TNA calls on Sri Lanka to allow Tamils to remember war dead freely in November

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran called on Sri Lanka’s government allow the memorialisation of Tamil war dead in the North-East.

Labelling the desecration of Liberation Tamil Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cemeteries the “most uncivil” act, Mr Sumanthiran called on the new government to allow Tamils to remember their war dead freely.

Speaking in Sri Lankan parliament he said,

“Those parents and others must remember their children and family during the month of November. They have done them for years and I plead with the government to commit to allowing them to remember their dead in the month of November. We are at a stage where we are not asking for the division of the country. Our people, those people, relatives of the fallen cadres, have voted for that kind of policy. We have said we don’t want to divide the country, we don’t want to take up arms again, but let us remember our children that died fighting for a cause.”

“If you are serious about reconciliation it is important for you to allow memorialisation.The government has agreed that memorialisation will be allowed. Many of the LTTE cemeteries have been desecrated. The most uncivil actions by the previous government. I’ve been to villages where cemeteries were flattened. And families of the dead have showed me where the cemeteries were desecrated and flattened by bulldozers.”

Speaking in Sri Lanka’s parliament at the opening budget debate, the TNA parliamentarian also called on Sri Lanka to question Sri Lanka’s former navy commander on the secret torture cells in Trincomalee’s naval dockyard and called on the government to act to release all Tamil political prisoners.

“All you have done so far is release 39 prisoners on bail. You haven’t released them. The release of prisoners and repealing of the PTA could happen tomorrow. It shouldn’t take 9 months.”” said Mr Sumanthiran.

Urging the government to not listen to Sinhala nationalist sentiment, he added,

“You can’t have a policy at making one section of the country happy whilst affecting the happiness of others.”