Will the government accept Karuna’s Challenge?
Novelist Alan Moore wrote, “The people of the country shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” That is what we have heard and learnt. However, we cannot say the same of what Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman meant, when he blatantly challenged the Yahapalana Government to arrest him, if they were to find any allegations against him.
Karuna Amman had bravely challenged the authorities to try and arrest him; which was followed by him saying that he doesn’t fear the government and what they have in store for individuals like him. Basically, what he did was accuse the current Yahapalna Government of exacting political revenge from those who stood in protest of them and that the government is slowly removing their opponents one by one.
Karuna Amman is no angel nor sinner turned saint, no matter what he wants you to believe.
Whenever his very name is recalled, the precious lives of 600 unarmed police officers who were done to death after surrendering to the LTTE in the Eastern Province, comes to our mind. That happened during the tenure of the late President Premadasa on 11 June 1990. The 25th death anniversary of these police officers, who ‘rode into the valley of death’ were commemorated and remembered last June, but no government has yet addressed this dastardly act. Twenty five years have come and gone, their generations are dead and gone, but the souls of those 600 police officers still moan the lack of justice meted out.
Although, the then Opposition the Sri Lanka Freedom Party continued to criticize the then government’s inactivity regarding this case and the inability of the authorities to arrest the perpetrators of this horrendous act of terrorism, what they did when they grabbed the seat of power is rather ironic. The entire country knew, when this mass murder was reported in 1990, that it was perpetrated by the LTTE and the ‘top commander’ of the Eastern Province was Karuna Amman. In 2004, the ‘Terror of the East’ and former bodyguard to the LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran- effectively number two in the terrorist outfit, broke away from Tigers and fled into the welcoming hands of the (ironically) SLFP. After the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised him security from the now infuriated remains of the LTTE, Karuna Amman was ceremoniously baptised as a Vice President of the SLFP back in 2009.
Karuna Amman is smart and winsome in his manipulative tactics. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to slither his way into the mainstream politics of the country, from his beginnings as a terrorist. His promotion to the Minister of National Integration in 2009 is a clear show of charm and opportunistic tendencies. Karuna Amman created history in the SLFP by becoming a Vice President. Similarly, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan, who was also a terrorist became the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province. This wolf turned sheep also held the entire Eastern Province at gunpoint when he was wearing his terrorist overalls.
After a decade Pillaiyan was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department, over the assassination of former Tamil National Alliance MP Joseph Pararajasingham: a true Tamil democrat. He was gunned down during the Christmas Mass at St. Michael’s Church in Batticaloa, right after he received Holy Communion. The authorities took ten years to arrest the alleged perpetrator behind this vile crime. Would we have to live another ten years, commemorate the golden death anniversary of the 600 police officers to see the arrest of the criminals behind that crime?
Karuna Amman’s challenge should not be ignored. If the authorities honestly probe the murder of the 600 policemen, Karuna Amman could be questioned because there are undeniable and recorded evidence as to who gave the order to execute those policemen. With the promise of establishing the Independent National Police Commission, after the Constitutional Council’s recommendation of those eligible to hold the membership of the Commission, the immediate resolve to commence investigation into political assassinations is undoubtedly necessary. This would, we believe, hasten crucial investigations without political interference of any sort.
A government elected by the people for democracy and protection of the populace should not be afraid to probe the heinous crimes committed by men and women of a ruthless terrorist outfit such as the LTTE that massacred men and women irrespective of race and religion. With allegations surrounding Karuna Amman and his acts allegedly committed under terrorist guise in the past, the nation awaits with watch dog attention, to see whether the Sirisena- Wickremesinghe Yahapalana Government is brave enough to meet the challenge of Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman