demand for 200 home guards
S. L. Gunasekara
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga is a lady with
of those is unnecessary because stalwarts of the United National
Front have regaled the Country, ad nauseam, with 'colourful' as
well as 'coloured' accounts of the faults of this lady.
the Country with this litany of 'faults' of Chandrika Bandaranaike
Kumaratunga, these stalwarts of the UNF, heady with the drug of
power, continuously maintained a deafening silence about the faults
of the LTTE and their lackeys, the TNA/TULF.
By this conduct
the UNF has shown itself to be a party that is ever willing to show
strength against the weak and cowardice before the strong.
It is in this
background that we must assess the demand of R.Sampanthan, the leader
of the TULF that 200 armed Tamil Home Guards should be appointed
in the Trincomalee District to prevent a recurrence of the troubles
in which four Tamils were killed, allegedly by Sinhalese.
The TULF together
with its predecessor, the TUF, is the creator of the Frankenstein
monster called the LTTE. That monster later turned on the TULF and
murdered a large number of its leading members including its leader
continued until 1999 when they murdered Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam on
29.7.99. Thereafter those murders ceased because the TULF became
such a contemptible lackey of the LTTE that it is indeed doubtful
whether there is any type of activity in which its members can engage,
[apart perhaps from answering a call of nature], without the prior
consent and approval of the LTTE.
the demand for 200 armed Tamil home guards for Trincomalee is indisputably
nothing short of a demand that 200 armed terrorists of the LTTE
should be allowed to operate freely in the Trincomalee District
[for a start] as lawful home guards - for it is less than idle to
even dream that the LTTE would countenance any Tamils who are not
of its own cadres being armed.
to the manifest servility of the TULF to the LTTE, this demand must
necessarily be the demand of the LTTE through the medium of the
TULF. This demand of the TULF is but a repetition, in a different
form, of a demand made by the LTTE of Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
during the so called 'Peace Talks' of 1994-5 that armed cadres of
the LTTE should be allowed to move around the East freely. All her
faults notwithstanding, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, to her
eternal credit, had the good sense and the courage to refuse that
demand. The question is does Ranil Wickremesinghe have similar good
sense and courage ?
seeks to justify that demand on the ground that the communal composition
of the Police is around 95% Sinhalese while that of the Army is
about 99% Sinhalese and that there are hardly any Tamils in either
of those Forces. Whether Mr. Sampanthan's arithmetic is correct
or not, there is no gainsaying the fact that there are relatively
few Tamils in the Police Force and even fewer in the Armed Forces.
does not complete the picture.
In the past,
the Armed Forces and the Police Force never had a shortage of Tamils
in any rank .
Today the position
is different. Why is this ? Is it because deserving Tamils who applied
were not recruited to the Armed Forces or to the Police because
they were Tamils or simply because Tamils did not apply ?
Even Mr. Sampanthan
does not claim that the shortage of Tamils in these forces was the
result of undeserving Sinhalese who applied being recruited in preference
to deserving Tamils who applied. If there was such discrimination
that would be a matter capable of proof - yet no one has yet ventured
to provide such proof. The cause of the shortage of Tamils in the
Armed Forces and the Police is clearly because Tamils ceased applying
for recruitment. Why did Tamils cease applying to join these forces
? The answer to this question is to be found in the treacherous
activities of the TULF and its predecessor the TUF.
From and after
the time they started their violent campaign for separation on the
May 23, 1972, immediately after this country became a Republic,
the TULF youth groups (and thereafter the TULF) which later became
the LTTE, PLOTE, TELO, etc. began murdering Tamils in the Police
Force. They murdered no Sinhalese or Muslim Police Officers for
the first six years of that campaign but only Tamil Police Officers.
vast number of Tamil Police Officers murdered by those acolytes
of the TUF/TULF were Inspector Padmanadan, Police Constables Karunanidhi,
Shanmuganathan [No.753], Shanmuganathan [No. 6105], Inspector Kumaru,
Chief Inspector Bastiampillai, Sub-Inspector Perambalam and Police
Constable Balasingham. No witnesses came forward in respect of any
of these murders, though most of them were committed in broad daylight
in the heart of the Jaffna Peninsula. The unmistakable message given
to the Tamil people by these murders of law abiding Tamils by Tamil
Terrorists was, "If you want to live, do not join the Police".
who purported to shed so many tears about the four deaths in Trincomalee
did not even purport to shed even one tear about any of these murders
of Tamil Police Officers.
were not merely condoned but approved of by the party of which he
was then a member and is now the leader.
with committing those foul murders and preventing witnesses from
coming forward to aid the course of justice, the TULF extolled those
murders by abusing the Police and the Armed Forces, both in their
speeches and in their posters, calling them "Police Dogs",
"Army of Occupation", "Traitors to the Tamils"
and so on. The result was that hardly any Tamils applied to join
the Police or the Armed Forces. The Tamil people realized that with
the terrorism promoted by the TULF, neither they, nor their kith
or kin would be safe if they joined the Police or the Armed Forces.
Thus, there are almost no Tamils in the Armed Forces and very few
in the Police because and only because of the terrorism cultivated,
created and promoted by the TUF/TULF and executed by the LTTE and
its former comrades-in-arms whom they now oppose.
Thus, the TULF,
having by such criminal conduct prevented Tamils from applying to
join the Armed Forces and the Police, now has the impertinence to
complain of the necessary result of its action which is a shortage
of Tamils in those Forces, and to found on that result of its own
outrageous conduct, an even more outrageous demand that 200 terrorists
be allowed to roam about the East with arms. One could understand
this kind of stupid demand being made by some under-educated thug
is difficult to understand how such a demand could come from a very
senior Attorney-at-Law who is supposed to be schooled in the principles
fact about this demand of Mr. Sampanthan is his deafening silence
about the plethora of crimes of murder, kidnapping, abduction and
extortion committed by Tamils against Tamils. How is it that Mr.
Sampanthan never wanted Tamil Home Guards to guard Tamils against
the LTTE when his own colleagues like Amirthalingam, Yogeswaran,
Alalasunderam, Tambi-muttu, Yogasangari, Dharmalingam, Sarojini
Yogeswaran, Thangathurai, Neelan Thiruchelvam and Pon Sivapalan
How is it that
Mr. Sampanthan never demanded Tamil Home Guards to safeguard the
little children of Tamils [one trusts that Mr. Sampanthan has at
least some human feelings for children] were being kidnapped ad
nauseam by the LTTE for slave labour in their terrorist cadres ?
How is that
Mr. Sampanthan never wanted Tamil home guards to save Tamils from
extortion when the LTTE continuously committed the crime of extortion
against the Tamil People?
How is it that
Mr. Sampanthan never wanted Tamil home guards to guard the Tamils
against the abduction of Tamils for ransom by the LTTE? How is it
that the leaders of the TULF gladly accepted the security provided
to them by the Armed Forces and the Police while the LTTE was still
'hunting' them ?
To Mr. Sampanthan
today, the LTTE which murdered both his own leader and his fellow
MPs and colleagues can do no wrong, and for the survival of himself
and his party he has got to lick the toes of the LTTE and to help
them to gain their demand to let armed terrorists of the LTTE roam
freely around the East.
that Mr. Sampanthan avoids addressing and has never addressed is
what will be the fate of the Tamils, the Muslims and the Sinhalese
in the East if 200 armed cadres of the LTTE are to be allowed to
operate freely in those areas as home guards ? Would the spate of
kidnappings, abductions and acts of extortion that have been occurring
with increasing frequency in the Eastern Province after the signing
of the MuU increase or decrease with 200 or more armed cadres of
the LTTE being given a free run of the East?
Would law and
order in the Eastern Province be enhanced or destroyed by armed
terrorists being given such a free run?
the Attorney-at-Law is oblivious to all these things. He only hears,
his master's voice - that master being the thug Prabhakaran at whose
behestSampanthan's own leader Amirthalingam, among so many of his
colleagues, was foully murdered. Let not the Government forget that
the one community that suffered death and destruction more than
any other in the Trincomalee District throughout the period of Separatist
Terrorism was the Sinhalese community.
as leader of the TULF now wants either the very murderers or the
brothers-in-arms of the murderers of those Sinhalese, Muslims and
Tamils in Trincomalee and in other parts of the East who were butchered
by the LTTE to be officially armed and given governmental authority
to function as home guards. Will Ranil Wickremesinghe have the good
sense and the courage to reject this demand? If he does not, many
are those who will suffer for his folly - and they will mainly be
the poor; and their sons and daughters.
