Navineetham Pillai UN H C for Human Rights and Tamara Kunanayakam Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN Office at Geneva
Posted on April 2nd, 2012

By Charles.S.Perera

They are two different women  with two different mindsets.  They are both from Tamil Communities . One from the Tamil Comminity in South Africa and the other from the Tamil Community in Sri Lanka.

The former Navaneetham Pillai is a prejudiced individual who seems to be there in her place to take revenge from those who stole her childhood, having been the child of a poor Tamil family from the  poorest  quarter of  South Africa under an Apartheid Regime.

The latter Tamara Kanakanayakam on the other hand  is quite the opposite brought up in a well to do Tamil family in which she had enjoyed a joyful childhood, away from any racial discrimination which is far from apartheid. Tamara unlike Navineetham is quite aware of her responsibility as the representative of  Sri Lanka, her country and her motherland, without the slightest feeling of anger or prejudice to the people of whatever Community in Sri Lanka or even to those of the West that hinder the progress and denigrates the importance of her motherland Sri Lanka a fully fledged Sovereign State.

Navineetham Pillai’s staggering sence of prejudice that had been evident in some of a her statements come from her childhood experience which she recounts , ” We lived in Clairwood “¦”¦ a victim of race riots in 1949 and that’s what caused the fear on part of the residents of Clairwood, including my parents. With me, firstly, when I was six-years old I was the victim of robbery. My mother had given me my father’s entire monthly wages, which was R5 to take to him. He was a bus driver I was supposed to meet him at the corner and hand this money to him. Meanwhile he had not asked for the money it was his conductor who had planned that ruse and he grabbed the money from my hand off he went.

My mother beat me up for that. I don’t know why the victim gets beaten. Anyway, and I ended up giving evidence in court at the age of , (seven) six in the same Durban High Court where I many years later sat as a judge. “¦”¦”¦But what really bugged me is that we didn’t get the R5 back and I felt so guilty as a child that I had caused the loss to my parents. “

That is when the seeds of racial hatred was born in Navineetham Pillai.  She could not distinguish apartheid and racial difference.  In her mind as a six year old she despised the idea of being treated differently.  When she was old enough to understand , the terrorism in Sri Lanka of which she had heard , she had  understood it in personal terms as the Sinhala majority government being a “regime of apartheid” and the Tamils, like she was in Durban ,  victimised by the Sinhala Government and its Armed Forces.  That became therefore another cause she would be fighting later on in her life.

Tamara Kunanayakam when she was asked by a journalist, ”  You are part of the Tamil community yourself. What do you have to say about the allegations of genocide by Canadian HART? “

Tamara  was genuinely stupefied, she said,  “Such allegations are ridiculous, a caricature and dangerous. Yes, I belong to the Tamil community and I’m proud to be Sri Lankan! Cries of genocide were heard only during the last phase of the war and only when the military defeat of the LTTE became possible and to justify external intervention to rescue its leaders. If one takes a closer look at the definition of “ƒ”¹…”genocide’ in the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, you will have a hard time finding evidence that there was intent on the part of the Government of Sri Lanka “to destroy, in whole or in part” 

Those are the words of an intelligent woman representing her motherland  and speaking out the proud and sincere concept of a unprejudiced mind.

Navineetham  Pillai on the other hand is a very prejudiced personality unfit for the position she holds in the UNHRC which requires persons of the calibre of Tamara Kunanayagam, who could look at a political problem objectively without colouring the issue with her  psychological problems hatred towards society and  people.   Navineetham  Pillai once spoke of United Nations having “very clear policies on vetting”, referring to the appointment of  Major General Shavendra Silva  , but it is  shocking that such ” very clear policies  on vetting ” had not  been applied in selecting her to the position of the UN HC for HR

She explains her utter disappointment  being a  coloured Tamil growing up in apartheid South Africa., perhaps assuming all the Tamil people who are a minority in a country have the same problems as those she had  to suffer in an apartheid South Africa.

« At high school some teachers discouraged me and they said you know “You can only become a lawyer if your father is very well to do; or if there are lawyers in your family. But you are a bus driver’s daughter you shouldn’t even think about that.” And when I completed my Articles under Mr NT Naicker then, of course, nobody would employ a young woman. And so I had triple burdens I was a woman, I was black, and I was poor. And so that’s why I started my own law practice. And I know that some colleagues said, “She’s very presumptuous to start a law practice.” So mainly, I think, what motivated me, and most of the other law students, is this injustice that we saw all around us. All the laws, which we regarded as immoral and unjust laws and that, we had to defend our people against those laws » 

Tamara Kunanayagam speaks sincerely without a perverted prejudice about un dented Communal mixture in Sri Lanka where different communities live in peace with each other when she says,

“Although there is a large concentration of the (Tamil)community in the North, the majority live outside alongside other Sri Lankan communities, Sinhala, Muslim, Moor, Malay and Burghers. If there was genocide, would the communities be living peacefully alongside each other? Since time immemorial, mixed marriages have been common.  This is true in my own family. 

