பைபிளின் மிகவும் அழகிய இந்த வாசகத்திற்கு மிகப் பொருத்தமான ஒரு மனிதர் மறைந்த திரு.ஜோசப் பரராஜசிங்கம் அவர்கள். அதனாற் தான் தேசியத்தலைவரால் மாமனிதர் என்ற விருதும் அவருக்கு வழங்கப்பட்டிருக்கிறது
மண்ணையும் மக்களையும் நேசித்த ,குறிப்பாக ஆக்கிரமிப்பாளரின் கொடுமைகள் மிகுந்த தென்தமிழீழத்தின் வாழ்விலும் தாழ்விலும் பங்கெடுத்த ஒரு நல்ல ஆன்மாவின் துடிப்பு ஆயுதமுனையில் அடக்கப்பட்டிருக்கிறது.தேசத்தை நேசிப்பவர்களுக்கு மரணத்தைப் பரிசாகக் கொடுப்பது காலகாலமாக இங்கே நடந்துவருகின்றதெனினும் ஜோசப் பரராஜசிங்கத்தின் பலியெடுப்பிற்கு ஆக்கிரமிப்பாளர்கள்; குறித்த நாள், மக்களின் ஈடேற்றத்திற்காகத் தன்னைச் சிலுவையில் ஒப்புக் கொடுத்ததாகச் சொல்லப்படும் யேசுபாலன் பிறந்த நாள்.
அவரின் பலியெடுப்பிற்கு அவர்கள் குறித்த இடம் தேவனின் திருச்சபை. தமிழினத்தின் அழிவொன்றையே நித்தம் உருப்போடுவதைத் தவிர வேறெந்த சிந்தனையும் அற்றவர்களால் தான் இந்த ஈனச்செயலை அதுவும் இவ்வாறான ஒரு நாளிற்; செய்யமுடியும். விடுதலைப்புலிகளின் முக்கிய பிரமுகர் க.வே. பாலகுமாரன் சொன்னது போல் இத்தகைய ‘விழி திறக்காதவர்களுக்காக திரு. ஜோசப் தன் விழிகளை மூடியிருக்கிறார்’.
மாமனிதர் ஜோசப் பரராஜசிங்கம்பத்திரிகையாளனாகத் தொடங்கி தமிழபிமானத்தால் அரசியல்வாதியாகி, வடக்கிலும் கிழக்கிலும் இடம்பெறுகின்ற மனிதஉரிமை மீறல்களை வெளியுலகுக்கு வெளிச்சம் போட்டுக் காட்டியவர் என்ற வகையில் அரசின் கவனிப்பைப் பெற்றவர் திரு.ஜோசப் பரராஜசிங்கம். தமிழரசுக்கட்சி,தமிழர் விடுதலைக்கூட்டணி என்று தனது அரசியற்பணியை ஆரம்பித்து ஆயதப்போராட்டம் முனைப்புப் பெற்ற இன்றைய காலம்வரை பல தசாப்தங்களைக் கண்டவர்.
இன்றைய நெருக்கடியான சூழலில் ஆங்கிலப் புலமை வாய்ந்த திரு.ஜோசப்பின் குரலை நிறுத்துவது சம்பந்தப்பட்டவர்களுக்கு மிகமிக அவசியமானதொன்றாக இல்லாவிடின் கிறிஸ்துமஸ் தினத்தையும் புனித மரியாள் தேவாலயத்தையும் கொலைக்காகத் தேர்வு செய்திருக்கமாட்டார்கள். ஒரு பாராளுமன்ற ஜனநாயக வாதியாகவும் மனித உரிமைகள்வாதியாகவும் பார்க்கப்பட்ட திரு.ஜோசப் பரராஜசிங்கம் படுகொலை செய்யப்பட்டமை தொடர்பாக உலக நாடுகளோ, சர்வதேச அமைப்புகளோ நாம் அறிந்த வரையில் அனுதாபமோ கவலையோ வெளியிடவில்லை.
