Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran of NPC is notorious for blurting out without thinking and without analysing the facts.
Referring to the case filed against 5 suspects who are involved in an assassination attempt on Sumanthiran, MP Wigneswaran claims “This seems to be a ruse, because if the ex-LTTE cadres had in fact had any plans to assassinate Sumanthiran, then why did the police fail to mention this to the Magistrate when the case was taken up, instead they only told the court about the drugs in possession of the ex-cadres?”
What is the fact? The TID did not name Sumanthiran in the first B report, but they did mention that a VIP politician was the target of a claymore mine attack by the suspects. When the judge asked the TID who is the VIP politician, the TID told him it was Sumanthiran, MP. The judge then directed the TID to include Sumanthiran as the intended target by the suspects.
It is a well known fact the LTTE supporters and remnants have carried out a vicious character assassination campaign against Sampanthan and Sumanthiran since May 2009. They did not take kindly to the abandonment of confrontational politics in favour of conciliatory and constructive engagement with the government.
It was Sampanthan and Sumanthiran who prevailed on the TNA to support the Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the January 2015 presidential elections. Between two evils, it is wise to choose the lesser evil. Or if a person is weak and he has to confront two enemies, it is wise to befriend one of them to defeat the other.
In the presidential elections held in January 2005 the TNA took a principled and rational stand regarding the choice between Mahinda and Sirisena. Under Mahindra’s autocratic rule, the Tamils were brutalized, humiliated and robbed of self-respect.
Media nets run by the pro-LTTE extremists such as Tamilnet lambasted TNA leaders for their decision to come out openly in support of Sirisena instead of asking a boycott of the election on the grounds that neither Rajapaksa nor Maithripala will meet Tamils’ demand.
Gajendrakumar and pro LTTE elements in Diaspora denounced both Sampanthan and Sumanthiran for supporting the Common Candidate claiming there is no difference between Mahinda and Sirisena except in name! The TNPF led by Gajendrakumar initially asked the Tamil people to boycott the election, but later asked them to vote stopping short of recommending a candidate. In a similar vein Tamil diaspora in the West called for a total boycott.
The International Council of Eelam Tamils (ICET) went further “ our stance is for complete freedom for the Tamil Nation…. after careful analysis of the actions of the incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse and the beliefs of Maithripala Sirisena we have come to the firm conclusion that neither is FIT to be the choice of our people.”
However, the results of the elections proved these false prophets wrong. Over 74% of the Tamils in the Jaffna electoral district and over 78% in Vanni electoral district voted for Sirisena. This was a humiliating defeat for the anti-TNA forces within and the pro LTTE Diaspora overseas.
Extremely unhappy with the results of the presidential elections, these elements both in the Diaspora and in the North burnt the effigies of Sampanthan and Sumanthiran to vent their anger. On February 21, 2015 in front of No.10 Downing St. London the effigies of both were burnt. This was a protest rally organized by the BTF and Tamil Youth Organization based in UK. Many such rallies were held in Geneva by these organizations vilifying Sumanthiran and burning copies of resolutions adopted by the UNHRC and the US national flag.
During the 2015 parliamentary elections, a concerted and vicious campaign was launched to defeat Sumanthiran contesting elections in the North for the first time. Scurrilous pamphlets were circulated through out the length of breath of Jaffna peninsula denouncing Sumanthiran as a ‘thrice’ (traitor). Sumanthiran was humiliated and subjected to verbal abuse by LTTE remnants in Australia and Switzerland. Since his entry into active politics, the LTTE remnants considered Sumanthiran as a thorn in their flesh.
In this back ground, the news that there was an attempt at Sumanthiran’s life should come as no surprise. The plot to kill Sumanthiran by exploding landmine was disclosed to the police by an ex-LTTE cadre who has undergone rehabilitation. The suspects are tried under criminal law and not under PTA which the government has suspended pending enactment of a new law that meets international standards. The case against all the five suspects is heard before a Tamil judge and, therefore, a fair trial is assured.
Knowing Wigneswaran’s animosity and disdain towards Sumanthiran, the former should not have rushed to the conclusion that the threat is a ruse (nadagam) cooked up by the army. Wigneswaran should have been the first to condemn unequivocally the attempt to assassinate Sambanthan. Ironically, Wigneswaran himself has received life threats last year.
NPC passed a resolution in October, 2016 calling for an investigation into death threats issued against Wigneswaran by Sinhalese protestors.”The resolution asked the Inspector General of Police to investigate the complaint and, if necessary, increase security for the Chief Minister,” NPC chairman, Sivagnanam, told the New Indian Express.
The Chief Minister had said in an earlier speech that he had received information of assassination plots against him. “I have been receiving information continuously that there are efforts being taken to kill me and to put the blame on the LTTE,” ttttt the Hindu quoted him as saying at a book launch. Sinhala protestors in Vavuniya carried placards threatening the chief minister with death, following the Ezhuka Tamil rally in Jaffna.
In October, 2016 a man from Balapitiya revealing his name and identity has telephoned Wigneswaran and said Rs 25 million payments has been made for the CM’s life and TNA Leader R Sampanthan. He had also emailed the Chief Minister a month ago and called him recently to give details of the conspiracy. A month ago the CM received an email from the same man (He admitted it was him who sent it) revealing about the conspiracy to kill him and Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan.
Wigneswaran claimed “None should stoop to such a low level in politics to transform a serious matter into a political gimmick…….” is himself stooping to a very very low level trivializing the attempt on the life of Sumanthiran as a ruse by the army to continue its occupation of North. He is becoming notorious for making outlandish, naive and stupid statements.
It is unfortunate the threat to Sumanthiran’s comes not from the Sinhalese but from his own people the Tamils. His life is too precious to be lost to some mis-guided extremists who think assassinating Sumanthiran will solve the Tamil problem. If anything, history shows that it is very counter productive.
Sumanthiran blames the government for not providing gainful employment to ex-LTTE cadres. He says they are vulnerable to manipulations by interested parties.
Proficient in all three languages, Sumanthiran is committed to promoting national unity, peace and economic development. He understands the mind-set of the Sinhalese more than any one else.
The Tamil people have suffered decades of systematic discrimination and oppression under successive governments led by the Sinhalese ethnic majority. However, what we need today is a serious paradigm shift in the way we do politics and understand geopolitics in a convoluted world.