Tamil leader slams Sri Lankan Govt
Vigneswaran says the Govt is driving Tamils into LTTE's arms by denying them relief, writes PK Balachandran.Updated: Apr 19, 2006 18:02 IST
By not providing adequate relief to the Tamils hit by the recent ethnic riots in Trincomalee, the Sri Lankan government is driving them into the waiting arms of the LTTE, says Dr K Vigneswaran, General Secretary of Akhila Ilankai Tamil United Front (AITUF).
In a letter to the Sri Lankan government's Peace Secretariat dated April 16, Dr Vigneswaran said that as a result of the bomb blast in the Central Market and subsequent incidents between April 12 and 14, nineteen civilians were dead, of whom 10 were Tamils, 7 were Sinhalas and two were Muslims.
Of the three hundred families (1000 persons) displaced, all were Tamils. All the 60 houses burnt were those of Tamils. And all the 30 business establishments burnt belonged to Tamils, he said.
Complaining of inadequate response by the Sri Lankan government to this tragedy, Dr Vigneswaran says: "The incidents of 12th, 14th, and 15th April 2006, are being described by the Tamils of Trincomalee as a re-enactment of the pre-July 1983 saga."
He was alluding to the infamous anti-Tamil rioting in Colombo and other places in 1983, which had given a tremendous boost to Tamil militancy, a malaise from which Sri Lanka continues to suffer to this day.
"The state is getting provoked by the LTTE and is playing into the hands of the LTTE," he charged.
"Instead of winning over the Tamils, it is driving them into the bosom of the LTTE," he said.
"The Tamils of Trincomalee feel betrayed by the Sri Lankan state," Dr Vigneswaran said.
He knows Trincomalee very well because he had been the top most official in the North Eastern Province in the late 1980s and was closely associated with A Varadrajaperumal who was Chief Minister of the NEP.
He called for immediate steps to feed the refugees now lodged in three schools; and payment of compensation to the victims and to the families of the dead. Above all, the state should provide security to all communities in Trincomalee and make the police in that area multi-ethnic, with equal proportion of Sinhalas, Tamils and Muslims, Dr Vigneswaran said.
The Sri Lankan police are preponderantly Sinhala, the majority community in Sri Lanka, even in the Tamil-speaking North East.
Recalling the events, Dr Vigneswaran said that it all began with a claymore mine blast in Kumbupity, in which two Sri Lankan policemen were killed.
The same day, at 3.50 pm, a powerful bomb went off near the main market on Central Road in Trincomalee, followed by four other minor blasts.
This touched off rioting in several places, with gangs moving about torching properties and even killing some people.
The government blamed the LTTE for the episode, but the Tamil media and the LTTE blamed the government.
First Published: Apr 19, 2006 17:29 IST