Sunday, March 7, 2010
Hon. R. Sampanthan, M.P.
Leader - T.N.A. Parliamentary Group
Dear Mr. Sampanthan,
I am thoroughly disappointed with the statement made by you, in your capacity as the Leader of the T.N.A ’s Parliamentary Group, at a meeting held on Sunday the 9th presided over by Her Excellency the President attended by His Excellency Kofi Annan. The Meeting was held to discuss the National Disaster caused by the Tsunami.
In your statement you had not said one word either in support of or against the L.T.T.E ‘s claim that the Government is not sending sufficient relief to the victims in the North. If the LTTE’s accusation is true, this is the best forum in which you could have exposed the Government’s acting partially. I am not holding a brief to any one, but we want to know the truth. The LTTE is using both electronic and print Media under its control all over the world, to accuse the Government of showing partiality and neglecting the North. Tamils living abroad, in response to the appeal of the TRO irrespective of their party affiliations are contributing liberally and the TRO must have collected several Millions in Foreign currency. People here and abroad wish to know the truth.
Relief items had come from all over the world. Several ship loads and over 150 plane loads of relief items, of all varieties needed for victims are flowing in everyday. About 50 Countries had promised aid and are doing their best. Under the present circumstances, in spite of the fact that relief items are available in plenty, if the victims are not looked after properly who is to be blamed?
As far as the North and the East are concerned, it is you who should have attended meetings convened by the Prime Minister and Her Excellency the President and organized relief works in consultation with them. You and your team of Members of Parliament who claim to have 2/3 rd of the representation for the North and East should have exposed the Government if the Government is showing partiality. You have failed in your duty. That is my charge against you.
At the meeting with the UN’s Secretary General His Excellency Kofi Annan your statement only highlighted the LTTE’s demand that the Government should not interfere with the relief coming from individual and non Governmental Organizations.
Can you tell us how it will help the poor victims of the Tsunami? Reading in-between the lines you have hinted about some mechanism in the North and East to deal with the calamity. In other words you want the entire responsibility to be handed over to the Tigers to deal with the Tsunami victims. Although you put your ideas cleverly, I am sorry to say it did not appear to be convincing. You should know that the GA and his staff are capable of handling the situation at the District level and also there is a Provincial Council which is capable of dealing with any situation, in the North – East Provincial Council areas.
Mr. Sampanthan, please don’t forget that over 40,000 people have died in this Country and many thousands are widowed and orphaned. Who ever survived had only the cloth they were wearing as their only possession, having lost everything - their dwelling places in particular. Their needs are many. Not one NGO, even if ten NGO’s like the TRO which collected several Millions in Foreign Exchange for the Tsunami Victims, get together they can’t meet even a fraction of the requirements of the victims. Please advise the concerned parties that this is no joke. Serious planning and co-operation of all is necessary.
Mr. Sampanthan, you are a very Senior Politician with very wide experience and maturity. You must give the lead and not led by others. When I read your statement I was only reminded of “Nero playing fiddle when Rome was burning”. You also don’t play fiddle when people had suffered the worst in the history of this Country and needing help in every kind and from every source, irrespective of party affiliations or from whichever country the Aid comes from.
Your boast of winning 2/3 rd of the representation in Parliament and getting a mandate from the People of the North and East are all irrelevant. I am sure you would have read the reports of the four Election Monitoring teams and that of the European Commission’s team in particular. His Excellency Kofi Annan also would have read it. You will loose your credibility if you go on boasting about this anymore. Please stop saying this. To help a man in distress you don’t need 2/3 rd majority. Although this is irrelevant and looks very ugly to talk about at this juncture, I don’t want your claim to go unchallenged, since the truth is something else and very well knows all over.
Large stock of Medicines, specialist Doctors heavy equipments, helicopters, tents etc. had been sent by Foreign Countries. Some had even sent the Engineering Division of their Army too to get engaged in relief work. One in your team of Members of Parliament showed his ignorance by protesting against any army unit being sent to the North. This type of speeches won’t help anybody. The loosers are poor victims of the Tsunami.
I don’t feel jealous when I see Foreign Doctors going from place to place in their helicopters treating the patients. My regret is that the victims in the North are not benefited by this. I don’t feel jealous to see foreign soldiers getting involved in the constructions of bridges and roads. My worry is why; the TNA Parliamentarians don’t take the trouble to get similar help for their areas as well.
Of the 31 Members of Parliament from the North and East except the TNA’s 22 Members, the rest are doing their duty. TNA Members are wasting their time in finding faults in others. I humbly request you and the other TNA Members of the North and East to meet the President, the Prime Minister and other concerned Ministers and do what is best for the Tsunami victims. If you fail to do this, the poor victims will consider this lapse as treacherous and the future generation will curse you. I also plead with these Members to do everything possible to enable everyone who had come to do relief work to go to any part of the area you represent and work freely.
Please take these suggestions seriously and do the needful.