Haunted By Her Yesterdays: Women Fighters of LTTE #Vaw #Video #mustwatch


This documentary tells a story of silent agony, trapped screams and repressed mourning. A story of women forced to deny their identity — who are trapped in between a government which sees them as “Tigers,” and a society whose norms they are no longer deemed worthy of.

These women fought bravely alongside men as members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during Sri Lanka‘s bloody thirty-year civil war. From protectors and defenders of their families, villages and nation, thousands of female ex-combatants have now returned home to assume more traditional roles as mothers, wives, widows, and teachers — in communities where they are perpetually shunned. Through several powerful voices, “Haunted by Her Yesterdays” allows a few to share their pain and suffering — the wounds that remain unhealed, the scars that are impossible to ignore and the hearts that still burn with pain, passion and grief — for the world to hear. This film is a gripping tale of loss, betrayal and struggle, but –above all else — it is a search for inspiration and a call for action. As the country’s war-torn North and East struggles to rebuild itself, this documentary tells a deeply moving story that has been overlooked for far too long.

 

‘Probe sexual violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka’ #Vaw


NEW DELHI, February 22, 2013

J. Balaji, The Hindu

File photo of Brad Adams, Asia Director, Human Rights Watch

The Hindu File photo of Brad Adams, Asia Director, Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch’s report to be released on Monday

The Human Rights Watch (HRW), a global human rights organisation, has sought an international investigation into reports of sexual violence, rape, third degree torture against Tamil women and men carried out by the Sri Lankan security forces to get confessions from those suspected to have links with the then Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The HRW, which has prepared a 140-page report, “‘We Will Teach You a Lesson’: Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces,” which is to be released on Monday, provides detailed accounts of 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse that occurred from 2006 to 2012 in both official and secret detention centres throughout Sri Lanka.

While widespread rape in custody occurred during the armed conflict (with LTTE) that ended in May 2009, “HRW found that politically motivated sexual violence by the military and police continues to the present.” HRW Asia Director Brad Adams claimed: “The Sri Lankan security forces have committed untold numbers of rapes of Tamil men and women in custody. These are not just wartime atrocities but continue to the present, putting every Tamil man/woman arrested for suspected LTTE involvement at serious risk.”

Mr. Adams said the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) should direct the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct an independent international investigation. “The government’s response to allegations of sexual violence by its security forces has been dismissive, deeming them ‘fake’ or ‘pro-LTTE propaganda.’ It’s not clear who in the government knew about these horrific crimes. But the government’s failure to take action against these ongoing abuses is further evidence of the need for an international investigation,” he said.

Victims’ accounts

Quoting from the accounts of a 31-year-old Tamil woman who was picked up from her Colombo house by CID personnel in November 2011, the HRW said: “I was taken to the fourth floor of the CID office in Colombo. I was not given any food or water. The next day, the officials, who included a uniformed armed official, photographed me, took my fingerprints, and made me sign on a blank sheet of paper. They told me that they had all my husband’s details and kept asking me to disclose his whereabouts. When I told them my husband was abroad, they continued to accuse him of supporting the LTTE. I was beaten with many objects. I was burned with a cigarette during questioning. I was slapped around and beaten with a sand-filled pipe. Throughout the beatings, they asked me for my husband’s details. I was raped one night. Two men came to my room in civilian clothes. They ripped my clothes and both raped me. They spoke Sinhala so I could not understand anything. It was dark so I couldn’t see their faces clearly.”

Another 23-year-old male youth, caught in August 2012, said: “They removed my blindfold [and] I found myself in a room where four other men were present. I was tied to a chair and questioned about my links to the LTTE and the reason for my recent travel abroad. They stripped me and started beating me. I was beaten with electric wires, burned with cigarettes and suffocated with a petrol-infused polythene bag. Later that night, I was left in a smaller room. I was raped on three consecutive days. The first night, one man came alone and anally raped me. The second and third night, two men came to my room. They anally raped me and also forced me to have oral sex with them. I signed a confession admitting my links with the LTTE after the rapes.”

