Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"I will continue to raise my voice against human rights violations" ~ Ananthy Sasitharan

  Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai reporting from Chulipuram, Jaffna District

Tamil National Alliance's Jaffna District candidate Ananthy Sasitharan's posters in Chulipuram

Ananthy Sasitharan's shares her experiences in contesting in an election for the first time

Ananthy Sasitharan is the wife of Ezhilan (Sinnaththurai Sasitharan), former Trincomalee District's Political Wing Leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He surrendered along with many other senior combatants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the last phase of the war. A well known Catholic Priest Reverend Father Francis Joseph too has been in the same group which has surrendered to the Sri Lanka security forces on the 18th of May 2009 in Selvapuram in Mullaithivu District. She is the witness to the surrender, and has filed a Habeaus Corpus along with four other Tamil women, who also happened to be the sole witnesses to the surrender. Ananthy Sasitharan is currently contesting under the Tamil National Alliance's ticket in the upcoming Northern Provincial Council elections.

Campaigner for Ananthy Sasitharan

"There are thousands of Tamil families whose loved ones have either gone missing during the war or after the war. And, there are numerous Tamil men and women who are detained and imprisoned, they languish in prisons without justice. I have decided to contest in the Northern Provincial Council elections to bring justice to these people. I will continue to raise my voice against human rights violations, and work hard to bring justice to affected people. We have the right to know what has happened to our loved ones who have surrendered. We need justice sooner than later. 

It's a challenging experience for me in contesting in the elections for the first time. Not a single woman has come forward to support me during the election campaign due to fear of intimidation and so on. Some people shouted at me saying "you come to get our votes, but after winning if we invite you for our village's temple festival, you will not come. Most politicians do this to us. Politicians fail to respect our invitations" they shared. It was discouraging, but I had to respect their views" says Ananthy Sasitharan.

She says that her three young daughters are concerned and worried about her decision of embracing politics. But, "I have to work for justice with dignity" reiterates Ananthy Sasitharan .


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