Protesters condemning OISL delay burn effigy of Sumanthiran

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 February 2015, 15:06 GMT]
Condemning the recently announced deferral of the OISL investigative report by the OHCHR in Geneva, voicing against the talk of UN converting the international investigation into a domestic one, and demanding immediate response on the fate of the thousands of missing persons, Women’s Organisation of Missing Persons' Families in Jaffna staged a protest on Saturday in front of the Bus Stand in the city. The protestors, numbering more than 250, blamed New Delhi and Washington for buying time and space for the Sri Lankan State, with the intention of shielding the crime of genocide. At the end of the protest, an effigy of nominated TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran was burnt by a section of youth from the ITAK, who blamed the Colombo-centric elements within the TNA for collaborating with the global actors discarding the fundamental principles of the Tamil cause.

Sumanthiran effigy
The effigy of Sumanthiran burnt at the protest in Jaffna
Protest in Jaffna
Protest in Jaffna
“Burning the effigy of Sumanthiran is nothing personally against him. It is symbolic in sending message to a genre of polity and to the ultimate culprits, who use that genre to engineer a shielded genocidal course to erase the national question of Eezham Tamils,” said one of the youth activists in Jaffna.

Using the OISL deferral and ostensibly citing new circumstances in the island, New Delhi and Washington plan to convert the international investigation on the island into a domestic one, supervised for ‘namesake’ by the OHCHR, the Tamil activists said.

One of the slogans carried by the protesters cited the news headline by the New York based Inner City Press, which read: “After Zeid Gets Sri Lanka a Deferral, Ban Ki-moon Goes Domestic (17 Feb.)”

It is also widely suspected that New Delhi is particularly against any international investigation. Last month, writing in The Hindu, the former commander of the war-crimes accused 1987-1990 IPKF of India has also advocated for the UN-supervised domestic model of investigation.

Mr Sumanthiran was cited by media this week, advocating for the same model rather than demanding international investigation, while the TNA-ruled NPC has resolved for international investigation on genocide. Why can't the TNA think of expelling him from the party for breaching party discipline, asked one of the youth activists.

Meanwhile, participating the protest, TNA Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran questioned the current status of undisclosed detention centers, which were reportedly run by the previous regime in Hambantota, Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

In May 2009, following the repeated announcements by the Co-Chair members, who were steering the peace process (USA, Japan, Norway and the EU), that the Tamil people from Vanni should be allowed to come over to Sri Lanka Army controlled Vavuniyaa, the families of hundreds of former LTTE members handed over their family members to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), especially after the announcement of ‘general amnesty’ by the occupying SLA. The SL military took the surrendees to undisclosed locations in several buses. The fate of these prisoners of war is not yet known.

Now, the new regime has extended the time of the presidential commission of inquiry on the issue by another six months. The UN has also postponed the publishing of the OISL report.

Protest in Jaffna

The protesters also questioned whether the OISL would now be prepared to investigate the root crime of genocide carried out by the successive governments of Sri Lanka.

“PPT investigations said Genocide. NPC has demanded genocide investigations. Why UN still not ready to investigate it?” the protestors further questioned.

TNA's Northern Province councillors Ananthy Sasitharan and Gajatheepan, TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran, veteran ITAK leader Prof S.K. Sitrampalam, TNPF politicians Selvarajah Kajendren, Manivannan, Media Coordinator of Democratic Peoples Front (DPF) from the Western Province, S. Bhaskara, and several civic members of the TNA in the Jaffna district took part in the protest.

Protest in Jaffna
Protest in Jaffna

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External Links:
The Hindu: Consolidating post-election gains in Sri Lanka
Daily News: TNA in a huff over domestic mechanism



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