A discussion was held last week between Hanaa Singer, Sri Lanka’s Resident Representative to the UN in Jaffna and Mayor V Manivannan. During the discussion, the Chief Minister met with the UN Resident Representative in Sri Lanka and senior officials. Manivannan and Municipal Commissioner, T.Jayaseelan also participated.
During the discussion, the Mayor made the following remarks to the UN Resident Representative:
“We had high hopes that the United Nations would stop the war and save our Tamil people during the deadly war. But that did not happen. More than 150,000 people were killed or disappeared. Army officers who are said to have committed war crimes during the war are being appointed to higher positions. No trial has been held in connection with the alleged massacre of Tamils.
Genocide is an international crime and no one can deny that it is an internal problem of a country. Even after the end of the war, our fundamental rights such as our economic resources, educational cultures and culture are being destroyed. Why the United Nations was created after World War II is not to protect nations.
To protect the people of the countries. The UN must realise its importance. Our lands are still being expropriated. Hundreds of acres of private land in the North are being expropriated for their military needs as the Army Navy Air Force.
Those landowners are living refugee lives in transit camps. Our economy depends on two things. One is agriculture and the other is fisheries. Today many of our agricultural lands are used by the military for their own needs. Thus our economy is being systematically destroyed.
Fishing is beyond the state machinery and at present our fishermen are suffering greatly due to the violation of the ATU by the Indian fishermen. Their nets are cut down and the boats are destroyed. Thus in many respects our economy is being systematically destroyed.
A Cultural Hall has built in Jaffna by the Government of India. Prior to the construction of this hall, the Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of India agreed to construct the Cultural Hall and hand it over to the Jaffna Municipal Council. But now the pressure is being exerted to hand it over to the Central Government, which cannot afford the Jaffna Municipal Council. Due to this, the building has not been opened for more than a year and a half.
It is said that one country has one law. How is that possible? They have a historical and cultural traditions that. The situation here is such that laws are made with the history of the majority race and imposed on other races, unless laws have to be made from their own history.
I thank you for the steps you are taking in relation to our aspirations in our politics. But the steps you take are not enough. Political prisoners have been held in prisons for years without trial. Missing relationships are fighting for justice.
As such, the statements or resolutions you make will not provide solutions to our political aspirations. Our Tamil political leaders and people want a lasting solution to our problems through the International Criminal Court or the Special Criminal Court as soon as possible.
I make two requests to you.
One is that the genocide perpetrated on our race from time to time must be brought to justice by the International Criminal Court. The UN must help us find a political solution that recognizes the right to self-determination.
The second is to help improve the living conditions of our people in order to improve the economic structures that are being systematically destroyed. ”