Central Working Committee of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi has yesterday decided to take disciplinary action against its Assistant Leader of the Women’s Wing, Ananthi Sasitharan over participating the protest which was conducted on February 21st in front of the bus depot in Jaffna and transporting Sumanthiran’s effigy to the location of the protest in her vehicle.
A resolution passed by the ITAK noted; “The Central Working Committee of the ITAK continues to observe the unwarranted and unacceptable steps being taken against its Senior Leader R. Sampanthan and Deputy General Secretary for International Affairs and ITAK Spokesman M. A. Sumanthiran in recent times within the Tamil homeland and in the diaspora.”
We publish below the two resolutions passed at the ITAK Central Working Committee;
On this 1st of March 2015, the Central Working Committee of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi considering the changed political environment prevailing after regime change in Sri Lanka, resolves to request the government to expedite action in respect of the following matters immediately, in accordance with the promises made at the Presidential elections:
The return of lands;
The release of political prisoners; and
Take steps in respect of the disappeared.
Further, we urge the government to resettle, in their own lands, those displaced by the war. Moreover, the Central Committee reiterates that the government must, without delay, commence appropriate measures in respect of an acceptable political solution to the ethnic conflict.
The Central Working Committee today endorses and accepts the steps taken by the leadership of the Tamil National Alliance in the changed political environment prevailing after the change of regime in Sri Lanka.
The Central Working Committee of the ITAK continues to observe the unwarranted and unacceptable steps being taken against its Senior Leader R. Sampanthan and Deputy General Secretary for International Affairs and ITAK Spokesman M. A. Sumanthiran in recent times within the Tamil homeland and in the diaspora.
A protest was conducted on the 21 st day of February in front of the bus depot in Jaffna. The purpose of the protest was to demand truth in respect of the disappeared, the release of political prisoners and the release of the UN Report without delay. Hon. Suresh Premachandran MP of the Suresh Wing of the EPRLF which functions as a member of the TNA, and the Assistant Leader of the Women’s Wing of the ITAK Hon. Ananthi Sasitharan, participated at this event. On this occasion, an effigy burning of Hon. Sumanthiran MP took place, which was not envisaged and had no connection with the protest whatsoever. This effigy burning:
a) Rendered false the purpose for which people were mobilized and themselves mobilized to participate in the protest;
b) This incident which took place unexpectedly has falsely created the impression that those who eagerly participated in the protest were to blame for acting against Mr. Sumanthiran;
c) The collusion of TNA leaders in the above activities has brought into question the unity of the Tamil National Alliance.
It is of regret that Ms Ananthi Sasitharan transported the particular effigy to the location of the protest in her vehicle. It raises the question of her accountability to party discipline. The fact that the two individuals in question – Mr. Premachandran and Ms Ananthi Sasitharan – did not express regret over the incident suggests their willing involvement in it.
Further,Mr. Suresh Premachandran MP, has continued to criticize Mr. Sampanthan and Mr.Sumanthiran on many occasions. The Central Working Committee condemns these actions by Mr. Premachandran. This Committee must take disciplinary action against Ms. Ananthi Sasitharan who is herself a member. Mr. Premachandran has also acted irresponsibly in exercising the duties entrusted to him as Spokesman by the Parliamentary Group of the TNA. In this regard, the Central Committee calls on ITAK Members of Parliament to take action in respect of the abuse of his responsibilities.
The Central Working Committee also strongly condemns the burning of Mr. Sampanthan and Mr. Sumanthiran’s pictures outside the residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and in front of the American Embassy in London, during protests conducted by some members of the diaspora to seek support for a genocide inquiry against Sri Lanka. Moreover, the Central Working Committee condemns the actions of the former Deputy Chairman of the Valvettithurai Urban Council Sathees who set fire to the effigy of Mr. Sumanthiran in Jaffna.