The forgotten heroes
Images seen in the article were googled and embedded by TW
The massacre of 600 policemen by the LTTE over two and half decades ago in the Eastern theatre of conflict is today erased from the memory of many. The policemen surrendered to the LTTE who had surrounded their police stations on the orders of the top, on the understanding that no harm would befall them. But what occurred was a mind boggling act of barbarism when these policemen were lined up and mowed down. Yesterday, according to an account in an English daily one of the survivors of this massacre together with his family members staged a hunger strike at the site itself in Thirukkovil demanding his reinstatement in the service.
In the process he laid bare his heart out expressing his bitter resentment at what is certainly a very glaring paradox. Said he: “I served the country but I have no employment today. But the person who gave orders to shoot and kill us, the former LTTE Eastern Commander Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman is free and happy today. In this situation I demand justice, requesting my reinstatement as a police officer. He alleges that his service was terminated as an act of political revenge in 2013.
Today, nobody appears to remember this horrendous massacre of these 600 policemen. Not even those great patriots who are only concerned about the rana viruwas being taken into custody for acts of crime. No mention is made of this monumental sacrifice during the victory parades over the years nor a minute’s silence observed in their honour. There is a present tendency to exclude policemen from the ranks of war heroes overlooking the fact that they played not an inconsiderable role in the war effort more often than not, as the Thirukkovil massacre shows, standing in the first line of defence. It is these policemen who were in the forefront of at least enforcing a semblance of civil authority in the war ravaged areas where the LTTE ruled the roost. It must be galling for this massacre survivor to harbour the knowledge that the Chief Executioner had not only escaped punishment for his crime but also went places as a Government Minister and an office bearer of a main Sinhala political party who not only enjoyed the perks and privilege of his office but also waited upon and saluted by policemen.
Wimal Weerawansa, Dullas Alahapperuma and Dinesh Gunawardena who weep buckets for our war heroes and gush forth patriotism in their torrents apparently saw nothing wrong in hob nobbing and rubbing shoulders with this Chief Executioner as a government Minister. Nor do these policemen merit even a passing mention from likes of Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka and Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera who have a fixation on the war heroes. We say this because Karuna Amman was not only behind the Thrukkovil massacre but also masterminded the attack on the sacred Sri Dalada Maligawa and the massacres at the Jayashri Maha Bodhi not to mention the gunning down of a bus load of samaneras in Arantalawa.
The government should take all measures to look into the welfare of the families of these soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice just like their military colleagues in the defence of the nation. We are not aware of the age of the survivor on hunger strike. But if he still has time left before his due retirement he should be reabsorbed into the police service in whatever capacity and ameliorate the hardship of his family. Not only that a monument should be erected, if not already there, incorporating the names of all the policemen who laid down their lives in that tragedy and the day (June 11, 1990) of the massacre should be reserved each year for a special commemoration of these valiant men.
TW’s PS: karuna was also behind the massacres in two Kattankudy Mosques and Saddam Hussain Village of Eravur in 1990.
The low at Lord’s
It was a reported that the Sri Lankan Cricket team had removed the Lion flag strung across a section of the balcony of the Lord’s cricket grounds hosting the third test against England as a mark of protest against an umpiring error that deprived the visitors of a vital wicket at a vital stage of the game. This is certainly is a juvenile form of protest.
To begin with, the umpire concerned was a third country umpire, although white, and a signaled the no ball (the error) as he saw it. The removal of the Lion flag from the dressing room balcony of the host country is to suggest that it was a protest against the host country which deprived Sri Lanka of a wicket, overlooking the fact that no England player had a hand in the incident and the umpire concerned was an outsider. The matter (no ball error) had already been officially reported to the Match Referee and the matter should have ended there instead of the team or management resorting to petty acts. On the other hand Lord’s after all is the Headquarters of Cricket and witnessing the Lion flag on the famous balcony should have give much pride to all Sri Lankans. Its unwarranted removal is certainly not cricket.
TW’s PS: So much for our flag carriers.
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