Yet another youth, who surrendered before the security forces in May 2009, said: “Two officials held my arms back [while] a third official held my penis and inserted a metal rod inside. They inserted small metal balls inside my penis. These had to be surgically removed after I escaped from the country.” A medical report corroborates his account, said HRW.

The rights body alleged that the victims also described being beaten, hung by their arms, partially asphyxiated and burned with cigarettes. None of those who spoke to HRW had access to legal counsel, family members, or doctors while they were detained. Most said that they signed a confession in the hope that the abuse would stop, though the torture, including rape, often continued. The individuals interviewed were not formally released but rather allowed to “escape” after a relative paid the authorities a bribe.

 

#Srilanka -Without truth, there can be no justice or peace


Callum Macrae’s documentary No Fire Zone: Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields is making waves, showing war crimes during the LTTE-government conflict. Speaking with Manoj Ramachandran, Macrae discussed his views on the Sri Lankan government, why accountability is crucial – and how India can help:

Why is your film significant?
What’s significant is the shocking scale of war crimes committed by a government which claims democratic legitimacy and adherence to international humanitarian law. The crimes we’re talking about aren’t executions of prisoners and sexual violence against fighters – we’re talking about the deliberate targeting of civilians in the No Fire Zone, which the government itself encouraged them to gather in.
A UN panel concluded that most who died did so as a result of government shelling – we’re talking about tens of thousands dead.
Have there been serious attempts to get victims justice?
The people who stand accused are at the highest levels of the Sri Lankan government. They’re unlikely to investigate themselves – and if they do, i fear they will simply find themselves innocent.
At the end of the war, many hoped the government would hold out a hand of friendship and reconciliation to Tamil citizens. They did the opposite. Their behaviour seems to suggest they regard all Tamils in the north as indistinguishable from the Tigers, that they’re in effect an enemy within which must be thoroughly repressed – that’s a recipe for more conflict and tragic bloodshed.
You claim to have footage of LTTE supremo Prabhakaran’sson,Balachandran,alive in a bunker, apparently held by Lankan troops, later showing the 12-year-old shot two or three feet from his chest. Would you tell us more?
The new photographs of Balachandran alive are not just distressing and disturbing – they are also enormously important evidentially because they appear to rule out any suggestion that he was killed in cross-fire or during battle or that he was executed by some maverick band of paramilitaries.
They show he was held – even given a snack – before being taken and executed in cold blood. There was time to take photographs. It is difficult to imagine the psychology of an army in which the calculated execution of a child can be allowed with apparent impunity.
Against this backdrop, can a film make a difference?
Without justice, there can be no peace – and without truth, there can be no justice. We hope we can be an important part of that truth-telling. Our job is to present the evidence to the world. I think there are enough people who care about the rule of law, human rights and the need for reconciliation to take up the campaign for justice.
Forthcoming events, starting with the UN Human Rights Council meeting in March, going on to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in November, will focus attention on this.
Many people are already asking whether their governments should be attending that CHOGM meeting unless the government shows significant progress on accountability. Also, human rights defenders argue for a credible independent international inquiry. If India was to declare its support, it could mark the start of the movement towards peace and justice in Sri Lanka. India has a huge responsibility in the forthcoming UN meeting.
Finally, is your film absolving the LTTE?
The LTTE were a brutal army, guilty of appalling crimes. There should be no doubt about that – we make that point very clearly in our film. But the Sri Lankan government needs to understand that the crimes of one side do not justify the crimes of another.

Sri-Lanka Genocidal sex abuse of ex-LTTE female cadres #VAW


[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 August 2012, ]

 
The genocidal Sri Lanka military occupying the country of Eezham Tamils is routinely engaged in repeated sexual abuse of the former female members of the LTTE to see them pregnant by the Sinhala soldiers, in the model of former Yugoslavia, news sources citing a number of cases and medical professionals told TamilNet. While Radha D’Souza views the Tamil struggle “as one of the most significant movements since the end of the Vietnam War,” the former US Deputy Secretary of State and a current ICG trustee Richard Armitage in Oslo last year was harping on the unawareness of the world on the happenings in the island. The genocide is meant to be so by the architects, and the Akashi visit last week viewing ‘rehabilitated’ female cadres was another effort to keep the on-going genocide under the carpet, political observers in the island said.

