Can US ignore TNAs complicity in LTTE terror? Gotabhaya
EU report cited to prove direct linkApril 11, 2013, 12:00 pm
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that US Ambassador Michele J. Sison was either ignorant of the post-war situation in the country or chose to ignore it in deeping with the US agenda.
Ambassador Sisons recent speech at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo was meant to strengthen those still pursuing a separatist agenda, both here and abroad, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa told The Island.
The outspoken official was responding to Ambassador Sisons address to members of the Colombo based Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) on Wednesday evening.
Commenting on the Ambassadors assertion that the resumption of a dialogue with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on political devolution is crucial, Rajapaksa said the US should realize the TNA was playing politics with the issue. He emphasized that the TNA had regained its right to represent Tamil speaking people again only after the eradication of the LTTE in May 2009. Until then, the TNA simply acted as the LTTEs mouthpiece both here and abroad.
Maybe Ambassador Sison still doesnt know Prabhakaran compelled the TNA to recognize the LTTE as the sole representative of Tamil speaking people way back in 2001. That effectively kept the TNA out of the Norwegian-led negotiating process. As TNA leaders feared for their lives, they remained silent. None of the Colombo based diplomatic missions, including the US, intervened on behalf of the TNA, the Defence Secretary said.
He said that latterly the TNA joined the LTTE in its strategy to pursue the eelam project and contested the December 2001 parliamentary under the auspices of the LTTE. European Union Election Monitoring Mission, in its report alleged that TNA candidates had benefited from the LTTE unleashing violence on other political parties in the fray, he said.
The visiting EU monitors even reported how the LTTE stuffed ballot boxes on behalf of the TNA candidates, the retired colonel said.
The official said that those demanding accountability on Sri Lankas part for alleged atrocities were strangely silent on the TNAs role during the conflict. Let TNA at least explain its position on the LTTE using children as cannon fodder as well deploying them on suicide missions, the Defence Secretary said.
He said that the LTTE went to the extent of depriving people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces of their franchise at the November 2005 presidential polls. In fact, the polls boycott decision had been announced by the TNA in Kilinochchi in the run-up to the November 17, 2005 election, the Defence Secretary said. Today, the TNA is presented as Tamil peoples only choice, Rajapaksa said, urging US Ambassador to clarify matters with the TNA, which in fact backed the LTTEs war to the hilt to the very end.
Although the LTTE remained a proscribed organization in the US as well as the UK, those who had been working with the LTTE at different levels were operating freely, the Defence Secretary said.
The official said that ambassador Sisons explanation on second US resolution targeting Sri Lanka was deceptive. The ambassador was speaking as if Sri Lanka was the only issue at Geneva, whereas the US was isolated on several other votes at the recently concluded Geneva sessions.
The Defence Secretary said that those preaching to us on media freedom had acted differently when they felt their interests were threatened. The US response to Wiki Leaks revelations highlighted its double standards in dealing with similar situations, the Defence Secretary said. Instead of investigating massive abuses, the US arrested the person accused of releasing US military and diplomatic cables and then dismissed the US State Department spokesperson who criticized the bad treatment of the suspect.
The war veteran said that the international community hadnt been bothered about accountability issues when the LTTE was in command. Have you ever heard of them demanding accountability when the LTTE was advancing its campaign of death and destruction, he asked.
Last Updated Feb 27 2017 | 10:56 pm