26 May, 2019

Blog

International Women’s Day: A Plea For Helping Tamil Women In Sri Lanka In Their Search For Justice

By Usha S Sri-Skanda Rajah –

Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

As the world marks International Women’s Day, my thoughts are with Tamil women back in the homeland.   

Tamil women and girls in the island of Sri Lanka once known as Ceylon have been fighting against oppression, against marginalization, against violence, against the relentless persecution of their race for more than 70 years.

Their struggle for freedom and justice hasn’t ended yet.  

At the beginning Tamil women agitated for parity in language rights. This was when the Sinhala only bill was introduced, relegating Tamils and their language to second class status. All peaceful protests based on the Gandhian principles of Satyagraha and civil disobedience were violently crushed. 

Upon independence from Britain, and as Sinhala Buddhist supremacist philosophy spread, bigotry started to rear its ugly head and take root. Ceylon became the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the little protection {section 29 (2)} written into Ceylon’s Soulbury constitution, that Britain left, to protect Tamils against the ‘tyranny of the majority,’ was illegally removed outside parliament. With the adoption of more oppressive and discriminative policies, Tamils began to agitate for separation to chart their own destiny. 

The Vaddukodai Resolution of 1976 receiving an overwhelming mandate from the Tamil people in the general election of 1977, declared in no uncertain terms, “that the restoration and reconstitution of the Free, Sovereign, Secular, Socialist State of TAMIL EELAM based on the right to self determination inherent to every nation, has become inevitable in order to safeguard the very existence of the Tamil Nation in this country.”   

Thus began the struggle for a separate state. 

When all peaceful means for liberation was exhausted, Tamil women took up arms and stood shoulder to shoulder with Tamil men, second to no one, showing unbelievable and unparalleled courage and chivalry this world has ever witnessed. They fought hard to liberate the Tamil homeland, alongside Tamil men,  against Sri Lankan army occupation, amidst government sponsored pogroms, the passage of the 6th amendment which criminalized all advocacy for a separate Tamil state, amid government imposed embargo on fuel and other necessities, and the arrival of an Indian peacekeeping force that turned against Tamils. 

Tamil women freedom fighters fully involved themselves in a war that lasted nearly 30 years. 

The war ended when the Government of Sri Lanka decimated the armed rebellion and the Tamil liberation movement in May 2009, committing mass atrocities and genocide. Tens of thousands of innocent civilians were killed from government shelling and bombing and through extra-judicial executions.

Today on International Women’s Day, I want to salute the war affected yet still brave women of Tamil Eelam for their courage, convictions and fortitude. I salute, the freedom fighters who defended the soil of our beloved homeland and all those who’ve sacrificed their lives for freedom. I salute the mothers who desperately want to know the fate of their children disappeared by the Sri Lankan state, who have kept vigil, demanding answers and protesting relentlessly for more than two years out on the street; all the women who are defiant, who won’t give up fighting to get their land back from an occupying Sri Lankan army; all the war widows; all the girls orphaned by war; all the single mothers; all women breadwinners; all the hard working housewives and mothers who never rest; those women enduring poverty, caught in a debt trap laid by loan sharks charging exorbitant interest; those women slighted by the caste system; women who can’t marry because there are fewer men after the war or have to suffer persecution and harassment from husbands or in-laws because their parents cannot furnish the dowry demanded of them and or victimized by the Tamil society’s preoccupation with astrological considerations and planetary positions; women who have and are undergoing sterlisation because of purported financial incentives they have been or were promised, women oppressed and battered by their husbands or by men in the family; women who are psychologically abused; women and girls who are victims of incest; women who have to resort to prostitution for a living; women and girls who have been raped and who are the victims of sexual violence, abuse and torture.

I salute those women who are fighting peacefully and relentlessly for justice – who want an international judicial accountability mechanism to try senior Sri Lankan military and political leaders for enforced disappearances and mass atrocity crimes including genocide. In fact the mothers of the ‘enforced disappeared’ have written to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights not to give additional time for war crimes investigations:

“Most of us personally and voluntarily handed-over many of our family members, including children, to the Sri Lankan security forces at the end of the war in May 2009 in reliance on assurances that they would be safe. But almost ten years have passed, but there is no answer from the government about those we surrendered and they all remain disappeared,” they wrote. 

