21 June, 2024


Jaffna In Confused Turmoil

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

The day before yesterday night (15th) as I went to Jaffna Town pick up some dinner at the Indain shop Amul, the shopkeeper was concerned whether they should open today in response to the Tamil Makkal Peravai (TMP, Tamil People’s Great Front) call for the closure of all shops in support of the embattled Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran (CVW)s.

Daily wage earners were in silent meditation about survival if everything is closed. My baker wondered if his loaves would have buyers today. The extremist newspaper Valampuri which always has something to say against Christians, had already announced in a special Rs. 10 bulletin that shops will close today.

This morning I had to go to the hospital. Many shops, but far fewer than in usual boycotts, had closed. Patients, after years under the LTTE were quiet about their real feelings but their resentment came through ntrishaws. A lady who had waited long for her Echo Cardiograph could not miss that because of the trishaw charge.

Jeyasekaram, Chairman Jaffna Chamber of Commerce, commented that normally shopkeepers ask them if they should comply with a boycott request but this time they had not been consulted. The Jaffna bus stand had only one bus. Many shops were doing business as usual with one door open. Said a shop keeper, “When the TMP usually has a Sexual Predator from the university who has been detained by the police as their chief speaker, we do not support them but shut our doors in an abundance of caution.”

The Hartal had been totally unsuccessful outside the Peninsula, especially in Kilinochchi and Vavuniya. Rather worryinglyin Jaffna, however, after I left, many campus students turned up for the march, aggressively wanting to smash up things, said Prof. R. Sivachandran, Retired Dean of Arts at Jaffna. He has a grievance against the FP for not giving him their nomination for MP so he says he jokingly told the students, “If you want to be violent then beat me up and out of sympathy I will get my nomination next time.”

Said an Accountant who heads his firm’s branch in Jaffna, Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is trying to project himself as Prabhakaran’s successor and has cultivated extremism to take over the TNA after Hon. R. Sampanthan.” He added that there has been corruption of various sorts. Accusations were orchestrated by Ananthi (wife of disappeared LTTE-er Elilan). Many of her accusations were meaningless like lack of efficiency but in there were some real charges.

CVW, said a TNA stalwart, was targeting Sampanthan’s loyalist ministers in the NPC: Deneeswaran (nephew of TELO’s Mr Adaikalanathan), Dr. Sathialingam (who has moderated his position from that of his father as the patron of the Vavuniya Yal Ahatru Changam (Be Rid of Jaffna Society) and T. Gurukularajah who is a Christian and absolutely a fan of Sampanathan’s. Thrown into the bag was Minister Aingaranesam who has serious charges against him about being bought by the Chunnakam Power Plant and its dumping oil into the ground water.

CVW then appointed a respectable committee of three, including two retired judges and a retired SLAS Official, to look into the charges. In the meantime, CVW’s Minister Ainkaranesan had hired Tamil men who are experts in their own fields but had no expertise in water testing. This bogus team was put together by an Australian Tamil brought in as a key CVW aid and consultant. The team white-washed Aingaranesam. But once the Inquiry Committee finally came out with its report all that white-washing was exposed. It found Aingaranesam guilty of corruption, and the Tamil Experts who had white-washed him were seen to be without clothes.

Unexpectedly, Gurukularajah was seriously faulted by the Inquiry for not heeding accusations against a teacher who had abused his female student. The Inquiry insisted that he step aside. Sathialingman and Deneeswaran were exonerated. CVW now wavered.  He sat on the report and wanted time for appeals. Then he declared that all four Ministers had to resign or go on compulsory leave. That is when things exploded.

The TNA now took the position that once an Inquiry Committee is appointed, there is no choice but to follow through on the report. When CVW balked, 15 members of the NPC filed an FP-inspired motion of no confidence against him. The TMP saw its chance and called for the boycott in support of CVW. The three other parties of the TNA (PLOTE, TELO and EPRLF) stood by CVW opposing the motion.

