by Shamindra Ferdinando
The recent appointment of Ananthi Sashitharan as a minister of the Northern Province has irked those campaigning against foreign interference in Sri Lanka under the Geneva Resolution 30/1 adopted on Oct 1, 2015, the Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) says.
GSLF spokesperson Sunil Chandrakumara said on Thursday that Sashitharan had been rewarded with several ministerial portfolios in spite of being at the forefront of anti-Sri Lanka campaign at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council over the years.
Chandrakumara addressed the media after retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera had warned of what he called the danger of the Geneva process leading to the division of the country along ethnic lines.
Chandrakumara said that Sashitharan had received her letter of appointment from Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray in Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s presence. The Northern Governor had legitimized Sashitharan’s appointment on behalf of President Maithripala Sirisena, Chandrakumara said, adding that he still couldn’t comprehend the rationale behind the appointment.
Sashitharan’s husband Velayutham Sasitharan aka Elilan functioned as LTTE political head in Trincoalee. Elilan fled Trincomalee after the armed forces liberated the entire Eastern Province and sought refuge in the Vanni.
Sashithara has held the army of being responsible for Elilan’s disappearance allegedly occurred on the day before troops killed LTTE leader Prabhakaran on the morning of May 19, 2009
Chandrakumara said that the GSLF didn’t think that being a widow of an LTTE cadre was a disqualification to hold public office but Sashitharan was engaged in a damaging disinformation campaign against the country.
The GSLF pointed out that Sashitharan had received appointment in the wake of a major tussle between Tamil National Alliance (TNA) factions led by Wigneswaran and R. Sampanthan-Sumanthiran duo. Obviously, Sashitharan’s appointment had been a victory for Wigneswaran as both were pushing for international war crimes investigation, Chandrakumara said.
Rear Admiral Weerasekera alleged that the government had set an extremely bad precedent.
Ajantha Premaratne, also of the GSLF, said that those who couldn’t stomach Sri Lanka’s victory over the LTTE were using the so-called post-war national reconciliation process to weaken the government. The term reconciliation had been misinterpreted by various interested parties to achieve their objectives, Premaratne said.