22 September, 2018

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Ananthi, North East Disappearances Committees Seek UN Monitored Investigation Into Enforced Disappearances In Sri Lanka

Northern Provincial Councillor and Tamil National Alliance Member Ananthi Sasitharan has written to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressing mistrust in local mechanisms to address enforced disappearances and seeking a UN monitored international inquiry into forced disappearances and abductions.

Tamil National Alliance Member Ananthi Sasitharan

Tamil National Alliance Member Ananthi Sasitharan

Writing on behalf of the Disappearances Committees of the North and East, Sasitharan says at least four official truth seeking commissions had failed the survivors with some of them even failing to make their findings public. “We  previously had two commissions established by the then Presidents, respectively in 1995 and 1998,  to investigate forced disappearances which received around 30 000 complaints. Today 10,136 of the 30 000 complaints remained un-investigated,” Sasitharan said in her letter to Pillay via the local UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Colombo dated 20 January 2014.

“We also feel that “successive governments continued to use abductions and disappearances of persons as a convenient method of dealing with dissent or with those who become a thorn in their thorn in their sides” The interdicted were reinstated and often reassigned to the same duty stations from which they carried out abuses, thereby causing much distress to former victims,” Sasitharan’s letter said.

Explaining their distrust of the local mechanism, Sasitharan observes that Sri Lanka has no witness protection programme. “The lack of effective protection for witnesses against intimidation has been a very serious obstacle to the prosecution of human rights cases, and obstructs the work of any Commission of Inquiry by inhibiting witnesses and potential whistle-blowers. A bill to establish a rudimentary witness protection system in Sri Lanka has been stalled since June 2006,” her letter to Pillay said.

The current exercise to look into disappearances was just an attempt by the Government to buy time before the UNHRC Sessions in March 2014, Sasitharan notes, adding that the Disappearances Committees of the North and East strongly support an International independent UN working group to investigate enforced disappearances and abductions.

Following is the full text of the letter to Pillay;

Jaffna

20 January 2014

Her Excellency Navanetham Pillay

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Via

Mr. Golam Abbas

UNHCR Sri Lanka

No. 97, Rosmead Place

Colombo 7

Sri Lanka

Your Excellency,

Regarding: Seeking UN monitored international independent inquiry into forced disappearances and abductions.

We the committees of the disappearance from the North and East, write to you as representatives of the collective body, that still seek justice. We do not trust any mechanism created locally which in the past has not delivered justice to the survivors.

We would like to register with Your Excellency our distrust of any local mechanism that investigates forced disappearances and abductions. We have seen at least four official truth seeking commissions that failed the survivors;  some of them did not even release to the public their official findings.

We  previously had two commissions established by the then Presidents, respectively in 1995 and 1998,  to investigate forced disappearances which received around 30 000 complaints. Today 10,136 of the 30 000 complaints remained un-investigated. A more serious matter is that although special units were established to initiate criminal proceedings where prima facie evidence of responsibility was available and although legal proceedings were initiated against more than 500 police and army personnel, these proceedings largely targeted low-level officers and very few resulted in interdictions.[1] To Amnesty International’s knowledge, there have been only three convictions under the Convention Against Torture and other Inhuman and Degrading Punishment Act (The CAT Act) in Sri Lanka. Up to 2007 there had been fewer than 30 convictions for abduction or wrongful confinement (the charges normally associated with enforced disappearances).[2]

We also feel that “successive governments continued to use abductions and disappearances of persons as a convenient method of dealing with dissent or with those who become a thorn in their thorn in their sides”[3] The interdicted were reinstated and often reassigned to the same duty stations from which they carried out abuses, thereby causing much distress to former victims.[4]

Though President Rajapakse announced in 2006 that the government would invite an international independent commission to probe abductions, enforced disappearances and extra judicial executions in all the areas of the country, instead the government invited an International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) to act as observers of the activities of the local commission. The IIGEP issued several statements concerning procedural flaws that affected the transparency and independence of the Commission and the protection of witness, before it formally withdrew its services.

