The Sunday Leader

Successive Governments Have Cheated Tamil People – Annamalai Nadesu Sivasakthi

By Camelia Nathaniel

TNA MP Annamalai Nadesu Sivasakthi, is of the view that the successive governments have cheated the Tamil people and only made use of them to gain votes. However he says that once they come to power, the government simply ignores the plight of the Tamil people and forgets the promises made to them. He warned that Rajapaksa did the same and thought after winning the war that he would be able to run the country without any opposition at his own will. However he said that it was a mistake that Rajapaksa made in not winning the hearts and minds of the Tamil people. Sivasakthi in an interview with The Sunday Leader warned that if this Maithripala, Ranil government too failed to acknowledge the Tamil people, they too will realise their mistake in time. He said that seven years after the conclusion of the war, the Tamil people are still in a sad situation where they have not been able to rebuild their lives. He said that while the rest of the country is rejoicing the victory of war, the Tamil people who suffered the most during the war are still suffering and celebrating war victory is only rubbing salt in the Tamil people’s wounds.

Following are excerpts of the interview:-

Q: Seven years after the end of the war how do you see the transformation in the country especially the North?

A:  Nothing great has happened seven years down the line. However there are small democratic privileges that have been given to us where people are free to talk, write or express their feelings without any fear. Other than that nothing significant has taken place and the Tamil people are in the same predicament they were back then.

 

Q:  How far has the releasing of lands progressed under the Maithripala-Ranil government?

A:  As far as the releasing of the lands are concerned some portion of the lands have been released everything that is happening now are the same that was being done during the Rajapaksa regime and nothing new is happening. The white van disappearances and the prisoner’s issues are still the same. There is no development taking place in the North today. The Tamil people had a great deal of confidence in the Good governance regime, but considering the manner in which this government has gone back on the promises made to the Tamil people this confidence  is diminishing rapidly.

 

Q: How far has the demining progressed?

A: Demining is continuing and might take another ten years. The government is snail pacing on this process to keep the Tamil people from occupying the lands. If they complete the demining fast then they have to release the lands to the people. Only a small portion of land has been released in Jaffna. In Sampur and waligamam people’s lands are not released yet. For the past 25 years people are still in displaced camps and they cannot return to their own lands.

 

Q: How many are still displaced and have not been resettled?

A: I don’t know the exact numbers but there are people in Jaffna, Vavuniya and many other areas in the North still suffering in displacement camps and unable to return to their lands. They have to give back the Tamil people’s lands.

 

Q:  Why is the resettlement process taking so long?

A: Resettlement is very slow and nothing is happening meaningfully. Just to resolve these basic problems the government is taking so many months. It’s been 16 months since the government came to power and at least by now they should have released the land to the people but the government is saying they don’t have the money, but without money there are a lot of things that could still be done. For example to give back the public‘s land you don’t need money. Today President Sirisena is the commander in chief of the armed forces and he has control over the North or east. But to date the lands have not been released and the government does not need money to do that. During Mahinda’s government they released 12,000 ex cadres but Maithri’s government has not even released 200 cadres. You don’t need money to release these people. Today seven years are over and 20,000 persons are reported missing in the North and East.  We don’t know if they are alive or not and you don’t need money to give a proper answer. This government has much they can do without money but they are just hiding behind this lie of not having money and absconding from doing what they promised the Tamil people to do.

Especially the 65,000 houses deal the government is not paying attention to what we have to say. Swaminathan wants to build container type houses. We asked the government to build 130,000 houses out of normal cement for the displaced people. But the people are today disgruntled with this government and their confidence they had in the government is diminishing by the day.

The same thing happened to Rajapaksa where after winning the war he failed to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil people.

 

Q:  Currently what are the challenges facing the North?

A: Mainly the missing persons is the biggest problem. Today the people who surrendered to the Army in Omanthai are still missing. According to the information we have, the army took them by bus and that was the last that was seen of them. The government should say if they are alive or not. The government should give us a word immediately. Or if Rajapaksa has killed everyone, then still we need to know. The people who committed these crimes should be given proper punishment. What sort of punishment should be given to them has to be revealed. The compensation for those who were killed or dead should also be given. The government has to be very open and tell us honestly. Secondly regarding the political prisoners there is no decision so far. The president promised Sampanthan but that promise has not been fulfilled. A lot of people are remanded without even having any charges filed for the past seven years. They should be released as they have suffered enough.

 

Q:  How do the people feel about the war victory celebrations in the South and what has been planned in the North?

A:  This kind of situation is like adding insult to injury. Even Mahinda was doing the same and today he is nowhere. The Tamil people have suffered and the people in the south are digging the same old wounds by having these celebrations. Mahinda acted like he went to war and conquered another country and today it’s the same. This government too should first help the war affected before they celebrate victory. If this government too does the same as the ones before there is no difference between the two parties. There was an internal war and these are all people of the same country.

