By Pon. Chandran –
It is interesting to note that the recent sporadic students’ struggle all over Tamil Nadu has caught the attention of the media and the people at large, sans the Governments and the leaders that matters! Whereas, the struggle has intensified the debate on the Tamil Eelam question, a fresh, from the point of its resolution, with the mediation of the International Community. The debate is particularly focused in the wake of the on-going 22nd Session of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva from the second week of Feb 2013.
The point of contention in the debate raised by the students centers around the Draft Resolution, rather known as ‘Procedural Resolution’ mooted by USA, titled “Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka“. (Incidentally the title is the same as the one in the last session). The Draft Resolution is under circulation and debate. While majority of the students urge, all concerned, to reject the Resolution in toto, there are a few who wants the Indian Government to support the US sponsored resolution and others who demand the draft resolution to be passed with necessary corrections.
The call for rejection emanates from the section who perceive the resolution as a garb by the US to protect the Sinhala Chauvinist GoSL, who perpetrated a Genocidal war against Eelam Tamils. This section also vehemently oppose any attempt to appreciate the socalled reconstruction and rehabilitation claimed to have been done by GoSL, which has indeed only paved the way for obnoxious Structural Genocide. This they believe is a post war cleansing structured to wipe off the Tamil ethnicity and the existence of Tamil Homeland, by means of structured sinhalisation, militarisation, decimation of cultural symbols and thus impacting the socio-economic well being of the Eelam Tamils. Hence they demand the unfettered International Investigation into the Crime of Genocide and to facilitate a Referendum among the Eelam Tamils for initiating a political transition towards an independent homeland, eventually.
Those who support the resolution with or without corrections hope that the resolution will pave the way for an “Independent International Inquiry of Commission into the Crime of Genocide, War Crimes and the Crimes against Humanity”. Whereas, the draft resolution WELCOMES the OHCHR’s Report on Srilanka (Ms.Navineetham Pillay’s report of Feb 2013) and its recommendations with regard to “truth seeking mechanism”, it only NOTES the
“High Commissioner’s call for an independent and credible international investigation into the alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law” .
Further in the fourth draft, which is reported to be the final one, instead of urging the GoSL to implement the recommendations of OHCHR, it only ENCOURAGES the
“GOSL to implement the recommendations. Further it calls upon the GOSL to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as applicable”.
This is being ridiculed and opposed as it only facilitates the trial of the gruesome murder committed by the very jury!
The draft resolution is in essence reiterating the GOSL to implement the “constructive recommendations| of LLRC and thus exonerate them and their accomplices from their Crimes of Genocide. This tacitly justifies the post war structural genocide. This also grants GOSL the much required “veto” to entertain the international intervention only with their “consultation and concurrence”! It further offers time for the GOSL to erase the remaining vestiges of Genocidal war.
It is obvious that the draft resolution is not categorical about the launching of an International Investigation invoking either the Article 99 of the UN Charter or invoking the principle of R2P – the Responsibility To Protect.
It is in this backdrop, the students’ uprising becomes significant. Although it is spontaneous, it is getting organically groomed from within. It is an uprising which is endeavoring to assimilate the politics of international law and human rights, with a concern for humanity and justice. This, we believe, is bound to reverberate in the minds of the International Community and hopefully result in a Resolution in the UNHRC for the freedom of Tamil Eelam. As nothing tangible has emerged either from the Government of India or from USA, who were the key accomplices in the Genocidal war, there are indications that the students may plunge in to action calling for public boycott of American Goods in Tamil Nadu, which roughly aggregates to Rs.200 crores a day. Further there seem to be moves to launch a non-violent non-cooperation campaign by the Tamil software engineers and other professionals who have been catering to the profits of American Corporates, if the Unites States does not mend their ways of protecting the Genocidal Sri Lanka and comes out categorically with a resolution which will protect the cause of the Eelam Tamils and usher in the much required Independent International Investigation. If there is no positive response for the above, this will certainly usher in a new kind of politics in Tamil Nadu, spear headed by the students, who constitute a big chunk of the existing and future voters. The present movement will be an harbinger of yet another great political upheaval of the 60s in Tamil Nadu, which will as well, certainly change the political scenario of the sub-continent, which has been serving the interests of the Corporates.
*Ponniah Chandran is a Human Rights activist from Coimbatore, he runs his own film club and screens socio-political-economic movies. He is film critic. After seeking retirement from the banking sector, he is a full time human rights activist along with his wife. He along with his wife were imprisoned on charges of stoning Indian Military trucks carrying arms to Sri Lanka. He is an anti-war activist. He is a very active member of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. He has extensively visited the post war zones of Sri Lanka and has organised several intellectual debates,conferences and seminars on the future of Tamils in Sri Lanka. He has actively taken part in the Koodankulam nuclear issue, the Mullai periyar issue, fishermens’ struggle, anti-nuclear struggle in India apart from environmental issues like anti-mining in Orissa and Chattisgarh. He is presently taking part in the student’s movement in TN addressing them and guiding them.