கதிர்காமர் கொலையையடுத்து வெறும் அனுமானங்களை மட்டும் அடிப்படையாகக் கொண்டு விடுதலைப்புலிகளுக்கெதிராகத் தடைகளைக் கொண்டுவர முயற்சித்த சர்வதேச அபிப்பிராயம், கருணை வழியவேண்டிய நாளொன்றில் காவு கொள்ளப்பட்ட உயிரை ஏன் கண்டுகொள்ளவில்லை?
ஜனநாயகப் பண்புகளுக்கமைய நாடாளுமன்றம் சென்று அடிவாங்கிய வரலாறு தமிழினத்திற்கு நிறையவே உண்டு.காலிமுகத்திடலில் அமைதியாகக் கூடிய சத்தியாக்கிரகிகள் மீது தடியடிப்பிரயோகம் செய்ததிலிருந்து மாமனிதர் குமார் பொன்னம்பலம் படுகொலை செய்யப்பட்டது வரை நடந்தேறிய அட்டூழியங்களையெல்லாம் மேற்குலகம் காணவில்லையா?
ஜனநாயகஆட்சியின் பண்புகளில் ஒன்றென மேற்குலகம் கூறும் கருத்துச் சுதந்திர உரிமை தமக்கும் உண்டென நம்பி உண்மைகளை வெளிக் கொணரப் பாடுபட்ட நடேசன், நிமலராஜன்,மாமனிதர் சிவராம் போன்றோரின் படுகொலைகளை மேற்குலகம் அறியவில்லையா?
குறிப்பாக தராக்கி சிவராம், குமார் பொன்னம்பலம் போன்றோர் மேற்குலகின் பார்வைப்பரப்புள் வரும் கொழும்பைத் தளமாகக் கொண்டது மேற்குலகின் மீது கொண்ட நம்பிக்கையாலல்லவா?
ஆந்த நம்பிக்கை மீது மண்விழவில்லையா? இவை யாவற்றிலிருந்தும் புலப்படும் உண்மை: விடுதலை கோரிப் போராடும் இனம் தனிமைப்படுத்தப்படும்;;உலகின் அக்கறை கோரி அவர்கள் எழுப்பும் குரல் யாருமற்ற வனாந்தரத்தில் ஒலிக்கும் தீனக்குரலாகி ஓயும்; என்பதே.
மீண்டும் மீண்டும் உணர்த்தப்படும் இந்த உண்மைகள் திரு. ஜோசப் பரராஜசிங்கத்தின் படுகொலை மூலம் மீள அரங்கேறியுள்ளன.
மணலுள் தலை புதைத்த தீக்கோழிகளாய் உண்மையான களநிலையைக் காணமறுக்கும் அல்லது மறக்கும் சர்வதேச அபிப்பிராயம் குறித்த கவலைகளை ஒதுக்கிவிட்டு மண்ணுக்காய் மரித்தவர்களின் அபிலாசைகளைக் கணக்கிலெடுத்து முன்னகர்வதே நாம் அவர்களுக்குச் செய்யும் இதயபூர்வமான அஞ்சலியாகும்.
LTTE confers “Maamanithar” title to Pararajasingham
[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 December 2005, 15:17 GMT]
Leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Velupillai Pirapaharan, bestowed the title Maamanithar (Great Humanbeing) on the slain Senior Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham Sunday. “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,” Pirapaharan said in the statement conferring the award.
Full text the letter conferring the Maamanithar title follows:
Liberation Tigers of 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.
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Joseph Pararajasingham MP shot dead in Batticaloa church
[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 December 2005, 19:56 GMT]
Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, a senior Tamil politician and the Batticaloa district Member of Parliament (MP) of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was shot and killed by two unidentified gunmen at St. Mary’s co-cathedral church in Batticaloa town while attending Christmas prayers early morning at 1.20 a.m Sunday. The MP’s wife, Mrs. Sugunam Pararajasingham, seriously wounded in the gunfire, was rushed to Batticaloa Hospital in critical condition. Seven more persons were injured in the gunfire, civilian sources said.