 

Q:  It has been reported that gangs operate in the North and are creating a fear psychosis among the people. Is this true?

A: Yes there are gangs in the North. After the end of the war drugs are freely available in the North. Ganja and other narcotics are freely available. These come from India and Pakistan through sea routes. The people are saying that the government and military are supplying drugs to the North indirectly. Drugs are a huge problem in the North now. The government needs to control this and cannot be ignored. Police courts and civil authorities should stop this. They should be responsible for this.

 

Q:  There is talk that the threat of the LTTE still remains. Do you agree?

A: This is an utter lie. This is a story they are making in order to run the government in the south. For the last 30 years the government has been saying this same thing and now they are doing the same for political purposes. They are using this slogan in order to run the country and gain political supremacy and divert the attention from their weaknesses. This is a ploy that is used to hoodwink the Sinhalese people. For the past seven years there have been no incidents and this is a lie made up by the government.

 

Q: The Tamil people played a big role in bringing this government to power. However despite the many promises made to the Tamil people, has this government delivered on their promises?

A. This government came to power based largely on the support of the Tamils. The government has done nothing to fulfill the promises they made to the Tamil people. They have only hoodwinked the Tamil people.

 

10 Comments for “Successive Governments Have Cheated Tamil People – Annamalai Nadesu Sivasakthi”

  1. S B Lokuge

    It is not the successive governments that have cheated the Tamil, it was the crooked Tamil leaders that have let them down. The elected Tamil leaders and the dictatorial Tamil leaders promised federal and separate states knowing very well they can not achieve them. Those leaders only wanted Tamil votes and give up their young lives to achieve their own goals. Only a few leaders like late Kadiragama knew the only way forward was to join the main stream political party, not to engage in the racist politics.

    • Just Society

      Tamil leaders were not crooked but always wanted to co-exist with Sinhalese people with dignity and hence constantly seeking accommodation and them constantly failing once the bifurcation of Ceylonese society to Sinhalese and Tamil societies as implemented by the Sinhalese leaders.

      British apparently told Gandhi and Nehru during independence struggle ” why are you fighting for independence and aren’t we all happy now?” Gandhi had told the British to just wait and see India after independence.

      India restructured herself within ten years with linguistic federal states and is thriving now. SJV articulated this in Ceylon nearly ten years before India did it.
      SWRD who had suggested a federal system way back in 1920s in Jaffna flip flopped and produced Sinhala only in a unitary state in 1956. Power corrupts.

      Dr Colvin R de Silva spoke prophetically during that resolution: One language (Sinhala) two nations and two languages (Sinhala and Tamil) one nation.

      What people in the North and East are enduring is occupation of one people by another people. This should not and ought not to continue.

  2. raj

    Only foolish can believe in a government that tries its best to protect war criminals who committed war crimes against Tamils will resolve ethnic problems or care about ordinary Tamil people or suffering of the Tamil people. Racial attitude of the government remains change though party of the government changed in 2015 election.

  3. Just Society

    TNA MP Annamalai Nadesu Sivasakthi says that they (Sinhalese-led governments) have only hoodwinked the Tamil people.

    The fault then rest with the Tamil people as well commencing with its leaders prior to independence.

    In the last 500 years prior to independence and most definitely during the British occupation period from 1802-1948, during which the whole of Ceylon came its colonial rule, Ceylon Tamil identity and Sinhalese identity were submerged, and a new identity Ceylonese was formed.

    Advent of the independence and the follow up so-called democratic rule simply facilitated ethno-majority-power to the Sinhalese and the Sinhalese identity was re-established swiftly under the cloak of a democratic society. Tamil identity did not gather momentum ever and got off the ground very incrementally as a defensive process.

    Just as the ethno-majority was progressively deceasing Ceylon Tamils participation in the national life in every aspect, it is patently clear that Tamils were willing to be hoodwinked.

    Ceylon Tamils did not re-establish its clear identity until recently, that is separate and distinct from that of the Sinhala society and more importantly of the Tamil speaking society across the Palk Straight, to the dismay of both. Ceylon Tamil society is a two-millennia old society with its own social norms.

    Again it was an induced action that was taking place due to incremental and planned bifurcation of the Ceylonese society thus reducing the Tamils to the colonial status — replacing the British colonial rule.

    Now that identity is somewhat re-established and solid demands are on the table. Sinhalese should not harbour their desire to control the Ceylon Tamil people. They must vacate it just as all the previous colonial powers vacated their interest but should become as brethren with consensus governance.

    Then no one will be hoodwinked. Peace will be there forever.