As I drove back from hospital along Temple Road, I saw a crowd of 50 or so waiting in front of SLFP MP Angajan Ramanathan’s home for jobs. As I passed and came to the Temple there was a similarly-sized crowd (but smaller if the reporters are discounted) waiting in support of CVW. It was a motley group including Prof. Sittrampalam (Vice President of the FP), Suresh Premachandran (EPRLF) and Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam (Tamil Congress).  Typically of that crowd, their slogans were more against Sumanthiran than about the corruption noted a friend in that crowd. That friend said that they said of Sumanthiran that he was brought up in Colombo counting how many Sri Lankan wickets fell at a cricket match but was never trained to count the number of Tamils killed in war. To me it showed the real target was Sampanthan. Premachandran has his own agenda, said a TNA official, about using CVW to bring his brother Sarveswaran as Minister if Aikaranesan goes; recalling that when Ainkaranesan of the EPRLF was appointed as minister instead of Sarveswaran, Premachandran ousted Ainkaranesan from the EPRLF.

Said a high Federal Party administrator, this crisis is entirely of Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s own making.  He said that CVW had been negotiating with the allies of the FP in the TNA on defusing the crisis without speaking to Mavai Senathirajah of the FP and when queried why by Sampanthan, responded that he did not have Senathirajah’s telephone number. The official rhetorically asked me, “What do you say about this Chief Minister?”

Apparently, the crisis has been defused with Sampanthan saying that the Inquiry Report has to be implemented – Gurukularajah and Ainkaranesan will resign but Deneeswran and Dr. Sathialingam will stay since they have been cleared. This official said this seems to be the agreement but CVW did not openly say yes.

We need to wait. While sensible men like Sampanthan are around, the government must settle all outstanding issues with Tamils. Once he goes, there may be only extremists to hold talks with.

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Latest comments

  • 9

    “Jaffna In Confused Turmoil” SRH H is in a turmoiled-confusion state to come up with this garbled article of irrelevancies. To quote a few: SRH H:” ……..My (Hoole’s) baker wondered if his loaves would have buyers today…..”. Did not know that SRH H is into baking business! SRH H follows up: “……The extremist newspaper Valampuri which always has something to say against Christians, had already announced in a special Rs. 10 bulletin that shops will close today……” What is anti-Christian in the news “shops will close today”? What is the relevance of Jeyasekaram, Chairman Jaffna Chamber of Commerce and the “joke” attributed to Prof. R. Sivachandran, Retired Dean of Arts at Jaffna for? What are we to do with his assertion “………..Said an Accountant who heads his firm’s branch in Jaffna, Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is trying to project himself as Prabhakaran’s successor…..”. Can go on and on but to sum up “Bloody well get lost SRH H. You are a disgrace!”

  • 5

    I am a Tamil myself and despise the attitude of the Tamil politicians then and now. I will be happy, if not proud, to have a Sinhala leader to lead the Tamils. I am saying this because of the situation then and now. Since the British left Sri Lanka, the Tamil leaders were fighting the Sinhalese and fighting among themselves all along.

    . Why is Sambanthan trio is poking their head in the administration of the provincial council. Then again party politics coming into force.
    What the Chief Minister Wigneswaran has done , after the report against the four of the Provincial Council ministers was submitted, was correct and proper. two minsters were asked to resign instead of sacking them, and the other two were asked to take leave for a month with all remunerations until a fresh inquiry to be held as there were fresh evidence against them.
    I do not find any wrong doing by the Chief Minister. He has done what is necessary within his purview of his duties. The Chief Minister was elected by the people and not by Sambanthan trio or the Provincial Councillors who submitted a petition to the Governor.
    Damn if you don’t and Damn if you do!

    • 4

      If there is evidence of corruption, the CM should ask the police to investigate. Corruption is a crime. The property taken from the people needs to be returned to them. This is not a matter of politics. He was right in asking for the resignation of the two minister who were found to be corrupt by the board of inquiry. The other two had investigations pending. It was right that they be asked to stay away pending the inquiry. Sambanthan will have egg on his face as no one can possible support the course of action he suggests in his letter. Sumanthiran is in it for his own good. Bothe will lose considerably from this incident. CVW will win either way. If he has to go, he will go as a martyr in a good cause with the FP and its leaders tainted. If he stays, his credibility will be enhanced.

