The Sunday Leader

We Are Not Terrorists – Anandi Saseetharan

By Easwaran Rutnam

Northern Provincial Council member Anandi Saseetharan, wife of former LTTE Trincomalee District political head S. Elilan, has been very active on the human rights issue ahead of the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva. Saseetharan visited Geneva recently to draw attention to, what she says are the concerns of Tamils in the North.

Saseetharan has, meanwhile, come under criticism by the Government for her actions, with some even saying she, together with a few others in the Northern Provincial Council, do not fall short of being anything other than LTTE members. Saseetharan speaks to The Sunday Leader on her human rights campaign.

Q:  You were in Geneva recently after the Northern Provincial Council passed a resolution deciding to send you ahead of the March session of the UN Human Rights Council. Who did you meet and what message did you convey?
 A: I met several diplomats, human rights activists and representatives from member countries of the UN Human Rights Council. I would not like to mention the names of those I met for security reasons. I spoke to them about the final stages of the war. I briefed them on the issues faced by the Tamils in the North, particularly women.

I myself am a victim of the war. I don’t know where my husband is and I continue to look for him. I told them about this. I even told them how many people surrendered to the military during the final stages of the war and have not been heard of.

There is no list on those missing either so most missing people are not listed as missing.

Q:  What kind of response did you get from the people you met in Geneva? What was their view? Do they firmly believe there needs to be an international investigation in Sri Lanka? 
A: Yes most diplomats and human rights activists I spoke to felt there is no alternative but to have an international human rights investigation in Sri Lanka. They felt the Government has said a lot but done very little. They know that the Government is not going to address the issues at hand. They understand what is going on and what needs to be done.

Q: In a speech made at the Northern Provincial Council this week you had alleged that women are still facing issues in Jaffna. Can you elaborate on your allegations?
A: Just before we won the Northern elections our main focus was on issues directly related to the war. We were looking at how those issues can be resolved.

But now there are other issues which can be resolved by the authorities. These are issues facing society. They are not directly connected to the war. For example I have received complaints by women who have been sexually abused in order to receive a promotion or a transfer. Some women go willingly and there is nothing we can do about that.

But there are others who are forced to do things they don’t want to do in order to get what they want. Even in the University we hear of students being abused by lecturers. They are facing a dire situation with nowhere to go. In Kilinochchi there was an incident where a pregnant lady asked for a transfer and her head had told her to get physical with him for her to get the transfer. She was in shock and had even carried out an abortion out of fear she may lose her job. This incident has been recorded officially.

Q: So did you raise this issue as well when you went to Geneva? 
A: No I didn’t. This is a social issue. When we are talking of war crimes we cannot discuss this as well. But I have discussed this with international women’s rights groups.

Q: On the disappearance issue, the Presidential Commission on disappearances has conducted hearings in the North and has now even received a six month extension to their mandate. Do you not feel there is some progress taking place on this issue? 
A: Not at all. We see this as a mere drama. We don’t expect anything concrete from this process. I had given evidence before the Commission as well and I saw how the people handling the Commission behaved. They did not show any respect to the public. So the people were scared.

Some people were asked if they are relatives or members of the LTTE. That is not the way to handle a sensitive issue. The people had meanwhile clearly said the army took their relatives who are now missing. Some people had even mentioned names of the soldiers. This is a complex issue and you cannot give 10 minutes for a person to make a statement to the Commission.

Q: All this publicity you are getting through your activism seems to be working against you. You have been effectively branded an LTTE member. How do you expect to be heard as a credible voice? 
A: I am not an LTTE member and nor are members in the Northern Provincial Council. We have legitimate concerns which we are trying to raise and we hope even the Sinhalese people will hear us.

The Sinhalese are not our enemies. There are those who understand what we are going through. It is a shame however that some people brand us as LTTE just because we are raising concerns over issues which directly affect us and the Tamil community.

26 Comments for “We Are Not Terrorists – Anandi Saseetharan”

  1. AJ Sydney

    Madam Annathi, so you don’t want to be identified as LTTE member but your husband. What a hiporact you are .LTTE members truly fighted for elam ,but they did select some terrorist approach to stop amyl atrocities.
    Prba did four mistakes,
    1.Killed Rajiv Gandthi, Amerithalingam, Kathirkamar,Neelan , & Premadasa
    2.Did not accrept peace accord
    3.Did not want to have intellectual involved in his political wing
    4.No respect to human life
    5.Played politics

    • Rosemary UK

      Thank you AJ for listed for LTTE mistakes. I just wondering whats wrong, Ms Ananthy is not a member LTTE. She was a Government servant and now she is a member of NPC.( got 2nd majority of votes) She has rights to rise her voice whenever and where ever. I hope you will address about Government side mistakes as well.

