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Jaffna yet to overcome fear psychosis

[Express Buzz, Monday, 5 April 2010 09:28 No Comment]

The people of Jaffna are still to overcome the fear psychosis which had been part of their lives during the 30-year war which ended in May last year, says A Varatharajaperumal, former chief minister of the Tamilspeaking North Eastern Province, who is currently on his first visit to the Northern province after he fled Sri Lanka in 1990.

“In the past, the man with the gun, whether it was an LTTE cadre or any other Tamil militant or a Sinhalese soldier, ruled the roost.

Now, the LTTE is not there, but a pro-government armed group led by Minister Douglas Devananda is harassing the people.

“The government must take action against the existing armed groups,” Perumal told `Express’ over phone on sunday.

“Some recent incidents allegedly involving this group have reduced the chances of the government party winning even a couple of seats in the coming parliamentary elections and has boosted the chances of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA),” Perumal said.

Annamalai Varatharajaperumal, also known as “Varathar” or “Perumal”, was the head of the political wing of the Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) in the late 1980s.

POOR ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS

It is because of the fear psychosis that the Jaffna man does not reveal his political preference publicly, Perumal said. “The poor attendance at election meetings is due to this fear. The government must create conditions in which people can express themselves without fear.”

PRABHAKARAN PUSHED TO THE BACKGROUND

The EPRLF leader observed that despite the LTTE’s dominance for over three decades, the people of Jaffna did not discuss the merits and demerits of the LTTE era or Prabhakaran as a person.

He was no longer a subject of discussion, let alone being an icon who was openly or secretly venerated.

“People have left that part of the past behind and are looking to the future,” Perumal said.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FLAWED

Asked if it was true that the Jaffna man wanted political rights before economic development, Perumal said that one could not make such a definitive statement.

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