By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday (22) said that Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne should have visited the Mullivaikkal ground on 19 May 2018, to listen to the war widows, parents, siblings and children of those who died on 18 May 2009, who would have given him the exact story of what happened on the last days of the war, where he would have learnt from them how the military studiously took charge of the surrendees publicly and later denied taking charge of them.
“It is pathetic to hear all persons who were killed on or about that fateful day being referred to as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres. A genuine inquiry would bring the truth out about the innocents being massacred.”
He also told that Dr. Senaratne was criticized for his statement, at the last weekly Cabinet news briefing, that some non-LTTE cadres had to embrace death due to the attacks by the Armed Forces and therefore it was rightful to commemorate the death of those non-LTTEers. This statement also ‘tarnished the name of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and it is a huge insult to the entire Armed Forces’ the SLA had said.
Wigneswaran said that Dr. Senaratne must know about the actual behaviour and conduct of his country’s Army before rushing into protect them.
“He must have been carried away by the nonsensical statement of the previous Government, which said that there were zero casualties. When such false statements are made to the world at large publicly by a Government, people get conditioned to think that and believe that their Armed Forces are paragons of virtue. Well they are not. I have personally heard cases where the brutal torture methods adopted by the State’s Forces came to light. The United Nations has recently referred to the offences allegedly committed by our Forces in Haiti too.
“Dr. Senaratne came into politics I believe through Vijaya Kumaratunga’s Sri Lanka Mahajana Party. Therefore, he has a semblance of decency and decorum when referring to such sensitive matters. I cannot see anything wrong with what he is alleged to have said to the effect that some non-LTTE cadres had to embrace death due to the attacks of the Armed Forces and that therefore it was their right to commemorate the death of those non LTTEers. The truth is that the Armed Forces deliberately got our innocent people together into a corner and massacred them. If an inquiry takes place, details will be provided by our people.”
Wigneswaran also questioned as to what is wrong in someone commemorating the death of a person alleged to have been a member of a proscribed party. “Every person described as a criminal has relatives close and far and even sympathizers.
They have a right to remember him after his death. This right is mentioned in international agreements and documents. The dead man is no more a member of any proscribed organization. He is dead.
What is wrong with relatives and well-wishers remembering him? I suppose the Government thinks that the mourners may again regroup themselves as militants and therefore their Remembrance process must be curtailed. If the Government continues to delay granting the legitimate political rights of our people, certainly the mourners must one day join together. At that time Sri Lanka will have very few friends in the world arena.”
He also said that many Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarians such as Mavai Senathiraja, S. Sritharan, C. Nirmalanathan and E. Saravanabavan and many others had attended the Mullivaikkal event. “Almost all TNA Northern Provincial Councillors were there while TNA Leader R. Sampanthan was in Trincomalee attending a similar function there,” added the Chief Minister.