Chief Minister Wigneswaran – How about defending Sri Lankan Tamils against Indian Poachers?
Posted on December 21st, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

 Its all fine to be issuing statements about being a martyr for the Sri Lankan Tamils. However, Chief Minister Wigneswaran and the TNA has failed the test of putting their actions where the mouths claim to say they represent Sri Lanka’s Tamils. With not a hum coming from him or party we would like to know why the presence of Sri Lanka’s Military is more of a concern than the means of livelihood for Sri Lankan Tamils who are being denied their rightful catch of fish because of Indian fishermen? Should Wigneswaran not be taking up the issue of Indian fishermen and shouting from the top of his mansion demanding from India to stop sending Indian fishermen to Sri Lankan shores because they are shipping off the fish that belongs to Sri Lanka? Chief Minister Wigneswaran must surely know that our losses from these stolen fish hauls amount to well over US$ 750 million a year and over 20,000 of his men are losing out?

 It is disappointing that Chief Minister Wigneswaran has chosen to keep mum and we continue to wonder why when even the Hindu newspaper has admitted that it is Indian fishermen who are interfering into the livelihoods of the Sri Lankan fishermen. Chief Minister’s conspicuous silence cannot be accepted.

 For a man who left Colombo his virtual home, living amongst the Sinhalese where he schooled, worked, lived and even became a Supreme Court judge and then in his 70s something he realizes the plight of the Tamils required him to take orders from India to contest the Northern provincial elections and now for the first time living in Jaffna, the new Chief Minister needs to put some action into what issues from his mouth.

 When is he going to defend his people against the Indian fishermen poaching on (not Tamils) Sri Lanka’s territorial waters. Lest the Chief Minister turns the issue into another Eelam jostle, he needs to be reminded that the waters surrounding Sri Lanka belong to the Sri Lankan State of which he is just a citizen himself.

 Lets wonder why Wigneswaran is silent. Is it because these fishermen are the same lot that transported arms, ammunition and various other needs to the LTTE over the years? We do not need to travel back to go through the smuggling done by Indian fishermen and LTTE over 3 decades and their links to the Church does not need to be again reminded as well. But these are all points that cannot be erased either nor given amnesty for too.

 The Hindu newspaper has to be thanked for writing an article that points out to satellite images that establish the fact that Indian fishermen cross the agreed-upon-International Maritime Boundary Line that defines the 2 nations.

 The journalist Meera Sirinivasan is asking the same question we are asking ourselves. ‘If Tamil Nadu politicians care for Sri Lankan Tamils as much as they claim to, how come they completely miss the larger point about Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen being worst-hit in this maritime mess? If it is about Tamil Nadu fishermen’s livelihood, what is it then, for Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen on this side of the Palk Strait who are struggling to cope with the after-effects of a brutal war”?

 If Meera could ask this being an Indian, we would like to know why Chief Minister Wigneswaran who tries to show he is totally dedicated for the Sri Lankan Tamils is more concerned about chasing the army out but doesn’t mind the army building houses, toilets or even putting up a Christmas tree in Kilinochchi of all places when we well know that the majority of Tamils are Hindus and not Christians/Catholics or Evangelical as the new alarming trends are showing and incidentally so too are most of the fishermen.

 Should Chief Minister Wigneswaran be

 a) pressing Sri Lanka to take action against the Indian trawlers denying the rightful catch of fish to the Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen because he and TNA knows that it is Sri Lankan Tamils who are gaining livelihoods from fishing and Indian fishermen are denying this?

 b) issuing those infamous TNA statements demanding Indian politicians stop sending Indian fishermen to poach on Sri Lanka’s waters

 c) Crying to the international community of which they have become masters and putting the case of the Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen ” if they can take even domestic matters and weep before the so called international community why is it that Chief Minister Wigneswaran or the TNA has not wept a single tear for the Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen in any of the demands they are making?

