Truth should be brought to light, says the Northern Province CM
For the first time since the end of the Eelam War-IV six years ago, Tamils on Monday paid homage openly to those who died during the War.
On the Mullivaikkal beach in Mullativu district where the last stage of the War was fought, the Northern Provincial Council organised a function in which lamps were lit and a five-minute silence was observed.
- ‘No restrictions now’
Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran and Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi president Mavai S. Senathirajah attended the function.
“This time, there were no restrictions on us in paying tribute to the dead. The area surrounding the beach is under the control of the security forces. We informed them in advance, though we did not seek any permission. The event went off smoothly,” Kandiya Sivagnanam, Chairman of the Council, told The Hindu.
The Mullativu Magistrate had issued an order on Saturday banning functions that commemorate the role of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), even as it allowed people to remember their relatives who died in the War.
Addressing the function, the Chief Minister urged the Sri Lankan government and international community to take a decision on the Tamil question. “This in turn could usher in peace and dignity among various communities in Sri Lanka,” he said. He added, “The environment is now much more positive. Without delay, we must work towards the all important goal of maximum devolution for the Tamil speaking people”
- NPC’s Resolution
Mr. Wigneswaran also explained why the Council had adopted a resolution, in February, accusing successive governments in the island of committing ‘genocide’ against Tamils. Truth should be brought to light and the guilty punished, he said.
According to Ruwan Gunasekara, Assistant Superintendent of Police and media spokesperson, people in Mullativu, Jaffna (both under the Northern Province) and Batticaloa (Eastern Province) took part peacefully in commemoration functions for their relatives. Asked whether there was any report of the LTTE getting hailed, the spokesperson replied in the negative.
At the Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa criticised the LTTE for having murdered former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who was instrumental in establishing Provincial Councils to enable devolution of powers. It was because of the army that the people in the Northern Province were leading their lives peacefully, he said, adding that no government should be allowed to go soft on separatism.
- The Hindu