21 October, 2017

What Happened To The Muslims In The Name Of The Tamil People Was An Injustice

By M. A. Sumanthiran –

MA Sumanthiran MP

MA Sumanthiran MP

Thank you Hon. Deputy Chairman for the opportunity to speak on the second reading of the budget proposal made by the Hon. Minister of Finance.

Before I start speaking on the proposals themselves let me with your permission say that today’s proceedings started on a very auspicious note.  My good friend the Hon. A.H.M Azwer made a clarification with regard to his conduct in this House yesterday. We welcome the clarification he made and we hope that that spirit will prevail in the future too, that he does not intend to disturb and stop anyone from speaking. That’s a good explanation. We welcome that.

There is one thing though, that I’m a little concerned about. This House will remember…

(interruption) That’s right, I welcomed your explanation, so don’t disturb. We welcome what you said… Thank you

I am disturbed about one matter. On the 26th of November my colleague the Hon. Member from Jaffna, Hon. Sritharan, made a speech in this House. He made certain remarks in his speech and for the next two days running almost every Member who spoke referred to his speech as they started speaking. I could sense the sense of aggression in their voices in retaliation to perhaps some of the sentiments expressed. But what bewilders me is that the Hon. Member from Jaffna was allowed to speak without any interruption. He was not stopped by any Member of this House. And yet yesterday, when the Leader of the TNA Hon. Sampanthan, Hon. Member from Trincomalee spoke – spoke with a lot of moderation; spoke appealing to the majority people in this Country – he was constantly disturbed to the point that he had to take his seat several times and conclude with a very regretful note that this is how the minorities are treated not just in the country but even in this House. So this is the bewilderment. What you yourselves described as extremist speech you allow it to go on. In fact, you like it to be made. But you’re not happy with the voices of moderation. Now this is a dangerous trend. Why are you shutting out people who are moderate – people who are still appealing to the good sense, to the good will? We believe there is a lot of good will still left amongst all the communities in this country, and we’re appealing to that. So I think this second reading debate – apart from the budget proposals themselves and I’ll come to that in a moment, there isn’t much to talk about the budget – but the climate that was created, and the rise in temperatures also because it happens to take place during this week when Maaveerar day has been traditionally observed in certain parts of the country for a long time…it coincides generally with the budget debate and this issue has been happening every year, and it’s growing. It is not a good thing. People have a right to remember their dead. If they have remembered on a particular day, they must be permitted to remember their dead. Whether they be members of the LTTE, or members of the armed forces, civilians, whoever it may be, the relatives of the dead must have the right, and that any country that claims to be a civilized country must afford to its citizens. So to that extent I appeal… (interruption) Now please don’t disturb, you said you won’t disturb…I appeal again to the good sense, to the good will of all the people in this country to please understand and not make things worse by making allegations and counter allegations and making people feel that they are not wanted; making people feel that they can’t even perform the most basic of their obligations to their dead relatives.

Now during this time a few other things have also happened in the North. One Government Member spoke of the economic growth in the North and claimed that it is twenty five per cent (25%).  Those are bogus figures. Previously too the Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs claimed this in a visit it to the US and they later retracted it. They later retracted because he was comparing apples with oranges; he was using a different base; real and nominal figures. Also when an area is recovering from the devastation of war you’re starting from a very low base. But what is most disturbing is added to all of this is the fact that the figures that are taken into account include the salaries that are paid to the soldiers who are stationed in the North. Now that can hardly be counted into the economic growth of the Northern Province. The economic activity that the soldiers are indulging in – they’re cultivating paddy; they’re cultivating vegetables; they’re selling them at the market for a lesser price than the farmers in the Jaffna peninsula; and all those figures are going into the economic figures. They’re running hotels – luxury hotels. Thal Sevana is advertised on the internet as a hotel run by the military. All those figures – that economic activity – goes into the Northern Province economic growth. Now this is hardly the thing that we want to see. If the people there must recover, must get back on their feet, you can’t force these false figures and claim to the world that this place has recovered. What do we have there?

In the last few days we have had the Chairman of the Delft Pradeshiya Sabha shot dead. Initially said to be suicide but now I think it’s fairly clear that that is a murder. And I regret this very much, and I would like to offer the condolences of our party to the family of the deceased; the leader of the EPDP is here, to him as well. We regret very much that this has happened.

Along with that incident there are several other incidents that have happened. Last Monday night the Deputy Chairman of the Valvettithurai Pradeshiya Sabha, Sathish’s house was attacked. On the same night, the Chairman of the Karavetti Pradeshiya Sabha, Vyagesh’s house was attacked. On Wednesday, in the early hours of the morning a Pradeshiya Sabha member of Chavakachcheri Pradeshiya Sabha Sri Ranjan’s house was attacked. Now these are TNA members. The Chairman of the Valigamam West Pradeshiya Sabha of the TNA, Nagaranjini Aingaran’s house was attacked. On Thursday, yesterday morning, the house of the Minister of Agriculture of the Northern Provincial Council, Aingaranesan’s house was attacked. Former Member of Parliament and present member of the Northern Provincial Council Mr. Sivajilingam’s house was visited in the night and a funeral wreath has been kept on his gate. Another house belonging to a relative of a Northern Provincial Council Member, Arnold, was attacked.

Now why have all these things happened? Why is this happening? Now if you say this is the Maaveerar week, and these are retaliatory attacks because people are lighting flames to remember their dead, can we accept that? Can we accept this as retaliation? And retaliation by whom? That’s the thousand dollar question. Retaliation by whom? Who is retaliating in the peninsula – in the Jaffna peninsula – to attack members of the TNA in this way? Thursday morning a large cutout which was used during the election campaign of the Northern Province Chief Minister Hon. Vigneswaran, which was inside the premises of the Uthayan guest house down Sivagnanasunderam lane, was burnt. Somebody scaled the wall and lit fire to it. Now who are the people who are doing this? Will any member of the Government answer this? Who is doing it?

Why are buildings within this illegal High Security Zone – there’s nothing legal about it, there’s no law declaring it to be a High Security Zone. In any case there can’t be one now with no existence of a State of Emergency…buildings that have stood for twenty three (23) years even when it was maintained as a High Security Zone are being destroyed. The day before (yesterday) the famous Vigneswara College was razed to the ground – bulldozed to the ground. Yesterday an Amman Temple and a Pillayar Temple were destroyed by bulldozers inside that so called ‘High Security Zone’. The Chief Minister went to see the place with the priest and he was stopped. He was stopped by the members of the military who have no right to stop him. Nor do they have the right to stop anyone going in there. There is no law saying you can’t proceed beyond that place – not even a gazette notification. So if the military is stopping the Chief Minister of the Northern Province from proceeding to an area over which he is the Chief Minister, who is ruling that place? Isn’t that military rule, then? Isn’t that military rule? I ask responsible Ministers, how is the Chief Minister prevented from proceeding to an area over which he is declared the Chief Minister? You boast to the world that you have had elections. You boast to the world that democracy is there in the North. That people can elect their members. But what can those members do? A man who was elected with one hundred and thirty two thousand (132,000) preferential votes, such an endorsement of the people, can’t even go to an area in that province. And no law to stop it, only the military. Isn’t that classic military rule? If not, how will any military describe it? There’s no Rule of Law, certainly no Rule of Law. Because otherwise there would be a law declaring it to be an area that people can’t walk into.

(Interruption)…Now, you complain about Cameron. (interruption)…No, I can understand. I’m not at odds with you, Minister. I can understand the hurt feelings. I’m fully with you on that. I can understand the hurt feelings. I’m only talking about the sense of alienation that the people there feel. People here feel hurt that a visiting Prime Minister has said these things and gone. I can understand that. But people there feel – what do they feel? They feel, ‘at least somebody has spoken out for us’. (interruption) No this is true. You must understand this. You must understand both sides. That is why I’m appealing to at least the Senior Ministers here to listen to voices of moderation. Why do those people feel like that? They say their voices are not heard. So they say, ‘after all, David Cameron had to come and speak on our behalf. Only when David Cameron spoke, the world heard. Otherwise our voices are stifled. We can’t be heard. We are outside. Our houses are there. We lived in those places. We are in refugee camps for twenty three (23) years’. Why is that?