We also feel that “the history of these commissions provides an indicator of how commissions can be manipulated to defeat dissent and channel criticism of human rights towards institutions set up by the government of the day to protect itself. Even when commissions have fought against the odds for justice their work was restricted and compromised and their recommendations for prosecutions and reform were buried; many dissenting voices who engaged with these commissions have been threatened and the aspirations of those who testified have been betrayed”.[5]

Sri Lanka has no witness protection programme. The lack of effective protection for witnesses against intimidation has been a very serious obstacle to the prosecution of human rights cases, and obstructs the work of any Commission of Inquiry by inhibiting witnesses and potential whistle-blowers. A bill to establish a rudimentary witness protection system in Sri Lanka has been stalled since June 2006. And although efforts to initiate an effective witness protection system are necessary and welcome, legal experts in Sri Lanka have noted significant flaws in the proposed legislation and the process by which it was drafted. Among the most troubling of these flaws were: its lack of an independent Protection Division (it relies instead on the Sri Lankan police force); its ban on foreign assistance for the purposes of witness protection; and the requirement that a public officer must be present when a witness is testifying.[6]

We also would like to bring to your kind notice that Mr. Sunesh who was part of Disappearance Committee team and led the march during CHOGM during Mr. Camerron’s visit to Jaffna, was threatened and Mr. Sundaram Mahendran the head of the Committee of Missing Persons was attacked in Trincomalee when they held a peaceful demonstration on Human Rights Day in Trincomalee.

It is our grave concern that the government is using this exercise to buy time before the Genenva session in March and we are certain that the victims will not have justice. Therefore we strongly support an International independent UN working group to investigate enforced disappearances and abductions.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed),

Mrs. Ananthy Sasitharan

Member of Northern Provincial Council

On behalf of the Disappearance Commissions North and East.



[1] M.C.M. Iqbal, ‘Disappearances Commissions of Sri Lanka: A Commentary on Certain Aspects of Their Reports’ Voice, October, 2002

[3] Ilias Bantekas and Lutz Oette, International Human Rights Law and Practice, Cambridge University, 2013, p. 358

[4] M.C.M.Iqbal.

[5] Romesh Silva, Britto Fernando and Vasuki Nesiah, Clarifying the Past and Commemorating Sri Lanka’s Disappeared; A Descriptive Analysis of Enforced Disappearances Documented by Families of the Disappeared, Colombo: Families of the Disappeared/Human Rights Data Analysis Group, Benetech/International Center for Transitional Jusitce, 2007

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Latest comments

  • 5
    16

    Oooooops…. she is definitely going for Rajapakse’s Rehab program.

    :-)

    • 18
      4

      Rajapaksa will be a fool to attempt to “rehabilitate” Ananthi. At a time when the noose is tightening around his fat neck this will galvanise the tamil people and the international community and help to strangulate him. Ananthi was elected with the second highest number of votes to the NPC and her courage and activism is recognised by the VIPs she meets these days. So, hands off the fearless fighter for the disappeared.

      • 0
        7

        Ego will blind them

      • 2
        7

        She is an escaped LTTE moron and must be arrested for rehabilitation.

        She did not contest the EP elections because people of Trinco know her very well. Her invilvement inland grabs and murders are well known in Trinco where she lived as an LTTE.

        CM of NPC did not recognise the so called activism. Jaffna people voted Fonseka also even after he rediculed Tamils as second class. So, her votes cannot be a factor against her arrest and sending for rehab.

        Now 2900 parents are recomended for compensation for the loss of their children at the hands of LTTE criminals.

        • 1
          0

          Only 2,900???
          This is lot less than 40,000 scored by SL Army.

