Police rush TNA MPs to safety TNA-Pro LTTE clash at Paris meet
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
Chaos prevailed in La Chapelle, Paris on Friday around 4 p.m. when several members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) came under strong verbal attack by a number of irate Tamil Diaspora members, mostly LTTE sympathizers, and the French Police had to be called in to rescue the MPs, who used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Ceylon Today learns that the TNA members, namely MP Selvam Adaikalanathan, Northern Provincial Councillor M.K. Sivajilingam, MP Ariyanayagam Kaveenthiran Kodiswaran a.k.a ‘Robinson’ of Ampara, and Eastern Provincial Councillor Kovinthan Karunakarum a.k.a. ‘Jana’ representing the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) had organized the meeting at a restaurant in La Chapelle.
However, the France-based Tamils, on seeing ‘Jana’, had accused him of many crimes committed in the past against the Tamils in the East, and had started questioning how he could go to Geneva to attend the UNHRC session to speak on behalf of the Tamils.
Around 30 policemen and seven police vehicles were deployed to the scene where they had to fire tear gas to keep the protesters from entering the restaurant.
The mob had demanded justice from ‘Jana’ for his ‘activities’ in the past.
The meeting had come to a standstill due to the commotion.
The invitation by word of mouth and Short Message Service (SMS) on mobile phone had been sent forth stating: ‘TNA meeting at Indira Hotel, at 23 Rue Cail La Chapelle from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on 9.10.2015.’ The notice was undersigned by MP Adaikalanathan, MP Robinson and ‘Jana’.
According to information, there had been more than 40 Tamils present at the meeting when the TNA MPs were trying to explain the US resolution passed in Geneva saying that it was not against the Tamils or in favour of the Sri Lankan Government.
However, a commotion had erupted when some of the Paris based Tamils started questioning Jana’s presence in Paris. They accused ‘Jana’ as one of those from the East who had caused immense problems to the Tamils and accused him of taking part in ‘wiping out’ the Tamil Tigers.
Many had argued with the TNA MPs saying that “today you have come with Jana and next time you would bring Karuna Amman and Douglas Devananda, and we despise you.”
When the meeting commenced, Sivajilingam had told the crowd that he and MP Adaikalanathan spoke to LTTE’s senior commander of the East, Karikalan, in the 90s with the intention of linking all the separatist groups by persuading them to leave aside the differences, and that was also the dream of LTTE Leader Prabhakaran.
He said that was exactly how the TNA was formed – to unite all Tamils. “We put aside all differences and formed the TNA,” he had said.
MP Sritharan and MP Adaikalanathan, who had been in the scene had then explained to the crowd that Prabhakaran’s dream was that all Tamils should unite and that was why the TNA was established.
However, the crowd gathered there was disturbed mainly by the presence of ‘Jana’, who they considered was the reason that led to many to flee the Eastern Province.
The meeting was called off due to the commotion.
MP Mavai Senathiraja, Northern Provincial Councillor Arnold and TNA MP Sritharan were also present at the scene.
The TNA team had left Geneva in order to be in Paris to conduct the meeting, it was learnt. None of them were available for a comment as they were in France at the time the newspaper went for print.
Ceylon Today’s attempt to get a comment from R. Sampanthan and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran were futile.