The Sunday Leader

Govt Must Clean Up Their Back Yard TNA MP Suresh Premachandran

By Camelia Nathaniel

Numerous incidents have taken place where various groups have taken the law into their own hands, and others have used weapons in their possession to openly slay their opponents. In recent times, we have witnessed a breakdown of law and order. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has pointed out that, while drugs were not a common concern in the North, at present, large stocks of drugs have been discovered in the North. In an interview with The Sunday Leader, TNA MP Suresh Premachandran expressed his sentiments regarding the recent incidents and the state of law and order which has come under severe criticism. The shooting of Reximan Rajiv, Chairman of the Delft Pradeshiya Sabha, has cleared the doubt, according to Premachandran, that there are armed groups are active in the North.

Q. The police claim that there is no underworld. What is your response to this?
A. Well, the public strongly feel that these incidents are closely linked with the activities of politicians. Earlier, in Jaffna, there were no drugs, but recently the police discovered a large haul of drugs in Jaffna. Everyone knows that there is a huge military and intelligence presence in the North. I am sure they know very well who brings these drugs into these areas. So, it’s not difficult for them to track down those responsible and arrest them. However, to date, no arrests have been made and no one has been identified as being behind this haul of drugs. So, what is the point of the military and intelligence units being there?

Q. The latest shooting that took place in the North of the Delft Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman has raised the issue of whether the Eelam People’s Democratic Party is still in the possession of firearms. How does the TNA view this situation?
A. Every political party, along with international community, pressured the Government to take back all the weapons from the political parties as well as the paramilitary groups. The Government said that they had done so. That was the promise given to the international community. However, looking at the latest shooting incident in the North where the Chairman of the Delft Pradeshiya Sabha, Reximan Rajiv, was gunned down while he was sleeping inside his house at Pungudutivu, Jaffna, using a gun that belonged to the assailant or the EPDP, there is no doubt about that. This incident clearly shows that the EPDP is still carrying weapons. In another incident in Jaffna, an EPDP member was carrying a weapon, threatening some people, but he was arrested by the police. We, the TNA, demand that the Government takes all measures to disarm these groups.

Q. In the South, too, there have been certain groups taking the law into their own hands –even defying the police – raiding places of worship and reprimanding other religious groups. How do you perceive this situation?
A. This situation is not just pathetic; the Government should be ashamed. These groups have attacked mosques and churches in the presence of police and armed forces, raiding places under the notion that they can do anything and no one can stop them. The government cannot allow these things to happen. These groups have no regard for authority. At a recent demonstration, a certain group attacked the demonstrators and some were even hospitalised, while the police watched helplessly. Therefore, I feel that it is time that the people raise this issue with the government and tell them, sternly, that this trend should stop.

Q. With the EPDP still in possession of weapons, do you feel that it is a threat to the administration and will it have any effect on your party’s activities within the region?
A. It has an effect on everyone. The Chief Minister does not have any control over the police as the police are under the control of the Central Government. In fact, while the post-mortem of the slain Chairman of the Delft Pradeshiya Sabha was being conducted, the coroner was threatened. He was told to say that it was a case of suicide. The coroner was intimidated as these people carried weapons.

Q. The largest haul of heroin in the Asian region was seized by Sri Lanka Customs – a quantity exceeding 10 times the previous seizure of 12 kg by the Central Narcotics Bureau in Singapore. How do you perceive this phenomena?
A. I am very sad to see this happening. We claim to be the wonder of Asia and hope to elevate the country to great heights, and yet the Government does not want to address these issues as everyone is trying to make money. The Government must be able to apprehend the culprits and produce them to court. There are adequate laws in the country that allow for provisions to punish those involved. By turning a blind eye or protecting those engaged in these activities, we are only allowing the country to be destroyed – especially the youth. Even the opposition has an obligation to create awareness among the people as to what’s happening in the country.

Q. What would you suggest the Government needs to do in order to tackle this situation and deal with these illegal activities?
A. If the Government and its members are not involved in these activities, then they would have apprehended the culprits. Are they not doing so because their own people are behind these incidents? It used to be the case that there were certain underworld elements that were operating these drug rings, and the Government’s law enforcement was able to apprehend them and stop their activities. Why can’t they do the same? Unless the Government cleans up their own back yard, no one will be able to stop this country going down the gutter.

1 Comment for “Govt Must Clean Up Their Back Yard TNA MP Suresh Premachandran”

  1. w.saparamadu

    I am a smoker . but, i was very happy when, MR government stopped smoking in the public places. when, i came from the overseas, i went Colombo once. i wanted to smoke, but, there was no place. still, i was very happy. yesterday, i went colombo after long time again. i saw people have started to smoke in the city again. no one have right to stop it. i guess, people are thinking, what happen if they smoke/ government protects drugs importers. They release Alchohol containers without charging duty. Next to come is casino. it is proved that law on smoking in public is just a way of getting the popularity among the people. not a genuine effort. if, it is a genuine effort, government should have stopped this drug dealers by now. they can not be in the parliament.

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