Eastern Provincial Councillor and Leader of Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal(TMVP) Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan Alias Pillaiyan said war crimes and deaths are usual in battle fields. Therefore, it is important to form a local investigation according to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Report. Local probing will support future reconciliation in the country.
Meanwhile he also said, “They cannot take any legal action against me. I was not in the LTTE until the end of war. We left the organization long time back and we have obtained a people’s mandate in the Eastern Provincial Elections. We are currently serving the people and our political party is democratically functioning. They cannot arrest me or take legal action against me as an individual,”
Following are excerpts:
Q: The National Government is on the stand to take legal action against former LTTE members who were set free by the former government. As you know former LTTE leader KP is under 24 hour surveillance. Also Karuna Alias Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan said he is not guilty of any offense therefore there is no necessity for legal action against him. What is your stand?
A: They cannot take any legal action against me. I was not in the LTTE until the end of war. We left the organization long time back and we have obtained a people’s mandate in the Eastern Provincial Elections. We are currently serving the people and our political party is democratically functioning.
I have no civil charges levelled against me and therefore, I will not be arrested.
If the government is looking forward to arrest those who initiated the struggle in the North and East, they will have to arrest all leaders who represent the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi(ITAK).
The leaders of ITAK initiated the weapon culture and brainwashed all the Tamil youths.
Therefore the leaders of all four parties in the TNA coalition should undergo rehabilitation as they were initiating such acts in 1976 and later too. I too could be included to this list. But they cannot arrest me or take legal action against me as an individual.
Q: It is said that most of the complaints registered with the Presidential Commission to Investigate on Missing Persons in the Eastern Province are against you and Karuna apart from the LTTE. How do you justify this?
A: I’m aware that my political party and my name were pointed out by certain complainants. People have the freedom to lodge complaints against anyone due to suspicion. But the commission has to conduct free and fair investigations. However, I cannot accept these allegations against the TMVP.
Q: What is your view on appointing TNA leader Sampanthan as Opposition Leader in Parliament?
A: The UNP and SLFP have formed the government. There can be chances for the TNA to obtain the opposition leadership. However, former ITAK leader A. Amirthalingam was an opposition leader long time before. But the current situation is confusing. Most of the political parties, including Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) have joined the government to function in the national government. In such a situation it seems like there is no necessity to have an opposition in Parliament. People are confused!
Q: How do you view the necessity of forming a local investigation on war crimes?
A: The Tamil Community has different opinions on the war crimes investigations. War crimes and deaths are usual in battle fields.
Therefore, it is important to form a local investigation according to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Report.
Local probing will support future reconciliation in the country. It should be noted that depending on the international inquiry will bring in more problems. Local investigation should be implemented and issues can be solved within the country.
Q: Define your relationship with Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan Alias Karuna?
A: He is representing the SLFP and I belong to the UPFA coalition. I don’t have any direct relationship with him.
Q: You were functioning in the National administration at provincial level. Yet, you have begun to function as opposition since last week. What is the reason?
A: We cannot call it a National administration. UPFA had the majority of the seats in the EPC.
UPFA General Secretary Parliamentarian Susil Premajayantha spoke to us and requested to form an administration with Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) at provincial level. He stressed on giving the Chief Minister (CM) post to the SLMC.
Accordingly, we formed an administration and appointed a CM from SLMC.
It was decided that a SLMC member will be appointed as CM and the board of ministers will be appointed later. However, they wasted time and postponed the appointment of the board of ministers. Without a proper reason, the SLMC suddenly discussed with the TNA and signed an agreement to form an administration.
Meanwhile, we were very clear that the SLMC CM Hafiz Naseer Ahamed and UPFA General Secretary Premajayantha functioned without transparency. Therefore, 10 UPFA members met the TNA leader Sampanthan to form an administration as we lost hopes with the SLMC. Yet our attempts failed.
Therefore, it should be clearly understood, that EPC does not have a National administration. It is just an administration formed by the SLMC and TNA.
This does not mean the TNA won their political goals but the SLMC had indirectly cheated them. Also the UPFA leadership is the main reason behind this pathetic situation since they were weakened politically.
After the Presidential Election we never agreed nor did anyone discussed with us the forming of a National administration. The SLMC took a very shrewd move to form an administration according to their wish. They only mention the term ‘National government’ but they have failed to practically follow it.
Q: Why couldn’t you form a provincial administration with the TNA? Why was it unsuccessful?
A: TNA has 11 seats, and we had nine members.
We told the TNA leader that SLMC is cheating on the agreement we signed to form an administration.
We also told him that we were unsatisfied with the UPFA leadership’s stand on this issue.
Therefore, we told Leader Sampanthan that we are ready to sacrifice the CM post and some ministries. We told him the rest of the ministries can be equally shared with the other Muslim and Sinhala representatives in the UPFA.
Sampanthan agreed to form an administration with us but the current Minister of Education in the EPC and the current CM had financial dealings to form the current administration.
Q:However, there are allegations that you agreed to support the TNA to form an administration but refused at the last moment. How do you justify this?
A: Well, this is a lie to show that the TNA is politically correct. We did sign an agreement with the SLMC to form an administration but later when we were dissatisfied we withdrew the agreement from the governor.
Only after withdrawing the old agreement we promised to sign an agreement with the TNA. But we were disappointed when Leader Sampanthan spoke to us with trust and responsibility, yet later he changed his promises.
At the very beginning Leader Sampanthan did not show any interest in forming an administration with the other parties, later due to pressure by the media and other institutions he changed his stand but he was only concerned about ministries not the chief ministerial post.
Q:Last week the Deputy Chairman of EPC was impeached by the council. How do you view this?
A: The removal of Deputy Chairman was a very a politically indecent move by the council. Deputy Chairman M. S. Suhair of All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) worked for the victory of President Maithripala Sirisena in support of a National government. However, SLMC joined President Sirisena after the postal voting. Accordingly, the SLMC signed an impeachment against the Deputy Chairman to remove him.
Therefore it is clearly evident that the SLMC does not allow political leaders to emerge from other political parties. The SLMC is comfortable in following their agenda under the name of a National administration. We oppose the move to impeach the deputy chairman. It is very unfair!
Q:How do you view the functions of a ‘National Government’ at the central level?
A: We expected for a proper administration under the new President. But the situation is different the UNP is ruling the country with less number of seats. This is called the national government and good governance. We are clueless!
Q:Will you contest in the upcoming General Elections?
A: We are observing the situation. Our intention is to serve the people. Therefore, it is a must to contest in elections, so we will contest the Parliamentary Elections.