 We smell more than a fish in the Wigneswaran camp and these fish reek nothing other than opportunism, lies and hypocrisy.

 If the Hindu says that the Indian trawlers that trespass on Sri Lankan waters have had GPS monitors it concludes that they are purposely trespassing and the Sri Lankan Navy has every right to arrest them. India has no business to think it can bully Sri Lanka by adopting a tit for tat approach. Trespassing and getting away cannot become an election issue for the Indian Central Government to be held for ransom? What kind of Central Government would be so backboneless to fall for these jaunts of Tamil Nadu politicians? We certainly hope that the BJP will have a strategy to draw away from the manner the Congress has deteriorated international relations by dancing to the tunes of State politicians simply because it comes with the carrot of votes.

 We and obviously most Indians do not expect a Central Government to be dancing to the tune of actors turned politicians or politicians trying to be actors!

 Chief Minister Wignesaran needs to now open his eyes and mouth whether he likes it or not because his silence is affecting 20,000 Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen and their families their livelihoods. Stealing the fish that belong to Sri Lanka is costing us the loss of over Rs.97,500million annually and contravening the bilateral Maritime Agreement signed between India and Sri Lankan in 1974. Chief Minister Wigneswaran may also need to be reminded that bottom trawling by Indian fishing trawlers are destroying Sri Lanka’s marine resources and damaging the marine ecosystem.

 This is just one example of many that proves Chief Minister Wigneswaran is just a political stooge propped in the roll for other agendas that have nothing to do with any real and measurable concern for the Sri Lankan Tamils. What he sees with his very eyes he ignores and when he has not issued a single statement or sent one of those famous TNA letters reprimanding the Tamil Nadu politicians or sent letters of woe to the UN or other agencies about his people losing out on their catch of fish, we and the world and especially the Sri Lankan Tamils should now realize what an empty vessel the TNA is and its Chief Minister is nothing but a loudmouthed political stooge.

 In terms of what the army has done and is doing for the people in the North what has the TNA ever done for the Tamils and what has the Chief Minister himself ever done?

 “I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart: but the saying is true, the empty vessel makes the greatest sound”. (Henry V)

24 Responses to “Chief Minister Wigneswaran – How about defending Sri Lankan Tamils against Indian Poachers?”

  1. Marco Says:

    Shenali states “It is disappointing that Chief Minister Wigneswaran has chosen to keep mum and we continue to wonder why when even the Hindu newspaper has admitted that it is Indian fishermen who are interfering into the livelihoods of the Sri Lankan fishermen. ”

    If she only read the Hindu newspaper in Sept where they reported as such

    [Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has a crucial role in addressing the issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters, according to C.V. Wigneswaran, the Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) Chief Ministerial candidate contesting the Northern Provincial Council elections.]

    Then again in Oct reported in the Hindu

    [Chief Minister Wigneswaran blames Tamil Nadu fishermen for inflicting misery on Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen. He bluntly asserted that fishermen from Tamil Nadu, using big trawlers “came early into Sri Lankan waters, caught all the fish and left the (Sri Lankan Tamil) people high and dry.” He added that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister “has a crucial role in addressing the issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters”. There now appears to be good prospects for dialogue between fishermen in Tamil Nadu and Jaffna to address mutual concerns. The Jaffna Tamils and the Sri Lankan Government are making common cause to deal with what they believe are illegal intrusions by fishermen from Tamil Nadu.]

    Selective research or reading?

  2. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    It is very important to hold the Sri Lankan Tamil political parties responsible for any grievance that arises among the Sri Lankan Tamils. By not holding the Sri Lankan Tamil political parties for the problems beset among the Tamils a war was created where the Sri Lankan Tamils and India held Colombo responsible while giving a full pardon to the Tamil politicians for not doing their job.

