Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Selvam Adaikalanathan warned last week that Sri Lanka’s Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekara “is acting towards eliminating Tamil people in the North-East”, after the minister threatened to arrest Tamil protestors and said Tamil lawmakers should have been teargassed.
Adaikalanathan, an MP of the Vanni constituency, was speaking to the press at his office in Mannar. The briefing came just after Mankulam and Vavuniya police recorded a deposition from him over his participation in the Pottuvil to Polikandi (P2P) march.
“People enthusiastically took part in the agitation from Pottuvil to Polikandi,” he said. “The police are now intensely investigating the youth, the common masses and politicians who participated in the march. This is an attempt to portray it as though Tamils have violated the law and insulted the court,” he added, referring to the legal proceedings initiated against P2P participants.
“In my opinion, the people rose up against the injustices perpetrated to Tamils by the Sri Lankan government, the colonisation of Tamil lands by Sinhalese settlements, and the attempts to erase Tamil cultural imprints under the guise of establishing bird sanctuaries and carrying out archaeological excavations,” Adaikalanathan continued.
“At the same time, the report released by the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights is very strong. Preventing a people’s movement from taking place, intimidating them, trying to snatch away the rights of parliamentarians who participated in the agitation are all unjust acts of aggression by the police.”
As he was speaking about the conduct of the police, Adaikalanathan mentioned the behaviour of Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekara. “Weerasekara is acting towards eliminating Tamil people in the North-East,” he noted.
“At the same time, the police activities are directed towards defanging the people’s movement by raising a fear that we are boycotting court orders. It is also an attempt to neuter our demand for rights in the United Nations. That is why they are laying hands against our youth, our parliamentarians and the general public. However, it is our success that our revolution broke all police restrictions at Pottuvil and all the way to Polikandi.”
“People protested whilst observing all COVID-19 related health and safety measures. So, it was a protest conducted in a democratic way. It will continue to be undertaken. Our people will not be cowed in the face of any kind of intimidation or oppression.”
“The Sri Lankan state celebrated the end of the war as a victory against terrorism. They also purported to teach a lesson about defeating terrorism.”
“But our people cannot be eliminated. We will rise up after each and every attempt to destroy us. This protest demonstrated that fact to Sri Lanka and the entire world. Therefore, nobody can restrict our people. We will express our problems through this democratic means.”
“In that way, the countries of the world must show sympathy with us. That is our chief goal at present. Particularly, India must stand with us Tamils. It was one of the intentions of the movement to secure that support.”
“Our people have created a revolutionary environment to challenge our problems, our oppression and the attempts to erase our legacy in the land. This protest will take place continuously and I would say in this opportunity that our people will not bend to any kind of intimidation.”