Paid LTTE agents


Christina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Communication, barred Matthew Russell Lee from the UN offices. Lee ran the website known as the "Inner City Press", based in New York. This website operated in a grey area of journalism "exposing" institutional corruption, human rights abuses etc., and supported militant groups in Africa and Asia, some of which are labeled terrorist groups, or "liberation groups", depending on the politics of the observer.

A news report in the Sri Lankan newspaper "Divaina", 5th March 2016, accused Matthew Russell Lee of being a paid publicity agent of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE is an organization banned as a terrorist organization by most western countries, including the USA and Canada, and also by Sri Lanka and other South-Asian countries. The LTTE, the inventor of the suicide belt used today in the Middle East, fought a terrible terrorist war against the Sri Lankan government, as well as rival Tamil groups for 30 years, from approximately 1980 to 2009. Its leader Prabhakaran and associates were eliminated by government troops in May 2009. But the LTTE remains a strong, well-funded activist organization among Diaspora Tamils in the West.

Allegedly, Russell Lee claimed that the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon, and his assistant Vijaya Nambiar, had tacitly approved the alleged "genocide" of the LTTE cadres during its last days. According to Russell Lee, the UN leaders were complicit in the elimination of Prabhakaran and his lieutenants by the Sri Lankan army, telling them to surrender with a white flag, but not taking any steps whatsoever for a safe surrender. Many competent analysts hold that Prabhakaran and his team had no real wish to surrender, and no such white-flag incident ever occurred, or that a special message could be conveyed to Prabhakaran by UN officials or even the LTTE agents in the Tamil Diaspora, during the last hold-out. However, no reliable information is available.

However, Matthew Russell Lee and others have exploited the confused situation to claim that a "genocide" occurred with "the tacit consent of the UN". The UN itself has accused the Sri Lankan government of "war crimes" but refuses to divulge sources or make specific accusations. Meanwhile, a group of UK-based jurists, including Sir Desmond de Silva, claims that the law of armed conflict, applied to the accusations made against the Sri Lankan government makes those accusations without merit. However, ignoring such legal advice, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry has decided to meekly accept the UN-Human Rights Commission accusations as its working principle!

It is well known that the LTTE held some 300,000 Tamils as "human shields" till the very end. But most of them were freed by the government forces in May 2009. A Canadian Think Tank (McKenzie Institute) lauded the work of the government and rejected the accusations of the pro-LTTE NGOs. The government of the day, as well as Sri Lankan think-tanks like the Marga Institute (which identifies with the anglicized Sri Lankans) claimed that some 7000 people, most of them LTTE fighters, were killed in the final operation. See:

But the pro-LTTE websites claim that a "genocide" of hundreds of thousands of people occurred, while the UN claims that some 40,000 were killed. The ultra-Hindu Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial council, notorious for his racist pronouncements (e.g., his denunciation of inter-racial marriages) has accused all Sri Lankan governments since 1948, to have committed "Genocide of the Tamils".

The "Divaina" news report details that Russell Lee remained silent while the LTTE exploded suicide bombs amidst civilians in railways, banks and other public places, and assassinated Tamils who rose up in dissent. However, Russell Lee has allegedly echoed the propaganda of the LTTE through his own website.

Allegedly, one of the most lucrative contracts of Russell Lee was a campaign against Shavendra Silva, an ex-Major General of the Sri Lankan army, delegated to the UN. Russell Lee claimed that Shavendra Silva was a "War criminal" and should not be allowed in the UN. Russell Lee engaged in writing letters to the UN ambassadors on behalf of the LTTE lobby. It is alleged that the "Sri Lankan Government and its army" are threatening to kill him, but did not lodge a complaint to the police or the FBI. The "Divaina" claims that Russell Lee's false media activity for the LTTE since 2008 earned him a Luxury house in Toronto, Canada.

Russell Lee's allegations against the Sri Lankan government, as well as against the UN, and finally his attempt to illegally occupy a UN office assigned to translators of UN proceedings of closed sessions, are said to have led to his expulsion. Mr. Shivajilingam, a Sri Lankan provincial parliamentarian who is a cousin of the slain LTTE leader Prabhakaran, as well as Ms. Ananthi Sasikaran, the widow of the late LTTE-leader who was in charge of the LTTE child-soldiers, are two people who have launched a protest campaign against the UN for the expulsion of Russell Lee from the UN Correspondents’ Association.

Russell Lee is said to have worked hard for an official screening at the UN of the controversial movie of Callum Macrae of the UK-based Channel 4, named "Killing Fields (see: ). When this failed, Russell Lee is said to have claimed through various news media that the UN delegate Palitha Kohona had "bribed" Giampaolo Pioli and prevented the showing of the Channel-4 movie at the UN. Apparently, Russell Lee had also been caught when he had secreted himself at a social event of Sri Lankan officials, although he was not invited. Did Russell Lee act as a "spy" for his pay masters?

The LTTE organizations, using its wealth, are increasingly resorted to using American, Canadian and European nationals, rather than Tamils, to push forward their activities, as that gives them more leverage and more credibility in their host countries.

In contrast, it is alleged that the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, under Mangala Samaraweera, does not take a clear cut policy of rejection of allegations made by individuals like Russell Lee, due to the current ambiguous appeasement policies of the government.

Chandre Dharmawardana


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