23 March 2014

Ananthi Sasitharan remembers (well)

[In a parallel universe, of course]



I am aggrieved and so are my children.  I don’t know where my husband is and they don’t know where their father is.  Some may not know who my husband (their father) is and was so let me tell you briefly. 

I met him while I was still a schoolgirl.  Even then Sasitharan was very active in the political wing of the LTTE.  He was called Elilan.  He didn’t recruit me although he recruited many a young schoolgirl and approved of and oversaw the forcible conscription of thousands of children.  That’s love.  My love made a career in the LTTE. He was the political head of Trincomalee, until the LTTE was evicted from the Eastern Province. He came back to the Vanni.  I studied, as he wanted me to, and then took up various government jobs.  I was paid by the very government that my beloved Elilan fought.  Our children went to schools run by that very government.  When they were sick, they were treated by government doctors and with medicines provided by the same government. 


I was not a member of the LTTE but at no point did I ever disapprove of what Elilan or the LTTE did.  Not even when we, along with tens of thousands of others, were corralled and forced to accompany retreating cadres to make up a ‘human shield’.  I didn’t complain when we were all held hostage. I didn’t complain when there was very little food even though I knew (being Elilan’s wife) that the LTTE was deliberately hoarding food and medicine for the organization’s top brass.  I couldn’t.  I was a good wife. 


I remember those last days.  It was terrible.  There was very little food.  There were tens of thousands who begged my husband (among others) to let them leave the No Fire Zone.  Elilan did not relent.  Neither did his comrades.  Some of them attempted to flee out of desperation.  I am not sure if my Elilan ordered LTTE cadres to shoot at the fleeing, but that order did come and shoot they did.  I don’t know if Elilan arranged for a little boy to be strapped with explosives and sent to the Army Receiving Point and then trigger an explosion by way of deterring those who wanted to flee and those ready to receive the fleeing.  That arrangement took place though. 


My Elilan is no more.  I tell the world that he was taken by the Army and therefore if he is no more it means he was done away with. Extra-judicially.  Actually I’ve told many stories. To some, I say he surrendered to the Police.  To others I say that we were together.  But to all I talk about me not having a husband and my children not having a father. I don’t talk about all the children rendered fatherless and all the women rendered husbandless by the deliberate decisions taken by my Elilan.


I talk of appalling conditions in refugee camps, although I know for a fact that it was a million times better than the conditions created for Tamil civilians by Elilan and his comrades.  I don’t tell people that no UN agency or state agency could have done a better job under the circumstances; I know because I worked in such agencies.  I talk of ‘structured genocide’; I know but don’t talk of real genocide, the kind which my Elilan aided and abetted. 


I know the Vanni.  I know what it was during the long years of fighting. I know it’s different. I benefit from that difference.   So do my children. 


There are times I wonder how I lie so much; times when I wonder how I can conceal so much (for I do know a lot about my Elilan and his friends).  Then I think of my children. I think of the larger benefits that deceit yields.  It is all good.  As for those other women and children who lost husbands and fathers so my children and I can live, can scream, can vilify and I can strut around as pin-up girl of gun-runners and other criminals, well…I really don’t give a damn about them. 







Reactions:

2 comments:

Sunny Hill said...

MY DEAR SWEET HEART OF SRI LANKA :
IF YOUR HUSBAND DIED - IF YOU ARE A HINDU WOMAN . WHY ARE YOU STILL WEARING POTTU / GOLD THALEE AROUND YOUR NICK / COLOURFUL SAREES ?
SO STILL YOUR HUSBAND IS ALIVE AND WELL IN SRI LANKA OR SWITZERLAND ?

Sunny Hill said...

MY DEAR SWEET HEART OF SRI LANKA :
IF YOUR HUSBAND DIED - IF YOU ARE A HINDU WOMAN . WHY ARE YOU STILL WEARING POTTU / GOLD THALEE AROUND YOUR NICK / COLOURFUL SAREES ?
SO STILL YOUR HUSBAND IS ALIVE AND WELL IN SRI LANKA OR SWITZERLAND ?