  4. laksiri

    this guy all statements are like their terrorist boss followed Gandhi peace bible and army kill while they are doing indian yoga. they all forget many thousand of law enforcement men and women gave-up their lives to end this barbaric terrorist act. they you have new government can not only take care of land mind and rule north and east but they too have more province and people to take care. if all north and east people keep same policies for ever this matter will see many generation to come. look the true position 80% of money returned by north province without using. what a kind of F/A/P/Pumpis??

  5. Lanka Watch

    The statement made by TNA MP Mr. A.N. Sivasakthy at the above interview, stating that successive Sinhala Govts.. cheated on the Tamils and made use
    of them to gain votes, which is not true as, on the contrary, Tamil parties made
    use the people to gain votes and they never joined any govt.. in the past and
    rendered any service to the Tamils of N/E. Only SJV. Chelva and the federal
    party worked hard for the Tamils but he did not succeed in getting a pact signed. Ever since, the Tamils had to go on bended knees to Sinhala ministers and parties to get their jobs done. It would have been right if he said that the Tamils were never united and the Sinhala parties made use of this weakness and played a divide and rule game, learnt from Colonial Britain , among the Tamils since Independence. Even the armed rebellion by the disgruntled youths did not succeed because of division among their ranks..

    So, maintain a low profile like what TNA does and be satisfied with the crumbs
    thrown at you from time to time and accept a secondary status and open your
    mouths only when eating and drinking . and an armed personnel will be positioned at every door step to protect your families in N/E.

    • Subramaniam Thiagarajah

      It is a good note but I am wondering whether the MP Annamalai Nadesu Sivasakthi, is aware of the status of SL Tamil people.
      So what you should understand is the Tamil people in the North and East are the decendents of Jaffna Kingdom who came from
      the mighty Chola Empire.If you get this correct then we don’t need to beg.so please tell the SL Govt. this and tell them to
      treat the Tamils in North and East in a special way as in Kashmir in the new Sl Constitution.If they say they cannot do that ,then please tell them to hand over our Jaffna Kingdom taken over by them im 1947..SL Govt is deaf to these statements and there is no purpose in writing these to us.As an Hon.MP ,you should go and talk to them and if possible get the suppoit of Western Nations and US,Canada and other good countries.,for this purpose.What is urgent now is the protection of Tamil people ,because at any time they may start a riot and go on killing Tamil people.This ts the most important today.So Hon MPs must approach the Western Powers and US,Canada and ask for their protection in case they start killimg the Tamil people.
      Thank you so much
      Subramaniam Thiagarajah,
      NWS Rep. for Tamil Canada.
      NWS — Nations Without States.

  6. Um

    No, they Cheated Sri Lankan citizen (cheat both Tamil and Sinhalese equally) Politicians duty was to develop the country, they did not both Tamil and Sinhala politicians and leader mislead Sri Lankan citizen’s to be in power, That is the simple truth, if not Sri Lanka would be a developed country today. The only person who had at least gave some effort was MR.

  7. Lankara

    You people should be a shamed. Trying to cause more rifts so that you ministers can start a war and sell weapons. Thats right .You people lost your big source of income from the diaspora funding the LTTE . Not only that. You people never worked for the Tamil people and just talk talk talk. People suffer while you people just live a lavish life. GO TO HELL and work for the tamil people.

  8. Subramaniam Thiagarajah

    It is a good note but I am wondering whether the MP Annamalai Nadesu Sivasakthi, is aware of the status of SL Tamil people.Anyway , I would like
    to remind him that Sinhalese or SL Govt. don’t care of the Tamil people.They had in the past ran the Govt. without
    the help of the Tamil Members of Parliament and will do so in the future.So they are nit at all bothered of the Tamil
    people.They consider the Tamil people as minorities and class them with muslims and plantations Tamils and others.
    So what you should understand is the Tamil people in the North and East are the decendents of Jaffna Kingdom who came from
    the mighty Chola Empire.If you get this correct then we don’t need to beg.so please tell the SL Govt. this and tell them to
    treat the Tamils in North and East in a special way as in Kashmir in the new Sl Constitution.If they say they cannot do that ,then please tell them to hand over our Jaffna Kingdom taken over by them im 1947..SL Govt is deaf to these statements and there is no purpose in writing these to us.As an Hon.MP ,you should go and talk to them and if possible get the suppoit of Western Nations and US,Canada and other good countries.,for this purpose.What is urgent now is the protection of Tamil people ,because at any time they may start a riot and go on killing Tamil people.This ts the most important today.So Hon MPs must approach the Western Powers and US,Canada and ask for their protection in case they start killimg the Tamil people.
    Thank you so much
    Subramaniam Thiagarajah,
    NWS Rep. for Tamil Canada.
    NWS — Nations Without States.

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