‘Sri Lankan forces planned education officer’s assassination in Jaffna’
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 December 2010, 21:56 GMT]
Sri Lankan forces occupying Jaffna planned the assassination of the Deputy Director of Education for Valikaamam, Mr. Markandu Sivalingam, on Sunday night, media sources in Jaffna said. “We cannot keep quiet seeing such murders. If we do so, tomorrow even we will not remain. We have to mobilise ourselves very urgently,” said Rev. Fr. Jesudas, the principal of St. Hendry’s College, I’lavaalai, speaking at the funeral of Mr. Sivalingam at Maruthanaamadam, Tuesday. It was attended by large number of students, teachers, principals and the public. But neither SL military officials, nor the officials of the provincial administration attended the funeral. On the day of his assassination there was the ‘disaster management’ gala attended by SL prime minister forcing students to ‘sing’ Sinhala anthem.
Obituary address by Rev. Fr. Jesudas at the funeral [Photo: TamilNet]
“Whenever academics and intellectuals were assassinated in the past, we were keeping quiet. But we have not achieved anything by that silence. Such assassinations are escalating now. Our continued silence will invite dangerous consequences,” Fr. Jesudas further said in making obituary.
Speaking at the funeral, the Director of Education for Jaffna, Mr. Ratnam Tamilmaran asked all sections to condemn such assassinations of academics. Attack on academics in on the escalation. Stopping that is in the hands of everybody, he said.
The funeral procession started from the house of Mr. Sivalingam at Urumpiraay. Amidst heavy rains there was a big crowd. His colleagues took charge of the body at Maruthanaamadam junction, where the Valikaamam regional education office is located. Principals of all leading schools, teachers, students and education officers paid homage.
The cremation took place at Maruthanaamadam Saiva crematorium.
Mr. Sivalingam was a peace-loving person who was looking after Tamil language curriculum as part of his deputy director duties. He was keeping himself away and was aloof from the ongoing manoeuvrings of the government with the schools and students in Jaffna. He didn't resist his assassins. His daughter pleaded that if the killers had come for robbery, she would part with her jewellery. Yet, Mr. Sivalingam was shot on the chest.
There was public anger on the absence of any provincial administration officials at the funeral. Just on the previous day these Tamil officials were in the retinue of the colonial governor Maj. Gen. Chandra Sri, when he came to open an education office at Kaarainakar.
The Government Agent of Jaffna Mrs Imelda Sugumar, who claims that she is always with people, didn't attend the funeral. The EPDP minister Douglas Devananda went to the house of Mr. Sivalingam and skipped the funeral.
As some stunning details of the assassination of Mr. Sivalingam is being circulated in Jaffna, the absence of the SL military and administration officials at his funeral have evoked further suspicions among the public.
In a territory where thousands of military were needed for the security of visiting SL politicians, only three policemen were at the procession and funeral of Mr. Sivalingam.