Many former female cadres of the LTTE are repeatedly abused with determination to make them pregnant either in detention or by ‘summoning’ them after the so-called release.

When they refuse or not cooperate to the ‘summons’, their family members are harmed.

Confirming the kind of genocide-intended pregnancies of ex-LTTE cadres, a senior doctor in the North said that he didn’t know what to do about it.

A recent case that had come to him had an eight-month pregnancy. She is now handed over to the care of some nuns. “I don’t know what to do with most of the cases,” the doctor said.

“There is no international system to protect them in the island or provide refuge outside,” the doctor further said, whose statement was also confirmed by a gender-related social worker in the island.

Sexual abuses are committed at two stages on the ex-cadres, first in the internment camps and then after the so-called release, the feminist social worker said.

The details of 2000 to 3000 female cadres who were captured by the SL military are not yet known. Whether they are alive or still kept in secret camps is not found in any local or international records. The numbers of those who were captured and released do not tally. Colombo says there are only around 600 left in detention. What had happened to the remaining, asked the social worker.

The condition of senior female cadres is pathetic, the social worker said, citing reports of some released cadres. “Many have been seen in the detention camps, but we do not know what has happened to them,” the social worker said.

In the second stage, abuses take place after the so-called release of the cadres. ‘Summoning’ them for interrogation and repeatedly abusing them has become a routine and a past time in the SL military camps now. This happens widely in the SL bases and intelligence camps of Vavuniyaa and Jaffna, and in the camps of Vanni, the social worker told TamilNet.

In another recent incident in Jaffna, a young ex-cadre from Vanni wanted to hand over her 13-month old child to anyone who would take care of it. The child was a result of repeated abuse of the woman by the ‘interrogating’ military but she wanted the child to live.

Genocidal Colombo, elements clinging to it and their media, try to project the situation as a result of current social conditions and deviations among Eezham Tamils. But most of the cases are result of systematic and genocide-intended military abuses, observed the feminist social worker, agreeing with the doctor that there is no independent international mechanism operative in the island to protect the ex-cadres.

* * *
Commenting on the situation, TamilNet former war correspondent Mr. Lokeesan said that by the end of the war, young Sinhala soldiers of the genocidal military were given with pornographic material to induce them to commit sexual assault on the captured female LTTE cadres.

A Sinhala military cultivated in this way is what that is going to stay in the country of Eezham Tamils, and the results could be imagined, he further commented.

While China now builds permanent cantonments to the occupying Sinhala military, and India ‘trains’ the genocidal military in its bases, Mr. Akashi has come primarily to patch up relations between the West and Colombo, media reports from Colombo said.

The genocidal war is perhaps perpetuated by a system and not by individuals. But the world needs an international people’s tribunal to identify the ultimate elements of such a system to remedy it.

At least some individuals or institutions articulating for the system on the question of Eezham Tamils, such as the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Robert Blake, Erik Solheim, Yasushi Akashi, Shiv Shankar Menon, his predecessor MK Narayanan and institutions such as the International Crisis Group (ICG), either coming forward or being made to answer to the world would immensely help the progress of human civilization, commented an academic in Jaffna.

The politicians and political activists who continue to deal with this system, and in the process pressurized to take up a patch-up course have to consider twice before deviating from the grassroot realities, political observers in the island and in the diaspora cautioned.

Meanwhile, those who whitewash the genocidal regime to the world with the hoodwink of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation, do many times more harm to humanity than the fault they had found with the LTTE, social workers in the island said.

* * *
The following are further direct reports to TamilNet by a few among the affected who decided to talk:

“I don’t like to live here. I may be in peace if I go elsewhere. Otherwise there is no option other than committing suicide with my entire family,” says a tearful ex-LTTE female cadre. She has become a wreck by continued sexual abuse in the name of summons and interrogations by the occupying Sinhala military.

She was 6-months pregnant when she was released from the SLA internment camp, said her mother with a downcast face.

“We went to an illegal medical facility for abortion,” her mother was sorrowful about it.

The ex-LTTE female cadres have come to their worst point of predicament now.

The occupying Sinhala military that summoned them earlier in the name of ‘monitoring and interrogation’, now openly summons them for its sexual needs, comments a social worker of an organisation for the emancipation of women in the North and East.

Many don’t tell the truth about the sexual abuses. This may be due to the cultural stigma. So they keep the sufferings within their mind and sulk secretly. When the situation is perpetuated they are pushed to the end of committing suicide. Many try all possibilities to get out of the island, the feminist social worker said.

The situation is the same for the so-called released female cadres, whether in Jaffna, Vanni or in the East, conceded another human rights worker in the island.

* * *
A female ex-LTTE cadre, Pallavi (name changed), told TamilNet of her experience when ‘summoned’ to a local camp.

When ‘summoned,’ one has to first wait for hours in the camp, facing lewd comments coming from the Sinhala soldiers. Then, a low-rank officer would come for sexual assault in the name of ‘interrogation,’ followed by the higher officer, if he is in the ‘mood’. They behave totally in a sadistic way and it is very obvious that they get pleasure from our sufferings, Pallavi said.

Some of those ‘summoned’ to the local camps used to be sent to regional camps as well as bases in the towns. The story is the same everywhere.

The SL torture camp at Achchezhu in the Palaali base is a nightmare for former female cadres.

The Achchezhu torture camp is famous for the ‘disappearances’ of thousands of Tamil youth since 1996. People in Jaffna call the camp as the Slaughter House (I’raichchi-kadai). Sexual assault is a simple matter at this camp.

* * *
Another female ex-LTTE cadre came out with shocking facts on the experience of those who are taken to the Palaali base.

After being ‘summoned’ to the local camp and taken to regional and the Achchezhu camps, some are chosen to ‘meet’ the top officials at Palaali, the ex-cadre said.

When asked how it becomes possible to take them around without being seen by people, the ex-cadre said that they are taken in white vans or mini buses, sitting along with soldiers in civil dress, so that it would look as though they are passenger vehicles.

They have a large fleet of those white vans and such vehicles ply to and fro the base without any hindrances, she said.

Narrating her experience of meeting higher officers at Palaali, another ex-cadre said that after tiring her by interrogation for three hours, she was given with cool drink. The drink fainted her and she awoke to find that she had been sexually assaulted.

“I couldn’t do anything. I came alive out of that interrogation, crying,” she said.

“We could go absconding or go out of the country. In those cases they get hold of our family members. It could be my father, mother, brother or sister,” she further said.

To escape from sexual harassment another ex-cadre from Ki’linochchi used to hide in the houses of friends and relatives. On those occasions her father was assaulted by the SL military and was even hospitalized. Her brothers were threatened that they would be killed.

For the sake of the family, the ex-cadres accept the ‘summons’ and go back to the SL military camps. On returning to ‘interrogations’ we face sexual assault with more vengeance and sadism, the ex-cadre from Ki’linochchi told TamilNet.

* * *
A senior doctor in the Jaffna teaching hospital admitted treating a number of ex-cadres who had attempted committing suicide after ‘interrogation’ sexual assaults.

Some had been admitted to the hospital after swallowing blade pieces in the camps in their attempts to commit suicide. Some had attempted suicide by immolating themselves after returning from the SL military camps, the doctor said.

Poverty is attributed to the suicide of some of those who hanged themselves. But there could be other reasons, the doctor further said.

Vanni is the worst hit region. In Jaffna and in the other towns there are social activists for the consolation of the victims. But no one could raise a finger for what is happening in Vanni.