I also want to salute all the freedom activists agitating to free their homeland, Tamil Eelam including those seeking a referendum, conducted by the international community, for the people of the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka including the Diaspora, giving the people a chance to exercise their right to express their political will.   

As I salute these great women, I am also seeking the help of women around the world, also politicians, world leaders and members of the civil society to come together in solidarity and agitate not only for the rights of disadvantaged women everywhere but to raise their voices, use their influence and draw attention to the plight of Tamil women in my homeland and help them in their search for Justice. They need your help.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 1
    1

    Celebrate Global Anti-Male Day BY=== Reserving Public Transport for Women Only….Of Course Sponsored and Endorsed by UN (Most corrupt anti male institutions in world)…..
    *
    Bastered Democratically Elected P.I.G…Like Arjuna ranathunaga and Miss Univeres Freek Rosy Senanayake wants to
    *
    BRAND All men and boys as POTENTIAL Rapists……
    *
    By Instigating this it does Nothing Positive to the Harmony of Sri Lanka…It Divides Men & Women in Extreme manner that CREATES another barrier between them…
    *
    what is ORTHODOX FEMISISM is about [it is all about female is the EXCLUSIVE SEX…..FIRST SEX]…what is actually Illustrates How Barbarically Selfish and Cruel are Sri Lankan Women and Girls [Thats right 15+ year olds ] how Utterly Ignorant are they…. how do we men suppose to feel about ..is Completely Ignored by all…in crowded Miserable Condition People travel….
    *
    but to brand every male as a RAPIST has Succeeded… another great milestone a head for Sri Lankan Society…

    • 2
      1

      Us ha,

      It wasn’t only Tamil women, “low caste” Tamils, Tamils, Native Veddah Aethho from the Para-Sinhala who occupied the Land illegally.

      The Cause of the problem is the Paras leaving Bharat to be Paras in the Land. All the atrocities committed against women, low castes etc. only followed the Illegal Para occupation of the Land.

      In the Land certain segment of the women come under a law called MMDA, which allows to legally rape 12-year old girls, makewinen marry without signing the marriage, and generally considers women to be chattel of men.

      • 4
        0

        Usha!
        One cannot under estimate the contribution made by the Tamil Women in the battle field and in homes looking after the injured with heavy heart and flow of tears down their cheeks now dried up. No one would have expected the Tamil mothers to be on the streets for OVER TWO YEARS asking for their loved ones. and the government turning a blind eye to it in association with SamSum. Isaipriya being raped and murdered after capturing her cannot be forgiven. The courage mothers who gave their life to protect their children from the evil forces should be written in blood. The women of Pura nanuru is brought to our mind.

        • 1
          2

          Ananga is telling the truth. Most of the homicide bombers were Women. Even pregnant women were digging Trenches for Black tigers to hide.

        • 0
          0

          What you can forgive or not is not our problem. We do not want your forgiveness, we want only for you to leave our island and go back to Tamilnadu, with your lies, and live your pathetic hateful Tamil lives in your homeland.

          Did you see our army raping the Tamil terrorist Isaipriya? Is there any proof? If you have proof why are you not bringing charges?

          There’s a big problem with Isaipriya issue – Isaipriya’s video surfaced in March/April 2009 a good couple of months before the war ended, and was posted in Tamil sites together with the execution video. But Isaipriya is supposed to have read the news somewhere in May 2009. What is the truth about this? Also for a woman who supposedly was captured together with other terrorists, and been raped and killed, the pictures show no injuries or blood. This is highly suspicious. Why don’t you formally bring charges in a court of law, so that the truth can be at least attempted to be found and if she was harmed in any bad way the guilty will be punished. You people are simply not interested since you are in doubt too. You are using these pictures and videos in your anti-Sinhalese propaganda. You are not seeking justice for any of these supposed victims, you are seeking a collective punishment of the innocent Sinhalese people, which will never happen. You must know, even if some individual soldiers get convicted for having committed rape and murder, it does not mean that you are going to get a separate country in this island nor does it mean that there has been a genocide or anything of that nature.