You will find political parties emanating from the Tamil community in Government. Others emanating from the same community have elected representatives in parliament. Even the pro-LTTE political Party TNA has entered the democratic process and participated in recent elections. Members of the (Tamil)community are at senior levels of Government, in the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, in the various professions, in Universities, in the press, in business former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lakshman Kadirgamar was from community. He was assassinated by the LTTE. After the EasternProvince was liberated by Government forces with the aid of a breakaway LTTE faction, provincial elections were held and a former LTTE child-soldier was appointed by the President as Chief Minister of that province. An ex-LTTE Commander was appointed as Minister of National Integration.”  

Navineetham Pillai with her utter prejudice against the Armed Forces of the Sinhala majority that defeated her idolized Tamil terrorist Prabhakaran  she points her finger at Major General Shavendra Silva  with her statement to the press that, « she had informed U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of her misgivings about General Shavendra Silva, Sri Lanka’s deputy U.N. ambassador, who commanded the Sri Lankan army’s 58th Division during the final assault against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009 »

Tamara Kunanayagam unlike the prejudiced Navineetham Pillai, explains the difference between theTamil people of Sri Lanka and the terrorists who had sprung from the Tamil Communuity,

“Government forces were engaged not against the Tamil community, but against a terrorist organisation that fought a relentless and ruthless war for separation. They were engaging LTTE suicide squads, the Black Tigers, trained in suicide operations, unprecedented in history. The Black Tigers were involved in the assassination of former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa.  

Let’s recall that right from the beginning of his mandate and practically until the end of the war in May 2009, President Mahinda Rajapaksa continued to call for discussions, even face to face, with the leader Prabakharan, who didn’t even respond. Throughout the war, the Sri Lankan Government continued to transport physically Tamil community was not deprived of essential services.”  

Navineetham Pillai  speaks of  the reason why she chose to be a lawyer, “ So mainly, I think, what motivated me, and most of the other law students, is this injustice that we saw all around us. All the laws, which we regarded as immoral and unjust laws and that, we had to defend our people against those laws » . 

Is it therefore not correct to assume that she is still defending  her people in going against the Government of Sri Lanka accusing it with violation of human rights  and war crimes ?

Tamara Kunanayakam on the other hand speaks frankly of the terrorist war and how neglectful the terrorist were of the Tamil civilians  and cruel to them despite they being their own “kith and kin”.

 “They( the Tamil Civilians) had been forced to follow the trail of a retreating LTTE across jungles for use as human shields. Many had been corralled out of the Jaffna peninsula at gunpoint by the LTTE, as early as 1995, during the first big enforced exodus.  

In the last stages of the war when the LTTE was cornered, it is well known that civilians were prevented from moving out of the line of fire or escaping to government-controlled areas. In an attempt to prevent them escaping, the LTTE fired at the fleeing civilians, launched grenade and mortar attacks, and sent suicide bombers to explode in their midst. “

Tamara Kumaranayakam has not studies as Navineetham Pillai  to vindicate her Communal status or to fight  for the right of a particular community of people.  Therefore she is not biased against one Community or another and her studies  had a global approach for  social upliftment of the people.

 ”  From 1989 to 1990 she  ( Tamara Kunanayakam) organised the UN Global Consultation on the Right to Development as human rights officer at the United Nations Centre for Human Rights. From 1993 to 1994 she was the head of the department for development of policy at Bread for All in Bern, Switzerland. From 1994 to 2005, she was attached to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with special responsibilities in the field of economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development as Secretary of the UN Working Group on the Right to Development, as Secretary of the UN Working Group on Structural Adjustment Programmes, and as Secretary of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. In 2007, Kunanayakam was appointed as Minister Counsellor to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Brazil and from 2009 to 2011 as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Cuba

Of the two women applying the “very clear policies of vetting” of the UNO Tamara Kunanayakam has a better right to be  the Commissioner of  the UNHRCommission, than Navineetham  Pillai.

