Govt. expects major dividend from winning over KP



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by Shamindra Ferdinando


 


The government says the LTTE rump can play a pivotal role in the ongoing rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement process in the Northern Region following winning over KP and obtaining his cooperation.


 


Authoritative sources say one-time LTTE heavyweight KP is now working with the government to bring relief to the war displaced as well as those ex-combatants held at rehabilitation facilities.


KP twice visited rehabilitation facilities and there are indications that the government may take a group of Colombo-based diplomats and defence attaches to meet those undergoing rehabilitation.


Sources said that KP, who had been responsible for running one of the biggest clandestine arms smuggling operations against successive Sri Lankan government succeeded Prabhakaran shortly after the army finished off the LTTE on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon in May last year. Sri Lankan Intelligence Services apprehended him in the first week of August last year.


Government sources dismissed opposition assertion that giving KP an opportunity to work with the state machinery in a post-LTTE era posed a threat to national security. They said that those who genuinely called for reconciliation should be happy about the new development as there was a great opportunity for the Tamil Diaspora to get involved in the development process.


In an exclusive interview with this writer last Wednesday, KP at his first meet with the media since his apprehension by government agents last August, expressed confidence that the Tamil Diaspora would join government efforts though many felt that would never be possible.


He asserted that the destruction of the LTTE’s military capability should compel the Diaspora and the Tamil speaking people to review their approach for their own benefit. Failure to realize the ground situation and act accordingly would be catastrophic, he said.


Government sources said that those who had objected to the government-KP alliance failed to realize successive administrations treated ex-terrorists and members of proscribed organizations in a similar way.


They pointed out the then JVPers involved in the 1971 and 1987-1990 insurgencies and members of EPRLF, EPDP, PLOTE and other Tamil groups joined mainstream politics. Many Tamil terrorists and JVPers had an opportunity to enter parliament.


Top LTTE cadres such as Karuna and Pillayan too joined the government and KP would be the latest convert.


KP’s move had forced other Tamil political parties both in and out of parliament to shed their differences in a bid to reach a common front to tackle the one-time confidante of Prabhakaran.


There was acknowledgement at many levels that the government strategy of accommodating KP and taking some of his key associates operating abroad into its confidence was an unexpected development.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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