President's responses to tragedies raise questions
[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 September 1999, 18:09 GMT]
Tamil United Liberation Front MP Mr. Joseph Pararajasigham criticised the Sri Lankan President for racial discrimination in her reactions to the killing of Sinhalese in Ampara today for whom she offered compensation and funerals at state expense and to the deaths of Tamil civilians bombed by the Sri Lanka Air Force in Mullaithivu on Wednesday.
In a letter faxed to her this afternoon he says:
"Your Excellency, the murder of innocent Sinhalese civilians in the Ampara border villages in the early hours of this morning warrants condemnation.
"While condemning such acts, I wish to bring to Your Excellency's kind notice that Your Excellency has not only condemned these murders but also has expressed grief and sorrow to the members of the families who have suffered losses.
"Your Excellency has also sanctioned the payment of Rupees 100,000 as immediate compensation to these families who have suffered but also authorised the state to bear the cost of funeral expenses.
"But when Your Excellency's Air Force under your Your Excellency's command bombed the Puthukudiyiruppu village in Mullaitivu on Wednesday killing 22 innocent Tamil civilians Your Excellency neither expressed grief nor conveyed your sorrow.
"The perpetrators of the crime also went uncondemned and no relief or measures to help them (the victims of the SLAF bombing) at their hour of need were taken."
"The difference Your Excellency has shown in dealing with two tragedies, one earlier and the other later, has led to the forfeiture of confidence in Your Excellency by the Tamil people of this country, that Your Excellency would resolve the long standing Tamil question in this country.
"The contrasting behaviour following these two incidents towards the Sinhalese and the Tamils have gone to reinforce in the minds of the Tamil people that Your Excellency too has follows the same communal path of your predecessors and you are not at all regarding them (the Tamils) as part of this country's population."
18.09.99 President orders compensation