Tamils won’t benefit from discussions about past - CFD
August 14, 2015 01:58 pm
The Crusaders for Democracy (CFD), the new political group formed by ex-Tamil Tigers, says that despite the scars and lingering legacy of the three-decade-long conflict, the war was a closed chapter in the country’s history that should not be brought up again.
“Nothing is going to happen to us by talking about what has happened. Our people are not going to benefit from discussions about the past,” said Sivanathan Navindra, who was once known as Venthan, a former bodyguard of the slain LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.
When Sri Lanka goes to the polls on Aug 17, Mr Sivanathan will be a candidate, hoping to be elected as a member of parliament.
Rather than past atrocities, Sivanathan urged Sri Lankans to focus on pressing issues faced by the country and work together to solve them through democratic means.
“After the end of the war in 2009, there were losses among our people due to the armed struggle. So in order to find appropriate solutions for them, our group has decided to seek democratic recourse,” he was quoted as saying by Channel News Asia.
It was not until recently that Sri Lankans came to know Crusader for Democracy and the men behind it, ten former Tamil Tigers who had spent years undergoing a state-backed rehabilitation process. Their political comeback was largely driven by bitter resentment towards the government’s handling of Tamil war victims.
“Everywhere on the Tamil homeland, people have been severely affected, all of them, especially during the final stages of the war. The conflict has left them with pain and deformity that can never be fixed,” said ex-LTTE cadre and CFD contestant Thankaraja Thevathasan, also known as Kankai Aathman during his years on the battlefield.
Besides direct impact of the war, Mr Thankaraja also stressed the current situation where the Tamil minority continue to face discrimination and inequality, a deep-rooted problem formed during the post-colonial era. “Tamils have been discriminated and our livelihoods deprived,” he said.
CFD members say that the government, including Tamil politicians, had not taken any serious actions to address the Tamil grievances, six years after the war.
“We are being forced to seek a concrete solution. We have only seen empty slogans time and again, tricking people. We have never had politics that is based on reality. We wish to participate in politics that is real,” Mr Sivanathan said.
“This time, we are engaged in democracy,” Mr Thankaraja added. “From now on, our actions for the public as well as the next generations will be in such a way that nobody will have to resort to violence ever again.”