          :-)

    • 6
      4

      you are right Gota will put MR in more deep Sh*t

    • 6
      14

      The rehab programs will have no effect on hardcore terrorists such as this woman. She has been a committed member of a racist, murderous, terrorist outfit, the LTTE for too long. She probably was engaged in killing of Sinhala babies and women, recruitment of children as soldiers, credit card fraud, drug peddaling, prostituition. Pullai will listen to this woman, because they both are pro LTTE. No need for rehab because soon the LTTE will gift her a pair of concrete boots and take her for a swim in the Jaffna lagoon.

    • 7
      5

      She’s not a blady Muslim or a Sinhalese traitor to get rehabilitated.

      • 5
        6

        Maveeran

        “She’s not a blady Muslim or a Sinhalese traitor to get rehabilitated.”

        I hate to agree with you.

        However there are others who urgently need rehabilitation are

        Yourself, Kalistani, Jimsofty, Derv,Hela, Senaratne, Lal (Lalu Prasad Yadav is his Bihari cousin) ……… and few other.

  • 6
    20

    This is typical Tamils.

    First they supported hording Tamils as the hostages and as a military defence.

    Now, they complain about that.

    They are always shameless.

    • 10
      5

      Jimsoftly
      A shameless [Edited out] like you shouldn’t be telling others how to live. First try to stay firmly for your basic human rights without [Edited out]to live.

  • 8
    3

    This poor, naive victim of her Tiger husband is being again victimized by the parasitic NGOs, HR organizations and the TNA. Every one of you will burn in hell for deflecting justice from the true victims of the war.

    • 7
      6

      Wdf are you talking about nobjockey. Which organisation do you belong to? And who are the true victims of war?

    • 4
      3

      You are a victim of the MR and his gang; it has not dawned on you yet!

  • 11
    7

    Ananthi you are doing a wonderful job. Keep it up but be careful.

    • 1
      0

      Why didn’t you tell that to her before 2009

  • 3
    4

    How the hell she write to anybody because this uneducated terrorist doesn’t know how to speak, read or write in English. What about the forced abductions and recruitment by her beloved fellow tamil terrorists. Her terrorist husband also involved in forced recruitment of children, there are evidence that, at least 2900 kids died in the battle ground.

    Now these f…. terrorist speak about HR, witness protection, equal treatment. Before 2009 these criminals didn’t even know such thing exist in this world, but now these f…. criminals pretend to be the godfathers of HR. Sooner or later you criminals will have to pay for your sins.

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 4
      1

      It is time reader Sadith educates himself Ananthi, though not fluent in English, is very articulate in her mother tongue – Tamil. She is also an able and articulate public speaker, who has a very large popular following. Your description of her being “uneducated” therefore, is unfortunate and irresponsible.

      As to your description of her being a Terrorist, please note Sarath Fonseka gives the same label to Mahinda and Gotabaya Rajapakse.
      Fidel Castro, Che Guevera, Yasser Arafat, Mandela were all called
      so at one time. The same world honoured them as Statesmen and political leaders later. You must learn to distinguish between wholesome criticism and racial slander in your public comments.

      Kettikaran

  • 7
    3

    Ananthi
    I salute you! You are selfless. I hope the world body will focus on the forgotten land of 2009 humanely, and truly work for closure and peace for all the souls that are suffering for generations. It only needs an honest mediator to facilitate the healing process with a touch of humanity among the ailing communities especially the Tamil commmunity. While acknowledging your courage I hope the world body will see through your pain and misery and come out strongly for which it is paid for with empathy and professionalism. My tears and feelings are with you and all the other bleeding hearts of Lanka. Let this very ‘Just Plea’ of yours be the beginning towards the march to healing.

    • 2
      5

      I know very well how her family involved in land grabs. Many of the lands belonged to EPDP and other opposing families. Many males of those families simply bumped off by her husban terrorist.

      What are you going to do about the families who lost their bread winner by ELILAN, husband of this terrorist Ananthi?

      • 7
        1

        Siva,

        You know everything….you even claim VP’s 10 year old son was not murdered by SL Army but living in Europe.

        It’s time you go to Geneva and help MaRa.

