“I am back!” It was Douglas Devananda, Minister under Mahinda Rajapaksa and now again claiming to be a Minister, that infamously made this bombastic declaration even as his tenure as Minister seems precariously balanced.
Indeed they are back with all their corruption and misuse of public property, observed many Tamils in Jaffna, Batticaloa and Colombo who had looked forward to a settlement after 2015, and worked hard for it.
A bus was donated to the Vathiry Paramanantha Hindu Ashram by the Hindu Culture Ministry in the late Minister Maheswaran’s time. A crowd was brought in this bus and one other bus to the centre of Jaffna Town today, 1 Dec. 2018, around 1:30 PM. They demonstrated for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s return.
A crowd of about 100 was bused using these two buses of which one was the one donated by the Hindu Ministry. It had emblazoned on its side in red the statement that this vehicle must be used for the transport-tours of Vadamaratchi students and general use of Hindu Cultural Services.
“Who authorized the use of this bus for a dubious political demonstrtion?” demanded an angry bystander. He added “Mahinda Rajapaksa abused state bus and media servces during the 2015 elections and is yet to pay his bills. He truly is back.”
Having been dropped off this afternoon at the Stanly Road petrol shed, this motley group of 100 marched a little on Stanly Road, returned to the shed and lit some crackers. Then they marched along Casthuriya Road to the centre of town obstructing traffic on that one-way street.
One demonstrator had her signboard held upside down asking “Why Fear Going with Mahinda?” Many made it difficult to recognize them, hiding behind umbrellas and wearing motorbike helmets. One prominent recognizable participant was K. Kamalendran, leader of the EPDP Opposition in the Northern Provincial Council for the period from 25 October 2013 up to 08 April 2014. He had to step down after he was charged with the murder of his paramour’s husband, and is presently out on bail. They are back indeed!
In the meantime, the return of the military which is becoming more and more obvious is also a part of this return to our gory past. Subsequent to the surrender of Rasanayagam Sarvananthan after he became a suspect in the murder of two policemen in Vavunaitivu yesterday, the Omanthai Check-Point has been reactivated. Our bags are being opened up for examination once again.
Of particular note is the general crackdown on rehabilitated LTTE-members who took part in the Maaveerar (Great Heroes) Celebrations this week. So far six such persons have been arrested in the North and East. Rasanayagam Sarvananthan too came under police radar after participating in such celebrations in the East. Although he is accused of acting on Karuna Amman’s orders, it is not clear if the police really believe that or he was arrested as part of the general crackdown on LTTE-ers who participated in Maaveerar Celebrations.
Be that as it may, says a fearful Tamil, “What is clear is that all the creeps are crawling out of the woodwork after the coup of October 26.”
Commented a Public Servant “It was only in Nov. 2017 that we celebrated 85 years of universal adult suffrage. Never before have we depended so much on the courts as now while we await two decisions next week, one from the Court of Appeal on Monday, and the other from the Supreme Court on Friday. On those two crucial decisions will depend whether we really are a democracy or not.” (N. Logathayalan reporting from Jaffna)