthy Sasitharan, a councillor from the Northern Provincial Council, has said in an interview to TamilNet Palaka’ni during her visit to Europe in September, when she made a submission in person to the OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka. “We urge the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to have a foreign policy with regards to Eelam Tamils,” the councillor from the Northern Provincial Council said.
“There is a sense of big animosity prevailing between the Government of India and the Eelam Tamils. Our people on the ground feel that the Indian government, which armed various Tamil groups in the beginning and created divisions among them, was also behind the total annihilation that took place in Mullaiththeevu in 2009. Look at how the Sri Lankan Government has been repeatedly and openly thanking the Indian Government for its role during the war. Knowing the Indian position, the TNA leaders who met the new Indian PM seem to have avoided taking up the issue of Indian stand on OISL investigations,” Ananthy Sasistharan, who visited Europe in September told TamilNet.
“The Tamil National Alliance issued statements in newspapers asking the people to submit their evidences to OISL. But, I am not aware of TNA’s role in organising people to submit their evidences,” the TNA councillor further said alluding that TNA leadership has not utilized its real support on the ground to mobilise people to make their submissions to the OISL.
“But, Tamil Nadu has a crucial role to play in demanding justice for the genocide committed on Eelam Tamils. We are thankful to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State [Ms Jayalalithaa] for the resolutions passed by the State Assembly in the past. The Tamil Nadu CM should come forward to take forward a foreign policy representing the Eelam Tamils and the Tamils in Tamil Nadu.,” Ms Ananthy Sasitharan said.
“I submitted my eyewitness report to UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts in 2011 with an expectation of justice for the genocide affected Tamil people. But, we were disappointed as their report blamed both the parties equally,” she said.
“There were several reasons for that outcome. One of the reasons was the lack of reporting skills among the victims in delivering their submissions. The victims on the ground didn’t have adequate know-how and means to convey their message to the PoE,” the TNA councillor said.
“At the same time, the Sri Lankan government, knowing what the PoE was requesting, executed a manipulative move by creating several e-mail accounts and flooding the offices of the UN with false and exaggerated submissions that unjustly blamed the Tamil side.”
“Now, especially when the OISL is conducting its investigations, is even blocked from visiting the island, and amidst the intensified threats and harassments, there is a serious lack of activism among the victims”, Ms Sasitharan further said in her interview.
“I will be witnessing in front of the OISL in person also this time. It is important to convey the true nature of the genocidal violence, which was committed upon us in Vanni. We should place our submissions and the set our records right even though there is a risk that even this OISL investigation could fail the victims by not recognising the real crime of genocide. As a people subjected to a protracted genocide, we need to demand investigations on genocide through presenting our cases in the right context,” Ms Sasitharan said.
Not only the direct witnesses, all those who knew what was going on, should file their submissions, Ananthy Sasitharan said.