Offer clemency to Gandhi’s killers!
Posted on September 7th, 2011

by Malinda Seneviratne Courtesy: Daily News – Monday 5 September, 2011

  The execution of three persons convicted over the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi  has been stayed for eight weeks by the Madras High Court.   Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, currently at the Vellore Jail, were to be hanged on September 9, 2011.  The bench, offering interim relief, had observed a 11 year delay in the delay of mercy petitions filed by the convicts to the President.

 In the meantime, arch Tamil chauvinist and long-time choir-boy of Tamil terrorism, MDMK leaderVaiko had thundered that if the three were executed, then Tamil Nadu would secede from the Indian union: “ƒ”¹…”If Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case are executed as per the court order, it will jeopardise Indian unity. When the 100th anniversary of the Independence Day will be celebrated on 2047, Tamil Nadu would not be a part of India.’

 I doubt that Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi would take Vaiko’s threats seriously.  Indeed, if Vaiko was a serious Tamil nationalist, then there are probably other and more compelling reasons to threaten secession.  Tamil Nadu probably has the best case for secession and this is why successive Indian governments have consistently shifted the address of Tamil nationalism from its traditional homeland to the absolutely-no-case place off the Southern tip of India, namely Sri Lanka. 

 The sentencing of the three persons mentioned above has upset pro-LTTE groups. All three were members of the terrorist outfit and therefore this is to be expected.  Some object because they are against capital punishment. In Sri Lanka there’s been a deafening silence.  The LTTE-loving TNA and other groups with eyes so ready to tear on account of debacles suffered by the terrorists have all kept their silence.  How about the rest of us? What are we supposed to think?

 Rajiv Gandhi was no friend of Sri Lanka.  He wanted to “ƒ”¹…”Bhutanize’ us.  He bulldozed into Sri Lanka to save the terrorists who his mother funded, armed and trained.  The LTTE did more than bite the hand that fed it, sure, but that’s not something that those who suffered at the hands of the LTTE would find cause to be sad about. 

 When Rajiv Gandhi arrived in Sri Lanka on July 29, 1987 to ink the “ƒ”¹…”agreement’ he had arm-twisted J.R. Jayewardene to sign (“ƒ”¹…”Can’t do uncle!’ was his dismissal of the Sri Lankan President’s plea to let Sri Lanka handle her own affairs), a Naval Rating, VijithamuniRohana De Silva, part of the “ƒ”¹…”Guard of Honour’, lifted his rifle and brought it down on the Indian Prime Minister’s head.  I remember that day.  I was  trying to get from Gampola to Kurunegala after receiving a call from my mother, saying her father was seriously ill, but had got trapped in Kandy because a citizenry livid and frustrated at how Indian hegemony walked in and robbed our sovereignty, bailed out a terrorist and gave legitimacy to Eelam myth-making (Dayan Jayatillake called it “ƒ”¹…”Geo-political realities’ then) had attacked and burnt some buses.  I was forced to stay with friends and we watched the news.  We saw that attack.  We all felt sorry for Rajiv and at the same time empathized with his attacker. 

 The three sentenced to be hanged, one can argue, did what VijithamuniRohana could not do that day.  If we can empathize with one, we can empathize with the other and that does not make either “ƒ”¹…”right’.  Perhaps this is why Sri Lanka has been silent about the sentence.  We never cared much for the Nehrus (not for Rajiv, his mother or her father, the last having the gumption to complain that Sir John had not shown him the speech he delivered at the Bandung Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement) and also have very little patience or pity for terrorists. 

 Still, if we can forgive V. Muralitharan aka “ƒ”¹…”Karuna’, if we can forgive Prabhakaran’s notorious global arms procurement chief, “ƒ”¹…”KP’, if we could have send food, medicine and other essential items to the people held hostage by the LTTE knowing very well that Prabhakaran’s thugs would rob left and right, if we could pay salaries to doctors, nurses, teachers, clerks and others in the Vanni and thereby allow Prabhakaran to claim he was running a de facto state, then we can and should forgive these three Gandhi-killers.

 These three have erred.  Yes, there are erring degrees and their crime is pretty much up there among the most horrendous.  Worse was done by their victim and his successors.   All that is irrelevant.  They have not harmed anyone since they were arrested.  They cannot harm anyone if they spent the rest of their lives in jail.  Society needs to be protected from such people and if the containing facilities exist, then they should be used.

 It is 20 years since Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated (did someone say “ƒ”¹…”got his just desserts’?).  A lot has happened since.  “ƒ”¹…”An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,’ Mahatma Gandhi once said.  I’ve argued against capital punishment elsewhere and will not get into that discussion here.  If, as Vaiko claims, the hanging of these three individuals provokes a full blown secessionist struggle in Tamil Nadu, I will not stop cheering.  That’s not reason enough to want them hanged, though. 

 The world would not become any safer or more dangerous the day after if they were executed.  Rajiv Gandhi will not be resurrected.  If India doesn’t know how to deal with them, send them over here, that’s what I say.

 A lot of blood has been shed.  A lot of anger has been expressed.  A long time has passed.  There is a time to be wary, and a time to drop guard.  If India is scared about what these three individuals would do, then India can repatriate them back to Sri Lanka. 

 I am not sure what their nationality is, but if they were LTTE cadres and were Indians, then they can be extradited to Sri Lanka.  We have rehabilitated and reintegrated into society close to 8000 ex-combatants, some trained to carry out suicide attacks, some trained to toss grenades and spray bullets on civilian cadres.  We can handle these three prisoners.  Not because we condone what they did, but because we know that more deaths will not change things and because we know that this is healing time and execution is not unguent. 

 www.malindawords.blogspot.com

11 Responses to “Offer clemency to Gandhi’s killers!”

  1. dhane Says:

    Whether these three Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan persons convicted over the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi hanged or NOT Tamil Nadu would secede from the Indian union well before 100th anniversary of the Independence Day on 2048. Vaiko had ONLY thundered but all others Tamils will work to form thier “deam homeland”. It is a shame for Tamils to not have their own country. Tamils have their language, culture, history BUT NO COUNTRY for their own. In India we know how Tamils were treated by others in North.

    All Indian governments had shifted the Tamil nationalism from its traditional homeland to Sri Lanka and kept the wound out of India all these years. Now no more LTTE Tamils have to look for alternative methods. So let Vaiko be next Prabhakaran and keep going!
    Not only Rajiv Gandhi and her mother were no friends of Sri Lanka. Even the present set-up too think only for their benefit. Let India do whatever they wants with Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan.

  2. Vis8 Says:

    Vaiko can create eelam in Tamil Nadu, if he wants. That is the Tamils’ real homeland.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Malinda,

    I disagree.

    Hanging them is not about these three pathetic terrorists. It is about 85 million Tamils tens of thousands of them supporting terrorism. By hanging these three a powerful message will be setn against condoning violence. It will teach Tamils a lesson why they should never support any form of violence.

    Hopefully they will learn the lesson. No harm teaching it again and again if needed! :)

    The only part I agree is we don’t care what bad happens to Indians and Tamil nationalists. Agree.

    By letting these Tamil nationalists rot in prison instead of hanging them is a mockery of the system.

    Do you know that Nalini and Murugan have completed IT degrees while in prison? Unbelievable.

    Is this the message we want to give to the Tamil community? You kill national leaders and you will be looked after, given 3 meals a day, you may study while in prison, your sons and daughters can study in Scotland! WOW!

    No.

    It was foolish of the SL governments to “send food, medicine and other essential items to the people held hostage by the LTTE knowing very well that Prabhakaran’s thugs would rob left and right, if we could pay salaries to doctors, nurses, teachers, clerks and others in the Vanni and thereby allow Prabhakaran to claim he was running a de facto state”.

    These things never reached the people. Terrorists and their families stuffed them up and survived to kill us.

    Two foolish acts don’t make it right.

    There is no need to reconcile or make peace with terrorists or Tamil separatists. What do we gain by that? NOTHING!

    Make peace with Sri Lankans of all ethnic groups but not with separatists.

    Separatists, peaceful or violent, deserve to be ridiculed, exploited, abused, violated and killed. Otherwise they will do this to innocent people.

    These 3 are not terrorists anymore (and we can forgive terrorists as we did with Karuna/KP). They are Tamil separatists and Tamil separatists deserve death.

    If in doubt please read the 6th amendment or the PTA.

    Do the right thing by the law.

    HANG THEM HIGH!

  4. ranjith Says:

    If India hang them as soon as possible, it should be commendable.

    I don’t think India will execute those murderers.

    If those murderers are happened to be Christians or Muslims, they would have killed long ago in prison cells by notorious Indian police brutality.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Similarly the Mumbai terrorists should also be hanged if those pathetic beings are unfortunately still alive. Not because we give a damn about Indians but because we want a peaceful region.

    Failure to do it is the casue of the New Delhi bomb attack yesterday by the same groups.

    If India cannot handle Vaiko, hand him to us. He will speak/sing like KP does!

  6. aravinda Says:

    Now for history lessons. There were eight conspirators in Mohandas Gandhi murder. They were Kistaiya, Gopal Godse, Pahwa, Badge, Narayan Apte, Savarkar, Nathuram Godse and Karkare. Narayan Apte and Nathuram Godse were sentence to death.

