Jaffna MP lambastes Colombo's duplicity

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 April 2001, 18:32 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Deputy Minister for Defence, Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte, flatly denied that the security forces had raped two women in detention in Mannar, interrupting the All Ceylon Tamil Congress MP for Jaffna, Mr. Vinayagamoorthy, who was on his feet in the Parliament Thursday speaking on the destruction of Tamil temples in the north and east and the rape of women in Mannar. "The statement of the Deputy Minister of Defence is tantamount to a gross intimidation of the judicial process. It shows that the government is more eager to justify such atrocities by its security forces than it is to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to book", Mr. Vinayagamoorthy told TamilNet Thursday evening.

The Jaffna MP charged that the temple of Sivan in Thirukketheeswaram has been desecrated by the Sri Lanka army that is camped in its compound.

The following are excerpts from Mr. Vinayagamoorthy's speech in Parliament Thursday.

"As usual we are asked to extend the Emergency from the 4th of April 2001. When in fact an emergency situation does not exist in Sri Lanka, the President has thought it fit for reasons best known to her to declare an emergency and bring into operation provisions of Part II of the Public Security Ordinance. Emergency Regulations should be used in exceptional situations as recommended in International Human Rights Law. Sri Lanka as a signatory to the international Covenant of Civil and Political Rights is duty bound to respect and ensure for all its inhabitants the right to liberty and security, the freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, freedom of movement, choice of residence, right to a fair trial and defence, Freedom of opinion and expression, the right of assembly and association and the right to take part in public affairs".

"The Emergency Regulations which are in force now derogate from the rights I mentioned above. Since the draconian provisions of the Emergency Regulations are used against the Tamils, I shall vote against the extension of the Emergency".

"I request on behalf of the Tamil community that all Tamil members in this August Assembly to vote against the extension of the Emergency".

"It was quite interesting to note the (Deputy) Defence Minister asking the UNP on the floor of this house as to why it has not taken action against its, members Mr. P.Chandrasekaran MP and Mr. T.Maheswaran for the signing the memorandum sent to the Prime Minister of Great Britain asking him not to ban the LTTE".

"It is the government that has decided to have direct negotiations with the LTTE. When you decide to negotiate with the LTTE it follows that you accept that they represent the Tamil nation. Unless you have a double standard, you could not have requested the British government to ban the LTTE after deciding to talk to them", the Jaffna MP said.

 

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