    Had the Tamil politicians were forced to carry the burden of their irresponsible acts, their apathy to the problems of the Tamils then Prabhakaran would not have had the moral high ground to address Tamil problems by demanding a separate state. This time Tamil political parties must be held responsible for not doing their job and by that divert the issue to them and not to Colombo.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    PIT Tamils against Tamils.

    NEVER find a solution to this. USE this problem to drive a wedge between these two Tamil groups.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Losing livelihoods and nutrition is a Tamil grievance.

    IF Tamil grievances give rise to terrorism, we have a connection.

    A new Tamil terror group should be formed from AGRIEVED TAMIL FISHERMEN in SL. They should HOLD Vigneswaran, etc. responsible for this crime. The rest will be a fairytale.

    SL should put pressure on Endia BEFORE UNHRC. Not after.

    Tell Endia we plan to take the fish poaching matter to the UN, UNHRC.
    Tell Endia we plan to take over the oil storage tanks and give them to China.
    Tell Endia we plan to SCRAP 13 amendment.

    IF Endia DOESN’T want any of them, vote for SL at UNHRC.

    This is the way to bargain. BEFORE UNHRC, not after.

  5. AnuD Says:

    Shenali:

    It is politics. So, bickering is part of life of theirs’. Now, Wigneswaran also has learned it. Then they ask for little at a time. and then lot more later. That is the truth always.

    But, in our case, we have to target their Nerve. Because, there are so many to screw us up.

    Most Sinhalas, not exactly true, are former Tamils. We Sinhala – Buddhists are mixed. So, why don’t we focus on converting Tamils to Sinhala – Buddhists.

    Wigneswaran has learned the game. SO, now give up him. Target him as another Tribalist – Tamil.

  6. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo said:

    “SL should put pressure on Endia BEFORE UNHRC. Not after.

    Tell Endia we plan to take the fish poaching matter to the UN, UNHRC.
    Tell Endia we plan to take over the oil storage tanks and give them to China.
    Tell Endia we plan to SCRAP 13 amendment.

    IF Endia DOESN’T want any of them, vote for SL at UNHRC.

    This is the way to bargain. BEFORE UNHRC, not after.”

    I AGREE COMPLETELY with Lorenzo on this!

    SL should make it VERY CLEAR to India that there is will be a HEAVY PRICE TO PAY for acting against Sri Lanka, and the COST to INDIA will be much higher than anything India gains by undermining Sri Lanka. India should be made to ask itself whether it can AFFORD TO LOSE the ONLY RELIABLE FRIEND it has among ALL of its NEIGHBORS irretrievably alienated through its own hegemonistic follies!

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Note the following story on the Oil Storage tanks in Trincomalee.

    Now, only if the GOSL also rejects the Indian Oil Company (ONGC) bids for Offshore Oil Exploration and Production in Sri Lankan waters. The call for bids has been issued by the GOSL.

    ………………..
    Sri Lanka considering to take oil tanks back from Indian company

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Dec 21, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has decided to take back the petroleum storage tank complex in the East that was given to an Indian oil company on a long lease.

    During the reply speech at the last budget debate on Friday in parliament Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the government is considering to take back the 99 oil tanks in Trincomalee that were leased to Lanka IOC, the local subsidiary of Indian Oil Company.

    The President said the main opposition United National Party (UNP) when they were in power in 2002 privatized the state-owned enterprises and this government is ready to take back and preserve the state enterprises.

    “Our oil storage tanks located in Trincomalee were privatized. We are currently having talks to take them back (under state control),” the President has said in parliament.

    The China Bay petroleum storage tank complex was handed over to India’s state-run Indian Oil Corporation in 2002 by the UNP government which was in power between 2002 and 2004.

    The tank farm in 850 acres of land has 99 tanks each with the capacity to hold 12,100 metric tons of oil.

    In 2003, Lanka IOC bought one-third share in Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd which operates the China Bay tank farm. The Ceylon Petroleum Corp (CPC) entered into a MoU with Lanka IOC to grant a long-term lease to the Indian firm for operating the 99 storage tanks at Trincomalee for 35 years for an annual fee of only $100,000.

