Saddened that he didn’t join LTTE says PA MP

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 October 2002, 15:04 GMT]
Mr. V. Puththirasihamani, a leading Tamil trade union leader and MP of President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s People’s Alliance said Wednesday that he was saddened that hadn’t joined the Liberation Tigers yet after seeing the violence perpetrated on Jaffna. He was addressing a meeting between the parents and relatives of missing persons in the peninsula and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Human Rights at the Jaffna District Secretariat, Thursday morning.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Human Rights is on a visit to Jaffna to study and to make recommendations for improving human rights in the north. The President and members of the National Human Rights Commission accompanied the Select Committee.

Labour Minister Mahinda Samarasingha
Labour Minister Mahinda Samarasingha addressing the conference in the Jaffna Kachcheri (secretariat) Thursday.
“We did not come here to get death certificates for our children. We have come here to find out what happened to our children. You should find out who committed wrongs against our children and the perpetrators in the military should be punished,” said a woman from the Association of Parents, Guardians of Disappeared in Jaffna in response a suggestion by Mr. R. Sampanthan, MP, the leader of the Parliamentary group of the Tamil National Alliance, that death certificates could be issued for the youth who went missing after being arrested by the Sri Lanka army in Jaffna in 1996-7 so that parents and relatives could seek compensation.

Members of the Committee, Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, Minister for Labour, Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Mr. Sampanthan and PA MPs Mr.Hemakumara Nanayakara and Mr. V. Puththirasihamani, spoke to the parents and relatives. The Vice Chancellor and several teachers of the Jaffna University and representatives of the Jaffna NGO consortium were also present at the conference.

The Chairman of the Human Rights Commission, Dr. Godfrey Goonatilleka deplored the predicament of IDPs and the ravages of war in Jaffna. He said his institution is planning to start a human rights education center in the peninsula soon.

The Jaffna University V. C, Professor. V. N. Balasundarampillai, noted that complaints are still recorded in Sinhala at the Police stations in Jaffna.

PA parliamentarian, Mr. Puththirasihamani.
Mr. Puththirasihamani having kool at Hindu Minister Maheswaran's home.
“The government should say what happened to the persons who went missing in Jaffna in 1996. Documents have been destroyed in the war in the peninsula. Therefore compensation and relief to war affected persons in Jaffna should be given sans the documents normally required for the purpose,” he said.

The Parliamentary Committee was hosted to a special lunch of Palmyra toddy and ‘Kool’, a traditional porridge cooked with seafood and flour made from dried Palmyra tubers by the Minister for Hindu Affairs, Mr. T. Maheswaran at his residence in Jaffna.

Parliamentary Select Committee on Human Rights
Meeting between the parents and relatives of missing persons in the peninsula and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Human Rights at the Jaffna District Secretariat, Thursday morning.

 

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