The writer is the President of the
Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya
TNA calls for restraint by Tamil
TULF General Secretary R. Sampanthan has appealed to the
Tamil people to act with restraint and not do anything that might
even slightly disturb the peace process. In an interview with The
Sunday Times Mr. Sampanthan said he believed recent events in the
East could in no way overturn the peace process which had a solid
What's happening in the East?
Some elements there want to maintain the tension. But I believe
a majority of the people in the East - Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims
support the peace process. They believe it is the only way to justice
those disruptive elements?
Extremist groups which are against the peace process. The government
must act firmly and ensure that the security forces are impartial.
Some urgent restructuring of the security forces is also needed.
It is widely
believed that the attack on the Kanchanakuda STF camp was instigated
by the LTTE. How do you see it?
In the morning that day there was apparently an attack on some
LTTE cadres by some STF personnel. If this was true it was unwarranted.
That was the reason for the demonstration in the evening around
the camp. Perhaps some in the crowd went out of control and any
stone throwing cannot be condoned. But the fact that seven people
were killed and about 14 injured indicates that the reaction by
the STF also was unwarranted or excessive.
incidents affecting the peace process?
No. Neither these or any others can overturn the peace process
which is based on solid facts - a ceasefire is in force, the war
has virtually ended, lacks of displaced people are returning to
their homes, the two main parties are committed to a dialogue and
the international community is supporting us to the hilt. Yet we
also have to take further measures to sustain and strengthen the
peace process. I believe the LTTE is sincerely and seriously committed
are wide spread reports that the LTTE is instigating violence?
I don't agree. We can't isolate the LTTE from the Tamil people
or the Tamil people from the LTTE, especially when there is no war
and the LTTE cadres mingle freely with the Tamil people.
So no one could
have any solid proof that the LTTE was instigating protests or violence.
I believe that in the current situation the Tamil people should
act with more restrain because the peace process is vital for them.
A peaceful resolution of the whole ethnic conflict is much more
important than any piecemeal demonstration.
I appeal to the Tamil people to avoid any action that might even
slightly disturb the peace process.
about Trinco? Most reports say the LTTE instigated the violence?
Such reports lack solid evidence. What happened in Trinco?
Three Tamil people were killed and more than 50 injured. Was the
LTTE responsible for those? Most Tamil people believe the attacks
were carried out by some police personnel and homeguards.
calling for restraint but did not the LTTE and even the TNA call
A hartal is a democratic way of protest and I understand the
feelings of the Tamil people who had been suppressed for so long.
But in the current situation I insist that any protest must be totally
peaceful. I also ask for an urgent restructuring of the security
forces which are now 99% Sinhala.
also say the TNA is instigated or under the whip of the LTTE?
I don't agree. There is no evidence for such claims.
n Would you
then accept other reports that some sections in the LTTE are instigating
No again. I
don't think the LTTE is divided in that way.
these continuing abductions reported from the East?
I cant answer specific reports. I would only say the overall
situation is much better today.
aware of reports that the LTTE is bringing in armed shipments to
I am not aware and don't want to comment.
At one time
the Army or the STF was guarding you from the LTTE. Now you are
criticising those guardians ?
Security was provided to us not as a favour but because we
were political leaders. We were not voiceless or speechless because
they were guarding us in those days.
Thus even now we speak out when we see any excesses by the security
As for the political scene at the centre what is the TNA's view
on the possibility of a snap general election?
If a third general election is held in three years the people
might lose faith in elections.
If the government
goes ahead with a snap poll would it affect the peace process?
I don't know.
1 school admissions in double deadlock
Nilika de Silva
Although by this time of the year parents should have been
informed regarding school admissions, principals of schools managed
by the Provincial Councils are facing severe problems and have yet
not released their admissions lists.
of a Western Province managed Colombo school who wished to remain
anonymous said, "We are looking at two contradictory circulars
and are at a loss which to obey".
of Education released a circular directing that Appeals Boards be
dissolved and principals take over the entire responsibility of
school admissions, but the Western Provincial Council countered
this with a circular opposing this move.
admission lists posted on school notice boards, appeals from disappointed
parents have started flooding in.
national schools announced their admissions lists this week they
too are being flooded with appeals regarding grade 1 admissions,
but no mechanism is in place to ensure that these appeals are dealt
While the post
of the Ombudsman to look into problems in the education sector remains
unfilled, the earlier mechanism to deal with grade 1 admissions
- the Appeals Boards process - has been dissolved, putting the full
responsibility on to the shoulders of the principal and other school