33 Tamil National Alliance(TNA)Provincial councillors comprising 28 from the North and 5 from the East have written to outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms.Navanetham Pillay outlining three specific requests regarding the on going investigation into Sri Lanka by her office.The TNA councillors have jointly urged ms.Pillay and her in coming successor to take the three requests into consideration. The TNA provincial councillors want the UN probe to investigate incidents affecting the Tamil people in the Island from at least the year 1974 and determine whether Genocide has taken place and also wants the probe to be conducted from Tamil Nadu in India if the Sri Lankan Govt forbids entry of the UN investigators into Sri Lanka.
While Northern chief minister CV Wilgneswaran,Council chairman CVK Sivagnanam and Eastern council opposition leader K Dhandaayuthapaani have not signed the letter the four Northern provincial ministers and deputy chairman are notable signatories.It is learnt that the controversial letter writing project of the TNA councillors is being undertaken on the initiative of former MP and current provincial councillor MK Sivajilingam.
The text of the letter with names of signatories is as follows –
August 17, 2014
The Hon. Navanethem Pillay
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson, 52 rue des Pâquis
Dear Honorable Madam High Commissioner Pillay,
Our Request Related to OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka War-Crimes
It is with utmost respect and gratitude we,the democratically elected Members of the Northern Provincial Council and the Eastern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka, jointly write this letter to you as you prepare to conclude your highly fulfilled and exceptionally accomplished service as the High Commissioner for Human Rights. On behalf of the Tamil people, we would like to thank you for your dedicated work towards justice and accountability to the victimized Tamils in Sri Lanka. We are confident that the exemplary investigative team that you and your office have put together will ensure justice to the victims.
We would like to submit the following requests to your kind consideration and would be obliged, if you could share our request with the investigative team and also with the incoming High Commissioner:
1. We request that the OHCHR investigative team, using the authority of the OHCHR,to look into all the past violations against the Tamil people at least from 1974 when the killings of Tamil people by the Sri Lankan forces started. There were several major incidents of massacres of Tamilsin the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and none of them were properly investigated by the Sri Lankan government.
2. The Tamil people strongly believe that they have been, and continued to be subjected to Genocide by Sri Lanka. The Tamils were massacred in groups, their temples and churches were bombed, and their iconic Jaffna Public Library was burnt down in 1981 with its collection of largest oldest priceless irreplaceable Tamil manuscripts. Systematic Sinhalese settlements and demographic changes with the intent to destroy the Tamil Nation, are taking place. We requestthe OHCHR investigative team to look into the pattern of all the atrocities against the Tamil people, and to determine if Genocide has taken place.
3. If the Government of Sri Lanka continues to reject entry forthe OHCHR investigative team, we request that the team considers conducting its investigation in the State of Tamil Nadu, India.
Thank you for your consideration.
NPC Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Environment Ponnuthurai Ayngaranesan
NPC Minister of Fisheries, Transport, Trade and Commerce B. Deniswaran
NPC Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs and Youth Affairs T. Gurukularajah
NPC Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine P. Sathiyalingam
NPC Deputy Chairman Antony Jeyanathan
NPC Councillor and former MP M. K. Shivajilingam
NPC Councillor and former MP Dharmalingam Sithadthan
Eastern Provincial Council members
Former MP and Councillor Gnanamuththu Krishnapillai