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The full moon day that falls in the traditional solar month of March–April is a major festival day for Saivaite Eezham Tamils as well as Tamils in Tamil Nadu. Known as Pangkuni Uththaram, it marks the grand finale of the annual festival, including the car festival, of all the Siva temples. The folk of Tamil Nadu and the Up-Country Tamils of Tamil Nadu origin in the island celebrate it as Kaaman festival, marking Siva reducing Kaaman (cupid) into ashes. It is a major festival for the Up-Country Tamils. But this year, the New Delhi Establishment’s Consulate General in Jaffna, brought in a ‘cultural’ concept altogether new to Tamils in the island, by introducing Holi and smearing colours on that day.
What was the ‘New Delhi imperialism’ or ‘Hindi/ Hindutva imperialism’ part, conspicuous in the show of India in Jaffna, was its press release explaining the festival, which was totally ignorant of the pluralism of its own cultural heritage.
New Delhi’s Consulate General in Jaffna seems to be having no idea at all on the pluralistic ways in which the day is celebrated.
The press release said that as “the liveliest of all Hindu festivals” it is observed all over North India, and added, “celebrations in Mathura and the small towns of Braj Bhoomi, the land of Sri Krishna, are spectacular.”
Smearing colour on all those who were present and all those who were passing by, the Consulate General said, “Sri Lankan students who had joined the “India Corner” at the Consulate also participated in this event and witnessed this colourful festival.”
Boxes of Heineken cans were seen at the celebration venue.
The ‘liveliest Hindu’ festival celebrated by the New Delhi Establishment’s Consulate General in Jaffna with the serving of Heineken.
“An intrusive investigation has so far not yielded genuine reconciliation, and a life of dignity and self-respect for people anywhere. Sri Lanka can’t be any different,” said The Hindu in an editorial on Saturday, shedding crocodile tears for the dignity and self respect of Eezham Tamils and joining the forces that are determined to sabotage even a weak international investigation at the outset. The freedom of the investigation on the ground has already been ditched by the US withdrawing the demilitarisation part of the resolution, and the international weight as well as the result yielding capacity of the investigation has considerably been wrecked by New Delhi abstaining from the voting and openly declaring against the investigation, commented Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island.
Unlike Vijay Nambiar and Kamalesh Sharma in the international organisations, who were taking the line of serving New Delhi’s agenda on Eezham Tamils and have brought in questions on the credibility of the organisations they serve, Ms Navi Pillai, despite her limitations, is on a refreshing path in rejuvenating hopes on international forums.
Against the backdrop of the stand taken by the existing New Delhi regime, and media in India such as The Hindu, peoples of India, especially the people of Tamil Nadu have to think of ways how the UNHRC mission could be strengthened to bring in positive results in the delivery of justice.
As The Hindu implies, internal investigation and internal measures are an ideal course, if they could work. Perhaps that is what peoples of India and their civil institutions have to embark upon about the Establishment in India and media empires that have contributed and are contributing to genocide.
While expressing appreciation for those countries that voted for the resolution and expressing their disappointment on the conduct of India at the UNHRC, Mannaar Bishop Rt Rev Rayappu Joseph and Jaffna University law academic Kumaravadivel Guruparan, in a statement issued on behalf of the Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) on Thursday, expressed their deep regret that the resolution does not provide for the establishment of a robust mechanism of international investigations in the form of an International Commission of Inquiry.
Full text of the TCSF follows:
The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) takes note of the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council on promoting accountability, reconciliation and human rights in Sri Lanka on 27 March 2014.
TCSF expresses appreciation for those countries that sponsored and voted for the resolution. We are extremely disappointed that India chose to abstain during the vote on the full text of the resolution and to vote for the motion that sought to delete the paragraph (Operative Paragraph 10) in the resolution authorising the OHCHR to undertake investigations.
We deeply regret that this resolution does not provide for the establishment of a robust mechanism of international investigations in the form of an International Commission of Inquiry. We are also concerned that the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner’s mandate for investigations has been limited to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’s time framework. The resolution does not explicitly provide her office the authority to investigate on going violations.
With regard to Operative Paragraph 6 of the resolution we reiterate that the 13th amendment provides no basis for a political solution of the Tamil question. The narrative of the preambular paragraphs, we note with regret, does not take into consideration the specificity of the problems faced by the Tamils.
We are concerned that despite the resolution and the debate leading up to it, the plight of the Tamils continue and continue to escalate. We wish to stress upon the International Community, the need to take bold, firm and decisive steps that will be necessary to address the ongoing suffering of the Tamils.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph (Bishop of Mannar) & Kumaravadivel Guruparan (University of Jaffna) on behalf of the Tamil Civil Society Forum
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Meanwhile, New Delhi’s envoy to UN, Mr. Dilip Sinha told NDTV on Friday that the introduction of the concept of international investigation in the resolution was the reason for India abstaining from the voting.
Mr. Sinha’s statement means that Pakistan and India are together in denying international investigative justice to Eezham Tamils.
During the voting, Pakistan asked the UNHRC to remove the clause on OHCHR investigation from the resolution.
When asked by the NDTV whether India would have voted yes, had the clause been removed, Sinha said that there were other concerns too and he wouldn’t speculate on what would have happened then.
“We encourage Sri Lanka to fulfill its own commitments and conduct its own investigations in such a way that they are credible and are looked upon by others as acceptable investigations,” Sinha said.
In the same spirit, people of India, especially the people of Tamil Nadu, should see that the coming elections should pave way for conducting an investigation in India itself on the role of the Congress regime and its officials in the genocide of Eezham Tamils, commented Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island.