The dastardly crime of assassinating TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham inside a church is shocking. It is nothing but an act of barbarism, which should be condemned unreservedly by one and all. A few criminals had found their way into the crowded St. Mary`s Cathedral, Batticaloa during the Christmas Mass in the early hours of Sunday, emptied a fully loaded small firearm into the septuagenarian and disappeared into the darkness of night. Those criminals, devoid of an iota of compassion and capable of desecrating a place of worship on a holy day and gunning down an aged fatherly man, are savages and a disgrace to humanity.
Many may not have agreed with Mr. Pararajasingham on his politics. But none had the right to eliminate him physically. A journalist-turned mild mannered politician, Joseph posed no threat to anyone. He was one of the few remaining moderate Tamil leaders with the potential to steer the Tamil community as well as the country out of the presentday mess. But savages are not given to rational thinking and the future of a community or the country doesn`t matter two hoots to them. If they could think at all, they would never commit such heinous crimes.
Who really killed Mr. Pararajasingham? The knee jerk reaction of the LTTE and its allies has been to blame the killing on the Eastern Tigers, who deny the charge and claim that the LTTE, which is in hot water over its violence, has sought to take the heat off itself by killing him deliberately inside a church on Christmas Day and blaming it on its rival factions and the state intelligence. The LTTE had, they claim, found him not pulling hard enough for it as a TNA MP and therefore considered him a `disposable sacrifice.`
Whether the LTTE pulled the trigger on Sunday or not, it cannot absolve itself of the blame for having pioneered in this country the culture of assassinations. The Tamil parliamentarians assassinated by the LTTE are: Alfred Duraiappah, former MP and Jaffna Mayor (1975)??killed by Prabhakaran himself on his own admission, A. Thiagarajah MP (1981), V. Dharmalingam, MP (1985), K. Alasundaram, MP (1985), A. Amirthalingam, MP (1989), V. Yogeswaran, MP (1989), Sam Thambimuthu, MP (1990), K. Yogasangari, MP (1990), K. Kanagarathnam, MP (1990), A. Thagathurai, MP (1997), S. Shanmuganandan, MP (1998), Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam, MP (1999), K. Rajanayagam, MP (2004) and Lakshman Kadirgamar, Foreign Minister (2005). It also killed President R. Premadasa (1993), Opposition Leader and UNP Presidential Candidate Gamini Dissanayake (1994), among a number of others, and almost assassinated President Chandrika Kumaratunga (1999). It is zeroing in on the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse.
The LTTE has committed a number of massacres at holy places. In 1985, it massacred 129 Buddhist devotees at the Sri Maha Bodhi and bombed the Sri Dalada Maligawa in 1998, killing 14 persons and destroying a part of the holy shrine. It killed 103 Muslims by shooting and chopping them, while they were praying in two mosques in Kaththankudy in 1990.
In 1987, it killed in cold blood 30 Buddhist monks at Arantalawa. On September 15, 2005 it gunned down a Hindu priest, Rev. Sabhananda Sharma.
It also assassinated former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Its leaders are wanted in India, which is wary of pursuing the matter for reasons best known to it. The impotence of the Sri Lankan and Indian governments and the indulgence of the world community have emboldened the outfit to unleash more and more terror to achieve its macabre cause.
If it is not the LTTE that gunned down Mr. Pararajasingham, then the killers presumably are acting with the belief that they too will be able to go Scot free with assassinations. Since it is only the ability to unleash unbridled terror and decimate the democratic leadership that has qualified the LTTE to be recognised as the `representative of the Tamils`, there is no way of preventing another group resorting to terror by way of a short cut to the same end. Sauce for the goose, it is said, is sauce for the gander as well.
`All it takes for evil to flourish,` said Edmund Burke, `is for good men to do nothing.` The good Co-Chairs, to wit, the US, Japan, EU and Norway are also doing nothing to help Sri Lanka put an end to terrorism. So, it is little wonder that evil is flourishing at the expense of good men and women.