2ND LEAD (Update)

Mathisayan's killing evokes fear among social activists in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 June 2015, 23:06 GMT]
The killing of 43-year-old Mathisayan Sachchithanantham last Tuesday at Ma'ndoor situated 40 km south of the city of Batticaloa, has caused fear among the Eezham Tamil social activists in East. The slain victim was a leading social activist, who had confronted the previous administration of the Murukan temple, where corruption prevailed with the backing of civil administrative officers appointed by the occupying Sri Lankan State. The slain activist has also been vocal in opposing the construction of a playground at a river delta in his native village, close friends of the slain activist told TamilNet on Monday adding that paramilitary operative Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, has been backing the construction of the controversial playground. The activists say social activism among Eezham Tamils has been seriously threatened by the anti-people elements promoted by the occupying SL State.

Mathisayan's friends were drawing parallels to his killing with the November 2014 killing of Nakuleswaran in Mannaar.

Mathisayan Sachchithanantham
Mathisayan Sachchithanantham (26 January 1972 - 26 May 2015)
Mathisayan, who was employed as Social Serivce Officer (SSO) at Naavithan-ve'li DS office situated in the nearby Ampaa'rai district, was on a sick leave after a minor operation. Mathisayan was at home after being discharged from the hospital when two unknown men, who came in a motorbike, shot him at his head.

The slain SSO's friends allege that the gunmen who shot him were from Munaik-kaadu area and that they are linked to a corrupt civil administrative officer.

Mathisayan was instrumental in changing what his friends allege as a corrupt board of trustees at the popular Ma'ndoor Murukan temple. The widespread corruption was exposed last year.

Ma'ndoor Murukan temple is one of the ancient temples having Vedda traditions. Also known as Chinna Kathirkaamam in the East, the temple has been popular for its unique traditions and the annual festival. The devotees on pilgrimage to Kathirkaamam temple also offer homage at Ma'ndoor temple.

The annual collections are said to be around 8 million rupees. The money should be used to the development of the temple and the larger society at Ma'ndoor.

However, there has been no visible development at the temple after the war and widespread corruption has plagued the board of management in recent years, especially under the military rule of the occupying Sri Lankan State.

Ma'ndoor Murukan Temple
Ma'ndoor Murukan Temple [Photo courtesy: Nagalingam Senthan, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/82999665]

Ma'ndoor was under the de-facto administration of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) till 2007.

The friends of Mathisayan allege that an administrative officer, under the rule of the occupied Sri Lankan State, is tasked with the responsibility of supervising the accounts and with the responsibility of overseeing the public expenditure of the income for the wellbeing of the society. But, the official has been backing the culprits, sharing a portion of the income, they allege.

Mathisayan, a Justice of Peace (JP) was playing a key role in confronting the corruption and the anti-people elements, his friends claim. Mathisayan was a student who excelled in Advanced Level Examinations scoring 4A passes, his friends told TamilNet. He continued his higher studies at the Eastern University. He was appointed as a teacher at Ma'ndoor 13th Village in January 1998 and served there for 2 years before becoming SSO at Ea'raavoor Divisional Secretariat. He was also working at Ma'nmunaippattu (Aaraiyampathi) and Ma'nmunai South West (Paddippazhai) before his last appointment to Naavithan-ve'li in Ampaa'rai during the last 18 months.

He was actively involved in the rural development of his village and served as the leader of the Rural Development Society of Ma'ndoor and in the management of the hospital, according to his friends.

Complaining that the resources have not been utilised for the wellbeing of devotees and the larger society in the village, Mathisayan had proposed the construction of a 'madam' (resting hall), which has been sanctioned by the new administration.

At the same time, paramilitary operative Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, who was seeking votes for Mahinda Rajapaksa during the last presidential elections, had donated 1 million rupees from Mahinda Rajapaksa's funds to a "Vishnu" Sports Club at the village.

Instead of further developing the already existing public grounds, the said sports club was attempting to create a new playground raising the ground level at a river delta.

The social activists, led by Mathisayan, were opposed to the move. Artificial changes to the natural drainage would be counterproductive, as it would cause the water level to rise, especially during the flooding seasons, they feared. The activists say they were trying to convince the Vishnu sports club to consider alternatives. The project has now been temporarily suspended due to the appeals from the concerned activists.

In the meantime, informed sources in Ma'ndoor said that the SL police investigating the case think that the killers had used a revolver.

The informed sources also state that the SL police was in possession of material that could possibly expose the identity of the killers.

However, the occupying Sinhala police, disconnected from the people of the area, would be defending the interests of those favourable to the occupying designs of the SL state, they said.

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