Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) female candidate, Ananthi Sasitharan, said she decided to contest the polls at the upcoming elections in the Northern Province, to find redress for the thousands of women and children who had been affected by the nearly three decades long war.
Ananthi Sasitharan, wife of the former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Trincomalee District political wing leader, Elilan, articulated her decision, addressing the media, soon after she filed her nomination papers to contest for the Northern Provincial Council, along with the other Jaffna District candidates. Ananthi is one of the three women candidates representing the TNA in the district.
Commenting further on her TNA candidacy, she said, “Thousands of women and children are still suffering in the war torn areas of the North and East in Sri Lanka. A large number of women, including myself, are still in search of their husbands who surrendered to the Army during the final stages of the war. Our husbands were taken in special buses following their surrender. To date, we have not been able to find out what had happened to them. As a result, several hundreds of women in the Vanni are struggling to lead peaceful lives, and are also without an income. Some have become breadwinners to support not only their children but even their elderly parents.”
She went on to say that, as a woman, she would be in a better position to address the grievances of the women affected by the war, and very lucidly highlight to the outside world, the plethora of issues that have beset the hundreds of thousands of women who have lost their spouses, due to the war. “I come from a region where the toll of the war is heavy. I have also gone through the same agony that so many unfortunate women are undergoing. Only a woman can directly address the problems of women who have been similarly affected. So I will do my best to address the problems of women and the children who depend on them,” Ananthi said.
She asserted that nothing was known about her husband Sasitharan aka Elilan, who had surrendered to the Security Forces in May 2009 as the LTTE’s Trincomalee District political wing leader. Several other men were taken into custody along with him and their whereabouts too remain unknown.
She confirmed she has initiated legal proceedings to find her husband.