Former Chief Minister of the Northern Province and Supreme Court judge C V Wigneswaran has criticised the Sri Lankan army commander for saying that those who were in hiding from the LTTE now criticise the army’s activities in the North.
Asked to respond to the jibe by Tamil press, Wigneswaran emphasised that it was always state forces that the Tamil people lived in fear of, and that current militarisation activities could not suddenly redeem the forces of their atrocities.
“In 1983 I investigated the deaths caused by [Sri Lankan] army atrocities in Mallakam, when nobody else would,” Wigneswaran said. “I had no reasons to hide.”
“It was the military that people hid from… people have been afraid since the military forces turned up in the 1960s,” he said adding that young Tamils were also fearful of tyrannical police officials.
“During the war people ran and hid from the [army’s] indiscriminate bombing,” he further added.
On ongoing militarisation, such as Sri Lankan armed forces’ involvement in schools and welfare activities, Wigneswaran said, “just because they suddenly come and do nice things for the people, that does not mean that the military has completely changed or that the military has never done anything wrong.”
“I have been telling the military to withdraw since 2013,” he emphasised. “It is the military that is giving out toys and materials so that they can stay here.”
Wigneswaran also accused state forces of stoking false narratives of security threats in order to continue military occupation.
“They are trying to find excuses to stay by filing false cases and stirring up fears that the Tigers have returned,” he said.