Friday, February 25, 2011

Desecrating ashes of a mother in Jaffna – Immediate inquiry necessary

NfR, Network of exiled Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders, expresses its serious concern about the incident on the 22nd instant,  of  the ashes of  a cremated mother in Jaffna being  desecrated and the putting of the bodies of 3 dogs killed by shooting on the cremation spot. In accordance with the Hindu tradition,  the ashes of a cremated body are collected the next  day to be dissolved in a river or sea. According to media reports the  ashes had been scattered by military vehicles running over the spot. NfR sources in Jaffna confirmed the truth of this incident and indicated  that no one wants to speak about it openly because of fear.
The mother known as  Parvathi Ammal,  happened to be the mother of Velupillai Prabaharan , leader of the LTTE It is clear this dastardly act was carried out just because of one of her siblings happened to be this  Parbaharan. Mrs. Vallipuram Parvathi, who has been ill for some time passed away on last Sunday the 20th February 2011. condemning this kind of inhuman brutality does not mean that one condones the actions of  the LTTE or its leader Prabaharan.

NfR condemns this despicable act of desecrating her cremation site  which goes against  basic civilized norms and behaviors. 

Respect for  dead is an age old human tradition. This uncivilized behaviour  goes against the noble  Buddhist precepts which the present  leaders of the country  are claiming to follow.  The symbolic message this uncivilized behaviour will convey, especially to the people in Jaffna and Sri Lankan Tamils  in general, and the people of the world outside in particular,  is that the Tamils are subjugated people who are not even allowed to exercise their basic cultural right to  respect their dead.

Even the rules of war specify respect for the dead enemies.  Indeed, no Sinhalese would accept such an act to happen on their dead and would protest vehemently against such incidents.  However, in the current political climate in Sri Lanka, Tamil people cannot speak out because of the existing fear-psychosis. Nor can the right think citizens of the country do so without facing undesirable consequences.  In  highly militarized Jaffna, the general perception would be that  it is the security forces that should be held accountable to this act. Several media outlets had reported that the military prevented people from  participating freely at  the funeral of the dead lady. 

NfR views this incident as a continuation of military responses to Tamil peoples grievances and sending a signal of continued suppression of cultural rights  of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

NfR demand that an immediate and impartial inquiry  be held into this incident in order to find out the culprits  responsible for  this highhanded behavior. The findings of such inquiry should be made public and those responsible should be dealt with in a manner that  would be a deterrent to similar incident in the future.  Failing  to  initiate  such an inquiry and bring the culprits to book would lead to the inevitable conclusion   that this is an another atrocity committed by the security forces in collusion with the government of Sri Lanka.

Issued by Steering Committee, NfR Sri Lanka
Steering committee : Kshama Ranawana ( Canada) Lionel Bopage ( Australia), Nadarasa Sarawanan (Norway), Nadarajah Kuruparan(UK) Padmi Liyanage (Germany),Raveendran Pradeepan (France), Rudhramoorthy Cheran (Canada), Saman Wagaarachchi ( USA), Sunanda Deshapriya ( Switzerland)
C/O, 19447, Victory Blvd,#2, Reseda,CA 91335, USA Face book: nfrsrilnka

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