No change in SL oppression: Tamil activists in Trincomalee tell Zeid

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 February 2016, 23:08 GMT]
A group of Tamil rights activists, religious dignitaries and the kith and kin of missing persons, who met the visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Sunday in Trincomalee, conveyed the level of frustration prevailing among the Eezham Tamils, especially among the families of the persons subjected to forced disappearance at the hands of the Sinhala military. The trauma, experienced by these families has reached an epidemic proportion after SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe publicly telling Tamils to regard all those missing as dead on the day of Pongkal Tamil festival in January, the delegation told Mr Zeid. The activists witnessed total lack of understanding on the part of UN Human Rights Chief on the deep-rooted structural crimes taking place against Tamils in the East under the Mahaweli Minister and SL President Maithiripala Sirisena.

When the activists complained about the demographic changes and the large-scale genocidal land-grab taking place in the East, Mr Zeid was only repeating what he was telling the activists and victims in Jaffna that there have been ‘positive changes’ and that more changes could be achieved through dialogue in the future.

Mr Zeid has not understood the real nature of the crime against Tamils, a participant of the meeting told TamilNet.

“The most damaging crime taking place against Tamils is being actually accelerated by the new regime in a sophisticated manner. The SL President, who hails from Polonnaruwa is one of the main architects of the structural genocide against Eezham Tamils in the East for several years now as a minister in charge of Mahaweli scheme,” the participant told TamilNet.

“We explained the nature of structural crimes in Moothoor, Padukaadu, Thennai-maravadi and Kuchcha-ve'li,” the activist further said adding: “Serious work has to be done by Tamils to de-construct the myth of good-governance.”

The continued military surveillance and harassment faced by the human rights activists in the district and elsewhere in the Eastern province were also discussed in the meeting and Mr Zeid was able to grasp them, the activist added.

With regards to the evidences of the past crimes, there were more than enough evidences already obtained outside the island, Mr Zeid told the rights activists. There would be continued pressure on the SL Government through bilateral dialogue, he said.

Rev Fr Veeresan Yogeswaran, who runs the Centre for Promotion and Protection of Human Rights based in Trincomalee, led the delegation that met Mr Zeid on Sunday.


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