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.
Pararajasinghams have two sons (one deceased), and one daughter.
Mr 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.
Mr Pararajasingham had a good command in English.
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 Assocoation.
23.12.05 Indian High Commissioner meets TNA delegation
15.01.05 Delays in relief worsen woes of Batticaloa affected- MP
14.09.04 TNA MPs meet with Japanese Ambassador
10.09.04 TNA MPs meet Canadian Ambassador
02.09.04 French diplomats meet TNA foreign affairs committee
20.06.04 “SL President’s duplicitous politics threatens peace”- MP
13.02.04 TNA readies to face poll with ‘house’ or ‘lighthouse’
08.04.01 Pararajasingham says prisons toll death knell for Tamils
11.10.00 Pararajasingham elected on final count
10.10.99 MP probes villagers’ ‘disappearances’
03.10.99 Batticaloa MP raises Rights question
05.02.99 ‘No new evidence’ – Koneswary inquiry
03.05.98 Army uses civilians as human shields – MP
10.02.98 Pararajasingham protests over new abductions
25.10.97 Pararajasingham calls for talks with Tigers
In Memory of Maamanithar Joseph Pararajasingam
In the best traditions of Thamil custom and culture; of honoring Thamil Heroism, Statesmanship and Valour, the highest accolade and the most prestigious honour that could ever be bestowed on a human being – “Mamanithar” – Great Man or Great Human Being – was conferred on Joseph Pararajasingam on behalf of the Thamil-speaking people by Thalaivar Velupillai Pirapaharan.
Mr. Joseph Pararajasingam, MP, 2004
Mr. Joseph Pararajasingam, MP, 2004
Joseph Pararajasingam will forever be alive in the hearts and minds of the Thamil people.
He will enter the annals of history and as ‘A Great Man’.
How do you measure a man’s greatness? – By his ideals; by how he lived; by his conduct; by what he achieved while he was alive; by how he is thought of by his wife; his children; his people; his peers; his colleagues; by other communities; by world leaders; by history.
A great man lives and works for others, not for himself; a great man is driven by a force for good; a great man values honesty and integrity; a great man serves God and his people; dedicates his every living moment and his resources for the ideal that he envisions for his people and sacrifices his life for it; a great man does not let the fear of dying at the hands of those who want to stop him get in the way of his pursuit, for achieving the higher purpose that he is striving for; a great man would be sorely missed; he never dies, but is alive and keeps alive the cause he lived and died for.
Joseph Pararajasingam is indeed a Great Man. His ideal was achieving freedom and dignity for his people and until his last breath he worked tirelessly towards it.
A journalist by profession, Joseph Pararajasingam started his political life in 1952 with the Federal Party. He served the people of the NorthEast as a distinguished Member of Parliament for the Batticaloa District in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka since 1990. He had the distinction of being elected as a Member of Parliament in 1994 with the highest number of preferential votes ever obtained by a Tamil politician since the introduction of the Proportional Representation system in Sri Lanka.
A Great Man of the people, Joseph Pararajasingam was loved by all the Thamil- speaking people. He strived to unite the Thamils, whether Christians, Muslims or Hindus, and believed deeply in the merger of the North and East as one Thamil Nation. He was the Great Man of the East, a leader Thamils needed in the East, who they couldn’t afford to lose, who is indeed irreplaceable. On his martyrdom there was deep sadness and a sense of loss in the whole of Thamil Eelam. TamilNet reported that, as a mark of condemnation and respect, shops were closed down; Banks did not operate; government and provincial offices were not functioning as workers did not report for duty; public markets and local government were completely paralyzed and transport disrupted. Despite intimidation and threats to their lives by his known assassins and their armed goons, the people openly showed their grief and outrage for a Great Man.
