Feature Article

Ezhuka Thamizh has sent sharp message to all corners: Fr Ravichandran

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 September 2016, 18:36 GMT]
The main message coming from the ‘Ezhuka Thamizh’ uprising, especially from the people, who participated in their thousands, was that Tamils on the ground were not prepared to compromise their collective demand for self-rule in a merged North-East, said Jaffna-based human rights and civil activist Rev. Fr. M.V.E. Ravichandran in a video interview to TamilNet on Monday. Tamils reject the unitary system and the message has now been conveyed clearly to all the corners, he said. “Tamils want to live as a People and they don't want their cultural and national identity erased in any way. They are opposed to structural genocide,” the director of Jaffna Diocesan Catholic Youth Federation further said. Tamils should be given the right to appoint international judges to ensure the credibility of any model of investigations with international participation, he said.

Tamils were not happy with the suggestion of ‘Hybrid’ model in the form it came from the UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. The OISL outcome was also a preliminary report. But there were some Tamil politicians campaigning as if international investigations were over. But, people on the ground know the truth.

The UN, which has admitted its systemic failure to safeguard the people in the final phase of the war, has a clear responsibility to deliver international justice as a measure of reparation.

Fr Ravichandran further said that the international actors should now take the concerns of Tamils seriously and refrain from engaging with the Sinhala military which has committed the genocide and war-crimes.

Foreign diplomats and UN officials, who were engaging with Tamil civil activists on the ground earlier were not prepared to take these concerns seriously. They were only prepared to consider the views coming from certain Tamil politicians as if they were the only authentic representatives of Tamils. They were interpreting the activists as having ‘extremist’ views. But, now they should know that these are not opinions of a few activists, but mainstream views of the Tamil people on the ground, Fr. Ravichandran told TamilNet.

Also, there were some people who were telling those who mobilize in Tamil Nadu and in the Tamil Diaspora that their intervention was not wanted and it was the people on the ground and their elected representatives, who should be articulating their aspirations. Even the Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran had publicly articulated such view in the beginning when he took office. But, after witnessing the ground reality, he has now openly changed his perception and has called for the involvement of the people of Tamil Nadu and the Tamil diaspora, he said.

The people from Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Diaspora should now act upon the articulations that have come from the ground without any hesitation and proceed with their mobilisations.

Fr Ravichandran said that the collective rights of Tamils, particularly the distinct nationhood of Tamils should be [constitutionally] accepted by the Sri Lankan Government if it is serious about a truly reconciled island in the long run.



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