Ramanathan urges Tamils not to engage in violence

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SLFP Jaffna MP Angajan Ramanathan urged Tamils not to engage in violence and destroy the peaceful atmosphere in the North.

MP Ramanathan’s Jaffna office was partially burnt on 10 May, but he warned the public to be wary of petty politics and those inciting violence in the country.

He said ordinary citizens should be cautious because violence will only affect them.

He also claimed that his SLFP office was partially damaged, but not completely destroyed, and that these “foolish acts” cast doubt on the legitimacy of any political party.

“We have fought against violence against peaceful protesters, and these attacks on us were childish,” he said.

Ramanathan said while the country is at peace, particularly in the North and the Jaffna District, and while the emergency law and curfew are in effect, there are some who don’t care about the security provided to the people, but engage in disturbing the community. Certain political parties are getting involved in violence, he added.

He told Ceylon Today that he will not expose the youth involved, but he urged them to avoid engaging in such behaviour.

 “Our people are the victims of violence here. Take things in your stride and try not to overthink. The rumours circulating that my office in Jaffna had been burnt down were false and only a small section of the office had been set on fire by some rioters. Those who think it’s a provocation of violence in Jaffna should give up their political cowardice.”

History-telling Tamil heroes do not accept this cowardice. While we have condemned the violence perpetrated against the people involved in the peaceful struggles in the country, one side has shown their political childishness by attacking us, he stressed.

He said these anti-social acts are committed by some political parties and their representatives to disrupt peace and strengthen their finances and agendas.

While lawyers and intellectuals in the South are banding together to protect peace activists in the country, the fact that some here are making violent comments on social media demonstrates their attitude, he said.

“I contested the elections, and the people gave me the mandate for the development of Jaffna, and it was up to me to fulfil that mandate. I have never lied to people and deceived them after an election victory. I asked the Government for development assistance for the people,” he added.

“In the last SLPP government, as a non-SLPP member, I faced many obstacles in winning the election. I have overcome them with patience and honesty and served people in the past,” he asserted.

He added that he was the only MP who has contested and won on the SLFP ticket, he had committed to redeeming his party from government participation and acting honestly to the people, realising that the SLPP-led government is misleading them and cannot carry out development.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan