Protecting Parliamentarians A Dire Necessity
Colombo, 08 March, (Asiantribune.com): The killing of Parliamentarians must be halted and government should probe the mysterious killings that have occurred frequently. That plea is heard over and over again. So far, three parliamentarians were killed this year and another died in a motor accident when the jeep he was travelling skidded and crashed into a tree. He died while being admitted to the hospital.
Among those killed recently was K. Sivanesan, the Jaffna district MP of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a proxy political entity of the Tamil separatist outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He was killed on March 6th, the third MP to be killed under mysterious circumstances.
The year 2008 dawned with the killing of T.Maheswaran, a Colombo district Tamil MP, of the opposition United National Party inside the Sivan Kovil (temple) sanctum area, located in Kotahena in Colombo. He was followed by D.M. Dassanayake MP and Minister, who died on a claymore blast on 08 January 2008.
Sripathy Sooriyarachchi, MP and National Organizer of SLFP (M) and former minister died in a motor accident on 09 February. Sooriyarachchi was seriously injured in the accident and died while being admitted to Thambuththegama Hospital.
Excluding Sripathy Sooriyarachchi, it is alleged all those three Parliamentarians who were killed this year were victims of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the separatists Tamil rebel outfit.
On Wednesday Sivanesan has participated in the Parliamentary session and voted against the extension of the emergency regulations.
According to sources on Wednesday he was seen and overheard having an argument with another two TNA Members of Parliament about the strict control enforced by the LTTE hierarchy on the elected TNA members of Parliament. Sources who wish to remain anonymous told that Sivanesan was complaining to the other two MPs about the discrimination he was receiving at the hands of the LTTE leaders.
Subsequently, sources said that he was summoned to Vanni and he left to Vanni on March 6th in his motor vehicle and met his fate on the same day, at 1.20 PM inside Vanni – the area controlled by the LTTE.
Sivanesan said to be coming from a depressed caste and some of his LTTE handlers were not happy of him being an MP and they were said to be harassing him and spreading stories about him to the leadership which ultimately resulted in his death under mysterious circumstances.
In the meantime, according to a press release from Peace Secretariat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam the LTTE Leader, V Prabhakarn has awarded yesterday the supreme title of "Mamanithar" to late K Sivanesan.
Prabhakarn in his announcement pointed out, “Honoring Mr. Kiddinan Sivanesan's love for the freedom and his people, I am proud to posthumously award him the supreme title of "Mamanithar". Death never destroys the great souls who lived their life for truth. They will live forever in nation's soul as heroes of our history. “ He also added "The yearning of the Tigers is the homeland of Tamil Eelam"
However, Tamil Tigers alleged that Sivanesan was assassinated by the Deep Penetration Unit of the Sri Lanka military near Mankulam on 06 March, around 1.20pm. However the allegation by the Tigers was not convincing enough and the killing of Sivanesan is considered yet another act of very tactfully weeding out an unwanted person by the Tigers.
The killing of the parliamentarians started for the first time on 27 July 1975 when LTTE leader OPrabakaran and a few Tamil youths killed Alfred Duraiappah.
Alfred Duriappah, a most popular Tamil leader in the sixties and seventies, was twice elected Member of Parliament from the Jaffna electorate - March 1960 and again in July 1960 - 1965. He was killed by the LTTE gunmen when he went to worship at the Hindu temple - Ponnalai Varatharajaha Perumal Temple in the Jaffna district. He was also the Mayor of Jaffna. This killing was publicly claimed by the LTTE.
Following the killing of Alfred Duraiapah, a former Vaddukoddai Member Parliament A. Thiaagarajah, was shot and killed on 25 May 1981.
Subsequently, V.Dharmalingham and K.Alalalasundaram, former parliamentarians of the Tamil United Liberation Front were abducted from their homes on 03 September 1985 and killed by the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), led by Selvam Adaikalanathan, an MP of the Tamil National Alliance.
On 12 February 1988 S. Nadarajah (Poddar) Former elected Member of the Senate from 1967 till 02 October 1971 when the Bill for the Abolition of Senate (Sri Lanka’s Upper House of Parliament) was signed by the Governor General and abolished. It was alleged he was killed by the LTTE gunmen, because he participated in the India’s Republican day celebrations held on 26 January 1988 in Jaffna, by the Indian Peace Keeping Forces.