    Among those calling for commutation of the death sentence were Prime Minister Nehru and Gandhi’s two sons. They felt that executing the killers would dishonor Mohandas Gandhi’s memory and legacy which included opposition to the death penalty. Nathuram Godse was hanged at Ambala Jail with with Narayan Apte. I believe 18 year old Gopal Godse endured 20 years in jail, where as others either received short prison terms or walked free.

    Has hanging Godse and Apte made India a better place? I don’t think so. Now let us look at these three unfortunate souls, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan. Unlike Godse and Apte, these three are poor, uneducated men with very narrow knowledge of the world. They did the crime and they did the time.

    I feel it is time to let them go. Set them free. Let them live. Show them mercy. Murugan and Santhan are Sri Lankans and we could request India to show mercy to them. Killing them will not bring back the dead. It is no use calling Sri Lanka a great Buddhist nation, if Sri Lankans can not forgive and move on.

  7. dhane Says:

    I was told by one of the Navy Offcer when question what made Naval Rating, Vijithamuni Rohana De Silva to hit
    when Rajiv Gandhi arrived in Sri Lanka on July 29, 1987. His answer “Sir I am sorry that Navy could not given the “Guard of Honour” at the time of Rajiv’s arrival. If so I would have hit his head harder on that day hence there will be no “agreement”. Thereafter it may would have different consequences with India & Sri Lanka relationship.
    What difference even now?

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Since 1948 to 1999, attempts were made on 6 national leaders of SL and India and 1 presidential election candidate of which 6 died.

    India – 2 men and 1 woman was killed. In one case a number of others too died. The last assassination was planned by Tamil Sri Lankans.

    SL – 3 men were killed an 1 woman narrowly escaped death. Except in one case, very large number of civilians and others died. Except one, all the other killings were done by Tamil Sri Lankans.

    Another look at the killings by the ethnicity of killers and their targets who were national leaders.
    Marathi/Hindi – 1
    Sinhala – 1
    Sikh – 1
    Tamil – 3 (plus dozens of second tier national leaders)

    So which country and who is worse?

    SL is much worse even disregarding collateral damage of terrorists and particularly Tamil killers.

    India is way better. After 1984 Indians stopped plotting the assassination of their leaders.

    SL Tamil tigers started it then!!!!

    Why? Because they were not taught a lesson.

    The same goes for other criminals like murderers, rapists, corrupt politicians, underworld gangs, drug dealers, traitors, etc.

    They are having a free run in SL because they know they can get away at most with a prison term.

    After SL stopped the death panelty, these crimes have INCREASED DRASTICALLY.

    Armed Tamil nationalists were not taught a lesson.

    They first killed Alfred in Jaffna. What happened? Nothing! Killers got away.
    Then they killed Tamil politicians. What happened? Nothing. Killers got away.
    “This is fantastic” they thought.
    Then they killed Rajiv. What happened? Nothing! Few low level losers were arrested.
    “Brilliant!”
    Then they killed Premadasa. What happened? Nothing!
    “We are on top of the world!”
    Then they killed Gamini and 75 others. What happened? Nothing!
    Then they attempted on CBK killing 25+ others. What happened? Nothing!
    Then they killed Kadir. What happened? Nothing!
    Then they tried to kill the Pakistani HC too!
    Then they killed a score of parliamentarians. But things were different this time. They were punished violently. We retaliated HARD.
    Then they became tame tigers for now.

    That’s how they were tamed at last.

    It is time to teach them a lesson for killing a PM. Otherwise they will kill more Indian, etc. leaders. Tamilnet and TNA are already spreading hate against the incumbent.

    Dragging “Buddhist nation” in to this is stupid and racist. This is exactly what Prabakaran did. In his last Mahaweer speech he dragged Buddhism hoping that it would save him. He didn’t know the history. Great Buddhist kings taught Tamil invaders a very good lesson in the past. We cannot do better than them in upholding Buddhist virtues.

    Of course we can perform last respects AFTER these lowlifes go to hell.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    “In 2047 Tamil Nadu will not be part of India.”

    Sure. There will not be a Tamil Nadu. Dalit Nadu, Malayalee Nadu, Andra Nadu, Hindi speaking Tamil Pradesh and Chennai Nadu will be there in place of TN. They will be part of India.

  10. Dilrook Says:

    Execute or not to execute?

    But there is another avenue which seems the most popular among Sri Lankans. Indifference to whatever happens.

    Indira Gandhi verses Rajiv Gandhi. The mother nursed her son’s killers.

    It is not a matter of north verses south in Sri Lanka but a manifestation of the constant north-south battle in India.

    Some western countries that accepted terrorists from Sri Lanka and nursed them face the same threat today. Its not just credit card frauds but name any crime and they are committing it.

  11. AnuD Says:

    It is good, TN starts another cessasion fight. That will work for Sri Lanka.

    I think, India will not hang them, instead should be used it for politicl purposes.

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