TNA faults SLA for violence in Tamil districts

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 November 2004, 15:53 GMT]
"Unwarranted interference by the armed forces in the lives of the Tamil civilian population in the North-East must be brought to an end," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group in a statement of national public importance tabled in Parliament Saturday in regard to several violent incidents that had taken place in the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya and in Trincomalee during Heroes Day week.

Mr Sampanthan demanded the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to take steps for a proper and impartial investigation into these incidents and to take appropriate action against the offenders.

The Deputy Defence Minister Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayake in reply promised to hold impartial inquiry in all incidents that had taken place.

Full text of the statement tabled by R.Sampanthan follows:

"It is necessary to bring to the notice of the House the following matter ofurgent national public importance and to request the GOSL to take appropriate action immediately.

The Tamil people as usual are commemorating Marty's week. The commemorationwill come to an end with the delivery of a message evening by the Tamil national leader Mr.Velupillai Pirapaharan. This message is being eagerly awaited.

The Tamil people in the North-East have enthusiastically part-taken in these commemoration celebrations. It is a legitimate right of the Tamil people to do so.

In the past few days several incidents have taken place in Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya and in Trincomalee to disturb these celebrations.

The security forces without justification have carried out attacks against the Tamil people in Mannar and Vavuniya on 25th November. I herewith attach a statement reflecting the names, age, and the nature of injuries sustained by 17 such Tamil persons who were admitted to the District General Hospital, Mannar after these attacks.

TNA parliamentarian Mr.S.Noharathalingam was also assaulted by the armed forces simultaneously in the Mannar district, in respect of which assault he has lodged a complaint with the SLMM, Mannar district.

In Vavuniya four Tamils, Mannavan, Jothirajah, Kokilan and Karikalan sustained gunshot injuries.

The political leader of the LTTE, Vavuniya district Mr.T.Gnanavel on hearing the incident went to the scene, when an army officer of the Sri Lankan armed forces had placed his revolver on his forehead. The arrival of the SLMM at the scene is reported to have prevented the incident assuming more serious proportions.

On 19 the November, 2 Tamils-Sathasivam Kumaran and Rajenthran Suresh Kumar were shot dead in Jaffna; yet another Tamil was injured in the course of this shooting. On 20th November, one M.Chandrarajah was shot and injured at Meesalai in Chavakachcheri.

The aforesaid incidents occurred in the course of attempts by the security forces to disturb the celebrations by the Tamil people during Martyr's Week.

On 26th November, a group of persons led by a Sinhalese politician in the Trincomalee district destroyed the Martyr's week decorations and attempted to promote a conflict between the tamil and Sinhalese people. The good sense of the Tamil and Sinhalese civilians, the co-operation of the LTTE and the timely intervention by the Police prevented a calamity.

The aforesaid actions were deliberately intended to disturb the Martyr's week celebrations and provoke the LTTE and the Tamil civilian population. The LTTE and the Tamil civilian population have acted with restraint.

The Tamil civilian population has been subjected to violence since 1956. It is ironic that the Tamil civilians should continue to be subjected to violence even during the current ceasefire. The Tamil people cannot be prevented from taking part in any lawful activities in accordance with their wishes. This is their legitimate right.

Unwarranted interference by the armed forces in the lives of the Tamil civilian population in the North-East must be brought to an end.

I wish to bring the aforesaid matters to the notice of this House and request the government to take steps for a proper and impartial investigation into these incidents and take appropriate action against the offenders.

The members of parliament of the TNA have brought these matters to the notice of the government on two earlier occasions but have not received a satisfactory response.

We request that the government's response be made known forthwith," the statement concluded.

Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, Deputy Defence Minister said: "In response to Mr.Sampanthan, I wish to say this. I also speak with a sense of responsibility. Regarding the allegations made, there are various reports, which have reached me. He telephoned me last night and did indicate to me that he was going to make a statement. Because of that I deliberately kept away from reading the reports, which have been submitted by the police and the army because I want to come to this House with an open mind. Now I have heard him. I will go into the matter in depth. I want to see that law and order is maintained. I do not want to hide anything. This is my position. I will see that an impartial inquiry is held regarding all the incidents. He has reported about five or six incidents. I will see that an impartial inquiry is held. I say so with a sense of responsibility."


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