Major General Mahinda Hathurusingh
Security Forces Headquarters
I hope I need no introduction to you. I had lived as a citizen of this country throughout the period since independence. I am now 78 years old and have completed more than half a century in politics and had served for more than 17 years as a Parliamentarian. For your information I do not mix up politics with administration. You may perhaps be aware how appreciative I had been of the humanitarian services rendered by the forces for the IDPs who were in distress. I know how soldiers and police, of the opposite sex nursed the disabled, the sick, the elders and the pregnant ladies. I am also aware how these ladies cared for the kids and played with them making them to forget the hard times they had before coming to the camps. The expatriate Tamils too are full of praise for them. The forces have done their job and it is now time for them to rest.
I need not tell you how the people of the North and the East have suffered for well over 30 years under a special type of military rule. They have had enough on the worst side, such as humiliation, embarrassment, threat, intimidation etc. Now they don’t want to see these again. They have become so allergic that, some women who had very bitter experience run away hysterically on the sight of a gun.
What had been done is now being undone. The people here in the North and the East do not want to see the sight of a gun or army personnel in uniform. They have undergone the worst in their life. They lost all their belongings and even two years after, is still living in primitive type of houses compared with the comfortable houses in which they lived for several years. Men had lost their wives and wive their husbands. Some lost their children and some others have their children in detention, many of whom had hardly committed any offence. Many had lost their breadwinners. Children idle at home without going to school or for work.
In a situation like this celebrating the New Year is far beyond their thinking. They can’t think of enjoying life. May be small children get attracted in thamashas. But the family as a whole is not interested in rejoicing or merrymaking. They want to be left alone. There is yet time for them to come back to normal life. Please instruct your officers to leave the people alone without compulsorily recruiting them to take part in various sports activities. Please give the people especially the youths some more time to forget all what had happened and also till their kith and kin return home or their fate is known. Kindly instruct the Kachchery and sports clubs etc to leave the people alone during the New Year celebration. Let them first get rid of their bitter memories before enjoying life. I strongly urge the people of the Jaffna Peninsula to feel for the people of vanni, most of whom have been reduced to the position of paupers.
President - Tamil United Liberation Front