Ananthi addresses UNHRC in Geneva on continued genocide against Tamils
[TamilNet, Friday, 14 March 2014, 14:13 GMT]
Ms Ananthi Sasitharan, the popular TNA councillor of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on Friday addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council's 25th session taking place in Geneva. She requested the UN system to take “bold steps in understanding the 60-year-long genocide and investigate it through an independent international investigation.” Addressing the UNHRCs General Debate, the 47-year-old mother of three told the Council that the children affected in any war spend a lifetime to recover from the impact. “But, the Eelam Tamil children face a continued war with genocidal intent,” she said urging “concrete actions to safeguard our children from becoming permanent victims to the genocide.”
“As I speak here today, the Sri Lankan Army has arrested a 13-year-old girl, Vipooshika Balendran, who comes to every protest, crying and seeking to free her brother. Her arrest is as an open threat against every child protesting injustices,” Ms Ananthi told the Council.
Ms Ananthi Sasitharan addressing the UN Human Rights Council under General Debate on Agenda Item 2 on the Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary General
Full text of Ananthi Sasitharan's statement follows:
The children affected in any war spend a lifetime to recover from the impact. But, the Eelam Tamil children face a continued war with genocidal intent.
I am here today, not only as a voice of an NGO. But, also as a mother of three daughters, who are still searching for their father.
My husband, Elilan, was a political leader. He surrendered to the Sri Lanka Army in front of our own eyes, at the end of the war. Five years have gone. The Sri Lankan government has no answer to our questions. There are thousands of children, like mine, searching for their loved ones.
As I speak here today, the Sri Lankan Army has arrested a 13-year-old girl, Vipooshika Balendran, who comes to every protest, crying and seeking to free her brother. Her arrest is as an open threat against every child protesting injustices.
The occupying military, carrying weapons, is controlling every aspect of our civil lives. There is 1 soldier per 5 civilians. They are stationed around houses and schools.
The military is accused of sexual violence on Tamil women and children. The children are also forced to work. Military persons are also being appointed as teachers in the schools.
In the world of our children, the Armed Conflict is still there as before.
I urge the Council to take bold steps in understanding the 60-year-long genocide and investigate it through an independent international investigation.
We seek concrete actions to safeguard our children from becoming permanent victims to the genocide. We do not want our children to end up as a lost generation.
Thank you very much for your attention!* * *
Ms Sasitharan was addressing the Council representing the Belgium-based Collectif des Femmes Africaines du Hainaut (CFAH).
Ms Sasitharan personally witnessed Sri Lanka military taking away her husband, Mr Elilan, a political leader of the LTTE, at the end the Vanni War in May 2009.
Before leaving for Geneva, Ms Ananthi held a press conference in Jaffna, where she said that the international community had deceived the genocide affected Tamils on delivering international investigations.
“The draft resolution being circulated in Geneva has failed to satisfy even the minimum expectations. It has totally disregarded the repeated requests from Tamils to the IC to deliver international investigations,” she told the press in Jaffna blaming the TNA national list parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran for having instructed her to be silent at a crucial meeting with the representatives of 18 countries during her visit to Geneva last month.