Ananthi Sasitharan calls for international investigation

Ananthy Sasitharan 2  Addressing the general debate on the Promotion and Protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, the Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan made a statement on behalf of the NGO, Collectif des Femmes Africaines du Hainaut (CFAH), in which she called for an international investigation into the genocide of the Tamil people.

 See the video of her address from 11:17 onwards.

“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.”

Addressing the council again on the general debate of the Item 2, Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, Ananthi Sasitharan spoke for a second time on behalf of the NGO, Collectif des Femmes Africaines du Hainaut (CFAH).

See the video of her address, from 15:58 onwards.

Thank you Chair,

We welcome the annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. We recognize the special role played by the High Commissioner Ms Navanetham Pillay.

Today, I stand before this assembly, representing the NGO VSSU, and also as an elected representative of the Tamil National Alliance in the Northern Provincial Council from the island of Sri Lanka.

Five years have gone after the end of war in the island. The homeland of the Tamil people in the North and East of the island is now occupied by a genocidal military.

We are very disappointed with the resolutions passed by this assembly in 2012 and 2013. The new draft resolution, to be submitted to this session, has also disappointed us a lot.Our main problems are not addressed by these resolutions.

The root problem is the 60-year-old genocide against our people. This genocide is still going on without a war. We call it a structural genocide.

The annual report has correctly identified the lack of a political will on the part of Sri Lankan system to conduct domestic investigations.

In addition, the Sri Lankan State is committing the crime of Genocide-Denial. How can we expect the Sri Lankan State to conduct credible and independent investigation? We welcome the call by the High Commissioner to this assembly to appoint a Commission of Inquiry on Sri Lanka.

But, as victims, we sense a lack of political will as an investigation on the genocide has not been called for by the OHCHR and the UN system in general.

We request this assembly to call for international investigation on genocide – and as an immediate step – to come out with a mechanism to stop the on-going genocide of Eelam Tamils.

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