      • Ranga

        AJ Sydney,

        What kind of person you are mate.

        1. You are happy to see a real hardcore terrorist Karuna Amman in the Govt.
        2. You are happy to see a real hardcore terrorist Pillaiyan as Eastern CM.
        3. You are happy to see see a real hardcore terrorists of the JVP to represent you in parliament and some of its members to jump over to be ministers in the Govt.
        4. What about the human right of this newspapers’s editor Lasantha who blamed the Govt before he was killed.
        5. And you are not happy to see a Govt servant to enter politics to find answer to the where about of her husband by doing the right thing of handing over him to the authorities.

        Get real man. Don’t go for Arrack. Try some decent Whisky.

        • Roshan

          Ooops..the smart ar**!

          Your argument is plainly stupit to say the least!! Again in a strangely pervesive way you are justifying the bad against bad…I think YOU should get real..and stop drinking too much “whisky” or should I say “Kithul toddy”!

    • Richard Kaz

      Here is list for the Sri Lankan state. Are they ‘terrorists’ too?
      1. Assassinated four elected opposition Tamil Members of Parliament between 2004 and 2007. Three of them under the current government.
      2. Initiated and supported the anti-Tamil pogroms of 1958, 1977, 1981 and Black July (1983) that resulted in the murders of hundreds and in the case of Black July, thousands of Tamil civilians.
      3. In between the pograms, unleashed other forms of violence against Tamil civilians and Tamil MPs.
      3. Killed scores of Tamil civilians during the war including carpet bombing and other forms of indiscriminate killings.
      4.No respect for human life
      5.Played politics( ongoing) from the 1950s to date.

  2. Hemantha

    We are giving too much rights and freedom to sworn enemies.

  3. Selva

    We Are Not Terrorists! according that you said but SLG concern is your husband and you’re with them belongs to ltte time of during 1990-2009

  4. carlos

    Come on madam, get your act together, you are doing more damage to the Tamil cause trying to promote your personal agenda of geting votes and into power, The amil peole ltt ex ltt or not are not that stupid.
    If you only know what was said behind your back in Geneva by the Swiss and the Tamils

  5. NAK

    Vignasweran said “we are not terrorists” but he is only qualified to I’m not a terrorist. Just because he is not a terrorist he can not wash the rest of the terrorists off. He sitting among the terrorists make him an accomplice of the terrorist
    Ananthy on the other hand had been a terrorist accomplice through out can can not claim the same as Vigneswaran. She is even now a puppet in the hands of LTTE diaspora.
    Pirabaharan lost everything going for all or nothing gamble,mainly deceived by various outsiders, and the TNA is doing the same act of harakiri!!

    • Rosemary UK

      please if GOSL allow domestic(without political ) / international inquiry, will come out, who was terrorist and who is terrorizing their own people even now.

  6. UMESH

    “In Kilinochchi there was an incident where a pregnant lady asked for a transfer and her head had told her to get physical with him for her to get the transfer. She was in shock and had even carried out an abortion out of fear she may lose her job. This incident has been recorded officially.” SO THIS IS THE MIND SET OF THE PEOPLE SHE HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN.. THEY DONT EVEN CARE ABOUT THEIR OWN BABY.. THEY ARE READY TO EVEN CARRY OUT ABORTIONS TO PROTECT THEIR JOBS.. (AN ACT CAME FROM AN “INNOCENT” WOMEN.. LOLZZ) WOW.. SASEETHARAN TALKS ABOUT WOMEN RIGHTS, THEN WHAT ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF THAT UNBORN CHILD.. BESIDES ITS AN ACT AGAINST SRI LANKAN COMMON LOW.. IT SEEMS MRS. SASEETHARAN IS OKAY WITH SUCH MOVES..

