The one time rebel and the commander of the Eastern Sector of the LTTE, Vinayagamoorthy Muralitheran alias Karuna now an MP entrusted with the responsibility of developing the Eastern Province, said that it would be desirable to implement the 13th Amendment to penetrate the present impasse to settle the conflict in the North and East.
He also said they do not want to press for police and powers as that facility is not enjoyed by other Provincial Councils operating elsewhere in country now because, if such facility is provided for North and East that would create further trouble.
He made these remarks as the guest speaker at the 20th Business for Peace Forum of the Business for Peace Initiative of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) held at Hotel Ceylon Continental, Thursday (19th).
Kosala Wickramanayake, President, FCCISL welcoming the guests said that the Business for Peace Initiative was a pioneering initiative of the FCCISL and through this Initiative they have done tremendous work through Back to Business Project. Particularly through this initiative they have rendered much service in the Tsunami affected areas of the North and East.
He said that now the war is coming to an end, FCCISL in collaboration with the Regional Chambers in those areas affiliated to them are now posed to undertake business development and other development work in those areas.
Karuna insisted that the language barrier in communication by the authorities have become a big problem, particularly with regard to police and to overcome this problem he suggested recruiting young Tamils to the police force and they could be stationed in the North and East police stations which solve the communication problem.
Some of the members of the audience confronted him with serious queries – one among them is whether he was responsible of killing of around 700
policemen during the time he was commanding the Eastern Sector. He evaded the issue indicating that the executions were carried out by his hierarchy.
He said that for a long time he has advocated a negotiated settlement to the conflict and also brought this matter up with the LTTE leadership, but the leadership did not accept it as his former leader, Prabahakaran, is a hard hearted person and would not budge from his arrogant concept of violent struggle which only served vested interests and not the Tamil people.
Karuna said that the LTTE has missed several opportunities to settle this matter and said the negotiations with Ranil Wickramasinghe in 2001 was a historical opportunity arising at the best time, but the LTTE leadership did not seize it.
He said that Sri Lanka alone would not be able to settle this matter and therefore Indian assistance should also be obtained.
He said that when they broke away from the mainstream LTTE he brought 4,000 of his cadre along with him and they were sent home.
He predicted that though the war would be over it would take several months to restore normalcy. Once the LTTE looses their territory they might revert to guerrilla warfare.
Karuna said that all efforts are being made to develop the area and said that there is great potential with land and other resources abundantly available.
He said that President Rajapakse is a great leader and if this president was ruling the country earlier, he would have settled the problem then. The path taken by President Rajapakse would benefit the battered Tamils in the North and East and there would be much development work ahead.
``Tamil people are fed up with the war which deprives them of a comfortable life and it has been proved futile to fight with the majority Sinhalese. They want to live comfortably, enjoy good infrastructure and enjoy some entertainment. You can't do that by fighting with (majority) Sinhalese people," he said.
He said that it would be better working with the majority Sinhalese and develop the North and East and therefore to fulfill these obligations by the Tamil people, he would be joining the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and all their offices in the East would be turned to SLFP Branches so that they could work alongside the government and develop the area.