        :-)

        • 1
          1

          Yes! I help our Maha Raja Mahendra Rajapakse who saved Hindu Tamils from the Church morons!

  • 6
    3

    Why does this TAMIL woman have to write and ask for an investigation?

    Don’t the Sinhalese Buddhists SUBSCRIBE to the DOCTRINE of HUMAN RIGHTS?

    Does the Sri Lankan STATE not subscribe to this doctrine? Don’t all Sinhala Buddhists teach their children this doctrine of human rights?

    Should not the President and the Mahanayakas themselves have asked for an international inquiry to expose any actions that are not in keeping with the doctrine of human rights and punish those responsible? Why has this not happened as yet?

  • 7
    6

    Ananthi Akka,
    You have become a NPC council member and took oath under the SL national flag and living a lavish life with the money you get from Tamil Diaspora.But,the women whose husbands were killed by your husband Elilan when he was the area commander in Trinco have to sell themselves for their surival.Tigers never accepted anything other than Eelam.But,you accepted the provincial council and enjoying all the benefits being a member of NPC.

    • 2
      4

      How many people did he kill?

  • 7
    6

    Ho!

    Please rehabilitate her and her 3 daughters before they end up like her.

  • 4
    4

    Ananthi, in fairness to also her grieving children must explore every avenue to bring justice to her missing husband. Bensen

  • 1
    2

    Our history is full of women who rose to the occasion amidst all odds. Ananthi follows them. A true daughter of Mother Lanka.

    • 0
      0

      Are you referring to Mrs.Amirthalingam who said she will wear slippers made out of the skins of the sinhalese?i can’t think of any other women in our male chauvinistic society who has been allowed to rise up for any occasion.In fact they have been asked to lie down and spread their legs whenever it rises up for the blokes.That is their main duty it seems.Example see how many women in the norhern PC cabinet.How many women in the TGTE cabinet.None.Rise up indeed.haha ha If only they are given a chance to do that.

      • 3
        0

        “Are you referring to Mrs.Amirthalingam who said she will wear slippers made out of the skins of the Sinhalese” This alleged comment was used to work up the Sinhala thugs to attack, steal from and murder thousands of Tamils in 7/83. I happened to know
        Dr. Neville Fernando well – then MP (Panadura) and who is supposed to have conveyed this to the media and others. Dr. Fernando since giving up politics took to business and became a billionaire earning millions of dollars in foreign exchange by exports from his Ceramic factory. He, thereafter, owned and ran the former Asha Hospitals located at Horton Place, Colombo 7 and now is engaged in a massive Medical and Technical University in the suburbs (Malabe?) Surely a model businessman and great son of Sri Lanka. Soft-speaking and kind gentleman he is, he vehemently denied this fabricated story and even went to the extent of stating both Mr/Mrs. Amirthalingam were his close friends. Do. Fernando is healthy and around to confirm this.

        Senguttuvan

        • 0
          0

          sengu,i got that from mahesan niranjan’s article.Please read it.It is obvious he is referring to himself in it.

          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-forecasting-snow-in-jaffna/

          • 0
            0

            here is the extracts

            [The venue was an election rally of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) at the Amman Kovil (temple) grounds in Nallur, reportedly the site of a major battle between the invading Portugese and the local king.

            There were speeches charged with high emotion at the rally. They promised to separate the country, and teach the oppressors a lesson by drinking their blood and making slippers out of their skins.]

        • 0
          1

          Sansoni Commission did not accept the “slipper”story and rejected the witness as a liar.

          • 0
            0

            Siva,did Mrs.Amir ever deny that she said that?I can’t remember if she did.

      • 1
        0

        Shankar, my chap, i don’t have the intellegence to respond to you.

        • 0
          1

          Ditto.Same boat as you.Welcome Vishva to the tamil donkey club.First two members are me and sivananthan.You are the third.Our club motto is never to let the sinhalese play our ASS again.We have barred entry to kali. Donkeys yes,nuts no.

