Sri Lanka Tamil Parliamentarian shooting suspect may be coerced

Parliamentarian T. Maheswaran and one of his bodyguards were killed and 12 people were injured when a gunman opened fire at the MP and other worshippers at the Ponnambalavaneswarar temple, a renowned shrine for Lord Shiva near the Colombo port.

The killing of a Tamil democratic leader T. Maheswaran comes amidst a world mourning the brutal killing of Benazir Bhutto, leader of Pakistan People’s Party and the best hope of restoring democracy and order in Pakistan. Military dictator Pervez Musharraf blamed others while there has been many news reports suspecting his role in the killing.

The government of President Mahinada Rajapakse posses a similar track record.

News agency Indo Asian News service (IANS) in a news report on Tuesday Jan 1st said, quoted an unnamed ‘leading military expert’ saying “the assassination had serious security implications because the temple was located outside the Colombo harbour, a high security area. If the Tamil Tigers have done it, it is cause of more worry because it shows they are prowling in the city in a high security zone,“ the expert told IANS.

[Her world crashed: heartbreaking picture of slain parliamentarian Thyagarajah Maheswaran’s distraught daughter Pavatharani (8), as she weeps for a father who will never return home]

The Sri Lankan Defence ministry quoted the police as saying that the gunman was injured when the MP’s guards fired back after coming under attack.

However its being suggested that Sri Lankan government authorities may coerce the suspect or the entire arrest may be a drama to pin blame on others.

The Government of Sri Lanka has not investigated the killings of other Tamil parliamentarians – Nadarjah Raviraj nor Joseph Pararajasingham. N. Raviraj was killed during daylight at a Colombo high security zone in Nov 2006 and Joseph Pararajasingham was killed during the Christmas mass in Batticaloa in 2005.

A Sri Lankan Deputy minister P Radhakrishnan told BBC Sandeshaya that the government should take the full responsibility as three Tamil MPs are killed since President Mahinda Rajapaksa took over since November 2005. “MP Joseph Pararajasingham’s killer is still at large in Batticaloa,” the Up Country Peoples Front (UPF) parliamentarian told BBC’s Elmo Fernando.

The slain MP is a legislator from the Colombo District belonging to the United National Party (UNP). The UNP said the slain legislator has planned to reveal the widespread human rights violations in Jaffna.

“He was planning to make a special statement at the parliament on abductions and killings in Jaffna on 08 January,” UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said.

Work towards ending impunity

Meanwhile a Sri Lankan media rights group has urged the media to work towards ending impunity in Sri Lanka.

The Free Media Movement (FMM), a Colombo-based media rights group, in a press release issued Tuesday, strongly condemned the assassination of United National Party (UNP) MP T. Maheswaran, and said the murder adds to the “incredible number of political killings and the suppression of those who seek to bring to light gross human rights abuses,” in Sri Lanka, and FMM is “mindful that the Sri Lankan Police have been unable and unwilling to bring the killers of other high profile political figures.”

The statement called upon the media to investigate this killing and larger and disturbing erosion of democracy in Sri Lanka, with a view to upholding all human rights for all and end impunity.

Related: Martyrdom staring at Sri Lanka Human Rights defender Mano Ganesan

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Print this page

19 Comments

  1. The actual person who shot Maheswaran would have bolted from the place with the help of the “people who planned” the murder. Who knows he may be on his way to a comfortable life with a diplomatic passport!!

    The “suspect” is a scapegoat. He would be threatened, tortured and a forced confession would be recorded. And this would be the end of the investigation!! This is the familiar story played over and over again in the “democratic republic of Sri Lanka”

  2. This is classic LTTE play, they are hell bent on eliminating moderate Tamil’s.
    The tigers cannot stand Tamil’s taking part in democracy, its a concept they dont understand and will go to any length to eliminate moderate Tamil’s who take part in the polotical process.
    Shame on you LTTE.

  3. Raj above is quite funny. do you really think LTTE planned to reduce his security from over 10 to just 2. Shame on you Raj.

  4. What do you expect, when Rajpakse brothers hell bent on killing all opponents, who can not be bought for cash, privileges or perks?. This is the shamble democracy in Sri Lanka led by SLFP with JVP and JHU, which is propped up by some selfish western nations, who just want to sell weapons and exploit the nation.

  5. Mr “Raj”, You are the typical supporting this genocidal government. It is by using fools like you that this government is sucessfull eliminating their political opponents. Today it is tamils and tomorrow it will be Sinhalese. You mark my words. Unless the southern srilankans dont take actions to stop their murderous govt., the country will be a graveyard.

  6. Raj,
    Are you living in this planet.Do ypu know that paramiltaries can kill any tamils any time and any tamil politician to be killed has to be approved by higher authorities. The day Maheswaran went to see Mahinda with the parents of 2000 tamils who were abducted by the government ,Maheswaran name was approved to be killed

  7. I thought “Tamils don’t kill Tamils”. Like after Mutur and ACF terrorism by LTTE, maybe IIGEP should investigate and declare SL Govt. is responsible like bomb blast at Slave Island.

    SL Law states that Opposition MP’s not from North or East, should have only 2 security. If an MP feels he is under specific threat, an appeal can be made to the President. That is the law. Maheswaran did not make a request to the President. To hold the SL Govt. responsible for his death is like Sinhalese holding all of us Tamils collectively responsible for Prabakaran’s multitude of terrorist attacks.

    Make no mistake – we are not living in a democracy – not until LTTE Terrorism has been eliminated from Sri Lanka. This will not happen until Tamils take some responsibility for LTTE and take action to eliminate them. SL Govt. will try to defeat LTTE militarily but cannot. The LTTE exists with the covert and overt acceptance by us. If we feel that LTTE objectives are no longer the objectives of the greater Tamil diaspora, then it is up to us to take action. But by our silence, if we accept the LTTE as the path to follow, then we had better be prepared for the consequences of our actions, not for our sake, but for the sake of our children.

    A picture says a thousand words – the grief of Mahesawaran’s little girl as shown in media pictures – do we want our children and grandchildren to suffer that same grief? Compare 30 years of peaceful agitation and 30 years of militant activism. What have we achieved? A little something to think about as we start this new year.

  8. Maheswaran spoke about corruption,malpractices,abductions,unlawful killings and blame government for not taking effective measures to stop them.Further on sunday December 30th,2007 ,Maheswaran appeared in a private television interview and blamed government paramilitary troops(EPDP lead by Douglas Devananda),exortion schemes and unexplained killings in the government-controlled northern penusula.Also he vowed to reveal the names of those involved when parliament meets in the new year.The security of him was withdrawn two weeks ago by the government despite repeated appeals that his life was in danger.Furthermore Maheswaran himself made a statement in parliament saying that the government must take responsibility if something were to happen to him.

  9. the shooter chose the right moment to kill and put the blame on government,and knew the MP would leave his bodyguards outside the kovil.before pointing fingers at government,we tamils should stop killing ourselves.another ruthless victim of the LTTE pistol gang,who tried to kill him before and stopped him from contesting for jaffna.shame on you Prabha!

  10. Mahinda R, Gota R and Hendawitharana together formed a ultra super SECRET “spy cum military” assassins team long ago and perform few dramas to Sinhala audience and international powers.
    To make Sarath Fonseka and his men to be this ruthless and brutal an “attempt on his life” drama performed. Then an attempt on Gota, where even Gota himself was not even present at that scene. Yes its mind boggling but true. Gota was somewhere else that time. Both these yielded needed international sympathy. Kadirgamar, (Yes even b4 they came to power) Pararajasingam, Raviraj, Kebithigollawa, YES Kebithigollawa, Nugegoda etc. etc. all parts of this series of Dramas.
    Now its poor Maheswaran.
    This secret team draws its strength from two indivuduals, namely KR Narayanan and Shiv Shankar Menon who have promised them ” Do whatever you want to suppress Tamils, we will take care of US, EU, UN and all NGOs. They blocked all resolutions in UN, supplied training and arms and even made other countries like Russia to supply.
    Indian ruling elite fears eventual scession of Tamil Nadu for last 50 odd years. Narayanan & Menon are the tools these elites use fight that fear. In turn the above duo is out with a vengeance and ruthlessness against SL Tamils because both think its better and cheaper to suppress Tamil Nadu Tamils by strangling Eelam Tamils. The team got the insurance from this duo to go any length and nothing would harm them. Not even “Right to Protect” or courts in Hague.
    I pray and ask all readers to pray that this young girls and thousands of other similar weeps and cries should be heard by ALL GODS of this universe and all responsible to be dearly punished. My tears to all victims.

