Sri Lanka’s hidden agenda in JMC election - Manickasothy
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 June 2009, 17:48 GMT]
”Tamils struggle for their rights began at a time even when there were four train services a day from Jaffna to Colombo, hundreds of lorries and busses plying on the A9 road and a continuous electricity supply from Laxapahana was available to the people of the North; the claim to restore these by the government is but an obvious propaganda ploy to lure votes for the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), in an effort to show the world that the Tamils are not opposed to a unified Sri Lanka but whole heartedly support it, by securing victory in Jaffna Municipality Council (JMC) election,” Abimanasingham Manickasothy, the principal candidate of the Independent group contesting JMC election, told the media in a press meet held Wednesday in Bastion Hotel in Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said.
Abimanasingham Manickasothy had played an important role in the negotiations between the Liberation Tigers and the then Premadasa regime in the 1989-90 periods and when the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was expelled from Sri Lanka by former President Premadsa.
The following is the gist of his answers to the media in the press meet Wednesday:
“The hidden agenda of the government is to show the world that all the problems of the Tamils have been solved and that they have elected their representatives in a democratic election,” Packiasothy told the media.
“A political party, which in its inception had vouched to establish a separate independent state for the Tamils, later joined the ruling regime claiming that it is entering the democratic stream, secured ministerial positions; but now it is a fact that it cannot even contest under its own symbol but has to compromise with the ruling power to contest under the symbol of the ruling party,” he further said.
“Our group has decided to boycott JMC permanently once it wins the election and our seats will continue to be vacant; in fact our aim is to defeat the aim of the government to hoodwink the world,” he explained.
“It is obvious that if a Tamil party captures JMC, being shorn of its powers, it will remain powerless even to eliminate a stray dog from the streets of Jaffna,” he said.
“In the meantime, a political party had promised to illuminate Jaffna city making it an illustrious city in the world if it secures JMC; the truth is that this very party did illuminate Jaffna city by setting fire to it in the past,” he added.
“The government and its ally are busy campaigning that the A9 road has been opened for public use, fishing restriction being completely lifted besides assuring 24 hour electricity supply to the peninsula. But the reality is the very opposite:
- The people in the North and East are being ruled under a state of emergency for the last 13 years;
- Though the government says it has destroyed the Liberation Tigers, the presence of armed soldiers in the peninsula is permanent;
- Residents of Valikaamam North evicted from their houses by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) still languish in camps even after 17 years;
- A committee appointed two years back to resettle the above people is yet to do anything to resettle them;
- Plans are being made to colonize the lands in the north and east where the Tamils are the majority with Sinhalese, the majority race in the country;
- 50,000 Sinhalese have been taken into the armed forces of the government with scant qualification or training to be installed with their families in the traditional homelands of the Tamils in the north and east;
“Whatever rights that were denied to the Tamils in the past continue to be denied up to now by all the succeeding Sinhalese regimes,” Manickasothy continued to explain.
“The government and its chauvinistic Sinhalese Buddhist political parties who are saturated with the concept of a united Sri Lanka based on Arya, Sinhala, Theravada Buddhisim and Lanka, at this stage when they claim that they have destroyed the Liberation Tigers terrorists completely, have to win the JMC election where the voters are Tamils, in order to prove to the world that the Tamils do not oppose their concept of One Sri Lanka – One ruling race,” he further said.
“It wants to establish to the world that what the Tamils ask are not their rights but only concessions,” he added.
“In this context it is worthless voting in the Sinhala coalition into power in the JMC election to win the rights of the Tamils; on the contrary it will only be a gesture of accepting the One Sri Lanka – One ruling race concept of myth of the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist government,” Manickasothy said.
“JMC election is being hurriedly launched when more than 30,000 Tamils have lost their lives in the war in Vanni, thousands of them have lost their relatives and all their properties; when they are incarcerated behind blade wire fences in the concentration camps, he added.
“The harsh reality in Jaffna peninsula is that its people are denied of their freedom of expression, movement and where a night curfew is still imposed for the last 12 years.” Manickasothy said.