Speaking in parliament, general secretary of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), Selvarasa Kajendran, slammed the abuse of power by Sri Lanka’s president and stressed the need to abolish the “unitary system of governance in Sri Lanka and bring in a Federal Constitution based on the recognition of the Tamil nation”.
In his speech, he further stressed the need to “immediately dissolve this parliament and go for fresh elections” as the president does not have “even an iota of trust in the current Parliament”.
“His intent now is to consolidate power by hook by crook using the emergency law because he has an obvious fear that the people would never accept his ascension as president and therefore he wants to keep them suppressed and oppressed” Kajendran stated.
He further lambasted the president, stressing that his emergency laws will “lay the groundwork in creating a river of blood against your own people in your own nation in the future”.
This willingness to oppose the public will led Kajendran to term the administration a “fascist regime”.
During his speech, he further reflected on the brutal massacres Tamils suffered in 1983 during the anti-Tamil pogroms of Black July.
“We are now at the 39th year of the most brutal pogrom in which the houses and businesses of Tamils were looted, Tamil women were raped, tortured and murdered in the cruelest manner and all the remaining possessions were burnt […] When our youths rose up against your thugs who tortured and raped our sisters in a barbaric manner and the atrocities committed in the process, they (our youths) were branded as terrorists”.
Sri Lanka’s president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, had served as education minister during this period, uncle the administration of his uncle, J.R. Jayawardene.
Kajendran further slammed the administration’s brutal crackdown on student protesters. “We've had enough of this kind of barbaric treatment in the hands of your soldiers”, he told parliament.
Reflecting on the tragic loss of his younger brother, he told parliament:
My own younger brother who was a university lecturer was tortured, tied to hang upside down, and badly abused. We are well aware of more such atrocities.
Douglas Devananda has something to do with my brother's arrest. As those who have experienced such atrocities, we do not want the Sinhalese too, to experience that fate just because we experienced it”.