‘By bringing the war to an end, we have created a situation where the people in Northern Province are eating pizzas whereas they earlier used to eat Puttu, Vadai and Soru [Rice],’ Jaffna Chief Police Inspector Prasad Fernando said to the Jaffna Magistrate Court in a hearing last week.
Expressing strong condemnation of Fernando’s statement, Attorney and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M A Sumanthiran said, ‘Breaching international covenants on civil and political rights, he [Fernando] has disparaged the people of the Northern Province.’
Speaking further Sumanthiran said, ‘Having been a representative of the people for over 10 years, I ask who is he to speak about the Northern Province People?’
The Magistrate's Court reprimanded the Police Inspector for his statement and subsequently restrained him.
The remarks provoked widespread outrage on social media after Jaffna University's former Head of Law, Dr K. Guruparan quoted the Inspector in a tweet and hashtagged #occupier_mindset.
‘There are 365 days throughout the year to commemorate the dead. Why is there a remembrance only from November 21 to November 27? It is being followed because those dates were proclaimed as remembrance days by the LTTE,’ Inspector Fernando said in his deposition. He went on to support his case by furnishing videos of commemorations of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and Lt. Col. Thileepan as evidence.
Pictured: A pizza chain in Jaffna.