I wasn’t even born then – Shanakiyan

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Batticaloa District TNA MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam said he was flabbergasted and shocked with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s accusation that he conspired with MP Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, alias Pillayan, in the slaughter of 600 Police Officers in 1990, when he was in fact, not born during that time.

The MP told Ceylon Today that he was born on 20 September 1990 and the massacre happened on 11 June 1990.

In his letter to the Prime Minister dated 12 May, he said, “I categorically deny any association with any militant organisations, since birth, to date. The irony of the matter is, when this incident took place, I was not even born. I am sure the Prime Minster has been grossly misinformed in this regard. As such, I earnestly request him to check the veracity of my statements and issue a clarification in this regard.”

He added that such a statement is very serious when it is said by the Prime Minster of the country, and the public could blindly accept it as undoubted truth. “This would cause irreparable damage to my reputation, whilst posing a possible threat to my life as well. As such, all corrective measures taken in this regard are greatly appreciated.”

Also, in MP Rasamanickam’s parliamentary speech on the 20 May 2022, with regards to the 9 May unrest, where he cited that the people reacted in a violent manner because they felt that their elected representatives failed to help their grievances, needs and aspirations in the lawmakers assembly has been allegedly misconstrued by the Prime Minister.

The MP also cited the Prime Minister’s condolence speech on late MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala, “One single member has condoned this incident, while others have been deeply grieved.”

MP Rasamanickam believes that the “one single member” referred to by the Prime Minister is him and it has “either been misunderstood or misconstrued, to appear as though he has been supportive of the arson and the related incidents.”

“I am of the opinion that this was suggestive and parallels were drawn on reactions subsequent to the assassination of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and Amarakeerthi Athukorala,” the Batticaloa MP said.

“The priority and the need of the hour expected from the legislators, is granting relief to the people of this country, addressing their grievances, assuring all three meals, and relieving them from this distress,” he added.

The MP further said he would support any measure taken that will render solace to the public, while providing them immediate, as well as sustainable relief, to meet their grievances and future well-being.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan