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Wednesday, August 9, 2017
BY MIRUDHULA THAMBIAH
Jaffna District Parliamentarian and Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Leader Mavai Senthirajah said Government and the hierarchy of the security forces had informed them that there is no threat by the LTTE and their attempts at violence are over.
"Many of those who are not connected to the LTTE are involved in this sword attack and other violent activities. Therefore if the Police are claiming that such activities are carried out by former LTTE members, they should tackle the issue carefully. The intelligence should clearly inquire into the matter and seek legal action. However the security forces cannot spontaneously arrest these rehabilitated LTTE members, it will affect them badly and will lead to an unpleasant situation," he said.
Following are excerpts of the interview:
?How do you assess the sudden beefed up security situation in the North with an increase in criminal activities?
A: Sword attack, drug issues, ongoing murder case of Vithya and the attack on High Court Judge Illanchelian have led us to investigate as to why there is an increase in violence and the methods to control the current situation in the North. We would like to raise the question as to how far the Police have done their role in a satisfied manner to control these crimes.
Initially when it was said that the attack was carried out at Judge Illanchelian , the President himself directed to conduct a complete investigation on this incident, however the Police said that it was not aimed at the Judge. Why did the Police rush into conclusions even before completing investigations? We were quite surprised when we heard the Police saying that it was not aimed at Judge Illanchelian and it was too early to rush into a conclusion. We feel it is not the correct way to investigate, if so the Police have the duty to convey on whom it was aimed. Also we would like to question if the investigations are already over?
Meanwhile a series of sword attack incidents were reported in some areas from the North. Also drug trafficking have continued as a never ending issue in the region. Thus the IGP said tri forces will be deployed to control the violence and criminal activities in the North. We would like to tell the IGP that deploying the tri forces in the region will create dissatisfaction among the people.
This will result in terrible effects. Our people have already suffered due to the 30 year war, and if the tri forces are deployed they will be frustrated and disappointed with the situation recollecting the past. People have expressed their dissatisfaction over the current move taken by the security forces.
Therefore the government should deploy honest and skilled Police personnel to overcome the criminal activities in the North including the drug menace. There had been complaints over some Police officers in the region and some of them have been arrested for committing criminal activities. They have tried to refrain from bearing their faults. Thus we would like to emphasize that honest Police officers should be deployed to tackle these issues. It will not be suitable to deploy the army or the tri forces in the region.
?The IGP recently said in Jaffna that terrorism had not been eliminated completely from the country and the attempts made by the LTTE organisation to stage a comeback should be defeated at any cost. Do you see any regrouping taking place?
A: Government and the hierarchy of the security forces had informed us that there is no threat by the LTTE and their attempts for violence are over. The Police have also said that there is no evidence or proof that criminal activities in the North are being attempted by rehabilitated LTTE members.
Many of those who are not connected to the LTTE are involved in this sword attack and other violent activities.
Therefore if the Police are claiming that such activities are carried out by former LTTE members, they should tackle the issue carefully. The intelligence should clearly inquire into the matter and seek legal action. However the security forces cannot spontaneously arrest these rehabilitated LTTE members it will affect them badly and will lead to an unpleasant situation.
? How do you access the activities of Aava Group? Do you see any connection with the LTTE members?
A: We are quite surprised to see the youth being involved in this Aava group activities. Police have the duty to find out the reasons behind why youth are involved in this gang. Once they find out it would be easier to take legal action against those who have operated as Aava group. It has been several months but a proper action was taken on this regard. Does this mean the Police are not skilled enough to carry out proper investigations on this regard? People do not welcome the involvement of the youth in such activities. At the same time it is not suitable to just express opinions on these Aava group activities but to act swiftly to control the situation.
?Why did you write a letter to Northern Chief Minister requesting to remove Provincial Minister Ananthy Sasitharan from her portfolio?
A: We did not send any such letters. We did not request to remove her from office. However when the Chief Minister said he would appoint Sasitharan as the Minister, we told him that our party ITAK had imposed disciplinary action on her, therefore he was told that our party will discuss and give him word on this regard.
However, when Sasitharan was appointed as the minister she spoke to me and thanked for giving her an opportunity. Yet two days before when we had a meeting with the Chief Minister he added if Sasitharan should be removed from her portfolio, he wants a letter from the ITAK hierarchy, we said we do not want such a move. Therefore it is a rumour and a made up story. We did not give any letter or did ask to remove her.
? Recently the Supreme Court held that Federalism is not separation. Do you think this judgment would be supportive to TNA's long term demand?
A: At the 2013 Provincial Council Election, we mentioned in our manifesto that sovereignty, autonomy and right to self-determination are the primary demands to solve the ethnic issue of this country. Some racist organizations challenged our manifesto and demands at the Supreme Court.
However the judgment delivered from this case is quite suitable to the current situation in the country. We feel excited to obtain such a judgment. Most southern politicians were not in favour of the term federalism and had always stressed not to use that term in the event of finding political solution. This had many times postponed the opportunities of obtaining a suitable political solution. Therefore the recent judgment by the Supreme Court states that Federalism will not lead to separation. This is quite a favourable judgment for the demands kept forward by the TNA. I am sure this would have answered the allegations made by the racists in the South. There are favourable reasons to now consider a federal solution in this country.
? It said that a fear psychosis prevails among the people in the North with the recent security changes in the region and a series of arrests of the youth. Is it true? Have you taken any action on this regard?
A: It will definitely create fear and an unpleasant situation among the people in the North. As I said earlier honest and skilled Police officers should be deployed in necessary areas to investigate over this issue. If they have actually committed wrong then legal action should be taken.
We have written to the President and Prime Minister in this regard. We are looking forward to meet both in a short duration to discuss over this matter to control the prevailing situation in the North. We will speak to them patiently and we will also express that people are not ready to accept violence in the region.
We will not allow any reoccurrence of violence in the North. If anyone is actually involved in such criminal activities we will not stop the authorities from taking legal action against them. We will never object to that move. We expect that we will get an opportunity to discuss this issue with the President and Prime Minister by tomorrow (9).