    Under privatization, the government gave Lanka IOC 99 storage tanks, of which 15 are being used and two more are being refurbished at a cost of US$17 million.

    The Sri Lankan government now expects to convert the petroleum storage tanks to a profitable venture with foreign investment.

    The China Bay tank farm that connects to the Trincomalee harbor is of historic and strategic significance and it is the largest tank farm located between the Middle East and Singapore. It was built by the British in 1930s to supply fuel to Royal Navy ships.

  8. Nanda Says:

    Confisticate the boats, give them to Sinhala fishermen, send back every Indian and encourage the two Tamils to keep on fighting over fish while settling Sinhalas in near by villages to do some other business.

  9. mario_perera Says:

    Lets wonder why Wigneswaran is silent. Is it because these fishermen are the same lot that transported arms, ammunition and various other needs to the LTTE over the years? We do not need to travel back to go through the smuggling done by Indian fishermen and LTTE over 3 decades

    Shenali, you have the nail squarely on the head

    The Tamil Nadu Fishermen versus the Jaffna fishermen is a home and home match. That is why the Tamil leaders stand and watch. They are waiting for the Central Government to clash with Tamil Nadu directly and the Indian government indirectly, turning the home and home match into a India versus Sri Lanka match. Whichever of the two prevails, the victory will be for the TNA.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    Mario has brought 2 important points.

    #1 is very interesting.

    “Lets wonder why Wigneswaran is silent. Is it because these fishermen are the same lot that transported arms, ammunition and various other needs to the LTTE over the years?”

    So this is the PRICE Jaffna Tamils have to PAY to get weapons from TN.

    TNA doesn’t mind as long as they get the benefit.

    How can you kill the hen that lays golden eggs (even if it pecks on your favorite chicks).

    Unfortunately GOSL has fallen into the trap (point #2). It is TOTALLY USELESS creating another rift with Endia over Tamils’ livelihood!!

    It is NOT worth it at all.

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    Ananda,

    That is a good start.

    I think Endian companies already said they are NOT interested in exploration round 2.

    $100,000 a year for 99 tanks!!! That is a bloody insult. How CHEAP these UriNePee losers are. They sold them off at only 1,000 times their mothers’ worth.

    99 apartments in Colombo earns thrice more in lease payments than that.

  12. Nanda Says:

    Lorenzo,
    You ar correct. I remember I did some calculations and posted here few months ago.
    Lease is $0.01 per sqm compared to $100 in a similar land in Singapore. It is not only an insult it is big money making by betrayer UNpIERS. Yet they complain MR gov corruption.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Mr Wigneswaran does a ‘double act’, one on each side of the Palk Sts.

    In Sri Lanka he wants full implementation of the 13-A which is inimical to the rest of the country. In fact, in the rest of the country, almost all the people would like to see the 13-A removed. Why does Mr W. want something that most of the rest of the country abhors ?

    In India, he has made a statement to The Hindu re the fishermen’s’ issue (per Marco). The Hindu is an English newspaper based in Tamil Nadu. Mr Wigneswaran should have made this statement in Sri Lanka, as a Sri Lankan citizen. Why does Mr W. make such statements to The Hindu and not to a local newspaper ?

    Curious behavior patterns, politically speaking.

  14. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    FRAN !! Because he thinks Indian, and Acts Indian. Don’t you see, he always go crying to his Step Father , shouting foul, foul, in Sri Lanka.

  15. Fran Diaz Says:

    Susantha,

    The foul, foul stuff (Caste/poverty) starts in Tamil Nadu !
    That is why Tamils flee Tamil Nadu, landing in Lanka as the preferred spot. Thus starts all the problems of Lanka.
    That is why TNA MPs want to ‘own’ Lanka – such is the desperation, not yet realized by the rest of the country.

    We say, correct the problem in a Democratic way at the source – Tamil Nadu. A film actor (I think it is Saif Ali Khan), in India has started making new films on these deep concerns in India, including Caste problems as well as killing of female fetuses.

    —————

    Lanka ought to deport all illegal migrants. Lanka is not the landing place for SE Asia’s (TN especially) displaced people. Sorry, but Lanka is too small, too vulnerable. Illegal migrants bring into Lanka all the psychological problems from those places – Lanka does not have the wherewithal to handle such vast problems.

  16. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    Do you think UPFA, UNP, JVP, JHU will EVER do that? NO!

    Only a military take over can save SL.

  17. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    It may be a situation where the ordinary peace loving people of Sri Lanka checks to see who is a genuine Sri Lankan and who is not and report matters to authorities.

    Military take over of certain govt. duties is a good thing, as is happening now.

    If there is a military take over, then Lanka will go all the way as Burma did and come back to Democracy. Lesson to be Learnt here. We are mature enough to do so, aren’t we ?

  18. Nanda Says:

    Military is doing hotel business. This is excellent. But should not forget the primary duty of “pest control”.

  19. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    Don’t compare Burma with SL. The two are different. Burma does NOT have a history of democracy. SL has.

    A military take over of SL will be somewhat like Maldives – short.

  20. Nanda Says:

    Lorenzo,
    Talking about Maldives , I don’t know what is happening, more than 50000 Maldives women live in Dehiwala-Kalubowila-Galkissa area. No men, they come and go. They say it is for educating the kids by sending them to school. But it could be a Saudi sponsered breeding programme. I know this is a seperate problem need to be solved once the Hanuman issue is solved, but it is getting critical. You just advertise for rental and there they come like mad, offering amounts Sri Lankans cannot afford.
    Colombo is like Saudi now. Black Yonibillas everywhere. Onlything is Maldivians are not Gonibillas but still wear black. something is going on. Looks like this government must be defeated.

  21. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    It won’t work.
    All military take overs are defeated, one way or another, sooner or later. Lanka military has other work to do.

    The challenge is to learn to live together, within the law. Problems to be addressed are clean air, water, food; Security of all, Good Education leading to jobs; job creation; basic needs for all; the list is long.

    An important aspect to be addressed : All illegal migrants must be deported, whether from Tamil Nadu, Maldives or elsewhere. Recall that both Prabhakaran and Abdulla Luthufee (Maldivian who came to North Colombo duck farm to plan overthrow the then Maldivian President, overthrew him but who is now again President) are of illegal migrant lineage.

    Nanda,

    The earlier interim President of the Maldives, President Nazim was in the USA and his one concern then was that the Maldives is going under water due to Global Warming.
    Why should Lanka take in Muslim folk when there are many Islamic countries close by such as Indonesia and the Middle
    East ?
    I am assuming that Maldivians are taken into Lanka on a permanent basis. If wrong, correct news welcome.

    ————–

    Madagascan women chew two leaves of Neem (Kohomba) to avoid unnecessary pregnancies. SE Asia should encourage only wanted children, no unwanted pregnancies.

  22. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    Not true. Military rule can do wonders for SL than our corrupt, drug dealing, rapist, separatist, terrorist politicians.

    SL will be WORSE than Burma if it continues like this.

    NOTHING in your important list will EVER be addressed by politicians! Only hope is a military take over.

  23. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Self examination by one and all is the need of the hour. Military rule is akin to applying a small bandaid for a fracture ! Real change has to come from WITHIN an individual. I won’t go further into this topic as you do not like idealism, but only Self Knowledge can save mankind as a whole, not just only in Sri Lanak. In an overcrowded world, Mankind everywhere is a cross roads right now. Chose war or peace.

    Change must come, real and lasting through Self Knowledge.

  24. Fran Diaz Says:

    read as ” …mankind everywhere is at cross roads right now …”

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