| by Pearl Thevanayagam
(July 23, 2013, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) There is something not right in former Supreme Court Judge C.V.Wigneswaran. The South intellectuals are drooling over his candidature as chief minister in the forthcoming NE polls. That is if they are held at all. Even Tamil websites which are selective in throwing up news and mainly churning out regurgitated arguments from selected pundits instead of news are presenting him as the new Messiah for Tamils.
Rajapakse government is in for a very gruelling time with the EU ministers and UK MPs descending on the isle braying for its blood for committing genocide on Tamils. There there is that matter of pending visit of Ms Navi Pillai of the UNHRC next month scouring for tangible evidence of war crimes. Is our new Messiah up to dealing with both the foreign dignitaries and the government at the same time?
Like fiver, the weakling rabbit, who experiences premonition that something bad will happen in Richard Adams’ Watership Down novel turned into a movie, I have this gut feeling there is something not right in Wigneswaran suddenly making an appearance and pushing aside a seasoned politician such as Mavai Senathiraja to give up his candidature for CM position.
Once during a visit arranged by the Information Department following the capture of Jaffna from the LTTE in December 1995 and Lion Flag was hoisted by Anurudda Ratwatte, this writer had the opportunity to meet a very old family friend and parish priest of St Mary’s Cathedral. The parish priest Fr. Selvarajah who refused to leave Bishop’s House during the 1995 exodus to Wanni had this to say of the Jaffna psyche when asked whether the Jaffna people are now happy to be liberated from the LTTE, “You do not tell a Jaffna man what to do. He will do what is right when the time comes.”
That was the safest answer he could give at the time.
Wigneswaran is no Shiva Pasupathi the former AG and descendent of five generations of doctors in the family. The latter did the decent thing and emigrated to Australia following the July 1983 pogrom.
Wigneswaran is now eager to speak to the media both local and international and he is sparing no punches. His Saivism contradicts his offspring’s marriage to Vasudeva Nayakkara’s offspring and that is supposed to placate the government he is no racist.
In his retiring years he had decided the only way to come into the limelight is to get into politics although he makes us believe he is being pushed beyond his preference that he wants to spend his old days in peace.
It is no secret ageing politicians and retired judges feel they still have oomph left in them and they could be rejuvenated. But at what price? Is Wigneswaran a patch on Pirabhakaran, illiterate he might have been but with the single goal of pushing for separate state for Tamils who have been time and again let down by elite Tamil politicians.
That he put the Tamil cause on world agenda is no other Tamil politician managed since independence since all these earlier politicians were hounding the foxes while hunting with hounds.
To stop an argument or dissent, throw in facts. Fact, July pogrom happened 30 years ago tomorrow. Fact, 13 soldiers were killed by the LTTE. Fact not reported so far is that government soldiers raped and murdered three women teachers in Jaffna prior to the killing of the soldiers by the LTTE.
Pirabhakaran emerged a saviour of Tamils following the Tamil pogrom of July 23, 1983 at the time his support was waning. He had annihilated a large number of opponent Tamil militant group members. The LTTE he led paraded their bodies across the streets of Jaffna. The lamp post killings of opponents and defectors were gruesome to say the least. Then came Black July of 1983 and his destiny for the next 26 years as the leader of Tamils was etched.
The media frenzy over Justice Wigneswaran will fade away once and if elections are held in the provinces. But as we commemorate Black July and left in limbo as to our plight in the future where government after government thwarted international moves to probe war crimes and other atrocities again Tamil minorities committed, the likes of Wigneswaran are no panacea for our sufferings.
(The writer has been a journalist for 24 years and worked in national newspapers as sub-editor, news reporter and news editor. She was Colombo Correspondent for Times of India and has contributed to Wall Street Journal where she was on work experience from The Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, California. Currently residing in UK she is also co-founder of EJN (Exiled Journalists Network) UK in 2005 the membership of which is 200 from 40 countries. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)