    “The Sinhalese are not our enemies. There are those who understand what we are going through. It is a shame however that some people brand us as LTTE just because we are raising concerns over issues which directly affect us and the Tamil community.” WHY IS SHE ALWAYS TRY TO DRAW LINES BETWEEN TAMILS AND SINHALESE.. PEOPLE FROM SOUTH DONT HAVE IISUES WITH SRI LANKAN TAMIL CIVILIANS. BUT MS. SASEETHARAN HAS THREE GROUPS IN HER SPEECH.. “US” (PROBABLY LTTE), TAMILS AND SINHALESE.. AND YOU SAY YOU ARE NOT TERRORIST.. VERY FUNNY..

  7. Bandara

    All terrorists world-wide say the same thing; “We are not terrorists”. Only difference between LTTE terrorists and others world-wide is that LTTE terrorists know how to fool the international reputed democratic organizations and other terrorists never hide their identity.

  8. lanka peiris

    Mrs Sathisran,
    You were receiving tax payers money as a government employee and supporting your blood thirsty criminal maniac of a husband, a well known LTTE terrorist. He reaped what he sowed and he deserves whatever punishment he got. You are nothing but another stooge used by TNA (LTTE proxy’s) who wiped the shoes of the maniac prabhkaran. Explain how your daughters were not taken in by the LTTE for their suicide brigades during the past 20/30 years when your husband abducted hundreds of Tamil children. You must have been one of Prabha’s catches.

  9. Teacher

    So, you have been an innocent bystander when your husband forced children to kill?

  10. Malin

    I blame the Govt for being so naïve not to prosecute Anandhi Sasee being an accomplish to a LTTE terrorist leader.

  11. Sri

    The Sri Lankan government must implement the constitution of the country in full first. By not implementing the 13th amendment of the constitution President Mahinda proves that he was lying to the world that he was going to implement 13+ more than the current constitution.
    With a lying Sinhala President who wants to cheat the Tamils, they can only look abroad for help.

  12. The Tamils for the past 66 years were ill treated by the Sinhala regime. Most of the well mannered Sinhala people understand this. Pirabakaran took arm against the regime and not against the Sinhala people. Pirabakaran is a freedom fighter. Yes, towards the end he became a terrorist and I don’t dent that. That was his downfall. But the Sinhala regime is behaving like a terrorist and nobody can deny that. There is no point in running like a mad dog. Today ministers and powerful people in the government are running all over the world like mad dogs to garnish support. If your government really want peace they should at once talk to the Tamil leaders. There is no point in talking to Murali or Douglas. They are terrorists and you should not talk to those.

    • Roshan

      Para-bha-karan is a freedom fighter!! You should be shot on your B**ls for suggesting that? And “he was not against Sinhala people”..?? go tell that to thousands the F$@#ing PIG slaughtered!!

  13. Eswaran

    was the drawing your sister or mother ? very poor taste


  14. Malin Gunawardene

    The real terrorists are the SL govt for committing genocide against innocent Tamils during the last stages of the war.

    • Roshan

      Another idiot!!

      Are you a born again or yet another Western boot-licker?? Seem to have a brain freez to repeat the same pathetic Die-ass-pora logic of asking an investigation “during the last stages”

      - What is the last stage? On whose perspective is that?? (The stage where the PIG was slaughtered?)
      - My cousin was killed by a bomb set-off by these Tamil terrorists…so his family should talk about what last stage?
      - How about all the other thousands who were mindlessly slaughtered by Die-ass-pora funded PIG THUGS Tamil barbarians? What is their and their loved ones last stage?? Are these not people with rights..human rights?

      Pathetic, shameless people like you do not understand this or don’t care to….

  15. Thanga

    Those who harping on terrorism and terrorists should tell us why terrorism and terrorists emerged in a Buddhist country? LTTE is a creation of Sinhala racists and neo-fascists who believe in one race, one nation and one country. Also the fact yesterdays terrorists are todays world leaders. Israel presidents and prime ministers were once labelled as terrorists. George Washington was a terrorist wanted by the British Empire!

  16. Sangaralingham

    Pastis past if one tried to brand people and neglect their complaints one can assume that there is no deep seated desire to find out the social problems economic problems emotional problem. The biggest problem in some circles running around the country but by their actions and deeds some individuals are totally disinterested to find out the causes of the complaints with their behaviour. Ot to human standard morally and not prepared to face the realities that is going on in the society.. All siting in commission must prepare and listen and competent to and find solutions must be sincere in their approach listen and to find solution to problems raised.. Branding the complaints as terrorists and evading listening not willing to find a solution to the problems raised isnot acting in best interests of the purpose of commission.

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