Northern Tamils hardship:
Tamil leaders responsible to some extent - Devananda
EPDP leader and Minister Douglas Devananda yesterday apologized for
the killings of innocent Sinhala and Tamil civilians by the LTTE during
the past 30 years. He said the Tamil politicians should be held
responsible to some extent for the suffering and hardships faced by the
Tamils in the North.
He said the Sinhala and Muslim people should extend their fullest
cooperation to find a lasting solution to the problems faced by the
Tamil people and achieve economic prosperity.
The Minister was giving evidence before the Lessons Learnt and
Reconciliation Commission which met at the Lakshman Kadirgamar
Institute, Colombo 7 yesterday.
The Minister opined that Tamil leaders including him should be
responsible for the sufferings and untold hardships faced by the Tamil
people in the North.
He was of the view that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution should
be fully implemented as an initial measure to solve ethnic issues in the
North and the East.
He added that the solution to the ethnic issue could easily be solved
through the Indo-Lanka peace Accord signed between India and Sri Lanka
Devananda said the Tamil people should not be responsible for
erroneous action taken by the Tamil politicians. He said the people in
the Northern province seek more freedom. Devananda added that the Tamil
people wanted to breath fresh air.
He added that the Tamil people do not ask impossible things from the
"We do not ask for the Sun or the Moon to solve this problem," he
added. Minister Devananda said the devolution of power in the form of
the 13th Amendment has been approved by Parliament. "We need not cook
meals. The Government has the responsibility to serve what has already
been cooked equally," he added. He said the Sinhala and Muslim
communities should not take the Tamil problems into account through the
The Minister said that his party and a number of other political
parties warned the LTTE from the inception of the Indo-Lanka Peace
Accord that evading the negotiation table would bring destruction to the
interests of the Tamil people.
He said the LTTE did not believe in a political settlement to the
Tamil people's problems and they evaded all measures taken by successive
governments to arrive at an amicable settlement to the ethnic issues. He
pointed out that the Tamil politicians can not put the blame on the LTTE
alone. He said the Sri Lankan forces came under virtual arrest of the
LTTE during the CFA period.