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CONTENTS
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Last updated
13/06/07

Tamil Eelam Leader confers "Maamanithar" title on Pararajasingham, 25 December 2005
Remembering Mamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham - Usha Sris Kanda Rajah 25 December 2006
LTTE Leader Pirapaharan pays tribute to slain TNA MP


 

Mamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham - Audio Visual Tribute
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Condemn Killing of Joseph Pararajasingham, 25 December 2005
How will International Community respond?
"A critical question looming large in Tamil Peoples' mind is how the International Community is going to express its reaction to the Government of Sri Lanka on the slaying of the senior Tamil democratic leader, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham," Jaffna daily Uthayan said in its editorial Monday. The paper described the slaying of Joseph Pararajasigham as an attempt to "throttle the voice of Tamil Nationalism."
Global Peace & Justice, Newton, Auckland, New Zealand condemns Pararajasingham killing, 12 January 2006
Murder in the cathedral – An open letter to the President, Revd. B. J. Alexander, 8 January 2006
Pararajasingham was at peace with his life's work -Balakumaran - 3 January, 2006
Sri Lanka Military shows its Hand in the Murder of Joseph Pararajasingham,- News Watch, 31 December 2005
The Pararajasingham Murder:The Fall-Out - Brian Senewiratne, 31 December 2005
Kilinochchi pays tribute to Pararajasingham, 27 December 2005
"We are shocked and saddened by the brutal murder of Joseph Pararajasingham..." - Text of Statement by 15 US Tamil Associations,  27 December 2005 : World Tamil Coordinating Committee – USA , Illankai Tamil Sangam – USA, World Tamil Women Organization – USA, Federation of Tamil Association of North America (FeTNA)– USA, Center for Women’s Development and Rehabilitation – USA, Tamil Heritage International – USA, Illankai Tamil Sangam - Florida, World Tamil Organization - Illinois, Midwest Tamil Sangam - Illinois, Ohio Tamil Association - Ohio, Tamil Refugees Rehabilitation Organization - California, Illankai Tamil Sangam - California, Illankai Tamil Sangam - Vancouver-Portland – Washington, Illankai Tamil Association - North Carolina, Tamil Welfare and Human Rights Committee – District of  Colombia.
Maire Leadbeater, Indonesia Human Rights Committee, New Zealand, 27 December 2005 - "The Indonesia Human Rights Committee has been deeply shocked to learn of the execution of Mr Joseph Pararajasingham, Member of Parliament for Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. He was shot in cold blood while he was worshipping at a Catholic Church on Christmas Eve and while Government security officers were present. This death has caused great anger and despair in the Tamil community both locally and internationally."
New Zealand MP, Keith Locke - "Mr.Pararajasingham's death is a serious blow to the faltering Peace Process", 26 December 2005
Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations Outraged by Killing of Tamil Parliamentarian, 26 December 2005  "We are shocked that the brutal slaying was carried out inside the church in the presence of hundreds of people right in the heart of Sri Lankan Army controlled town of Batticaloa where Mr Pararajasingham was attending mass on Christmas day at the St. Mary's Co-Cathedral Church ..." more
Tamil Canadian Writers Association condemns Killing of  Mamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham, 25 December 2005 "..We condemn the brutal murder of Mamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham, TNA Member of Parliament on December 25, in the most cowardly fashion. He was gunned down by Thamil para-military hirelings and Military Intelligence inside St. Mary’s Church, Batticaloa during mid-night mass conducted by the Bishop of Batticaloa-Trincomalee. The church is situated right inside the well-fortified HSZ and the government should accept blame squarely for this dastardly killing...

To add insult to injury the Defence Ministry is indulging in fanciful imagination and puerile fabrication by blaming the LTTE for the killing of Mamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham. If the Defence Ministry thinks that by this Goebellsian propaganda they can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community, it will be sadly mistaken. We refuse to believe the international community is dim-witted and gullible to swallow such propaganda..." more

Rev Fr M X Karunaratnam  Chairperson NESOHR (North East Secretariat On Human Rights)  "In his parliamentarian life, Mr Pararajasingam, documented human  rights violations in eastern Sri Lanka during the 1990's and brought  it to the attention of the international community. He persistently  challenged the Sri Lankan government on its human rights record. The  Sri Lankan parliament records, the "Hansard", will contain ample  evidence of his brave challenges to the Sri Lankan state on its human  rights record...."
International Federation of Tamils (IFT) condemns murder of  Tamil Parliamentarian and human rights activist, Joseph Pararajasingham, 25 December 2005  " Non-Silent Night! Un-Holy Night! Escalation of Sri Lanka State Terror! In the name of human rights, democracy, religious and racial harmony, justice and fair-play, the IFT appeals to the International Community (IC), to condemn without delay, the brutal murder of the Tamil Parliamentarian and human rights activist, Joseph Pararajasingham during the midnight Christmas cathedral service and to hold Sri Lanka government and President Mahinda Rajapakse responsible for the heinous crime committed through the State Intelligence Unit and the paramilitary forces operating in the north-east..." more
Joseph Pararajasingham at  International Conference On Tamil Nationhood & Search for Peace in Sri Lanka, Ottawa, Canada, 21 May 1999  on the Life of Tamil People under Civil Administration and Army Occupation "This conference takes place at a time coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the first attack launched on civilian targets on May 21, 1995 by the Sri Lankan security forces following the breakdown of talks between the Chandrika government and the LTTEE which resulted in the killing of five innocent Tamil civilians and injuring 32 others in the heart of the Batticaloa town.

The last five years have witnessed the most cruel and the worst brutal phase of the conflict. The war was intensified when a huge military offensive was launched against the heartland of the resistance movement in Jaffna. It resulted in one of the enormous displacements of the civilian population seen in South Asia since the partition of India...more

Joseph Pararajasingham, Member of Parliament & Leader of the TULF Parliamentary Group - written appeal to the United States, August 1997  "...As an elected representative, I am physically present in my constituency for more than eight months a year. Therefore, I am well informed about human rights violations in my district. It is my desire to outline briefly the unprecedented level of human rights violations that have taken place in my district, committed by the Sri Lankan security forces, the Muslim Homeguards (an armed group established by the Government to safeguard the Muslim villages) and a few Tamil militant groups, armed and financed by the Sri Lankan security forces. These include mass scale massacres of innocent civilians, rape, torture, detention, disappearances while in the custody of security forces, shelling and bombing of civilian Tamil areas and denial of food and medicines to tens of thousands of displaced Tamils in "uncleared" areas..."
 
