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‘Govt. trying to intimidate Tamil people’- Sampanthan

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentary Group Leader, R. Sampanthan says that the Tamil population in the country was opposed to the return of violence. In an exclusive interview to The Nation, MP Sampanthan stated that he was unaware as to whether the LTTE was in fact regrouping in Sri Lanka, but added that the Government should take action if there was anything illegal happening
Following are excerpts of the interview:

Q: There were reports of minor clashes in the North a few weeks ago between LTTE suspects and the Army. How do you view this situation?

There were reports of a clash. Whether in fact a clash occurred I do not know. There is a view amongst the Tamil people in particular and also shared by others, that the Government in overreacting to the resolution in Geneva. That the Government is trying to intimidate the Tamil civilian population who could provide vital evidence in regard to the matters contained in the resolution into silence, and that some of these events have been orchestrated with that purpose.
My view generally is that the Tamil people are totally opposed to any return to violence and that they are for a political solution within a united country. The Tamil people have clearly demonstrated this position in the course of their democratic verdicts.

If anything illegal is happening, the Government is entitled to take necessary action. But this must be done without disturbing the lives of the Tamil civilian population.

Q: Even though you say there is a view that these incidents are orchestrated, there have been persons arrested locally and abroad for attempting to revive the LTTE. What do you have to say about that?

I’m not aware of any arrests and I’m not aware of any incidents. What I’m saying is that there is a view that these incidents could have been orchestrated because the Government is overreacting to the resolution passed in Geneva.
With regard to LTTE regrouping in Sri Lanka, wouldn’t that prove negative for the people in the North at this juncture?
I’m not a witness to any of those things. And as far as I’m concerned, Tamil civilian population don’t want to return to any violence.

Q: But as a representative of the Tamil people if reports of LTTE revival are true, wouldn’t it have an adverse impact on the people?

We don’t want to return to violence. I’ve told that clearly.

Q: With regard to elections in India, how important is it for Sri Lanka and especially for the Tamils?

The people of India will deliver their democratic verdict. It’s a very large process in India where 800 million people are going to vote. Fortunately, India has an independent Elections Commission, and is able to ensure that there is a leveled playing field for all political parties and candidates. As the neighboring country, the elections being held in India are important to Sri Lanka. Beyond that I cannot say anything at the moment.

Q: The TNA has been involved in a lot of international lobbying, especially during the UNHRC sessions in Geneva. What does the TNA hope to do in future, in the aftermath of the resolution passed on Sri Lanka?

The resolution has been passed by the UNHRC. We have nothing more to do about it. We will watch. We will watch the further developments.

Author: TELO Admin