So, I’m asking…(interruption) now you must control clowns like this. If you set up…(interruption) no, this is precisely what I’m talking about. If you set up clowns like this to stifle our voices, what is the message you are giving the world? I’m not even denying….(interruption) well, I have spoke for the Muslims, Hon. Azwer, you know about that. I have spoken everywhere. I have spoken all over the world. Most recently…(interruption) listen to me, please. Please listen to me. Most recently in Canada when the diaspora asked me about the Muslims, I said, ‘what happened to the Muslims in the name of the Tamil people was an injustice’. I said that. And I also said, ‘if Tamil people don’t agree with what I’m saying I will leave politics and go. I will not change my stand on that.’ You can watch all my speeches and see. I have never deviated from that position. (continuous interruption) A grave injustice was committed to the Muslim people. There were injustices – there were several violations – that the Sinhalese people also suffered. I’m not denying that.  I’m saying all this happened. But haven’t we come more than four years after the end of the conflict? Why should the people in the North and the East have to suffer all these indignities even now? Even now? Don’t we want to put these things behind us and go forward together? We are willing to do that. We are willing to do that but my worry is that even the Government and its agents are happier with extremist voices rather than our voices of moderation. That’s a very serious issue and I’m saying this in this House with all responsibility, and I’m appealing to Members here who are responsible, please don’t allow this country to go down that slope again. We will do our best to prevent that. I give you my assurance, we will do our best. But I also appeal to you, you must also do your best in seeing that extremist forces on either side don’t have their way again.

Thank you very much.

*Speech by M.A. Sumanthiran, Member of Parliament, Tamil National Alliance (29th November 2013)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 3
    2

    I welcome your brave statement. Muslims suffered a lot during the Tamil insurgency. Sinhalese and Tamils suffered even more. It has taken more than 30 painful years for the Tamil leaders to realize that a separate country for Tamils within Sri Lanka is not possible. Glorification of terrorists will only make youngsters to take that route again, so your colleagues also have to think again before talking.

    Secondly, I also wish to request to prove your words through actions. Here many readers laugh at your speech comparing it to crocodile tears. I wish one day all the TNA leaders getup with a fresh mind, smile at each other and take an oath that they will work together with an open mind for the betterment of the Tamil people within a united Sri Lanka. At one point the dream of Tamil youths was studying in Jaffna to enter university because that much of high standard Tamil medium education was available there. All were ruined by terrorism. If Douglas and Karuna could work with the government why can’t you all?

    • 2
      1

      Ashamed,

      So you want the TNA to become another bunch of Douglases and Karunas?

      Sengodan. M

  • 2
    0

    The war crimminals, specially KP who was the main armed supplier to LTTE, wanted by INTERPOL and also Karuna Amman who is wanted by international Human Rights organisation for recruiting child soldiers are right there in the Rajapaksa parliament protected and given lurks and perks by the Rajapaksa. Karuna in particular was guven a false diplomatic passprort as arranged by none other than Gotabaya Rajapaksa to travel to UK. Calling TNA members who were given a clear mandate by the people of the North LTTE is not only stupid by childish. In spite of all the fanfair that Rajapksas have financed to be run in the North and EAST at the cost of the taxpayer, Rjapksas have been rejected by the people of the North. Rajapaksas and their cronies ran the LTTE branding campaign but not ONLY the people in the NORTH AND EAST but also in the whole country have aleady have had enough of thuggery, nepotism, erosion of democracy and freedom by the Rajapksa regime.