7 Responses to “Navineetham Pillai UN H C for Human Rights and Tamara Kunanayakam Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN Office at Geneva”

  1. stanley perera Says:

    One thing is for sure. The intrumentality of the UNO is being used to fullfill the personal desires of the higher ups of the UNO. Pillai woman has clearly demonstrated her personal ambitions on taking revenge. For that pupose Pillai must attach South African Society. Behaving in a personal vengence tarnishes the image of the UNO. That Moon fellow must take Pillai to the task. Either she must be removed from the UNO or barred from holding any responsible positions in any International organisation. A private case needs to be taken against Pillai woman and Moon fellow in the Haigh. Spineless GoSL must encourage Patriotic Sri Lankans on a law suit against the Two comedians. Where is that law pundit fellow? Is he contemplating on crossover again at the invitation of Hillary woman? Can one ever imagine this LOW fellow ever work against American EMbassay in COLOMBO when he was bought over to the UNP and went to the WEST campaigning against IMF loan money to Sri Lanka? Can anyone see THIS LOW FELLOW working against the Indian and American resolution with his full force? This time RAW and American embassy COMBINED EFFORTS BOUGHT OVER?

  2. Kit Athul Says:

    Navi Pillai was 10 years old when she started the childrens association to create a Tamil Only Republic. She was a Jawaharlal Nerhu follower. She read the constitution that Jawharlal wrote and handed over to Thongaman in 1938 when he visted, then, Ceylon. She knew that India will never allow a Tamil only separate Republic. At that time she did not know that there is ethnic group called Sinhala who are the majority in Ceylon. She never published any articles in her own name. If an investigative journalist goes to this school and to the public library in that city, one can piece togather how well she organized the Tamil dominancy in Ceylon. When Ceylon got independence, INDIAN MILITARY wanted to attack and capture TRINCOMALEE HARBOR. Fortunately for Sinhala the Trincomalee Harbor was under the command of ROYAL NAVY. Jawaharlal told this military it would be suicide to do it. Starting from Jawaharlal, daughter, grandson, great grandson and the greate granddaughter all wanted to annex Sri Lanka and make it part of Tamil Nadu.

  3. dhane Says:

    Most of the Jawaharlal dynasty end-up by bullet for the moment , daughter and grandson . Whoever wanted annex Sri Lanka and make it part of Tamil Nadu will end-up the same. It could be great grandson and the great grand daughter of Jawaharlal, any other Indian or American Joker. Sri Lanka was never be a part of India or Tamil Nadu. It will never in future as long as Vishnu is protecting our Mother Lanka as requested by Lord Buddha.

  4. dhane Says:

    Why Navaneetham Pillai or USA . EU is not read the Indian support to LTTE and appoint UN invetigation against India for creating a monster????
    Due to various geo-political reasons (see Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan Civil War), from August 1983 to May 1987, India, through its intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), provided arms, training and monetary support to 6 Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups including LTTE. During that period, 32 camps were set up all over India to train these militants.[36] 495 LTTE militants, including 90 women were trained in 10 batches.[37] First batch of Tigers were trained in Establishment 22 based in Chakrata, Uttarakhand. Second batch including LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman[38] was trained in Himachal Pradesh. Prabakaran himself visited the first and the second batch of Tamil Tigers to see them training.[39] 8 other batches of LTTE were trained in Tamil Nadu. Ironically, Thenmozhi Rajaratnam alias Dhanu, who carried out the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and Sivarasan – the key conspirator were among the militants trained by RAW, in Nainital, India.[40]

  5. Christie Says:

    We the natives of the island nation have to look at our plight in a different angle and see are there other people in the same boat?

    India knows that there are enough Indian colonial parasites in the island to take it over.

    Just the other day another Indian colonial parasite from Mauritius while back in his native land has said Sri Lanka should be divided. He was like Navnathum Pillai was an official of the UN; UNESCO and he was the education minister of Mauritius who made it sure hardly a Creole get higher education since the British left. While working in the UNESCO he was involved with rebuilding the Jaffna Library that was burnt down by Indian Tamil terrorists outfit.

    Hardly any natives of Mauritius get into higher education and are unemployed, poor and into drugs, crime and prostitution.

    While the natives are kept out of higher education lots and lots of Indian colonial parasites from South Africa and other African nations are educated in Mauritius for free and for a fee.

    Indian colonial parasites are coming out to help their own in other countries. That is what Navi Pillai and Yasmin Sooka did and will.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    One of the first things Navi Pillai said when she got in as Head of the UNHRC was that she was there to fight against INSTITUTIONALIZED DISCRIMINATION. Now, this Institutionalized Discrimination is non-existant in Sri Lanka, while such a thing exists and has existed for over 3,000 yrs in the Tamil homeland in India, presently known as Tamil Nadu. Navi Pillai while hitting out at Sri Lanka, is really striking out at her father’s homeland, Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately for us all, Tamil Nadu is our neighbor and where the unholy Caste Discrimination exists.