 

One Hundred Tamils of the 20th Century

Maamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham
26 November 1934 - 25 December 2005

'...States that want to oppress a people do so by breaking their political will to resist injustice. To do this, oppressing states kill a society's intellectuals and journalists who speak for the rights of their people. They want the Tamils to be intellectually rudderless. It is easier to enslave a people who have lost their ability to understand the nature of their oppression...'  Dharmeratnam Sivaram (who was himself shot dead on 28 April 2005) speaking at Memorial Meeting for  Slain Batticaloa Journalist, Aiyathurai Nadesan on 7 August 2004


Joseph Pararajasingham,  a Tamil nationalist and Batticaloa district Member of Parliament (MP) of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and a committed political activist in the struggle for Tamil Eelam, was shot dead at St. Mary's cathedral church in Batticaloa, Tamil Eelam  while attending Christmas prayers early morning at 1.20 a.m Sunday 25 December 2005. Mr Pararajasingham arrived at the Church at 10.30 p.m where the services led by Batticaloa Bishop Kingley Swampillai started at 11.30 p.m. The co-cathedral is located in the heart of Batticaloa town on Central Road.

Fellow Batticaloa District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Member of Parliament Mr. S. Jeyananthamoorthy said

"The slaying of the senior and experienced politician from Batticaloa, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, while at prayer inside the church on the holy day of Christmas, was a barbaric act affecting the collective Tamil psyche.Targetting key Tamil political actors is a strategy adopted by the Sri Lankan state to weaken Tamil struggle. This strategy will fail and in its wake likely bring an unprecedented catastrophe to Sri Lanka"

Joseph Pararajasingham was born on 26 November 1934 and started his career as a draftsperson at the Batticaloa secretariat. He started public service as a part-time journalist at the Tamil daily "Thinapathi," where he wrote stories under the name Sugunam Joseph. He entered Sri Lanka Parliament in 1990. He was re-elected in 1994 with the highest number of preferential votes ever received by a Tamil candidate in the NorthEast. He was again elected on the final count of preferential votes in the October 2000 elections. He again became an MP under the national list in 2002.

During the late 90's he followed up with the Sri Lanka armed forces cases of detention, disappearances, torture, rape and killing of Tamil civilians. He was an Executive Member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the SAARC Parliamentary Association.

Speaking at a school function on 26 September 1992 (reported in the Virakesari of 1 October 1992) he declared -

“The lines of a song in today’s ceremony touched my heart. The lines refer to the Tamil flag which fluttered on the Himalayas. Although this may be a thing of the past, history can be re-established. Today this country is at war because the youth of this area were denied opportunities in education and culture…Our youth have not only done well in education but have shown that they have the self respect to achieve their aims through armed struggle. If nothing is done towards finding a settlement to the crisis in the north-east, the history related in the lines of that song will be reasserted.” (quoted by Dharmeratnam Sivaram in On Tamil Militarism -  The legend of Cheran Senguttuvan)

LTTE confers "Maamanithar" title on Pararajasingham - also Tamil Original
Head Quarters
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Tamil Eelam
25 December 2005

The Tamil Nation has lost today a noble man who sacrificed personal ambitions and set a goal working resolutely for the welfare of his people. Silenced today is a voice that relentlessly resonated the freedom of the Tamil homeland and its people. A great man had fallen victim to the enemy's cowardly act of cruelty. It is a great tragedy in the history of the Tamil Eelam freedom struggle.

Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham is a person blessed with rare and incredible qualities. Melodious interaction, simple manners and magnanimity in approach are the hallmarks of his personality. Steadfast and honest, he is an excellent political leader. The Tamil people affectionately hailed him as a formidable fighter for human rights. His extra-ordinary attachment to the Tamil cause gravitated all towards him. The demise of Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham is an irreparable loss to the Tamil Nation.

It was never to his liking to live under Sinhala Budhdhist majoritarian oppression. He totally detested the disintegration of the collective Tamil Nation under this oppression and subjugation. Setting as his noble goal absolute freedom from this oppressive state, he worked for the independence, dignity and peaceful life of the Tamil people. Motivated by this noble goal, he steadfastly supported the Tamil National freedom struggle. Respecting and accepting wholeheartedly the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and their goal, he contributed immensely to the liberation struggle of the Tamil people. Complex situations, threats and dangers did not deter him from courageously extending his helping hands to Tamil Nationalism and the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle in many ways.

As a Member of Parliament representing the people of Batticaloa and a founder member of the NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights, he worked relentlessly in pursuit of the rights of the people of Tamil Eelam. Presenting the truth and reasonableness of the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle to the world, was a mission he undertook with passion. The yeoman services he rendered are praiseworthy and of historical significance.

Respecting Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham's patriotism and love of freedom and to honour his contribution to the freedom struggle, I confer on him with pride the highest National Award of "Great Man". Death never destroys noble men who lived to uphold truthful goals. Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham will live forever in the psyche of the Tamil Nation as an epoch making leader.

V.Pirapaharan
Leader,
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
 
Rev Fr M X Karunaratnam , Chairperson NESOHR (North East Secretariat On Human Rights) - Press Release 25th  December 2005

We have lost Joseph Pararajasingam, our valued member

 Mr Joseph Pararajasingam, our valued member, was shot dead on the  Christmas Eve of 2005. He was murdered for the sole reason that he  highlighted the human rights situation of the Tamil people.

 He was shot inside the Cathedral in Batticaloa town that was crowded  with people attending the Christmas mass presided by Bishop of  Batticaloa, Kingley Swampillai. Mr Pararajasingam's wife, Mrs P  Sugunam, who was beside him, was critically wounded when she tried to  protect him from the bullets.

 Mr Joseph Pararajasingam is the second valued NESOHR member shot dead  within the span of one year. The loss to NESOHR is truly shattering.  NESOHR member for Amparai, Mr A ChadraNehru was shot dead in February  this year.

In his parliamentarian life, Mr Pararajasingam, documented human  rights violations in eastern Sri Lanka during the 1990's and brought  it to the attention of the international community. He persistently  challenged the Sri Lankan government on its human rights record. The  Sri Lankan parliament records, the "Hansard", will contain ample  evidence of his brave challenges to the Sri Lankan state on its human  rights record. He travel;ed the world as a member of parliament,  representing the Tamils, to meet foreign ministers and foreign affairs  officials and brought the human rights situation in Northeast to their  attention.

 In his last visit to NESOHR in Kilinochchi to mark the International  Human Rights day on December 10th 2005, he told us that he has decided  to station himself in Batticaloa from now on and take up the human  rights issues in his district. He told us that he was ready to take  any risks that this would entail.

 NESOHR in its one and a half years of operations has served the people  of Northeast by addressing their human rights violations and also by  bringing human rights violations to the attention of the international  community. We have received encouraging support from the international  community for our work and we were urged by the international  community to also open an office in Batticaloa-Amparai. It is a huge  loss to NESOHR and to the people of Batticaloa-Amparai to have our two  members from the region shot dead within a span of one year.

 A land where human rights defenders' life can be taken away so cheaply  is a damned land. It is also a damning indictment on those who are  charged with the responsibility of protecting them. We urge the  international human rights community to focus their attention on this  damning situation in Northeast by taking stock of the true basic  causes for this situation.

International Federation of Tamils (IFT) condemns murder of  Tamil Parliamentarian and human rights activist, Joseph Pararajasingham, 25 December 2005

Non-Silent Night! Un-Holy Night! Escalation of Sri Lanka State Terror!

In the name of human rights, democracy, religious and racial harmony, justice and fair-play, the IFT appeals to the International Community (IC), to condemn without delay, the brutal murder of the Tamil Parliamentarian and human rights activist, Joseph Pararajasingham during the midnight Christmas cathedral service and to hold Sri Lanka government and President Mahinda Rajapakse responsible for the heinous crime committed through the State Intelligence Unit and the paramilitary forces operating in the north-east.

The IFT has, in a number of appeals to the IC pointed out to the impending danger to the CeaseFire Agreement (CFA) caused by the Intelligence Unit and the paramilitary forces in the north-east.

These two evil forces were well developed by the former UNF government of Ranil Wickremasinghe and further strengthened by Chandrika Kumaratunge. The present contender for the UN Secretary General?s post, Jayantha Dhanapala, during his tenure as the Head of the government peace secretariat, hoodwinked the world by denied their existence, while nurturing it to maturiy on the sly.

It is now being craftily orchestrated by Mahinda Rajapakse to fulfil his election pledge, to abrogate the CFA and eliminate Norway from the facilitating scene. The Intelligence Unit and the Paramilitary Forces have been identified with the brutal murder of hundreds of civilians, peace activists like Chandra Nehru, journalists like Nadesan and Taraki and many others.

Although the government of Sri Lanka has repeatedly denied harbouring and using paramilitary cadres in the north-east, a blatant violation of the CFA, a report submitted to Colombo Headquarters on 21.03.2005, by Steen Joergensen, Head if the International Ceasefire Monitors, Batticaloa and a report by Brigadier Peiris of Batticaloa Command, to Admiral Daya Sandagiri, the Commander of the State Armed Forces, confirm  the contrary. Two recent escapees from the paramilitary cadre have confessed, in the presence of international press, to the paramilitary and Intelligence Unit murders and provocations of violence and tension between Muslims and Tamils in the east.

Joseph was felled down by his assassins who shot him at the foot of the crib, immediately after receiving Holy Communion from the hands of the Catholic Bishop, conducting the service for world Christmas peace. Blood of eight others was spilled before the altar on Christmas midnight, including that of Joseph's wife who is still in a critical condition.

Unilateral declaration of cease-fire was observed by the LTTE at Christmas during its two decades of war. But bombing and desecration of Christian churches and schools remain bloodied blotches on the annals of Sri Lanka. Notorious Navaly church aerial bombing in the Jaffna peninsula, the cannon blast at the pilgrim shrine in Madhu in the Mannar district during the ninety?s and now the spilling of blood during church Christmas service in the Batticaloa district, offer a blood-soaked ?triple gem? to the Head of Sri Lanka state who takes pride in coming to power with the assistance of extremist religious chauvinists.

Joseph Pararajasingham was a true democrat and an advocate of peaceful resolution to the national problem in Sri Lanka. He was one of the founder members of NESOHR, the North- East secretariat of human rights. He was a pragmatist, advocating for over a decade, even before the signing of the CFA, a direct dialogue between the government and the LTTE. As a veteran of the TULF, he was also instrumental in convincing the party hierarchy that the emancipation of the Tamils lay in supporting the LTTE at the peace talks. During parliamentary elections in the past, there were a number of life-threats on him from paramilitary cadres and the state Intelligence Unit. He survived them all, finally to succumb during a church Christmas service, to an assassin's bullet, which made mockery of the 'Silent night' and 'Holy night'

In Sri Lanka, 'All is not calm 'and 'All is not bright'  now.
 

Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations on Brutal Killing of Tamil Parliamentarian, 25 December 2005 also in PDF

P O Box 215, Enfield, NSW 2136
Email:tamand@ozemail.com.au
Media Release:

The Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations (AFTA) is outraged by the wanton murder of Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, Member for Batticaloa in the Sri Lankan Parliament.

We are shocked that the brutal slaying was carried out inside the church in the presence of hundreds of people right in the heart of Sri Lankan Army controlled town of Batticaloa where Mr Pararajasingham was attending mass on Christmas day at the St. Mary's Co-Cathedral Church .

Mr. Pararajasingham, a member of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was an outspoken critic of the human rights violations of successive Sri Lankan regimes and was held in high esteem by several Humanitarian and Human Rights Organisations. Throughout the 1990's, he played a crucial role in drawing attention to the gross human rights violations of the people in the North East. These included massacres, disappearances and torture. It was primarily due to his tireless efforts that atrocities in the North East by the Sri Lankan Government were brought to the attention of the world community.

He was instrumental in exposing the rape of 18 year old School girl Krishanthi Kumaraswamy and the murder of her mother, brother and neighbours by the Sri Lankan army personnel mid 1995. He was similarly very concerned about the rape and murder of 17 year old Tharshini just a week ago by Sri Lankan naval personnel.

As a founder member of the North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESHOR) he was actively involved in the protection of human rights of the people of the North East.

In the course of his parliamentary career spanning over 15 years, he had visited Australia, the US, the UK and Canada where he raised the matter of the gross violations of Human Rights by the Sri Lankan Government with Governments, politicians and Human Rights Groups.

He was a vociferous critic of the Sri Lankan armed forces and the paramilitary groups working in tandem with the army in conducting a shadow war in the East.

During his visit to Australia in May this year, Mr Pararajasingham had expressed fears for his life at the hands of the paramilitaries acting at the behest of the Sri Lankan Government. The co chairs to the Sri Lankan peace process, themselves had called upon the Sri Lankan Government on several occasions to disarm these groups as per the Cease-Fire Agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Instead, the Sri Lankan government has persisted with the use of the paramilitaries to wage a war on the Tamil people in the East.

This murder like that of Tamil academics, journalists and human rights activists has to be laid at the feet of the Sri Lankan Government.

We call upon the Australian Government to strongly condemn this slaying of a human rights activist and parliamentarian.

Contact;
Sydney: Ana Pararajasingham
Mobile: 0402904032
Melbourne: Soma Somasundram
Mobile: 0411872819
26th December 2005
 

Tamil Canadian Writers Association condemns Killing of  Mamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham, 25 December 2005

December 25, 2005
Toronto. Press Release

We condemn the brutal murder of Mamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham, TNA Member of Parliament on December 25, in the most cowardly fashion. He was gunned down by Thamil para-military hirelings and Military Intelligence inside St. Mary’s Church, Batticaloa during mid-night mass conducted by the Bishop of Batticaloa-Trincomalee. The church is situated right inside the well-fortified HSZ and the government should accept blame squarely for this dastardly killing.

Joseph Pararajasingham was a committed nationalist who was in the forefront of the national liberation struggle as a parliamentarian since 1990. He articulated the Thamil cause very effectively both in national and international forums. By killing him his enemies has sought to silence a powerful voice of the voiceless people.

Mahinda Rajapakse, since his election as President, has sought to appoint Sinhala- Buddhist hawks and known chauvinistic megalomaniacs to key positions in the cabinet and armed forces. His choice of Ratnasiri Wickramanayake as Prime Minister and Deputy Defence Minister, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka as Army Commander and H.M.G.B. Kotakadeniya, ex-DIG and current Treasurer of Jathika Hela Urumaya as Defence Advisor on police service signals a definite predisposition towards a militaristic solution to resolve the ethnic conflict. In recent weeks attacks, assaults, firings and killings of innocent civilians and Thamil activists by the occupation Sinhala armed forces in Northeast had escalated many-fold.

To add insult to injury the Defence Ministry is indulging in fanciful imagination and puerile fabrication by blaming the LTTE for the killing of Mamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham. If the Defence Ministry thinks that by this Goebellsian propaganda they can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community, it will be sadly mistaken. We refuse to believe the international community is dim-witted and gullible to swallow such propaganda.

Even at this stage, President Mahinda Rajapakse can pull the country from sliding into war by confining the armed forces in the Northeast inside barracks. It is patently clear that the Thamil people want the army to quit their land immediately. Whether Mahinda Rajapakse has the necessary political will and sagacity to act wisely is doubtful given his penchant for strident Sinhala chauvinism.

If anything the cowardly killing of Mamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham far from weakening the forces of Thamil nationalism will only unite and galvanize the Thamil people in their unstoppable march to freedom.

LTTE Leader Pirapaharan pays tribute to slain TNA MP TamilNet, December 27, 2005

The leader of the Liberation Tigers, Mr. V. Pirapaharan, on Tuesday, paid tribute to the slain senior Tamil politician Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham in the Vanni. The body of the Tamil National Alliance paraliamentarian, who was shot inside Batticaloa St. Mary's Co-Catherdal during Christmas mass on Sunday, was taken to LTTE controlled Kokkadicholai on Monday and to Kilinochchi on Tuesday. The funeral service of the MP is to take place in the church where he was slain Thursday after receiving Holy Communion from Bishop Kingsley Swampillai.

Earlier, Mr Pirapaharan honoured Joseph Pararajasingam with LTTE's highest civilian title "Mamanithar."

The body was kept for people to pay tribute at Karadiyanaru in Kokkaddicholai for 3 hours on Monday. LTTE's Special Commander for Batticaloa, Col. Bhanu, Batticaloa Commander Nagesh, Commander Piraba, Government officials, religious leaders and fellow TNA MPs were present at Karadiyanaru. The body was also kept at Ramakrishnan Mission Vidyalayam for public viewing. Later the body was taken to Kaluwanchikudy and Arayampathi, and then taken to the MP's house in Batticaloa.

Batticaloa district observed a general shut down, and black and white flags were seen in the town.

TNA's Batticaloa district MPs, Mrs. K. Thangeswari and Mr. P.Kanagasabai, joined the escort of the coffin to Kilinochchi from Batticaloa. Sri Lanka Police, Special Task Force soldiers and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) officials attended the procession.

The procession reached Vavuniya at 2:30 p.m and stopped there for more than an hour allowing residents of Vavuniya to pay tribute. Sri Lankan Police and military officials also paid tribute to the slain MP.

Vanni district TNA parliamentarians Selvam Adaikalanathan, Sivasakthi Anandan and Sivanathan Kishore joined the procession towards Kilinochchi with the SLMM facilitation.

LTTE's Political Head Mr. S.P.Thamilchelvan and the Financial Head of the LTTE Mr. Thamilenthi, senior members and commanders of the Tigers joined the LTTE leader in Vanni to pay tribute to the slain Tamil leader.

Kilinochchi pays tribute to Pararajasingham  - TamilNet, 27 December 2005

"It is the occupying Sri Lankan forces that have unleashed violence on the Tamil people. Destructive effects of such crimes will  boomerang on the Sinhala armed forces. The Sri Lankan Government is solely responsible for controlling its armed forces to bring back normalcy," said the Liberation Tigers' Political Head, Mr.S. P. Thamilchelvan, addressing the mourners who gathered to pay tribute to the slain TNA MP, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, at the Kilinochchi Cultural Hall 27 December 2005, Wedesday morning.


LTTE Political Head and CWC, UPF, WPPF leaders in the procession

"The Sinhala nation must realize that the Tamils' thirst for freedom cannot be extinguished by killing Tamil intellectuals and leaders. The representatives of the Tamil people who have gathered here today will send a clear message to Colombo," Mr Thamilchelvan added.

The three leaders of the upcountry Tamils, Arumugam Thondaman, Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, and Mano Ganesan joined several TNA parliamentarians and delivered eulogies at the event.

"Mr Pararajasingham served as a supreme political leader working resolutely to confront forces that attempted to destroy Tamil Nationalism. Tamil people across the world regarded him as an honest leader and his murder has angered and saddened all of us," Mr. Thamilchelvan said.

Residents of Kilinochchi, Tamil parliamentarians and officials of the Liberation Tigers assembled at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Kilinochchi Cultural Hall to pay tribute to Joseph  Pararajasingham, senior member of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and a leading human rights advocate who was slain during Christmas mass Saturday.

His body dressed in white silk draped in flowers was kept for viewing during the ceremony. The event was presided over by Fr Kanagaratnam, head of the North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR). Mr Pararajasingham's body was taken to the Cultural Hall from near the Kilinochchi Central College with military parade of Liberation Tigers led by a marching band. Mr Pararajasingham's children lit the flames of sacrifice while Mr. Thamilchelvan garlanded his body.
The prcession towards Kilinochchi cultural centre.

Maire Leadbeater, Indonesia Human Rights Committee, New Zealand, 27 December 2005
Indonesia Human Rights Committee,
Box 68-419,
Auckland


Hon Winston Peters.
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Parliament Buildings,
Wellington.

Hon Phil Goff,
Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control,
Parliament Buildings,
Wellington.

27 December, 2005

Dear Winston Peters and Phil Goff,

The Indonesia Human Rights Committee has been deeply shocked to learn of the execution of Mr Joseph Pararajasingham, Member of Parliament for Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. He was shot in cold blood while he was worshipping at a Catholic Church on Christmas Eve and while Government security officers were present. This death has caused great anger and despair in the Tamil community both locally and internationally.

Earlier this year, as you may know, Mr Pararajasingham toured New Zealand with a parliamentary colleague, and some members of our committee were privileged to meet with him. We found him to be a warm and extremely able man with an intimate knowledge of human rights issues in Sri Lanka and internationally. He was deeply committed to the task of achieving equal rights and justice for the Tamil people. He had pursued this goal in the Sri Lankan parliament for many years and at the time of his brutal death he was doing everything he could to promote the peace process in Sri Lanka and to advocate for ongoing dialogue and negotiations between the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil people.

We believe that in Sri Lanka as in Indonesia there are vested interests who do not support peace and that there are paramilitary groups who work in close co-ordination with sections of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka. While it is not possible to know who is responsible for the murder of Mr Pararajasingham, it is deeply disturbing that his death has been followed by further killings. It would be a tragedy if the situation in Sri Lanka were to deteriorate further and if the peace agreement were to collapse.

In Sri Lanka as in Aceh the people continue to suffer the tragic after effects of the 2004 tsunami. It is unthinkable that ordinary people might have to bear the burden of renewed military conflict.

We appeal to the New Zealand Government to make representations to the Government of Sri Lanka and to call for an urgent investigation into the death of Mr Pararajasingham so that those responsible can be brought to account. We also recommend that the Government initiate a fact finding mission to Sri Lanka of local and international human rights experts to assess the situation.

There is a widespread view among Tamil people that the international response to the death of Mr Pararajasingham will determine whether or not peace is preserved. New Zealand must seize this moment to speak out for justice and peace and do what it can to help prevent further killings in Sri Lanka,

Yours sincerely,


Maire Leadbeater
(for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee)
 
Pararajasingham was at peace with his life's work- Balakumaran - TamilNet, January 03, 2006
“The murder of rights advocates in churches and holy sanctuaries is a historical phenomenon. From El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Romero to our own Joseph Pararajasingam, their lives did not end with death. On the contrary, they become alive into the collective consciousness of their people for whom they have struggled," said V. Balakumaran, a senior leader of the Liberation Tigers (LTTE) talking during his weekly address to LTTE radio "Pulikalin Kural (Tigers Voice)" Saturday.

Mr. Joseph Pararajasingam, Sri Lankan Tamil legislator and ardent human rights activist, was gunned down in Sri Lanka during Christmas mass after he received Holy Communion from the Bishop of Batticaloa. Eight other worshipers including the slain leader’s wife were also injured. While the world remained silent, the LTTE posthumously conferred the title of “Maa Manithar” (Great Soul) recognizing the lifelong service of the 71-year-old parliamentarian.

Translation of excerpts from Balakumaran's radio address given in Tamil follow:

“Mr Pararajasingam has become the latest human being to have sacrificed his life for the cause of liberation and emancipation of one’s people. Whenever I met with him, especially recently, I found him content with his duties and totally at peace with the race he has run. In addition he was aware of the serious threat to his life.

The history will record him as one who devoted himself to the service of his people. I only intend to touch some aspects of his life and death through those who were similarly martyred at the alter of holy sanctuaries.

The late Joseph closed his eyes so that the eyes of those which still remain shut shall be open to the truth. First let us look at the event in 1985 when our revered priest Father Bastian was slain. He was the parish priest of St. Anne’s Catholic church in Vankalai, Mannar. It was the 6th of January, 1985. The Sri Lankan army (SLA) soldiers broke into the church in the middle of the night. As Father Bastian came out holding his hands up clutching the rosary beads, the soldiers gunned him down point blank. We are once again reminded of his death while we mourn the death of Mr Pararajasingham.

People used to ask Father Bastian whether he was not concerned about his safety when he was openly involved in protecting the basic rights of the people around him. He would respond that it was not just his life, but the lives and livelihoods of all the Tamil people were uncertain and at risk. His words still resonate among our people and ring true to this date. What sin have our people committed to be under the rule of the military and lose their lives on a daily basis?

Another similar event is the murder in El Salvador which occured on March 24, 1980. El Salvodor’ archbishop and human rights activist Reverend Oscar Romero was celebrating holy mass in his church when he was shot. He fell down embracing his death in front of a large congregation. When we mourn Honorable Joseph we remember Archbishop Romero.

Shortly before his killing Archbishop Romero said, “You can kill me. A bishop will die, but the church of god, which is the people, will never perish”. He further proclaimed, “You can tell the people that if they succeed in killing me, that I forgive and bless those who do it. Hopefully, they will realize they are wasting their time. The church would betray its own love for God if it stopped being a defender of the rights of the poor, a humanizer of every legitimate struggle to achieve a more just society that prepares the way for the true reign of God in history."

These are the same sentiments expressed by Mr Pararajasingam. His words still echo in our hearts. The time spent on plotting and killing him is a wasted time. The killers should realize that they would not achieve anything by killing him. Reverend Romero repeatedly pleaded, “In the name of God, and in behalf of the people I implore you. Please halt your oppression. Desist from killing your own people”.

We ask of Joseph’s killers the same in the name of Archbishop Romero. On behalf of our People, and in lieu of our liberation struggle, we call upon you again and again. Please put an end to these killings. We witnessed the brutal murders of media men Mr Nadesan and Mr Sivaram, and humanitarian Mr Chandra Neru in southern Tamileelam. What do we achieve by killing the elites and humanists of our land? This is our plea to you and to the indifferent world at large.

We shall gain comfort and strength from the words of Archbishop Romero. Like the grain that needs to die to bring new life, the blood spilled by the Tamil people and MaaManithar Pararajasingam will bring freedom and dignity to the lives of our people."

The Pararajasingham Murder:The Fall-Out - Brian Senewiratne, 31 December 2005
Joseph Pararajasingham, MP for Batticaloa, a senior Tamil politician and a peace activist, was gunned down on Christmas morning 2005 in a Cathedral in the heart of Batticaloa where he was attending the midnight mass. What was terminated was not just a most valuable life, but probably also the Peace process.

With a killing-a-day for the past several months in the new killing fields of Sri Lanka, the Eastern seaboard, what is so special about this particular killing? The significance is that Mr Pararajasingham was a man of national and international standing. His murder must have a national and international dimension. Before these are discussed, I will briefly comment on the man - a tribute if you like.

The man

Joseph Pararajasingham entered Parliament in 1990 and was re-elected in 1994 with the highest number of preferential votes ever received by a Tamil candidate in the NorthEast. He was elected again in 2000. He lost his seat in 2002, but was nominated to Parliament under the ‘National list’. He was a member of the (Tamil) Federal Party (Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi) shortly after its formation. He was a founder member of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and its Senior Vice President. He was a leading member of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), currently the major political party representing the Tamils.

He was a founder-member of the North East Human Rights Secretariat, an executive member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Parliamentary Association of SAARC (South Asian Association of Regional Corporation).

He was one of the few current Tamil politicians who had an excellent command of English and the ability to use this to present the problems faced by the Tamil people to the international community.

He was totally committed to the Peace process and absolutely convinced that the ethnic problems in Sri Lanka could only be settled by negotiations. He had the complete backing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE – the Tamil Tigers), which makes nonsense of the sly attempts by the Sri Lankan Government to attribute his murder to the Tigers.

My impressions

‘Para’, as he was to me, met me and even stayed with me with his charming wife Sugunam, when they visited Brisbane. I can summarise Para in one sentence “He was a fine, upright, sincere, and peaceful man”.

We have had many a discussion on the future of Sri Lanka. I, a Sinhalese, was adamant that negotiations with a racist, brutal and totally unreliable Sri Lankan Government (of whatever political persuasion) would not get the Tamils anywhere. Para, a Tamil, was equally adamant that a negotiated settlement was the only way forward. Although I could see where he was coming from, I totally disagreed with him and still do – even more so now.

At our last meeting in May 2005 we discussed his possible assassination. I was obviously concerned about his security (or the lack of it). He was worryingly realistic: “Brian, they can take me out whenever and where ever they choose to. A Security guard or many Guards, will make no difference”.

Tragically he was right. ‘They’ not only took him out, but very nearly his wife too and some eight others including children. He made no secret of who “they” were - (Tamil) paramilitary operatives recruited by the Sri Lankan Army ‘to do their dirty work’. The Sri Lankan Army and these Tamil opportunistic traitors are two sides of the same coin – one in uniform, the other not. Para’s assassination is the visible evidence of an invisible association between the two. Despite vehement denials, these Tamil mercenaries are armed, supported, protected and used by the Sri Lankan Army.

The murder

Two allegedly ‘unidentified’ gunman opened fire in the Cathedral when Para, his wife and others, were about the receive Holy Communion from Bishop Kingsley Swarmpillai, Bishop of Batticaloa and Trincomalee. St Mary’s co-Cathedral is in the middle of Batticaloa town in an area directly under the control of the Armed Forces. To claim that the Army knew nothing about this is arrant nonsense.

The trail of blood from Pararajasingham leads to the Army, possibly to the Sri Lankan Government. It is similar to the murder of another vocal Tamil leader, lawyer Kumar Ponnambalam, assassinated in Colombo some five years ago, where the trail of blood led to the Presidential Security Division (notorious gangsters armed by President Chandrika Kumaratunge) and beyond.

There is, however, a difference between the two murders. While that of Ponnambalam (2000) was ‘discreet’ – the body with bullet wounds found in a car, that of Pararajasingham (2005) was brazen - in front of hundreds of people in the Cathedral and right in front of the Bishop of Batticoloa. The Sri Lankan Armed Forces have not just killed someone (or had him killed) but sent a message. “We will kill whom we want, when we want, where we choose. Come watch us – if you like”. It is the brazenness that comes from an absolute certainty that no action will be taken by the powers that be. The implications are obvious.

Why was he killed?

Para was fluent and articulate, he was outspoken and obviously credible. He could present, to the Sinhala Parliament and to international audiences, the suffering and problems faced by the Tamil people and the outrageous violation of human rights that they have had to endure. The Sri Lankan Government and its Armed Forces simply had no answer other than assassination. The clear message seems to be “Articulate the suffering of the Tamil people, the outrages that are occurring, and you will be taken out. The more forthright you are, the sooner you will go.”

The national and international response

A senior Tamil politician, a member of Parliament with a national and international standing who is totally committed to the Peace process has been murdered by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and/or their agents. He had the complete backing of the Tamil Tigers and was clearly an important conduit between the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil Tigers in any peace negotiations. His murder must put the Peace process in jeopardy. There must be a national and international response to this outrage.

1. The national response

I do not know what the response, if any, of the Sinhala nation will be. Nor do I think that the Government-controlled media in Sri Lanka will convey the gravity of the situation to the Sinhala people.

Where the Tamil people are concerned, there must be some decisive action taken. The Tamils are losing those who can effectively present their problems- nationally and internationally. People who could be their future leaders are being gradually taken out.

The Tamils have some serious decisions that they will have to make.

To decide that a complete separation from the Sinhala State is the only answer. As a Sinhalese who has watched with disbelief the discrimination, overt and covert, of the Tamil people, the destruction of their lives and property by the Sinhala Government, and the gross violation of their human rights by the Sinhala Armed Forces under Government direction, I have never been convinced that any solution short of complete separation of the Sinhala and Tamil nations would be an answer. The situation has gone well beyond that which can be addressed by a Federal, or even Con-federal, set-up.

To realize that a separate Tamil state is not something that can be negotiated with a Sinhala Government that has declared that the country is a Sinhala-Buddhist nation and has even enshrined this in the Constitution. If this means a return to war, it is of the Sinahala government’s making. The international community will have to recognise this.
An alternative to war is to bring the Government to a halt. Tamil Government servants stopping work might have been effective years ago. Today, it will be totally ineffective. The degree of “Sinhalisation” (discrimination) that has occurred in the past two decades is such that it will be an exercise in futility. Let me cite some figures. The Sri Lankan Administration service has been the forte of the Tamils. Yet, in the examination in July 1999 to enter the Administrative services, 151 Sinhalese and just 2 Tamils were summoned for interview. Of them, not a single Tamil (or Muslim) was selected. In the Sri Lankan Accountancy examination (another forte of the Tamils) in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1998 only one single Tamil was selected in each of these years. If Tamil public servants stop work, they will simply be sacked and replaced by Sinhalese.

The only industry where a stop-work will have an effect is in the tea plantations. If the Plantation workers (mainly Tamils) stop work, the Sri Lankan government, already near bankruptcy, will come down to reality overnight. The recent collaboration between the leaders of the Plantation workers with the Tamil party and the militants is a step in the right direction. However, there is the very real possibility of the former being bought over by the Sinhala government, as has happened so often in the past. Plantation workers who, for years, have been looked down on by the rest of the Tamil community are unlikely to bail them out unless there is a good reason for them to do so. It is up to the Tamil leadership to come up with an offer that will improve the lot of these seriously neglected people. It might be a better alternative to an all out war with the Sinhala government.

The pretence of Peace Talks will have to be abandoned. It must be recognised that the current Sri Lankan Government offer of Peace Talks is a time-buying exercise to enable the Sri Lankan Army to be “beefed up”. The recent escalation in the Defence allocation in President Rajapakse’s Budget 2006 can have no other interpretation. The Defence allocation has gone from Rs 52 billion in 2004, to Rs 56.6 billion in 2005 and an astronomical increase to Rs 91.6 billion in 2006.

Rajapakse’s budget has been called a “People’s Budget” and a “Pro-poor Budget”. A more appropriate label is a “pro-war Budget”. Indeed President, Rajapakse has openly said that his ‘negotiations’ with the Tamil Tigers is only till he has been able to arm the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

Tamil parliamentarians will have to reconsider their positions in what is essentially a Sinhala Parliament, which discusses problems faced only by the Sinhala people, not the Tamils. For Tamil politicians to continue to sit in Parliament is meaningless. Refusing to attend Parliament will send a strong message internationally that Sri Lanka needs a forum where the problems of the Tamil people are discussed and addressed.

2. The international response

There must be an international recognition of the realities in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Government might not have won the military battles with the Tamil Tigers, but has certainly won the propaganda war. This is a reflection of the failure of the powerful expatriate Tamil lobby. I have no illusions about the difficulty of getting the ‘international ear’. However, this is crucial if the Tamils are to achieve anything. Preaching to the converted which many, me included, do, may be emotionally satisfying but of limited, if any, value. So also the spate of publications, to which I have contributed in no small way. Emotionally satisfying but no more.

It is probable that an international action group, preferably of non-Sri Lankans, and certainly non-Tamils, will have to be set up. Our role would be to supply this group with the necessary facts (which are readily available), to legitimize the already established de facto Tamil State. The crucial aid donors will have to be specifically targeted.

The absurd current financial situation in Sri Lanka will have to be pointed out to the international community. For the coming year (2006), the estimated Government revenue is Rs 484 billion, and Government spending Rs 731 billion.. The Budget deficit is estimated at Rs. 197 billion, an increase from Rs.168 billion in 2005. Most of this deficit will be financed from foreign aid and grants. At least a quarter of the increasing budget deficit is because of an escalating expenditure on defence i.e to ‘defend’ the country from its own people. In effect, international donors are assisting the Sri Lankan Government to destroy it own people.

Following the assassination of Mr Pararajasingham, an impressive number of Tamil organizations in the USA have called for sanctions against the Sri Lankan government. Impressive though it is, a follow-up is essential. The Australian Federation of Tamil Associations has protested to the Australian government. It is unlikely that a government that accepted as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Australia, a Sri Lankan Army General accused of serious human rights abuse of the Tamil people, will spring to attention because of a letter of protest.

The EU countries will have to be approached. I have recently dealt with the credibility (or lack of it) of some EU decisions taken against the Tamils. Copies of this should be sent to every EU member, followed by lobbying.

The Sri Lankan government relies on commercial organizations to do its anti-Tamil propaganda. I have, for many years, suggested that the Tamils go down this same path and get professional help in their lobbying efforts. It will be more effective than shoulder to air missiles, and perhaps less costly.

One of the most serious failings of the powerful expatriate Tamil community is to formulate an effective action plan to get international support in the entirely justifiable struggle of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka to free themselves from a brutal, irresponsible and discriminatory regime in Colombo. If the murder of Pararajasingham galvanizes the expatriate Tamils into action, he would not have died in vain.
 

Murder in the cathedral – An open letter to the President - Revd. B. J. Alexander, Sunady Leader, 8 January 2006
I write to you as a kinsman of the late Joseph Pararajasingham. Of course, all his friends and family both in Sri Lanka and abroad are overcome with shock. Now as part of the grieving process, understandably Mr. President, we all are deeply hurt and angered by this despicable blood-spilling within the walls of a sacred space.

Sugunam Joseph, his wife has indeed escaped the near-miss attempt on her life along with other seven worshippers and as you are aware, is in a critical condition.

The Tamils in general and the Tamil-speaking people of the east in particular, have lost a father-figure, leader and a towering human-rights activist, who engaged in the relentless pursuit of peace with justice. These clandestine forces that are determined to conceal the truth to the world are currently employed in this nefarious warfare of dividing communities. They have no sense of respect for anything including sacred worship. It is no longer a well-kept secret that the east has increasingly become the killing fields!

The people of the east have been the victims of intimidation and appalling human rights abuses. Even at the risk of losing their lives, the likes of Joseph owing to their principles and convictions, are willing to be voices of truth-telling. Hence, the primary strategy of these mercenary forces is to silence such bold witnesses. However the irony is, Joseph’s death has become a more eloquent voice of such appalling human rights abuses.

The Tamils are aware that your government has blamed the LTTE for this murder. We are more than convinced that it is a false propaganda. The friends and family are still wondering as to why such strategic slayings repeatedly occur within the government designated High Security Zones? Eye-witness’ accounts at the Christmas-eve mass seem to suggest that Joseph’s bodyguards who are given by the state were totally inactive while this operation was underway. It goes without saying, that your government will have to take responsibility for the assassination of a senior Tamil politician.

We appeal to your Excellency, that you would order an independent public inquiry to be conducted immediately – perhaps with UN supervision. Before these insidious forces cover their tracks and disappear.Justice must not only be done, it must appear to be done. Yet again,justice cannot be denied to the Tamils.

With deep sorrow and pain we appeal to you Sir for such prompt action to precede any pragmatic peace-talking.
Global Peace & Justice, Newton, Auckland, New Zealand condemns Pararajasingham killing, 12 January 2006
Assassinated Sri Lankan MP Had Strong New Zealand Connections

Global Peace and Justice Auckland supporters were deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the assassination of Sri Lankan MP and human rights activist Joseph Pararajasingham as he attended a Catholic Church service in Sri Lanka on December 27th. Mr Pararajasingham was at the altar when the attack occurred.

Mr Pararajasingham visited New Zealand in May 2005 along with his fellow MP Mr Selvaraja Gajendran and met with GPJA supporters and human rights activists. The attached photo was taken after one of the meetings. (Mr Pararajasingham is the gentleman in the back with the yellow shirt and tie)

Mr Pararajasingham was a Member of Parliament for Batticaloa in Sri Lanka for several years. His constituency is part of the Tamil community which has been involved in a long struggle for autonomy in Sri Lanka.

The assassination took place despite Mr Pararajasingham being under the military protection of the Sri Lankan government and was conducted by a paramilitary group – groups that have often been directly associated with the Sri Lankan government. Such groups have been used frequently to conduct a low-level campaign of violence and intimidation against Tamil community leaders and activists.

The grave danger following this assassination is that there will be a return to armed conflict in the struggle for Tamil independence. There is a peace process in place but it is in a fragile state.

GPJA joins with the Tamil community in condemning the assassination and is calling on the New Zealand government to do likewise. We want the government to communicate directly with the Sri Lankan government – urging it to condemn the killing and vigorously pursue those responsible.

This is yet another conflict where the people of New Zealand can have an international impact beyond its size. We look forward to swift government action to contribute to justice and peace in Sri Lanka.

Mike Treen – (09) 3616989 or 0275254744
John Minto – (09) 8463173
Geraldene Peters - (09) 3765994
Remembering Mamanithar Joseph Pararajasingham - Usha Sri Skanda Rajah, 25 December 2006

Fatally shot at close range from behind by Sri Lankan Paramilitary inside St Mary’s church Batticaloa, Sri Lanka on Christmas Eve soon after receiving Holy Communion from His Grace Bishop Kingsley Swampillai.

Until now no one has been charged for the murder of Maamanithar Joseph Pararajasingam although his assassins are well known. The killers are freely roaming the streets with impunity only to perpetrate more atrocities against innocent civilians. Despite the fact that the names of the suspects were given to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and he is fully aware of the identities of the assassins, they have not been brought to justice.

The situation as it prevailed at the time of the assassination and now is no different except we now have Alan Rock, Adviser to the UN’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict adding his voice to what every one knew as ground reality: Speaking to CBC’s ‘Current’ program about his fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka and his assertion of clear and compelling evidence of (Sri Lankan) government complicity in the abduction of children by the Karuna Faction he said “I found the atmosphere in the country to be extremely negative.” Sri Lankan police were “unreliable”, the army “unresponsive particularly to Tamil needs and complaints”, the courts “politicized”, the Human Rights Commission devoid of “resources”, “no one, no institutional body which will respond to human rights violations or protect the people. In that environment you have assassinations, abductions and bombings with no investigation. In places like Batticaloa there were young men walking down the street with AK47s with absolute impunity, who would shoot whoever they wanted to, with no follow up, no consequences, an environment which is terrifying.”

Our thoughts and prayers on this Christmas Day are with his grieving wife and family and with all the other families and dear ones of victims of Sri Lankan State terrorism.
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Condemn Killing of Joseph Pararajasingham, 25 December 2005 - Text of  Media Release by the Political Wing of the Liberation Tigers: 

"Mr Joseph Pararajasingam, Tamil nationalist and human rights activist, was brutally shot dead by the Sri Lankan intelligence unit while attending Christmas mass.

Mr Joseph Pararajasingam, a Tamil nationalist and TNA member of parliament, who worked tirelessly to promote and protect human rights, was shot dead on Christmas Eve while he was attending Christmas mass at St. Mary’s church situated inside a high security zone of Batticaloa town. He was murdered by the Sri Lankan military intelligence wing and the paramilitaries working with them, including the Karuna Group and EPDP. Mr Pararajasingam’s wife, Mrs Sugunam, and six others were injured in the shooting.

Mr Pararajasingam prayed for peace and freedom for his people and had just received communion from the Bishop when the Sri Lankan intelligence unit and the paramilitaries shot him and escaped.

Mr Pararajasingam raised his voice for the human rights of the Tamil people at the international stage and at diplomatic forums. He maintained solid relationships with human rights organizations and worked hard for the formation and growth of the Northeast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR). It is this towering humanitarian who was shot dead by the Sri Lankan military intelligence wing.

This well-planned murder proves that the long hand of the chauvinistic forces such as the Jathika Hela Urumaya is working through the Sri Lankan military intelligence wing.

The chauvinistic forces have taken away this patriot who has worked for the Tamil nation’s liberation and promotion of human rights.

We strongly condemn this appalling, vicious murder. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and relatives.

 

 



 
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