While working with the government, there should be self-governance in provinces, former Liberation of Tamil Tigers if Eelam (LTTE) deputy leader Vinayagamoorthy Muralidaran alias ‘Karuna Amman’ said.
He said that a civil war erupted in the country due to the faults of consecutive governments. He said that the attacks and murders of thousands of Colombo Tamils, led to an armed uprising of Tamil youth. Muralidaran said that he too was a part of this uprising, adding that at the time the revolution was carried out in a good manner.
Vinayagamoorthy Muralidaran alias ‘Karuna Amman’ made these comments during a recent interview with medialk.com. Excerpts of the interview:
Q: How are your election activities going on?
A: Our party is contesting in both the Northern and Eastern Provinces. I will be contesting from Ampara district under the Ship symbol. Meanwhile in the Batticaloa district we are contesting with the sewing machine symbol. In Trincomalee we are contesting from the Ship symbol and it the Vanni district our symbol is the kite.
There is a need for a strong leadership in Ampara. That is why the people are with me. My goal is to uplift those who have been driven destitute and to campaign for their rights. This why I chose Ampara district. Our election activities are going on well.
Q: How has the feedback from the people been?
A: We’re confident that we’ll be able to score a seat in Ampara. We’re looking at scoring two seats. For that the percentage of votes cast needs to increase. The people need to understand that.
Q: How do you view the present political environment in the country?
A: Prosperity has now dawned in the country. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected as President while Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is ready to give leadership to the country. The country will see good times ahead. Even though we are contesting the election separately, we will win the election and join the government in this political journey. The resources needed for our people can be obtained that way. I’m confident Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party will win.
Q: Do you believe that you will be able to win the rights of your people in this journey with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa?
A: Yes. If we follow the government and work with the government, that is how we would be able to obtain and distribute resources to the people. We would be able to secure the people and provide them with services.
A political decisions should be taken after discussions. There is a dearth of debate and discussion here. In future I will attempt to make requests after discussions.
Q: When it comes to the rights of the Tamil people, do you agree with former Parliamentarian Douglas Devananda’s views?
A: Honestly he renders a great service. It is his belief there should be a federal system of governance, while working with the government. I agree with that.
If we follow this system we can achieve a lot. It is because we agree to this system that the public are also with us.
Q: There is an allegation that your election campaign is carried out in a way that diminishes the harmony between Tamil and Muslim people.
A: No. I cannot accept that. Because I’m not a person who is against Muslim people. It is certain Muslim politician’s actions that I’m against. Former Parliamentarian Haris was against our efforts to develop Kalmunai. There is no issue for him if we develop Kalmunai. As a politician, he is trying to stop development, which is what I opposed. I have no issue with Muslim people. We are very concerned about this issue. However the actions of certain Muslim politicians, land issues and forcefully implementing projects for political power are what we are against. We cannot tolerate that. We do not have an issue with ordinary Muslim people.
Q: Why did you join the LTTE? What was the objective and did the organisation’s objectives match with yours?
A: The war erupted due to the faults of the governments. In 1983 13 army soldiers were killed. After that Colombo Tamils were attacked and chased away. This caused an armed uprising of the Tamil youth. There was a lot of armed groups forming at this time. I joined the armed groups during these times. The initial revolution was good. After a while
The revolution was aimless and began to drift in other directions. I attempted to join governance efforts at this time which caused friction with the leadership. That is why I parted ways and worked towards restoring peace in the country.
Q: What is the exact reason for you to leave the armed uprising in 2003?
A: In Norway and Sweden, there were peace talks at the time. There was ample opportunity to discuss the federal system of governance at these talks. I spoke to Anton Balasingham who took the lead in the peace talks and asked him to sign an agreement.
I was hoping that this would lead to a political, democratic process and that we would be able to leave the armed process. The LTTE however wasn’t in agreement with a political solution, which led to the friction between us. Which is where I decided to leave.
Q: Some allege that you left the movement due to political and personal requirements. What is your response?
A: This cannot be accepted. Those who know the reality would know. This completely false. What I said earlier is the actual reason.
Q: According to you initially this movement was for the liberation and rights of the Tamil people. How do you feel about betraying this movement?
A: I didn’t honestly betray anyone or the liberation movement. I attempted to follow a political solution with the objective of saving the liberation movement. I didn’t betray anyone. I just left the movement and remained silent. It is wrong to say that I joined the government and provided LTTE intel to win the war for the government. The government didn’t request me for any intel nor did I give it.
Q: Your statement about killing army soldiers has stirred much controversy. What is your view of this?
A: During the war, thousands of lives were lost from both sides. We lost thousands of Sinhala and Tamil youth. It was a war. It was not a personal choice to kill anyone. What I spoke was about what happened during the war. I didn’t say something to provoke everyone or anger anyone. Sajith Premadasa is criticizing me a lot. He is using me and my statement to revive his political downfall.
The LTTE was in a really bad situation after the Indian troops left Sri Lanka. It is Premadasa’s leadership and the UNP that gave arms to the LTTE and revived its movement. They too have a big responsibility of this war.
Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the JVP has no right to talk about this as they were responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. Thousands of Sinhala youth were killed during their revolutions. They are not in a position to criticize my statement, just so they can provoke the Sinhalal people for their political gains. People should understand this.
Q: There is an allegation that a lot of Tamil people lost their lives during the last week of the war. You were with the government at this time. Some allege that you have a responsibility about those who lost their lives during this time.
A: Certainly not. It was a war. You cannot view this that way. Civilians lost their lives during the war. Soldiers of the army and the LTTE too lost their lives.
I have no involvement with the war. I only view it as just a war.