Feature Article

UN ‘peace-builders’ threaten resettled Tamils during UN Special Rapporteur's visit to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 October 2016, 23:07 GMT]
A group of Sinhalese and Tamil officials of the so-called ‘Peacebuilding Fund’ (PBF) attached to the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) went to the extent of threatening ‘resettled’ Tamil families, who have been dumped at Vaazhalaay, a locality of limestone outcrops and marsh along the Tho'ndaimaa-aa'rau lagoon, when the PBF group wanted to document the so-called resettlement that has been carried out by the occupying SL military and ‘Seva Lanka’, a Sinhalese-led outfit. The families were instructed not to complain anything in video recordings, but only to praise that the SL military had helped them, the people told TamilNet after the episode on Wednesday. The PBF visit has taken place in connection with the fact-finding trip by UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, who was also visiting Jaffna this week.

Vazhalaay
The location of Vazhalaai [Image courtesy: Google Earth. Legend by TamilNet]
The PBF visitors visiting Vazhalaay wanted the Tamil families to praise the SL military that had constructed the houses to them. But, the families were having a lot of complaints. They were told not to come up with the complaints in the video recordings and were asked to praise the ‘reconciliation’ work. The families, in fact wanted to tell a lot how they were deceived into the settlement while the SL military was still occupying their villages.

In the meantime, Ms Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, who was on a 10-days visit to the island, was reminded by Tamil civil activists in Jaffna that one of the underlying causes to the decades-long conflict in the island was the outside and Colombo-based classification of Tamils as a minority community in the island.

Commenting on Rita Izsák-Ndiaye's visit to the island, independent political activists in Jaffna told TamilNet that the continued ‘minority’ approach would only contribute to structural genocide on Eezham Tamils unless the Special Rapporteur failed to recognise the perspectives of the affected people and reports it genuinely to the UN system.

Commenting further, the activists said that the Tamils were not a minority in the island. Tamils constitute a nation, which has not been recognized by the SL State, its constitution and the successive regimes since the creation of Ceylon, which took the form of genocidal ‘Sri Lanka’ in 1972. It was the British colonial outlook of perceiving Eezham Tamils as a minority, that enabled the Sinhala regimes to transform it further into the genocidal concept, they said adding how the 50-50 demand from Tamils was negated by the British.

Apart from the behaviour of the local UN mechanism in Colombo, it is upto Ms Rita Izsák-Ndiaye to prove whether she is an Independent Expert or an Agenda-Driven Expert, they further said.

If Rita Izsák-Ndiaye is really an Independent Expert and grasps the underlying causes of the conflict as well as the current scenarios, her report to UN Human Rights Council would contribute to de-construct the deceptive discourses, built upon each other by the SL State machinery and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).

Otherwise, her visit will also end up as just another report-producing exercise serving the agenda-setters and her report would go down in history documenting how the UN system again and again continued its failures, even after recongnising its “systemic failure” in responding to the final phase of the genocidal war in Vanni in 2009, the Tamil acvisits further commented.


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