    • 0
      1

      Does Rosie Senanayake have some thing, NOT JUST TALKING but, DOING SOMETHING to the 16 year old girl raped by the Southern. Rapist may used the excuse that HE dId IT WITH THE CONSENT OF THE GIRL. But, that is stupid CHEATING Provincial council member. does she have something to do to the Regional Educational director who was transferred by the FORMER HEAD OF THE ANTI_CORRUPT NGO- ASSEMBLY OF SRI LANKA, KEERTHI TENNEKOON who is a Provincial council governor now. PRESIDENT SHOULD FIRE HIM. IF other parties take him that should go against the values of UNP and SLFP.. MAITHRIPALA SIRISENA should fire him. MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE or RANil should not take him back from the back door.

    • 1
      0

      Dear Patriotic Eelam Tamils. As a patriotic eelam Tamil and a life long Eelam fighter and a close associate of Tamil National leader, i am pained to inform this writer Usha S Sri-Skanda Rajah, Rudrakumaran the fake prime minister and whole TETG have not delivered anything to Eelam Tamils . These bogus individuals are living good life out of the money donated by eelam Tamils.
      We, life long members of Tamil Eelam have now formed Tamil Eelam Action committee to investigate corruption of Tamil Eelam funds by the scums of TGTE. special group of former senior members of Tamil Eelam inteligence wing are now investigating these corruptions.
      According to our investigations these scumbs are misappropriating 450,000 USD a month , that is revenue from Tamil eelam assets. These funds are not even documented. But, our members , former members of Eelam overseas intelligence wing have a full dosier of eelam assets that existed prior to 2009.
      Rudrakumaran, homosexual fagot was never a leader of Tamil eelam. He was Castro’s cub boy . after the death of our national leader, and also pottu anna, these scumbs have taken hold of some assets personally. We also have found evidence these scums have cooperated with traitor KP in spliting the eelam assets between the two groups of traitors. Thalaivar during whole is lifetime paid attention to Tamil eelam overseas assets. No traitor who misused a cent was let lose. traitors were arrested , brought to Tamil eelam, and interogated. traitors spoke both from their mouth and anus and admitted all their crimes and were punished.
      Now eelam Tamils have no leader. All overseas assets of Liberation Tamil Tigers have been claimed by various groups.
      As the first step of rejuvenating the eelam struggle, we have decided to take over these assets. Traitors who do not comply will be punished accordingly
      Our national leader has shown us , eelam Tamils should not show any mercy to traitors. Traitors Mahattaya, Uma, Padmanaba were personally taught a lesson by our leader.

  • 3
    0

    Superb article Usha. Equality of the sexes in every aspect of life is THE fight. How different the world would be if women and girls were treated and valued on a par with men and boys.

  • 1
    2

    So much reconciliation and anti-Racism in the title. Sri lanka has only Tamils women who have needs. It is All sinhala buddhist Supremacy and Bhikkus are the problem..

  • 1
    3

    Tamils should give up Casteism and Tamil right to rape and kill low caste girls. Even sun god’s, that was floating in muddy lagoon , I think Army did that war crime,, LTTE did that British Tamils were watching those videos in channel 4. So much for women liberation.I know Some Bishops, cardinals, pastors in the North are women.

  • 0
    5

    Now in Srilanka Tamils or Muslims are not a problem. It is Protestants and Wahabis that are the problem. NGOs are mostly Protestants getting funded from overseas countries and organizations. Even Drug money may be working for them. I heard NGOs has something to do with DENGHU problem just like the Caterpillar attacking corn. I heard NGOs are saying we have some good Vaccine and buy it and no need to clean the areas around it. Certain talks of Maithripala Sirisena seems very much he is a Neo-Liberal now.

  • 3
    5

    It is the Same LTTE rump that is living luxury lives overseas with the LTTE funds collected some of which were collected by prostituting Tamil women and using Tamil women to transport Drugs in their body cavities, giving them cyanide capsule with mini blades within it, Partying with Adel Balasingham who distributed Cyanide Capsules to Tamil women, who supported recruiting Tamil women as Homicide bombers and Black tigers, now talk about Women’s rights. Why BTF or GTF could not do anything to 84,000 widows. Many Tamil women who committed suicide because they could not pay off the debts that vulture companies gave them. Some LTTE rump Members have multiple houses while doing full time LTTE work.

  • 0
    3

    Tamils were trying to self Immolate when they found the Mannar Mass Grave. Catholics from Madu says that MADU CHURCH which was forcefully grabbed from a Paththini Devala, priests were praying for those Catholics inthe Mannar grave. The truth should be, those are the Catholic converted Tamils of Mannar killed by Sankili, Yapanaya Wanninayake and there after Dutch killed Mannar Catholic all of whom were former Hindu Tamils. So, that includes at least 30 children. will the DUTCH and EUROPEAN tamils sue Colonial masters for killing Tamils and ask for RELIGIOUS GENOCIDE charges against Europeans. they are kings of the UNHCR this time against Srilanka.

  • 4
    0

    For those who have mothers, sisters, wife and daughters, please stand up, protect and raise your voice for them.

    For SriLanka, leave the Tamils alone, leave the Tamil Homeland, and free yourself from self destruction and karma.

    Let go Tamil Eelam, like what India did toPakistan, Malaysia to Singapore, Indonesia to East Timor, Sudan to South Sudan……..

    Develop and prosper together.

  • 2
    0

    Dear Usha,

    It is a good awareness on the “International women Day” of “Million Women Raising Day” to raise our Tamil women’s problem and what they going through in Sri Lanka under the Sri Lankan Government. Let us all raise against any abuses to women as a hole, let that be Tamil, Muslim, Sinhalese and Burgers in Sri Lanka and hold Sri Lankan government responsible for all wrong doing specially for using and used women as the tool for Tamil women genocide, war crimes, crime against humanity, rape & sexuel abuse.

    S.Yogalingam
    Deputy Minister of Sports and Community Health
    Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)
    http://www.tgte.org

  • 2
    4

    DEar Aunty

    Did you wonder why the majority of suicide bombers were women> Did the LTTE think women’s lives are more disposable than men’s? Also why were those women not from the upper castes?

    While you and your kind were living in Canada and UK, the majority of the women who fought for YOUR liberation, were from poor, lower caste families, were’t they?

    I hope you do fight for the rights of those women, who did not have a voice when forced to take the cyanide pill or to explode themselves, so that the men would survive to create more mayhem and lead to the last major blood bath.

    Can you stop? Do you want to destroy several more generations of Tamils living in the island?

  • 1
    2

    Just like the Mulgal KAru or Mahinda Rajapakse who wants to die inside Presidntial palace, 87 yeard old Sambanthan wants to serve Tamils until he falls dead inside the Parliament and is taken directly to Jayarathne MalShalawa.

  • 1
    0

    Tamils writing articles to praise themselves….
    But you forgot the hundreds of Tamil women suicide bombers who have killed thousands of innocent Sinhalese men, women and children. When they blow themselves up in the middle of an innocent crowd, the whole area gets covered with blood and smashed body parts. Do you know how difficult it is to identify our loved ones, after you Tamils have murdered them? Do you know how difficult it is to wash the blood and the remains off from the streets and buildings after you Tamils have been in action?

    Why talk of only 70 years? Ashamed of things prior to 70 years ago? For example the great Tamil boot-licking of the British to get into positions and oppress the Sinhalese?

    Prior to the British – the Dutch brought most of you here and remained loyal servants to them
    Prior to the Dutch – Killing and ethnic cleansing the Sinhalese from the north. Destroying Sinhalese Buddhist viharas as late as 1544 and chasing the last of the Sinhalese out of the north
    Prior to Portuguese – Coming here in the late 13th century in the aftermath of the Pandyan invasion and trying very hard to get a footing in the north and to some extent in the east. Chasing many Sinhalese out of the north of the island and taking our land away.
    Prior to the 13th century – no permanent Tamil settlements in this island. Only invasions and plundering raids and short occupations from Tamilnadu.