    • 0

      Well said Sellam
      Why is Sambanthan in his letter to CM NPC harking back to give such a great importance to Wiggy’s casual assurance that he would always consider the advice of Mavai Senathi when it comes to taking important decisions on affairs concerned with the administration of the NPC?
      The fact is it was Mavai who was desirous of becoming CM of the NPC and CVW was well aware of that when he was inducted by Sambanthan as CM for the NPC. The people of Jaffna showed their wholehearted approval in the elections for Wiggy. That was how he became CM.
      CM CVW has been a Judge of the SC and must surely must have more experience and knowledge about administrative affairs than Mavai who only is an ordinary Tamil politician who had joined the FP after finishing his secondary schooling as an activist and found his niche in Tamil parliamentary politics over past decades.

  • 3

    Let us work hard to replace current CM in North with a politician as good as Pillian!. Is Douglas available to serve for his people in North? Last time we humiliated good people of East with Pillian and let’s do it again this time in North!
    We are working hard to replace the current CM in North just because he couldn’t fire some of his cabinet ministers? Are we living in SL and talking about SL political standard (regional government) or living in SL and dreaming about Singaporean political standards (national government)? Give us a break.
    By the way, any official update on who burned down the historical library in Jaffna? Was there any inquiry or any one was fired or criminally charged for ordering that hate crime action? Did the national government plant a wall of shame notice in front of the library entrance and printed “SORRY, we messed it up last time but we’ll try hard not to burn it again notice”? This is the standard of SL politics.
    We shouldn’t have a CM in North to speak up against political rights of minorities’ right? Let us work hard to bring a CM in North as smart as Douglas!.

    • 4

      CM Douglas—-“Last time we humiliated good people of East with Pillian and let’s do it again this time in North!” ——————How about Jaffna SLFP Member of Parliament unelected pistol wielding Angajan Ramanathan? —————–SJ wouldn’t mind (in fact) welcome him running the council simply because he is a member of SLFP. —–If you are a big fan of Dayan the war monger you should ask him for advice. Just before the 2013 NPC elections Dayan opposed the democratic process instead he recommended an interim NPC administration headed by Anandasangari. ———————-Perhaps Dayan may want to run the council supported by heavy army presence. Remember he was a minister in the North EAst Council in 1988.

      • 1

        Native Vedda: Great suggestion for DJ to go North and run the Council. He has experience of Council governance (just a few days, but still more than what Wiggy had when he started this job)!

      • 2

        Native, Are you saying Douglas’s score is no longer used as a common denominator to calculate slave index in North?
        If that is true then in fact we should thank his masters for polishing Douglas’s skills over the years to become a high end mafia in North.
        What is the background of this new dude Angajan? He doesn’t look like he grew up in Jaffna during the war time. How did he involve in this slave game? Did his granddad had secret dealings with his masters in South or his dad was doing commission based smuggling business from South to North during the war time?

        • 1

          Angajan———is another thug whose father the original b***s carrier to Southern Crooks and the armed forces. I haven’t got much gossip on this boy. ……. The armed forces, MR and Gota build this boy as if he was going to be a formidable foe to Douglas and checkmate him in case if he switched loyalty to ruling party. I am not sure this daddy’s boy has any natural support on the ground whereas Douglas seems to have loyal supporters in and around Jaffna.

  • 1

    Meanwhile…….in an upstairs room in a luxurious house in the capital, an unshaven mad monk and his closest confidantes are chuckling at reports of ‘Jaffna in turmoil’. Nothing pleases the extreme elements in our land than news that our Tamil Brethren are fighting among themselves. Is there no space on the walls of the New Jaffna Library to etch the line ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall’?

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