      • 0
        0

        Shankar

        You have conveniently forgotten Srimavo Bandaranayake and Chandrika Bandaranayake. They are women. And they are Sri Lankan.

        Mrs Amirthalingam Cackled when Amirthalingamn Lived. She Vanished into this air when Amirthalingam got killed.

        Your Comparison is lopsided.Please!

        • 0
          0

          Levi,I got the impression that vishvajith was referring to tamil women because of the context of ananthi being the wife of ellilan and his praise for her.If i’am wrong on that and he was referring to all women,then you are right.For tamil women of srilanka very difficult to find one like chandrika.Sirimavo of course got the job falling into her lap,but chandrika was a strong woman.

          anyway my main point is women have a very tough time in srilanka to come up because it is a male dominated society.I hope at least the tamils follow the west and start to unchain them so that they can achieve their true potential.i’am dead against sex discrimination and for that matter any discrimination at all.

          • 1
            0

            Shankar, my chap, you clearly missed my post, here is the last line ” A true daughter of Mother Lanka “.

            • 0
              0

              yep,after levi’s comment i reread yours and saw that one.So i thought maybe levi was right because i had misunderstood your one.

              Perception is everything.When reading something a perception forms in the mind when 99% of what is written points to something and 1% at the end points to the opposite.I am a mistake prone human too.

  • 1
    7

    She was supposed to die as a black tiger or as a suicide bomber. Sri Lankan govt saved her. Now, she is preaching Tribalism.

  • 2
    4

    A former Terrorist who helped thousands of innocent people getting killed is not talking about disappearances.

    Where is War crime investigations to make these criminals accountable to their past acts ?

    They should be arrested and should be made accountable.

    • 2
      0

      Are you talking about Karuna, Pillaiyan, KP, Daya…….

      :-)

      • 0
        1

        Tehy all are Tamil – killers forgiven by Sinhalese.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 1
    3

    What about atrocities committed by the LTTE’s Trico leader Ellilan, this woman’s husband?

    • 0
      0

      that was not his fault because atrocities occurred during the pre rehabilitation period.If the GOSL had got him earlier and made him follow gota’s rehabilitation course then he would have done something useful to the country instead of damaging it.fault lies in the GOSL for delaying rehabilitation due to political games they played.

      Ellilan is excused because he was never given the opportunity to reform.

      No such excuse for the wife who is refusing rehabilitation.Wih a lot of TLC from the army she will regain her ability to love instead of hate.

  • 5
    4

    She must first condemn the war crimes committed by her terrorist husband and the LTTE cannibals against her own people, and against the Sinhalese and Muslims. She must condemn Prabakaran as a deranged mass-murderer, child-killer, serial assassin and a coward. She must also acknowledge the fact that the only instance of ethnic-cleansing that ever took place in Sri Lanka was perpetrated by the Tiger savages against the poor Muslim people who had lived in the Jaffna Peninsula for centuries. If she doesn’t do that she has no credibility. She can go to hell.

    • 2
      3

      Sri Lankan govt. and the thugs involved in all the pogroms since 1956 against the innocent Tamils have to acknowledge their guilt and apologise first. Not only that they have to make amends for their sins. They created the whole tragedy that followed. They created Prabaharan. The way this govt is going, they have surpassed all the previous govt. in cruelty, corruption, nepotism, murder, rape, arson, mass killings, abduction, torture, drug peddling, illicit arms trade etc. In short every crime under the sun!!

  • 0
    0

    The following is a link to an article by D.B.S.Jeyaraj on Ananthy Sasitharan and her husband ‘Ellilan’:

    http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/27579#more-27579

    The essence of the story sans the specific identification of ‘Ellilan’, conforms to what I had heard from the war-displaced.

    The fact that Ananthy continued to work at the Kilinochchi Kachcheri even after the war ended, as a government servant, despite being identified as ‘Ellilan’s Wife’ is relevant to her story and present significance.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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