Octogenarian leader of the opposition Rajavarothayam Sampanthan in a hard hitting Parliamentary speech made four weeks ago drew attention to the prevailing practice of persons being condemned as Traitors (Drohi/Thurogi) within the sphere of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalist Politics. The Trincomalee district MP who is also the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group leader made specific reference to the recent attacks on TNA Jaffna district MP Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran by defeated political rivals. Here are a few excerpts from Sampanthan’s speech during the adjournment motion debate on February 22nd 2017 –
“My Friend Mr. Sumanthiran has been accused of being traitorous by some Tamil Leaders who have been resoundingly rejected at the last Parliamentary Elections, some persons whose party polled around 15,000 votes. Mr. Sumanthiran got four times that number of votes in Jaffna.I have got the particulars with me. That whole party did not poll 15,000 votes. Mr. Sumanthiran polled four times that vote by himself – preference votes. Today, he is being called a “traitor” because he is working with the Government. We look upon Mr. Sumanthiran as a very useful Member of Parliament performing valuable service on behalf of the people, and we want that to be recognized. But, he is being attacked. He is being attacked because these persons who were resoundingly rejected by the people in 2015 are using your failure to do what you must do by the people as the ground for attacking people like Mr. Sumanthiran and me and others too, even Mr. Senathirajah”.
“There has been a report filed by the police in the Kilinochchi Magistrate’s Court where they have definitely stated that there was an attempt at assassination of Mr. Sumanthiran. That is a matter of record, nobody can deny that. Some people are calling him “Drohi”. It is a very unbecoming word. It is a word that is inciting violence. Why are you calling him “Drohi”. Is it because he is working on our Constitutional Proposals along with me and others?”
“Tamil people are not protesting in support of you? Tamil people are protesting on account of wrongs being done to them by the Sri Lankan Government. They want that to stop. These jokers who could not even win one seat, could not come even close to one seat. They came long after us, we polled 200,000 votes, they polled 15,000 votes. They came after the EPDP; they came after the UNP and they came after the UPFA. They were totally rejected by the Tamil people.”
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