ITAK to commemorate war dead

DSCF9714-copy1By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

The Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) is gearing up to commemorate the civilians who died during the last phase of the war on 18 May. 
However, they will not reveal the venue of the ceremony due to ‘security threats’.
Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council, C.V.K. Sivagnanam, told Ceylon Today the Northern Province is infiltrated by intelligence and Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) officials and so it would create an unwanted uproar when commemorating and invoking blessings on the dead. “It is our birthright and human right to remember them and hold rituals for those who died during the last phase of the war,” the Chairman said.
“We have informed the families to join us in commemorating the dead and we have our rituals to perform,” he added. 
When asked why they need to keep the commemoration of the dead ‘a top secret’ and not take security clearance to do that, he said, “Of course that has been the trend here. We are not going to take security clearance. However, the ‘intelligence’ will come to know.”
Meanwhile, the police and TID officials blocked a ceremony to commemorate the dead inside the Council hall organized by MP M.K. Sivajilingam. 
It had come to light that Sivajilingam had organized a ceremony including the lighting of an oil lamp in remembrance of the dead at the council hall, without the consent of the party or the chairman. However, when the MP arrived with Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan to the venue in Kaithady yesterday, the gate had been closed and a team of police officers had been on guard.
Ananthi said, “I don’t know who planned the event, but I was invited by MP Sivajilingam to go there. How can the Chairman of the NPC not know about this event?”
When Ceylon Today asked Chairman Sivagnanam about the event, he said he was not informed nor his consent obtained to hold the ceremony. “I don’t know about it and I have informed the rest of the party that I am clueless about this event.”
The event was finally blocked by the police and the TID when MP Sivajlinagam and Ananthi lit the oil lamp in front of the gate and made a speech to the people who had gathered there to attend the event. They claimed there was no need for prior approval or security clearance to remember the war dead. “It’s our right to invoke blessings on those souls who met their untimely death,” Ananthi told Ceylon Today.