    Now the descendants of these Tamil invaders, claim that they are indigenous to the north and east of the Sinhalese island and want to have a Tamil state there, which is 40% of the landmass and 80% of the coastline. Not bad for an immigrant community.

  • 1
    1

    The Tamil woman Usha, who has gone gold digging to the west, talks big about the Tamil language as if she cannot exist in a place where Tamil is not the official language, BUT she went to England instead of going back to Tamilnadu, where she could have cultivated the Tamil language and lived among Tamils and brought her children up in the Tamil homeland.

    This kind of articles spell out how unjust the Tamil demands are and exhibit the Tamil hatred for the Sinhalese.
    Sinhalese are presented as rapists and genociders. Our fathers, brothers and sons are stamped and marked as rapists and killers in front of the whole world. For what? For the Tamils to go asylum shopping and legitimize their presence in foreign countries. Tamils repeat the same lies over and over again in hundreds of websites and articles that they have come to believe these things themselves.

    This island has been turned into a hell by the Tamils. Our mother Lanka is raped by the Tamils. They level false accusations against us, insult us, laugh at us. They came here by invading our island, massacring us, ethnically cleansing us from the north and now they claim to be indigenous! They are even supposed to be a better kind of Tamils, than the Tamils back home in TamilNadu. But what have they accomplished in this island? Have they managed to write even a single line of literature in ancient times? Tamils in their homeland have thousands of literary works, monuments, temples, thousands upon thousands of inscriptions, but these Tamils have nothing to show. Nobody had even heard of them or the country they supposedly have had here.

    Tamils, both men and women have pillaged and desecrated this island. Tamils have no attachment or love for this island.

    • 0
      0

      The last line in Punchi Point’s comment here is “Tamils, ……have pillaged and desecrated this island. Tamils have no…..love for this island”
      ALL thingys going wrong in SL, are attributed to Eelam Tamils. The seedling planted just before independence has grown into a tree, the ‘language/religion-divide’.
      SWRD B was assassinated for attempting to stunt the growth.

  • 3
    1

    There she is again. That TV news reporter girl Isaipriya. I think most of the Tamils writing in this forum are deliberately posting her picture to arouse the male audience here and to create jealousy against the boys who liberated her from the LTTE and then had a good time.

    • 0
      0

      You Mr. Reginald Shamal Perera disgust me. You are no war hero. You are just a common criminal with a dirty mind and a even more dirty mouth. You prove how lowly you are by repeatedly insulting these dead girls. You have no decency what so ever. How would you feel if this was your daughter or sister? I hope somebody has a good time with you too, you bloody no good worm. I try my best to restrain from calling names, but there is a limit to what anybody can tolerate of the kind of behaviour you are showing. And nobody seems to care about the low level of your attacks and insults on these dead girls. A creature like you even walking into a Tamil village is a war crime. I just wonder how innocent Tamils might have suffered? You must note that talking in the derogatory manner you do about war victims or enemy soldiers is strictly speaking also a war crime.

      Out of frustration to Usha’s one sided article, I wrote above that the Tamils have pillaged and desecrated this island, but people like you have done it more. You are simply disgusting. One more thing – be sure if any of the army fellows have even touched any of these girls, they will be punished. Hide all you want, but as the saying goes, everybody has to dance in the open ultimately.

      Justice has a funny delivery service, it will come when you least expect it. You wait and see….. your big day will come too. One last thing – You are no war hero. You are coward with a bad mouth.

  • 0
    0

    We the low caste Tamils are grateful to the Sinhalese Buddhist, when the high caste Tamil Hindus denied us the entry to the Hindu temples the Sinhalese converted us to Buddhism and made us high caste Sinhalese. If Tamils learn from the Sinhalese we will have no problem.I am Paraiah.

