Feature Article

"How will International Community respond?"

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 December 2005, 13:27 GMT]
"A critical question looming large in Tamil Peoples' mind is how the International Community is going to express its reaction to the Government of Sri Lanka on the slaying of the senior Tamil democratic leader, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham," Jaffna daily Uthayan said in its editorial Monday. The paper described the slaying of Joseph Pararajasigham as an attempt to "throttle the voice of Tamil Nationalism."

Some Colombo media and the Sri Lankan Government have attempted to soften the reactions from the International Community by portraying the slaying as a "factional issue." But credible evidence from Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled Batticaloa has established that paramilitary operatives were operating with the support of the SLA in the east.

When the United Nations condemned the killing of Mr. Kowsalyan, the Batticaloa District Political Head of the Liberation Tigers, the Sri Lankan leadership, as well as the Sinhala nationalists and extremist Buddhist clergy, severely objected to the condemnation by the international community.

Full text of the English translation of the Uthayan editorial follows:

Attempts to throttle the vocal cord of Tamil Nationalism

"A tragedy has unfolded in Batticaloa within the precincts of the Mother Mary's refuge for those seeking solace on a day the people were celebrating Holy Mass, the birth of the Messenger for Peace, Lord Jesus Christ. A cold -blooded murder has been committed of a peoples' representative who was participating in the Mass.

"The gun has silenced another Tamil democratic voice. The oppressor has, again emphatically and unambiguously, given the message that he is not inclined to hear the democratic message, but would hear only the message through the weapon.

"Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham significantly stands out as one of the few senior democratic leaders left. Starting public life as a journalist, Mr.Pararajasingham gravitated towards the father figure Tamil leader S.J.V.Chelvanayagam and grew up as a political activist under SJV's tutelage. The international community and the Tamil people saw the unswerving dimension of his commitment and consistency in the last general election.

"Mr.Pararajasingham demonstrated his principled position on the Tamil National question when it was put to severe test by rouge renegade Karuna. He proved his mettle as a formidable fighter. He did not fall prey to narrow regionalism when insidious attempts made to split the liberation movement.

"In the midst of serious threats to his life, Mr.Pararajassingham, until his untimely demise, worked relentlessly in pursuit of the freedom struggle initiated by the late leader SJV and spearheaded now by the National Leader Mr.V.Prabakaran.

"In the Tamil homeland, in Sri Lanka or the international arena, he argued for the legitimacy of Tamil struggle and served as one of the most articulate proponent of Tamil cause. Human Rights issues were closer to his heart as he voiced against rights abuses international fora. Para has significant contributions in the in the formation of a Human Rights Secretariat for the NorthEast.

"The killers have brazenly trespassed into the holy precincts of a popular church situated within the Sri Lankan Military's High Security Zone during Christmas Mass and shot at a peoples' leader and several others while they were all about to receive the communion from the officiating Bishop.

"The world knows all too well the mysterious hands behind the dastardly acts of this type that is bent on ringing the death bell for Tamil democratic voice. We have, in these columns pointed out the cynical approach of the South in trying to suppress militarily the democratic uprisings against forceful occupation and strong-arm oppression in the recent past.

"Killing of Mr.Pararajasingham in Batticaloa is a pointer to the expansion of military excesses from the Northern theatre to the East as well. The Southern majoritarian political and military hegemony working against Tamil Nationalism using the armed appendage groups, will apportion the blame for this killing on 'unidentified groups.'

"How does the international community that has so far turned a nelsonian eye to the military repression of democratic protests against inhuman occupation propose to view the cold killing of this democratically elected leader?

"Also, how does the international community that unreservedly condemned the killing of Lakshman Kadirgamar, a back-door entrant to the legislature who was characterized as a peoples' representative, propose to react to the killing of Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham, a democratic leader who relentlessly worked for the people fearlessly facing threats and challenges?


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