Arift has emerged in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with one of the most prominent Northern Provincial Council members, Ananthi Sashitharan publicly accusing TNA National List MP, M.A. Sumanthiran of having deprived her of an opportunity to address UNHRC members at a recent crucial meeting in Geneva due to her alleged past involvement in the LTTE.
Ananthi was married to Velayutham Sasitharan alias Elilan, a hardcore terrorist who masqueraded as the LTTE’s Trincomlaee District political leader during the Ceasefire Agreement arranged by the Norwegian government in February 2002. Ananthi represents the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), the dominant partner of the five-party alliance comprising the TELO, PLOTE, EPRLF, TULF and ITAK.
Addressing the media at the Jaffna press club on Thursday, an irate Sasitharan charged that MP Sumanthiran had scuttled her plans in Geneva, where she was to press representatives of 18 member states of the UNHRC to demand that the US-led resolution recommend an international investigation into war crime allegations. MP Sumanthiran, she alleged was basically seeking the support of member states for the US resolution.
MP Sumanthiran didn’t respond to an SMS message we sent him. The MP was in Australia this week to pressure the Australian government to co-sponsor US-led resolution.
Sasitharan claimed that those who had believed that the ongoing Geneva session would lead to a war crimes probe were frustrated and those who led Tamils speaking people to believe that a tough resolution would be presented to the UNHRC had deceived them.
She warned that the youth would be disillusioned unless the international community ensured that those responsible for war crimes were punished. The international community should take the responsibility in such an eventuality, she said.
Emphasising that there hadn’t been any restrictions imposed on her before she left the country for engagements in Geneva with a TNA delegation, Sasitharan alleged that after a couple of meetings there, MP Sumanthiran had advised her not to address UNHRC representatives direct.
Commenting on MP Sumanthiran’s strategy in Geneva, Sasitharan alleged that the National List MP had failed to push for an international war crimes probe though the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) had passed a resolution demanding ex external probe on accountability issues. Fielding questions, Sasitharan acknowledged that the MP had discussed the role allegedly played by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in the militarisation of the Northern Province, the takeover of land belonging to Tamil speaking people as well as the fate of those who had surrendered to the army and the missing.
The TNA won the first Northern Provincial Council election last September. Sasitharan polled the second highest number of preferential votes after Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran.
Courtesy: The Island