‘Regime change’ didn't bring any change for Tamils: NPC Councillors, TNPF and ITAK MP

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 April 2016, 15:18 GMT]
While R. Sampanthan, M.A.Sumanthiran and Mavai Senathiraja belonging to Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) were on a collaborating course with the Sri Lankan regime on the advice from Washington and New Delhi, ITAK Parliamentarian Sivagnanam Sritharan, who has also been alleged of playing into the hands of the US Embassy, which got him to collaborate with M.A. Sumanthiran, went on record on Friday at a protest in Jaffna stating that he had no faith in the ruling regime and said the current regime has failed in building confidence and building peace with Tamils. Sritharan was protesting along with NPC Councillors and TNPF politicians in laying siege to the Divisional Survey Office at Thirunelveali in Jaffna.

Protest in front of Divisional Survey Office in Jaffna

Protest in front of Divisional Survey Office in Jaffna
Protest in front of Divisional Survey Office in Jaffna
Protest in front of Divisional Survey Office in Jaffna
The protest succeeded in blocking the survey department officials from surveying 30 acres of lands at Ma'nkumpaan and 19 acres of lands at Pungkudu-theevu islet off Jaffna for the militarisation by the occupying navy of genocidal Sri Lanka on the instructions by the Colombo regime.

The grassroots activists who organised the protest told TamilNet that they have demanded the Tamil politicians to lay siege to the District Secretariat of Jaffna on Monday to pass a strong message to the Colombo government through SL Government Agent in Jaffna that Tamils will no longer tolerate genocidal land grab.

“As a representative of the people, I have not seen any significant change of approach on the part of [Colombo] government towards the Tamil question, even after the regime change,” Sritharan responded to questions raised by the journalists at the venue.

The present regime in Colombo has only been engaged in propaganda through releasing a few lands, Mr Sritharan said. In the meantime several acres lands are being seized by the military, he said.

“Even at the places where some lands have been released, the Tamil people are unable to freely resettle,” Mr Sritharan said adding that more and more coastal lands are being seized by the occupying navy of the Colombo State.

“What we are witnessing here today is only the first phase of a major coastal occupation scheme involving 108 locations and thousands of acres of lands along the entire coast of Jaffna district, from Pullaa-ve'li, Vettilaik-kea'ni, Kaddaik-kaadu to Ma'ndai-theevu and Nedunth-theevu. These coastal stretches with access to resourceful seabed, form the basis of coastal livelihood of the Tamil people,” Mr Sritharan said.

“Today, the people have successfully sieged the attempt to survey the lands. But, the current regime has proceeded with conducting survey at Neduntheevu [Delft] islet, where the people were unable to block the move. Similarly, 26 acres of lands have been surveyed at Champil-thu'rai [Maathakal] to be allocated to Sri Lanka Navy. The survey was conducted deploying deceptive tactics,” Mr Sritharan said.

This is not peace-building. It is the SL government which has been destroying the confidence building and peace-building in the past. This is exactly what the SL government is doing at present, he said.

40% of Ki'linochchi town is still retained by the SL military, Sritharan further said.

NPC Councillor Balachandran Gajadeepan said that the people are now coming to the conclusion that there is no difference between the former and the present regimes of Colombo after experiencing more lands being seized by military while the most fertile lands in Jaffna were still not released to the public.

NPC Councillor and former parliamentarian M.K. Shivajilingam vowed to fight against the military land grab. “Don't force us to permanently siege the administrative secretariats,” the veteran activist warned.

NPC Councillor Vinthan Kanagaratnam said the protesters would lay siege to the District Secretariat in Jaffna on Monday and exert pressure on the SL Government Agent not to proceed with surveying lands for militarisation in the North.

TNPF leader and former TNA parliamentarian Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said that the current SL regime has proven, beyond any doubt, that it was continuing the same policies of Rajapaksa government, especially in two of the most important areas: accountability and resolution to national question.

The accountability process, has been transformed into a domestic one, is in fact taken forward as a process giving legitimacy to the military. The continued militarisation should be viewed in this context, he said.

On resolving the national question, the SL regime has explicitly denounced the federal solution. It wants to maintain the unitary character of the State.

Now, it should be crystal clear to the politicising sections of the Tamil people that Maithiripala regime is just pursuing the same narrative of Rajapaksa regime, he said.

By toeing this line, the government finds itself in a situation that it has to further militarise the Tamil homeland in order to keep the people suppressed. Tamils have to understand that this so-called notion of ‘good governance’ is only for the Sinhalese and it has nothing to do with the Tamils, Mr Gajendrakumar said.

TNPF General Secretary and former TNA parliamentarian Selvarajah Kajendren said that Maithiripala regime was preoccupied with convincing the supporters of the Rajapaksa camp by continued militarisation of the Tamil homeland while attempting to showcase a different picture to the outside world.

The attempt to put up a controverial 61-feet Buddha statue at Nayinaatheevu and the continued occupation of private lands at Kokku'laay to construct a Buddhist vihara were part of the projects aimed at convincing the Sinhala Buddhist masses that there is no change with regards to the national question in the island, he said.


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