Former Chief Minister of the Northern Province, CV Wigneswaran, has written in response to the recent arrests of suspected LTTE sympathisers in Malaysia and Sri Lanka, concluding that he expects said arrests are but “political antics and/or electoral gimmicks!”
His piece begins with him reflect on his time in as High Court Judge of Colombo in 1990s and the trial of a “dangerous criminal”. This was the brother in law of the late Rohana Wijeweera, the Marxist leader and founder of the JVP, who was brought in not on any criminality on his behalf but rather “political reasons”. In reflecting on this case he notes;
“When political complaints are made against persons, sections of the Press go to town thanks to the lavishness of the political forces engineering such cases and paint the suspects taken into custody as dangerous criminals. Their criminality when tested later judicially are found to be zero in many cases. By the time their cases come up for inquiry or trial the persons taken in to custody have been painted pitch black. In recent times the fashion is to paint them as Terrorists”.
In his piece, he questions the time of these recent arrests noting the similarity to arrests made prior to the election of 2015. He notes;
“Suddenly lots of so called Terrorist activities come to light at the time of Elections. After elections nobody bothers about such so called Terrorist acts nor activities. Someone must do a research on the effect of Politics on the growth of Terrorism!”
Not only are suspicions of political motive raised but Wigneswaran raises the questions as to why after a decade has passed “they suddenly resurrect from their death beds. After elections they again pass away into their graves!”
The question as to who is a terrorist is raised throughout the piece as he notes;
“There are no objective tests which can identify a person as a Terrorist. You come to hear someone is a Terrorist. Then you arrest a person for having given a meal or water to such Terrorist. That person may have been wrongly identified to the Police or People in authority as a Terrorist for political reasons. But that is not investigated”.
He also notes the racial coding that undertones who is labelled a terrorist;
“Curiously it is normally a Tamil or a Muslim who would fall under that category unless a Sinhalese has rubbed a man in authority on the wrong side”.
Read his full piece here.