The SL military camps mushroomed at very short distances in Vanni aim for the exploitation of the ex-cadres. Going out from the region is the only escape to a former female cadre. The parents would tell the SL military that their daughter has eloped with someone.

The claim of ‘rehabilitation’ is a farce and the facility in Vavuniyaa is only a showcase, comments an ex-cadre from Vanni.

The fate of thousands of female cadres who were captured at the end of the war is not accounted yet; claim those who have managed to escape disappearance in the camps after the war.

Many of us are psychological wrecks after release from the internment camps of the SL military. Many do not go out, meet people or even speak to their family members. Many live only for the sake of their children, says another female cadre.

Her husband became mentally retarded by the war. Two of her kids were killed in the war. She lives for the sake of three more children remaining.

Some of them want at least to send their children out. But they have no means.

Meanwhile, in the cases of some, people who have personal animosities with them or with their families send malicious information, providing opportunities for the occupying military to harass them.

* * *

Subhodini Sivalingam

Subhodini Sivalingam
32-year old, Ms. Subhodini Sivalingam, who recently committed suicide at Polika’ndi in Jaffna, had sacrificed 15 years of her life to the freedom struggle.

She was partly paralysed after getting injured in a combat operation in 1999 and was serving in the medical service of the LTTE during the Vanni war.

Her suicide has been attributed to poverty. But informed circles come out with different facts. She had been continuously harassed, interrogated, sexually abused and threatened for her life by the occupying SL military.

Subhodini, who was also called Paadini, immolated herself in a closed room in the house she was living in at Polika’ndi in Vadamaraadchi, Jaffna.

Many ex female freedom fighters want to forget the sexual abuses of the genocidal military in the internment camps as a bad dream.

“But the occupying military has now made it a routine to harass us perpetually. How could we forget anything now,” asks a female cadre.

“I feel like fighting again. If I get a gun I would kill a particular lot before losing my life,” swore another woman fighter who survived a suicide attempt after sexual assaults and harassments in the SL military camps.

more here-http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=35510

 

Mr. Minister, my name is Sunanda Deshapriya. I am not a terrorist.


5 Feb, 2012,  Sunanda Deshapriya      

Tamil rebels in a pickup truck in Killinochchi...

Image via Wikipedia

An Open Letter to Srilankan Minister Keheliya Rambukwella

Mr. Minister, I don’t know whether you have seen the film called ‘my name is Khan. In it, the main character played by popular actor Shah Rukh Khan Repeats the lines ‘My name is Khan. I am not a terrorist’ at different points in the film, in order to affirm his innocence. I too am about to tell you a similar story. ‘My name is Sunanda Deshapriya. I am not a terrorist’. This is my theme.

The story of ‘My name is Khan’ centres around the harassment a Muslim man with the name of Khan has to endure following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, USA. These attacks on the Twin Towers generated both fear and anger in the minds of the American people. Some extremist groups tried to unleash the feelings of anger against ordinary Muslim people living in the US. The film’s narrative is set against this background.

You are trying to do the same thing today. You are trying to use the fear and anger generated in the minds of the Sinhala people because of the brutality of the LTTE against those of us who have been advocating respect for human rights in Sri Lanka, including respect for the rights of the Tamil people of our country. When I say ‘you’ I do not only mean you as an individual, Mr. Minister. I include the entire gamut of people who do your bidding, including those media persons who sing your praises with no shame.

Do you know what baseless and venomous lies the media under your control has spread about me in the past few weeks? Have either you or your acolytes ever tried to behave in accordance with universally accepted media ethics and asked me for my comments on your revelations? Isn’t your talk about media ethics therefore to be understood as mere political hogwash?

In the film, Sameer, the young son of Khan and his wife Mandira is brutally killed by a gang of boys of his own age. This act of savagery became possible only because the feelings of anger and hatred that I described earlier had been let loose in their community. There can be nobody who watches this film whose heart and mind are not captivated by the tragedy of the child’s murder and the subsequent events. In the past weeks I too have read newspaper reports about your children. How disturbed you would have been after reading such stories? Can you imagine how many deaths my family, my children, have gone through as a result of the vicious campaign being carried out against me by you and the media that serves your will?

