Letter to the Prime Minister from Tamil
In the last week of June 2002, there has been a sudden eruption of anger at Tamils as well as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the East. This culminated in attacks on the LTTE’s political wing office and on political-wing activists. Subsequently, people form the Muslim community targeted Tamil civilians, and curfew had to be imposed in many areas. Following the attacks on Tamil civilians, three Parliament Members from Batticaloa district––all members of the Tamil National Alliance that has the blessings of the LTTE––wrote a letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe drawing his attention to the issue. The signatories to the letter are Joseph Pararajasingham, T.Thangavadivel and G.Krishnapillai. Presented below is the full text of the letter.
We wish to bring the following facts for your kind consideration and redress.
We jointly visited the scene of the destructive incidents that took place on 27th and 28th of June, 2002 at Valaichenai.
On inquiries made by us from eye witnesses of both communities, and in particular the Tamil residents affected by the incidents, the Valaichenai Police was allegedly responsible and their ineffectiveness in controlling the situation that led to these unwarranted deaths, injuries to persons and destruction to properties.
According to most of the eye witnesses, deaths and injuries to persons including the burning and looting of shops had taken place during the curfew hours. On the morning of 27th, the Valaichenai Pradesya Sabah office was burnt during the curfew hours. The security forces responsible for maintaining the curfew have even failed to safeguard this government property.
Many witness from both communities and in particular Tamils have complained against the ASP of the Valaichchenai Police division Mr.Jamaldeen and the OIC of the Valaichchenai Police station Mr.Piyasena for not maintaining impartiality in the discharge of their duties and failing to maintain the law and order in the area.
It was also brought to our notice by some of the eye witnesses that CID officers Mr.Faiz, Mr.Mansoor, Mr.Ramez and Mr.Uvais were alleged to have fired at most of the victims and it was particularly mentioned that Mr.Faiz was responsible for the death of a Tamil youth Mr.Kandeepan by shooting.
At the meeting held in the Divisional Secretaryís office, Valaichenai chaired by the Government Mr.C.Shanmugam, it was agreed in the presence of the acting Inspector General of Police Mr.T.Anandanarajah, that both these officers should be transferred from this station with immediate effect.
Under these circumstances, we jointly appeal to you to take steps immediately to appoint a Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired Senior Supreme Court Judge to inquire into the incidents and to bring the perpetrators before the law.
We also urge that adequate special compensation be paid to the following: -
a) Next of akin of persons who died in this incident
b) Persons who sustained injuries
c) Houses and shops damaged or completely gutted by fire
d) Any other relief.