TNA asks UN to probe atrocities under SLFP, UNP govts since 1974August 19, 2014, 12:00 pm
By Shamindra Ferdinando
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has urged the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to expand its ongoing inquiry to investigate atrocities committed by successive governments against Tamil speaking people since 1974.
The UN recently launched the inquiry under the supervision of British national Sandra Beidas, formerly with the London headquartered Amnesty International.
In a letter dated August 17 addressed to outgoing UNHRC Chief Navanethem Pillay 33 members of the TNA-run Northern Provincial Council (NPC) as well as the UPFA controlled Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) have asked the UN agency to ascertain whether Sri Lanka committed genocide. They have requested the UNHRC to set up investigation in Tamil Nadu due to Sri Lanka’s refusal to cooperate with the UN investigation.
The five-party TNA alliance consists of the ITAK (Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchchi), TULF, TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF. Three of them are former Indian trained terrorist groups.
Provincial Councillors referred to the burning of the Jaffna library during JRJ regime in 1981 as one of the atrocities committed against the Tamil community. They also demanded investigation into setting up of Sinhala settlements in the northern region also during the UNP regime.
Among the signatories are former members of parliament Dharmalingham Sithadthan, Gnanamuththu Krishnapillai and M. Kanagalingam Shivajilingam.
Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan, wife of one-time hardcore LTTE cadre in charge of Trincomalee district Velayutham Sasitharan alias Elilan too, signed the petition.
However, Northern Province Chief Minister and retired justice C.V. Wigneswaran wasn’t among the signatories.
A senior government official told The Island that Dharmalingham Sithadthan of the PLOTE had been one of those who could shed light on India’s Congress Party subverting Sri Lanka leading to violence. The official pointed out that Sithadthan had publicly accused the India’s premier intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of assassinating two TULF MPs, including his father V. Dhamalingham in 1985. The other victim was M. Alalasundaram. Dharmalingham alleged that the TELO carried out the assassinations at the behest of the RAW. Sithadthan could also explain his group’s role in the attempt to assassinate the then Maldivian President Gayoom in November 1988. The attempt was made by Indian trained PLOTE terrorists who launched a sea-borne assault only to be thwarted by Indian troops. Responding to a query, the official said that a comprehensive investigation would expose those responsible for destabilizing Sri Lanka for strategic reasons.