    So she is really fighting that big battle against Tamil Nadu CASTE issues via small neighbor, Sri Lanka. There are no Caste issues for Tamils of Lanka, except in the Tamil stronghold of Jaffna.

    At this juncture, we have to ask what are the main support structures for people like Navi Pillai to hit Lanka ?

    In my opinion, it is that Lanka has not put Laws in place to protect the local population from Invaders. The invasion into Lanka comes in the form of Illegal Migrants from Tamil Nadu and to a lesser degree from other places. These Illegal Migrants come to Lanka to escape the Caste/poverty issues of Tamil Nadu. There are many thousands of such people in Lanka. They form the the bulk support group for Separatist Tamil politicians of Lanka and Tamil Nadu, which in turn feeds into Ms Pillai’s fight for Human Rights. The other support group is the Tamil Economic Refugees (Tamil Diaspora) abroad who raise money for the Separatist cause via the now ltte rump, and bribe VIPs abroad.

    The call for SEPARATISM exists because of Tamil leaders’ aspirations to form a Separate State for Tamils to get away from Caste/poverty issues of Tamil Nadu. It is always the call for SEPARATISM that has roused the ire of the bulk of others populating Sri Lanka, and consequent disharmonies, now labelled as HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS by Ms Pillai & others wanting to gain from Separatism. See the sequence of events : Call for Separatism, cause negative events, feel victimized, howl ‘genocide’, justify Separatism – the cycle is complete.

    Identify the main problem, and the solution is at hand. As usual, due to Lankan over emotional (as opposed to rational thinking) approach to problems, we may be too late ? Also, are Lankans over dependent on Tamil labor ?

  7. Voice123 Says:

    @Dhane,
    Our post-independence leaders did not have a clue about geopolitical realities. Their primary interest seems to have been votes, with an aim on remaining in power. This was because the British imparted the universal franchise in Ceylon which was still a fractured along ethnic, linguistic and educational lines between the Sinhala only speaking peasantry and the English only speaking plantocracy and bureacracy. This created a highly unstable political situation which allowed unscrupulous political vultures to prey on the masses at their personal expense. They, particularly the Bandaranaike duo discovered that the blindly anti-Western formula worked wonders in winning votes among the Sinhala speaking masses, whose real issues were neglected. In the rush to win votes and distance ourselves from Britain and the West, they fell straight into the trap of the Nehrus, Indian political dynasties and the Indian socialists, whose design was always to sabotage and annex Sri Lanka which they believed was strategically important to them. They never regarded Sri Lankans, particularly the Sinhalese (who they perceived as mostly uneducated barbarians) as people worthy of indpendent status. Wasnt Trincomalee harbour was in British hands till the 1950s? The then Ceylon government should have realised that the departure of the British would create a power vacuum which India would want to fill. They fell hook line and sinker for all this “brotherly” talk of the Nehrus and the Indian politicians. NEVER trust these people. Whatever they say is doublespeak. Contrast our politicians with Malaysia. The Malay leaders of Malaysia, led by Tungku Abdul Rahman, on the other hand were aware that rushing into independence from Britain would create a power vacuum and leave their country vulnerable to invasion from neighbouring Indonesia and communist insurgency from their Chinese (and Tamil) communities and Indian interference in their internal affairs to promote the Indian and Tamil community and unproductive Socialism in their country. The made sure the British remained in Malaysia until the communists were rounded up and defeated militarily and the Indonesians were contained. They also got the British to create Singapore as a separate state thereby reducing the ethnic Chinese within their country to a minority status. The British used the most brutal and repressive tactics on the communist insurgents to defeat them yet nobody criticised the British for human rights abuse because they are a world power and they are a white western people so all the coloured people golayas in the third world remained silent. Had the Malays tried the same thing, they would have been immediately branded as human rights abusers. In other words, Malaysian leaders made the British do their dirty work. About that time they implemented the Bhumiputra economic and educational policy which sought to even up the ethnic representation in the economy and the professions. The eschewed socialism and the universal franchise (while most of their people remained uneducated) and encouraged multinational corporations to invest in the economy but made sure it benefited the masses and rapidly developed infrastructure for their people. Americans and Europeans who were afraid of communist expansion in East Asia encouraged the corporations to go and invest there. That was an instance of American interests, and those of a developing country co-inciding. Although the Bhumiputra policy has racist undertones, they did succeed in rapidly developing the economy to a regional hub. Now other countries hesitate before they think of messing with Malaysia because the economic stakes are much higher. They had statesmen and CONTROLLED democracy and used the British as tools. We had political opportunists and PREMATURE universal vote, drove away the British prematurely and fell for all the LIES of the Indian government.

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