On 20 October 2004, Kingsley Rasnayakam the MP elect from Batticalao was abducted and killed by the LTTE gunmen.
Chandra Nehru, the Parliamentarian from the Amparai district was killed on 7th February 2005 and it still remains unclear about the killers.
On 13 August 2005 Lakshman Kadirgamar, MP and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister was shot and killed by the LTTE gunmen.
It is alleged that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has so far killed with impunity, 30 Sri Lankan Parliamentarians, which is a highly condemnable act, undoubtedly an act against humanity.
Parliamentarians belonging to Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala ethnic groups had been killed.
Furthermore Rajiv Gandhi, a former Prime Minister of India too had been killed by the Tamil terrorist organization on 21 May n 1991. This killing was followed by the killing Ranatunga Premadasa, second President of Sri Lanka on 1 May 1003.
Anyway it is still not clear about the group behind the killings of Joseph Pararajasingham, Chandra Nehru, the Parliamentarian from the Amparai district, and Siva Maharajah one time TULF Member of Parliament.
Civil leaders demand that it is high time the government took action to stop further killings and appoint a Presidential Commission to go into these killings and report without any further delay.
*The lists of the Parliamentarians so far killed are given below:
1. On 27 July 1975 - Alfred Duaraiappah, MP and mayor of Jaffna.
2. On 25 May 1981 - A, Thiagarajah MP for Vaddukoddai
3.On 03 September 1985 - V.Dharmalingham MP for Manipay
4. On 03 September 1985 - K.Alalasundaram MP for Kopay
5. On 13 November 1987 - Abdul Majeed MP for Muthur
6. On 12 February 1988 S. Nadarajah (Poddar) Former elected Member of Senate from 1967 till 02 October 1971 when the Bill for the Abolition of Senate (Sri Lanka’s Upper House of Parliament ) was
signed by the Governor General.
7. On 13 July 1989 - A. Amirthalingham National List MP
8. On 13 July 1989 - V.Yogeswaran MP for Jaffna
9. On 07 May 1990 - Sam Thambimuthu MP for Batticalao
10. On 19 June 1990 - W.K.Yogasangari M.P. for Jaffna
11 15 July 1990 - M. Kanagaratnam MP for Pottuvil
12. On 02 March - 1991Ranjan Wijeratne MP & Minister
13. On 23 April 1993 - Lalith Athulathmudali MP& Minister
14. On 01 May 1993 - R. Premadasa MP and President of Sri Lanka
15. On 24 October 1994 - Gamini Dissanayake MP, Minister & Presidential Candidate
16. On 24 October 1994 - G.M.Premachandra MP & Minister
17. On 24 October 1994 - Weerasinghe Mallimarachchi MP & Minister
18. On 24 October 1994 - Ossie Abeyagunasekera MP
19. On 31 December 1994 - Karavai Kandasamy MP for Vavuniya
20. On 05 July 1997 - A. Thangathurai MP Trincomalee
21. On 20 July 1997 -MRH Mahroof MP for Trincomalee
22. On 15 July 1998 - S.Shanmuganathan MP for Vavuniya
23 On 06 October 1998 – Kanagasabai Rajathurai MP for Jaffan
24 On 29 July 1999 - Dr. Neelan Thiruchelvan National List MP
25. On 02 November 1999 Atputharaja Nadarajah MP for Jaffna
26 On 07 June 2000, C.V.Gunaratne MP and Minister
27 On 16 September 2000 - M.H.M. Ashraff. MP & Minister
28. On 07 November 2000 - Aslie Nimalan Soundaranayagam MP elect Batticaloa
29 On 20 October 2004 - Kingsley Rasanayagam MP (elect) for Batticaloa
30. On 07 February 2005 - Chandra Nehru MP for Batticaloa
31 On 13 August 2005 - Laksman Kadirgamar List MP & Minister
32. On 25 December 2005 - Joseph Pararajasingham List MP was shot and killed
33. On 21 August 2006 – *Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah MP for Jaffna District
34. On 01 January 2008 – T.Maheswaran MP for Colombo District
35. On 08 January 2008 - D.M. Dassanayake MP and Minister
* Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was killed on 21 May n 1991.
- Asian Tribune -