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Tigers must enter democratic mainstream - TMVP Leader

TMVP Leader Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan talks to Nilantha Ilangamuwa on becoming a Member of Parliament and his hopes for the future.

What Velupillai Prabhakaran missed in late 1980s at the conclusion of the India-Sri Lanka Agreement (Indo-Lanka) and take the Tamil cause to the halls of democratic discussion and governance his erstwhile deputy Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan has achieved and this augurs well for Sri Lanka even if it can only be a bubble of hope in the current circumstances. President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be congratulated for making such a move.

When the 42-year old veteran of jungle warfare, Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman received his appointment as Member of Parliament of the ruling UPFA, he contacted Nilantha Ilangamuwa and shared his thoughts on present developments in his political career to which he became transformed once he laid down his arms as a terrorist, first under the LTTE leader Prabhakaran and later as head of his own Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP).

There are no signs Prabhakaran will ever take to Parliamentary democracy; destruction and devastation evidently is his way of life.

Breaking away from the LTTE for which his services were immense and decisive especially in the Elephant Pass attack where the Sri Lankan Forces suffered a terrible defeat, Muralitharan has made a difference to Sri Lankan politics; the East has been liberated from the LTTE and civilian rule is returning at an appreciable progress.

He said that his first act this morning was to express his deepest condolence to the family and friends of Major General Janaka Perera and his wife Vajira who were obviously killed by an LTTE male suicide cadre in Anuradhapura and along with him a number of others too.

The killings have all the bearings and ingredients similar to the manner in which Gamini Dissanayake was assassinated and that too on a political platform.

He said: “The LTTE wants to cause instability among the political parties in the South because they are facing virtually an elimination off the face of the earth,” and recalled the tragedy of the Thotalanga election rally in the early 1990s at which Mr Dissanayake and several others were killed by an LTTE suicide bomber.

When asked on what his new role as a Member of Parliament would be, he said: “First of all I would like to thank President Mahinda Rajapaksa for giving me this post and my intention is to give my full energy for my people in the Tamil community as well as the Muslims and Sinhalese.”

“I became a guerrilla soldier because of the needs of my people at that time but soon became transformed when I saw new hopes and also valued the influence of some people in my life. I am not a victim to personal interests. I lost of my older brother when we tried to fight the LTTE virus in the East and now we have a civilian door opened to us with welcoming hands from President Rajapaksa. This opportunity for me now is to begin functioning as a civilian politician in the service to my people.”

Muralitharan, a father of three, was born in Kiran, a village in the Batticaloa district in Eastern Sri Lanka. He joined the LTTE in 1983 and became a top commander in the district he represented.

He even served as a bodyguard to the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran. It is said he was the only LTTE-er who was allowed to have arms on his person in the presence of Prabhakaran. In 2003 he was elevated to the rank of Special Commander for the Eastern Batticaloa-Ampara districts by Prabhakaran.

When Sri Lanka Guardian questioned him on his bad experiences in London he said that he went there because he wanted to see his wife and children. I had never seen them for more than two years.

“I used false travel documents because of threats to my life. I told the truth to the immigration officials there. After that I was jailed for a few months.”

He said further: “Don’t categorize me as a thief. I went there as a father who didn’t see his children and wife for some time.

It was during that period I was involved deeply with military operations against terrorism.”

Some Media reports had indicated he faced attack from LTTE supporters in London when he was jailed but Karuna totally rejected those reports as false. He said: “That is not true. The British officials gave me heavy security during the period. I respected their service and I am grateful to them.”

Again talking on his new task as a Member of Parliament, Muralitharan said: “The last 20 years were a period of lost opportunities for development in the area. The people were victims of a brutal war; they lost just about everything they valued in their lives.

Now we understand the dream for Eelam is a lost cause and an indelible tragedy of our people for generations to come. I urge my former colleagues in the LTTE to lay their arms down and get back to civilian democratic ways of life.”

He observed: “The only option to the LTTE is surrender to the Security Forces before they are wiped out.

The young people who have been pressed into the LTTE have more energy to serve this country and also they must enjoy this life. They have lost a lot being involved in this foolish struggle.

The Tamil community has lost thousands of young people in the cause advocated by a jungle terrorist.”

The former rebel leader is hopeful of a ministerial role in the area of development. “ It will be possible, I can do more things for the people as a minister if President Rajapaksa will appoint me as a minister in his Cabinet,” he concluded.



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