I fervently hope that one day you will be able to think about others as you think about yourself; this is the preaching of the Lord Buddha.

You talk over and over again about media ethics. You order news websites to be shut down because they are acting without respect for these ethics. You warn us that you will bring about a Code of Ethics for the Media that will be very special to Sri Lanka.

You are levelling charges against a group of journalists, accusing them of receiving money from the LTTE and carrying out a traitor’s agenda. You say that these media persons and journalists are now living abroad. You say they cannot be prosecuted because the Sri Lankan law does not permit it.

Mr. Minister, while your media people broadcast your words on this subject, they project images of me at various media freedom demonstrations on the screen behind them. With respect to which Code of Ethics are you displaying my photograph to illustrate baseless allegations? You say that it is because you cannot prosecute these persons who have obtained money from the LTTE under existing Sri Lankan law that you are not revealing their names. But your media institutions carry my photograph as an illustration to this statement. What is the intention behind this? Is it NOT to implicate me in your statement? Why is it that your acolytes have permission to do what you don’t dare to do? It must be that you think you do not need to be bound by any ethical standards because you are in power.

You advise the media about the use of language. Yet the media under your control continue to use the vilest forms of hate speech against me, shamelessly and without any proof to back up whatever they are saying. You reward these acolytes of yours with awards of media excellence.

Is it your theory and your practice that only your opponents should be held responsible for respecting media ethics? Is this how you devalue your own use of the media?

Wasn’t it your media that repeatedly broadcast the canard that at the session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in September last year, the Maldivian President said that ‘Sunanda Deshapriya is a traitor to the nation’ even after it had been proved to be false and inaccurate? Where were the media ethics that you preach, then? The first ethical consideration of any journalist or media person is that of respect for the truth. Doesn’t the media under your control break this principle every day? Is the proverb ‘Practise what you preach’ not applicable to Ministers of this government?

Since a while ago I have publicly challenged your government to prove that I have received even one cent from the LTTE. The truth of the matter is that neither you nor your government nor anyone else holds on shred of evidence to prove this. If your government is capable of indicting members of the military and the Police for having accepted money from the LTTE, why should we believe that you are not able to do the same in the case of journalists who have received money from the LTTE? I accuse you of trying to unleash the same forces of extremism that Khan and Mandira faced on the murder of their son Sameer against me and all others working for the defence of human rights and media freedom in Sri Lanka today.

It is no secret that I hold an extremely critical view of the Rajapakse regime. As Media Minister, you are obliged to defend my right to hold those views. Instead, you are engaged in taking away that space from us and terrorizing us. Please remember that the right to hold dissenting views is one of ethical bases of media freedom.

On ITN, in the ‘Athulanthaya’ (Interior) programme, you said something ridiculous: That because you cannot take these charges before the law, lacking evidence, you are instead placing them before the people. What does this mean? Why must you take information that has no basis and therefore would not stand scrutiny in a court of law into the public arena? Doesn’t this show us that you are trying to build a hate campaign against me in the minds of the people?

In June 2009, award-winning journalist and Secretary of the Working Journalists’ Association, Poddala Jayantha, was abducted and brutally assaulted because of a similar hate campaign. You who are levelling the most absurd of charges against media persons fighting for media freedom today, what have you done to bring the perpetrators of the attack on Jayantha to justice, almost three years after the attack? Tell us if there is even one example where you and your government have brought any of those responsible for killing, beating and harassing journalists and media persons to justice.

As Media Minister, you are raising against unfounded allegations against us. But the allegations we raise against you as media freedom fighters are completely factual.

When cartoonist and media activist Prageeth Eknaligoda was abducted three years ago, it is you who confidently told us that he would return in two weeks time.

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,232 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,794,795 hits

Archives

July 2020
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
%d bloggers like this: