One Hundred Tamils
of the 20th Century
Mamanithar Vanniasingham Vigneswaran
Vigneswaran, President of the Trincomalee District Tamil
Peoples' Forum (TDTPF) was shot dead Friday, 7 April 2006
around 9.30 a.m. by an unidentified person when he was about
to enter the main branch of the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) located
along Inner Harbor Road between the office of the Senior
Superintendent of Police and Trincomalee Harbor Police. The
assassination of the key Tamil activist has taken place when
the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was about to announce the
appointment of Mr. Vigneswaran as the national list
Parliamentarian to fill the position held by
Joseph Pararajasingham MP
who was slain in Batticaloa on Christmas eve.
Liberation Tigers Political Head S.P. Thamilchelvan, in a
letter to the Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission on 7
April 2006, expressed shock over Trincomalee Tamil activist
Vigneswaran's slaying and said that the killing, in the
context of what is taking place on the ground, rendered
Colombo's pledges in Geneva on curbing paramilitary
activities "meaningless." Describing Vigneswaran's slaying
as a part of Sri Lankan military's "planned killings of
Tamil activists in a systematic manner," Thamilchelvan says
that the GoSL and its law enforcing authorities could no
longer plead ignorance of Tamil activists killings.
The slaying of Tamil activist, humanitarian worker and a
democrat has put the entire Tamil Nation into deep grief,
Thamilchelvan said in his letter to the Head of Sri Lanka
Monitoring Mission (SLMM).
"Tamil human rights activist Mr. V. Vigneswaran's
assassination and those of 17 other Tamils in the period
from November 2005 to January 2006 clearly shows that the
Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) will never protect the human
rights of the Tamils. Therefore we ourselves have to strive
to protect our rights," said Rev. Fr. Kanagaratnam, Director
North East Human
Rights Secretariat (NEOSHR), paying homage to slain Mr.
Vigneswaran whose body was kept for viewing at the Cultural
Hall in Kilinochchi Monday, 10 April 2006
Leader of Tamil Eelam,
Velupillai Pirapaharan, bestowed the title Maamanithar
(Great Human being) on Mr.Vanniasingham Vigneswaran,
President of the Trincomalee District Tamil Peoples' Forum (TDTPF).
"Steadfast and honest, he opposed the
genocidal war by
the successive Sinhala governments which destroyed
thousands of Tamil lives and their property, plundered
Tamils possessions and resources, and was intent on
destroying Tamil National symbols. Vigeswaran fought to
free Tamils from this menace," Pirapaharan said in the
statement conferring the award.
English Translation of the statement issued by the
Leader of Tamil Eelam, Velupillai Pirapaharan
"Tamil Nation has lost today a highly principled man who
worked relentlessly towards the freedom of Tamil Nation.
A flame of freedom that burnt brightly in our Nation's
capitol has been extinguished. A strident voice that
fought for the unity and solidarity of the Tamil Nation
has gone silent. A Tamil activist who served as a
backbone to the rise of Tamil Nationalism has been
killed by the cowardice attack by the enemy.
Vigneswaran's loss has plunged our Nation into
Vigneswaran is a shining light possessed with high
ideals. His exemplary qualities attracted everyone
towards him. Tamil people held him in high esteem and
loved him. His loss is irreplaceable.
Vigneswaran firmly believed that separate Tamil Eelam is
the final solution to the Tamil National struggle.
Steadfast and honest, he opposed the
genocidal war by
successive Sinhala governments which destroyed thousands
of Tamil lives and their property, plundered Tamils
possessions and resources, and was intent destroying
Tamil National symbols. Vigeswaran fought to free Tamils
from this menace. He embraced fully the ideals and
struggle advanced by our movement towards freedom.
His life was closely entwined with Trincomalee soil and
lives of Tamil people. He deeply loved his people. While
living amidst Sri Lanka Army (SLA) occupation, he raised
his voice to the world that the Trincomalee soil
belonged to Tamil people. Even while aware of danger to
his life, he courageously fought against injustice. As
the President of the Trincomalee District Tamil Peoples'
Forum, he was instrumental in strengthening Tamil
National Alliance (TNA) support in his district.
I am deeply honored to confer the Maamanithar (Great
Human being) award on Mr V Vigneswaran recognizing his
love for his people and their freedom, and his
unprecedented contributions to the
Tamil struggle. Death
never destroys great men who lived to uphold truthful
goals. They will forever live in the psyche of the Tamil