  • 2
    3

    Post Nanthikadal expenditure…LKR 76 Billion to Repair and Rebuild Roads and Bridges….LKR 11 Billion as Loans to Rice Farmers…. LKR 12 Billion for Fisheries,,,210,000 Cattle ….20 0000 Buffalos…..40 % of the Milk for Nestle now comes from the North….11 % of the Total Fish catch is by Northern Fishermen….500,000 people resettled in safe environments, including the 45,000 Muslims who were uprooted from the East for whom our MP Sumane is now shedding Crock Tears…

    Did any of these high class and high caste Vellas MPS mention any of these stas , even as a matter of interest in Economics, which the Diaspora West discuss and dissect in depth at Budget debates…One more interesting point one MP made was, that Twister Cameron can’t go to Nothern Ireland…. Wonder why??????

  • 2
    3

    Mr. Sumanthiran,
    Well done, Come to Colombo for Elections, we will certainly vote for TNA. Muslims are from Tamil Nadu and we Moors are Tamils for sure, so let TNA take over all Tamils but not this bastards like HAKEEM,LIKING AZWER,SPINE LESS MOWLANA,AND GAME CAPTAIN FOWZIE as said by Aslam…..

    Well done Mr. Sumanthiram…. make sure you speech come to All Mosques in Tamil, unless these Rauf and other bastrads will try to give a wrong picture.

    • 3
      1

      This person who goes by the ID Sri Lankan muslim is certianly a Tamil. I have pointed that out in several threads, but CT allows people to comment with false IDs and to show a false identity

    • 3
      0

      (Sri Lankan Muslim) comments are not in keeping with Islamic principles. Intelligent people will not judge or rate comments by their pseudonyms rather by the substance it carries. If (Sri Lankan Muslim) indeed a Muslim then s/he should be aware of the Noble Quran’s view on slander.

    • 0
      0

      Sri Lankan Muslim, when I heard the Muslim brothers/sisters were chased out of Jaffna by these low life LTTE fellows, I was upset and angry. I left the country back in the early 80s knowing these bloody LTTE fellows will run amok. My dad had a lot of Muslim friends, I had a very good classmate who was a Muslim. It is about time, Muslims went back to Jaffna and claimed their land back. Go and claim your land, otherwise they will be taken by some squatters. Jaffna belongs to you and whoever lived there before. Good luck friend.

  • 2
    0

    I see a MLK in you. “You too have a dream!” Hope your dreams come true!

  • 1
    1

    Stop dragging Muslims into the same hell hole Tamils are in.

    Muslims don’t want to end up like Thaliavar.
    Muslim women don’t want to end up like Isaipiriya.

    If Muslims are Tamil speaking people, they too will end up like the Nanthikadal losers.

  • 1
    0

    Apologize for 1990 Kathankudi, etc.

  • 2
    1

    M.A. Sumanthiran, you are not only a great advocate for Tamils and Muslims, you are a great advocate for every man, woman and child in Sri Lanka. The Muslims were among the first to know that about you and that is why you have received accolades from the Secretariat. And, that is why you have had their support early on. They know, as a lot of other people are starting to realize, that you should be president of Sri Lanka. Please keep being a voice for human rights for ALL persons. You said, we have to save Sri Lanka from the government and many people know you are right.

  • 2
    0

    I would argue that the government wants to exploit the tensions between peoples because that is how they stay in power. What makes M.A. Sumanthiran unique is that he is a unifier of all people. It is the people who want to keep the tensions going perpetually who feel threatened by him. Mulims in Sri Lanka have already taken in M.A. Sumanthiran as one of their own. They knew that Sumanthiran was a powerful voice before most. He is going to gradually unite the nation behind democracy, freedom and the rule of all for all. M.A. Sumathiran is just what a diverse country needs: he is a unifier. The Muslims knew it and that is why they have taken him in as their own. Soon, the rest of the country will also come around. The present regime is not going to give up power so easy. They want to exploit tensions between peoples to stay in power. M.A. Sumanthiran wants to unite the country. Keep on keeping on Sumanthiran. You will be president!

    • 0
      0

      Why that you sound always to be a promoter to Sumanthiran ? Let him grow up politically. It is a not simple thing, but a long journey. I have the feeling you should either be one of his relatives, or far from reality.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.