TamilWeek, Dec 4 - 10, 2005
"The great heroes possessed in them full and complete
sacrifice of their lives against immense challenges"
"No matter  how much we scrape this pot, an empty pot
cannot deliver any "peace" rice from it" - Pathmini
Sithamparanathan MP, TNA Parliamentarian

by K.T.Kumaran

"The recently concluded Sri Lankan Presidential Election was an empty pot.
There was no cooked rice called "peace" in it. And the results have shown that no
peace would have been fetched by using a "vote" spoon in it" said Pathmini
Sithamparanathan MP, (Jaffna) TNA Parliamentarian speaking at the
commemorative meeting for LTTE Great Heroes Day held on December 3 in New
Jersey.

Standing at a podium with a backdrop of an arch memorial - tomb to pay tribute to
fallen LTTE soldiers and portraits of fallen first male cadre Shankar and first
female cadre Malathy, the teacher turned Member of Parliament said "the great
heroes possessed in them full and complete sacrifice of their lives against
immense challenges" and stressed the importance of paying tribute to them.

Characterizing large parts under the LTTE control are a result of their sacrifice,
the TNA MP said the administrative structure along with their humanitarian efforts
has created a "model" that even some Sri Lankan MPs speak very highly of. The
Tamil speaking people want to extend this to the entire North-East region and
through "Pongu Thamizh" (Tamil uprising events)  people have been seeking
recognition of this " model administration" and the withdrawal of armed forces,
declaring their right to self determination, Mrs. Sithamparanathan said.

Speaking on the presence of 40,000 Sri Lankan forces in areas under the control
of GOSL, she said they pose a threat, particularly to women.

The TNA MP spoke of her involvement in a Theatre Action Group (Aranga
Seyatpaattu Kuzhu), hosting artistic plays, events and interactions around many
Tamil speaking areas of the island. They were successful in creating imageries
and found women to have more than forty odd fears. She said the group found
out that the greatest fear in many women was fear of sexual assaults by the Sri
Lankan military which held them back from venturing on their day to day activities.
The women were afraid of sporting twin plaited hair and being dark in complexion;
because these may be a cause for suspicion by the security forces, that  these
women are undergoing training to be LTTE cadres.

"No matter  how much we scrape this pot, an empty pot cannot deliver any "peace"
rice from it"

Mrs. Pathmini Sithamparanathan said that staying out of the Presidential election
was an "intelligent decision".  She pointed out that when the TNA Parliamentarians
met diplomatic circles in Colombo, they are assured that "Chandrika is committed"
(to peace) but the "results of this election are not for peace". The Tamil people
didn't show any interest in this election. She said they weren't ready to put their
faith on this exercise to bring their political rights, from a government that found
hurdles to implement a simple humanitarian legislation such as the P-Toms. She
added that the LTTE leader relented on his Great Heroes Day speech this year
and was willing to give an opportunity to the newly elected President, calling him "a
practical man" even though there's a large gap between his policies and our
entreaties.

Mrs. Pathmini Sithamparanthan said many aspects of the "model administration" in
an exemplary state today are due to contributions from the diaspora.

She appealed to those present that Action Committees should be formed and
work in the diaspora communities, to seek greater international recognition for
"our quest for self determination".
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