  11. Till all sections of the Community condemns all types of violence and learn to have mutual respect for each other the situation will continue. The moderates on both sides are silent as they feel that they cannot make any contribution. This has happened in history not only in Sri Lanka all over the world. A leader has to evolve a person who is capable of looking beyond petty politics and looking at the country and a community as a whole. It is complex and becoming more complex. It is left for the communities at a lower level to get together and in actions deeds and words to show the so called politicians that people can function without division by complimenting each other and enriching a just and fair society. The modern world does not look beyond finance and Power. That is the unfortunate reality. The slogan is to acquire wealth at any cost. Hold on to power at any cost. Self realisation has to dawn. The corrupt and dishonest thrive. This situation is ideal for politicians on both sides who are able to convince the people about their theories. One talks of freedom the other talks of liberation. The people on both sides have none and will have none for the foreseeable future.

  12. Sen from Aus, you say “What do you expect, when Rajpakse brothers hell bent on killing all opponents”- Well that is true and also on Mervins case. But ltes remove rajapaksa brothers from your sentense-
    -What do you expect, when LTTE hell bent on killing all opponents……………………….(There is not difference brother) You can change that to EPDP, TMVP etc. (No one can escape from that charge)
    ha ha

  13. This kiling from LTTE, may be request from TNA,
    if other party wants kill him, will not reduce security and face embrassed situation,
    Definitly LTTE, Maheswaran was one of those brave personan to speek against LTTE.
    as a Tamil, I can say this murder form Tamil source…..shame o us….

  14. I agree, this LTTE or EPDP, either way its Talmil us, how we going to find Libaration…?……God Help Us

  15. It does not require a Sherlock Holmes to solve this murder, does it!!
    Maheswaran recently led a protest by Tamil parents against the the President and his thuggish brothers, after their teenage children were indiscriminately arrested without charges and sent away to torture camps like Boossa. He threatened to reveal the sources of kidnapping and murder in Jaffna, who are with the Rajapakse government. The assassination was conducted in the tightly controlled security zone in the Harbour area of Colombo. The government had a strong motive to kill him, like they did to Kumar Ponnambalam, Taraki, Pararajasingham, Raviraj and other Tamil leaders. Mahinda Rajapakse has blood on his hands.

  16. Hello, sinhalese (January 2, 2008 @ 6:00 am ), I am happy to see that you are equating Rajapakse brothers to all terrorist outfits in Sri lanka. Well, I do hope the whole world realise that soon and ban and condemn Sri lankan govt on all international forums.

  17. ”அவர்கள் முதலில் கம்யூனிஸ்ட்களைக் கொல்ல வந்தார்கள்…
    நான் பேசவில்லை, ஏனெனில் நான் கம்யூனிஸ்ட் அல்ல;
    அவர்கள் பிறகு தொழிற்சங்கவாதி களைக் கொல்ல வந்தார்கள்…
    நான் பேசவில்லை, ஏனெ னில் நான் தொழிற் சங்கவாதி அல்ல;
    அவர்கள் பிறகு யூதர்களைக் கொல்ல வந்தார்கள்…
    நான் பேசவில்லை, ஏனெனில் நான் யூதன் அல்ல;
    அவர்கள் இறுதியில் என்னைக் கொல்ல வந்தார்கள்…
    அப்போது எனக்காகக் குரல் கொடுக்க யாருமே இல்லை!”
    First they came for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Communist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one
    left to speak up for me.

    by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

    Let us join hand and fight all form of terror in our motherland NOW

  18. It is a cowardly act to kill a person in a place of worship or anywhere else. This is an act of terrorism. Truth will take time to reveal the culprits and such tragedies are unanswered issues in a State where there is no rule of law.

Comments are closed.