A “formidable human rights defender” and a humanitarian, Joseph Pararajasingam was responsible for the formation of the Red Cross Society in the Batticaloa district and was later a founding member of the NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR).
From the time he entered Parliament, Pararajasingam helped to uncover human rights violations committed against the Tamils by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces in the NorthEast and in other parts of the country. He was responsible for filing the highest number of petitions – over 2000 of them – to the committee appointed by the then government to look into the arrest, torture, and detention of Tamil youths for the period from 1984 to 1987. He was responsible for forcing the government to appoint the first Presidential Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the Kokkadicholai massacre in Batticaloa, which resulted in him being threatened with bodily harm. He was the first person to raise the case of the rape and murder of Krishanti, Krishanti, who at 16 yrs was, along with her mother, brother and neighbor, tortured murdered and buried in Chemmani, the now notorious mass graves where more than 400-600 Thamils were allegedly buried according to evidence given by the accused in the case.
Amnesty International was “appalled” upon hearing of the murder of this Great Human Rights Activist, condemning his killing by “unidentified attackers” on Christmas Eve inside St Mary’s church soon after receiving Holy Communion from His Grace, Bishop Kingsley Swampillai.
A Great Man, to qualify as one, has to be a Great Statesman, especially if he lived and breathed politics. Joseph Pararajasingam was no doubt a great Statesman and was recognized as such by his peers. President Mahinda Rajapakse acknowledged it in a letter he sent to the “Family.” His colleagues in the Tamil National Alliance, who were distraught, hailed him “as unequivocally committed to the resolution of the Thamil National Question by peaceful means and was greatly concerned about the possible resumption of war and firmly believed that the Thamil quest for freedom must be resolved in a just and durable manner through dialogue and negotiations.”
A Great Man must be respected by the world and the International Community. Joseph Pararajasingam was an executive member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Canada’s then Minister of Foreign Affairs and later Minister of Defense Bill Graham called him a “Man of Peace” and said “but he is also a man of steely determination, of great courage, a man willing to risk his life for his people.”
This Great Man took it upon himself to bring to the international arena both violations of human rights committed against Thamils by the security forces and the “Freedom Struggle” of the Thamils to which he was deeply committed. The way the Thamil Diaspora came together to express their anger and grief shows that Joseph Pararajasingam had touched people’s hearts.
Few Great Men can be all this; and also be great husbands. Joseph Pararajasingam was indeed a Great Husband. If you meet Sugunam Pararajasingam, you would have no doubts about it. Sugunam – the soft and gentle lady; who has a charismatic winning appeal. So dignified in her grief; yet inconsolable, and still pining for her husband..
For 49 years Joseph Pararajasingam faithfully shared his life with his greatest friend and indefatigable and ardent supporter, who would have given anything to give her life for him; agonizing over her regret that had she been near – he was a little ahead of her after receiving communion – she could have – would have placed her body as a human shield to save her husband from the assassins’ bullets. The assassins, who nevertheless turned on her to make sure she too had a fair share of the bullets which left her unconscious, also injuring many others in the church, including children. To her horror, she later found out her husband had died. 49 years of wedded bliss shattered in one cruel act.
A great father is judged by how he treats his children and his children’s mother. The children and grandchildren of Joseph Pararajasingam have no words to describe their love and immense respect for their father and grandfather, who was a father not only to them, not only to his electorate, but a father to the whole Thamil Nation.
When Thalaivar Velupillai Pirapaharan bestowed the title of “Great Man,” he said “Joseph Parajasingam’s extraordinary attachment to the Thamil cause gravitated all towards him.” That extraordinary fervor for freedom that he kept alive will endear him forever in the Thamil consciousness.
Joseph Pararajasingam will enter the annals of history and feature in the Epic that is “The Victory of Thamil Freedom” as A Great Man. A Maamanithar!
Pararajasingham was at peace with his life’s work- Balakumaran
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 January 2006, 00:01 GMT]
“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. In 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.”