  • 0
    0

    We the low caste Tamils are grateful to the Sinhalese Buddhist, when the high caste Tamil Hindus denied us the entry to the Hindu temples the Sinhalese converted us to Buddhism and made us high caste Sinhalese. If Tamils learn from the Sinhalese we will have no problem.I am Paraiah.

    This is not duplicate.

    • 2
      0

      Good luck Nalam . Hope you are happy in safe haven

  • 3
    0

    Dear Usha ,

    Long time no see but good to hear from you. after all the crap from Sharmini ( Questioning the role UN ) and Lasksri ( the pretender) just a couple to mention..
    Tamil women and girls in the island of Sri Lanka once known as Ceylon have been fighting against oppression, against marginalization, against violence, against the relentless persecution of their race for more than 70 years.

    Their struggle for freedom and justice hasn’t ended yet. .

    *** Pardon me for saying that I havent read the whole of your article. But the plight of “KRISHANTHI” still sends shivers down my spine and there were thousands. It will haunt me for the rest of my life how she met her death and that pain will be with us.
    There was a time I felt we were beaten. But thanks to MR the Hambanthotta THUG I feel revitalised and we are ALIVE & KICKING. The Sinkalams are not going to destroy 3000 year old rich culture. But the Sinkalams have lost everything. The are no longer a Sovereign Nation. When we get devolution our Women can live with Security and Dignity. No more Krishanthis. If MR gets Reelected that will be much quicker as Sinhala Lanka will become an Indian Colony sooner.
    Keep up the Good Work.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Usha
    Thank you.
    War crime investigations in Sri Lanka has to be conducted for the period of 1970 – 2009. Holistic approach to problem solving can not have double standards one rule for me and you……..no devils advocacy can be applied for our Sri Lankan Mothers on the basis of identity politics to get justice specially with regard to what has happened to their children…..on a very simple basis we all had parents and one parents child can not go and kill the other is the bench marking we are all working with etc.
    Current UN proposed selective investigations will not Bring justice to all of us the Sri Lankans who lost their loved ones? further more their right to shape their nation on a democratic footing is lost forever. We are all become destitute is the fact.
    For the purpose of ‘justice for all’ we also need to include Tamil Nadu Training camps/the operators of the camp and how our children were used as mercenaries for some foreign powers adventures or rather their misadventures with local connivance resulted in this carnage need to be captured by the UN…otherwise we should n to bother with any investigations. .
    We should connect all the Mothers who lost their children in Mother Lanka……….JVP/Tamil Militants..Soldiers family….and all other citizens who were all killed in this absurd solutions offered for our problems??
    International Women’s day also a day for future planning that preserves human dignity through out the Nation based on our past mistakes and this one does not have identity politics..
    Currently we are using every international day for one’s political ambitions/agendas/narrative that further undermine the Women day essence altogethr…we are missing the opportunity to build bridges are my thoughts mindfully.

  • 0
    0

    It is about time the Tamil families lost their children sit with their Sinhalese families who lost their children and write articles together about their loss/emotions all find answers we are all looking for etc. The one and only justice left for all of us naturally where we compare notes and identify how others have used our problems for their gains………..the international norm for human rights today.

    The world/China/India/UN has nothing to do with this process a sovereign/Internal process a stock taking exercise of exactly what did happen in our Nation. Basically being honest to ourselves will result in all the answers we are all looking for……is inside of each and every one of us…….time to accept the truth.

    Remember the days certain Tamil groups used to celebrate one attack on the military as being successful then we did not like when people/families from down south celebrated the 2009 war efforts by the GOSL?

    We just had a very bad journey guided by the wrong people for the past 70 years hence we lost our children…….all Mother Lankan Children dare I say..all for one and one for all. For me there is no them and us ever come what may because I lived through the politics in Jaffna adequately to know the facts……an insider view from Vaddukottai.

    The Tamil woman are not empowered has nothing to do with GOSL………..nor has got to do with UN war crime investigations…………..please avoid loosing the opportunity to have a right discussion help all out SL woman.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.