Sri Lankan Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka’s remark hinting at a hundred more massacres have evoked a strong reaction from leaders of political parties in the State. DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding the issue be taken up with the Sri Lankan government.
Addressing a press conference in Colombo a few days ago, Mr. Ranawaka, leader of the Sinhala right wing Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) party, said: “One Mullivaikkal is enough. Don’t try to get 100 more,” in a reference to the location where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was finally defeated.
He was responding to a remark by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Karunanidhi stated that the Sri Lankan Minister’s remark was highly provocative and condemnable. “Tamils all over the world are perturbed at this reprehensible remark. I, therefore, request you to kindly use your good office to take up this matter with the Sri Lankan government and advise it to adopt a course of restraint and humanitarianism. The United Nations may also be apprised of such a harsh stand of the Sri Lankan government.”
Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S. Ramadoss said that by his strident remark, the Minister had sent a warning to the Tamils in the island nation not to fight for their rights. At a time when the U.N. was inquiring into the charges of war crimes in Sri Lanka, the Minister’s speech should be construed as a challenge to the UN and India. “By threatening Tamils with 100 more Mullivaikal-type massacres, the Minister has admitted that there was a massacre of Tamils in the past. His statement is clear evidence, and the Sri Lankan government can be prosecuted in the international criminal court for crimes against Tamils.” Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan said his party would organise protests across the State to condemn the Sri Lankan Minister. “If a Cabinet Minister can utter such menacing words, it is beyond our comprehension how the Sri Lankan Army and Sinhalese would treat the Tamils in Sri Lanka.”