Home » News

Setting a Tamil terrorist to get the Tamils

[Press Release, Saturday, 3 July 2010 21:52 No Comment]

By Satheesan Kumaaran

It is an unparalleled paradox that that the Sri Lankan government, after crowing to the world that they vanquished the most dangerous terrorist organisation, and in order to justify the massacres of more than 30,000 Tamil civilians in the war, should use one its surviving leaders, and a war criminal at that, to woo members of the Tamil Diasporas to come to their line of thinking in further oppressing and marginalising the Tamil people. Their actions are a spectacle of the crudest form of Machiavellianism. This shows that the Sri Lankan State can stoop to the lowest level to “get the Tamils”. K. Pathmanathan, the central figure in this episode, is playing the role of the wooden handle of an axe being used to cut down its own kind.

During the war with the LTTE, Sri Lanka’s foreign missions failed to get close to the world Tamils. Following the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, a huge gap was created between the Eelam liberation movement and the world Tamils, especially Diaspora Tamils. This makes it easy for the Sri Lankan government, through its intelligence wing, to create division among world Tamils. As days go by, shocking reports are surfacing as how the Sri Lankan State is conducting its malicious activities to counter world Tamils, who are the only Tamil bulwark to counter further oppression and the obliteration of their identity.

One of the most shocking reports came to the world Tamils when a few professionals amongst the Diasporas met the Sri Lankan President and other government leaders in Sri Lanka. These Tamil individuals, it is said, also donated money to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa during their meeting with him.

The clandestine actions of these professionals have devastated the rest of the Diaspora Tamils, leading some institutionalised Tamil Diaspora organizations to condemn these professionals, either guided or misguided, issuing statements branding them as traitors. However, these individuals have returned to their adopted countries and are freely moving about as if nothing happened.

Another shocking report revealed the visit of another nine Diaspora Tamil individuals from six countries to Sri Lanka between 14 June – 20 June to meet with Mahinda Rajapaksa, foreign minister G. L. Peiris, Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan Director of National Intelligence Major General Kapila Hendawitharana, and several other high profile VIPs.

It must be noted that during Chandrika Kumaratunga’s presidency, Kapila Hendawitharana was in charge of the military intelligence. He played a crucial role in getting the renegade LTTE commander, Karuna, to work with the Sri Lankan military intelligence and in launching covert operations against the LTTE, resulting in a series of assassinations with impunity. His unit was mainly responsible for the serious violations of clause 1.8 of the Ceasefire Agreement by deploying paramilitary operatives against the militants. After repeated complaints from various actors, he was transferred and posted to Thailand as Defence Attaché. Later, when Rajapaksa came to power, Karuna was made the intelligence chief to coordinate with the defence secretary and Mahinda’s brother, Gotabhaya, and the then army commander, Fonseka.

KP: the poison seed

Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) was once the patriot of LTTE’s leader, V. Pirapaharan. He was also the best man of the Pirapaharan–Mathivathani wedding in 1984 in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. In so far as Pirapaharan was concerned, KP had two major assets: his undying loyalty and his low IQ. He was kept in charge of limited assignments, one being the custodian of some finances and the procurement of international arms for the LTTE. For some time KP was out of the picture. During the final phase of the war, not trusting the other more able leaders, Pirapaharan, in desperation, had to resort to appointing KP, although an idiot, as the head of the Department of International Relations of the LTTE, a fatal mistake. Pirapaharan trusted that KP would somehow save the tens of thousands of Tamils even if he was to die. It is interesting, however, that Gothabaya Rajapaksa should this week reveal to the BBC news service that the Sri Lankan government began their good relations with KP in 2006. If this is true then KP fits into the definition of a true traitor for Tamils. Underestimating the intelligence of the Tamil leadership, KP had even claimed that he would get international support and definitely the UN Security Council to support the Eelam Tamils.

Even during the last days of the war, KP asked LTTE’s political leaders and other LTTE cadres to surrender to the Sri Lankan army with a white flag, and told them that they would be released afterward. As per his request, LTTE’s political division’s chief P. Nadesan, Finance Division head Thamilenthi, political division deputy head Pulithevan, and others surrendered with a white flag. They were arrested and shot at gun point after being severely tortured. Nadesan’s wife, a Sinhalese, was put through the most horrendous ordeal for resisting on the ground that they were surrendering in accordance in terms of the international law.

When the Tamils were wailing and grieving over the deaths and maiming of their near relatives and while over 300,000 Tamils were held within razor wired camps in Vavuniya, there was a report that the Sri Lankan government, with the aid of the Malaysian government, arrested and escorted KP to Colombo for punishment for his association with the LTTE as he was described by the government as a kingpin of the LTTE. Later, the government stated that KP was being held in the CID’s famous fourth floor and they were grilling him to get the details of the LTTE’s oversees operations. India reportedly sent intelligence officials to Colombo to interrogate him, too, for being an accomplice in the murder of Rajiv Gandhi. All this while, the Sri Lanka’s Opposition parties were claiming that KP was given luxury accommodations while being escorted with the security of armed forces. If this was so, then KP’s arrest was staged. Claims by dubious experts on terrorism that KP was abducted in a truly Mossad fashion gives the lie to such fraudulent claims and exposes their deception. These are persons who masquerade as experts on terrorism telling what leaders wish to hear to appear credible. It is unfortunate that the Diaspora Tamils did not believe that KP would do such a horrible thing.

However, the Tamil Nadu politicians and Tamil Nadu people have maintained that KP had reneged on the Eelam. After some Diaspora members met with the Sri Lankan leaders several months ago, Diaspora Tamils have now come to partially acknowledge that KP was a loyalist of the Sri Lankan State. Diaspora Tamils became aware of his association with the Sri Lankan State after the Sri Lankan government ran an article in the Sri Lankan newspaper ‘Sunday Observer’ last month.

After the Sri Lankan government acknowledged that KP was a patriot, there was another story that came out in the middle of June 2010, about the nine-member delegation from six countries who visited between June 14–June 20. These members visited Sri Lanka on the request of KP. He was accompanied by all theses nine members as well as Sri Lankan top leaders who also visited Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitheevu, Vavuniya, and Colombo.

Gothabaya Rajapaksa, when speaking to the BBC news service, acknowledged that KP was the person who coordinated the visit of the nine Diaspora Tamils. On the other hand, TNA parliamentarian, Suresh Premachandran, told the BBC news service that Sri Lanka is a second–class State because it has long maintained that KP was a criminal who should be punished in Sri Lanka, but now he is being given luxury accommodations and full protection by Sri Lankan armed forces, which shows that Sri Lanka is a failed State with no respectable or effective judicial system on the island.

Gothabaya threatens Tamil Diaspora delegation

While the nine members, along with KP, were in a meeting room, Gothabaya showed up to give a taste of his characteristic demeanour to this delegation. KP was embraced by Gothayaba. After which, Gothayaba spoke in a manner that shocked the delegation. Another shocking report was released this week by one of the nine-member delegation, Dr. Velauthapillai Arudkumar, who is a physician from Britain and committee member of the British Tamil Forum.

Dr. Arudkumar told Tamilnet Online Journal this week that the Maj. Gen. Hendawitharana, who is the longest serving intelligence officer of the military, is in charge of the covert and overt programme of dividing and conquering the Tamil Diaspora and that was the person in charge to divide the Tamils with the help of KP. The Tamil Diasporas have to be grateful to him, at least, for this revelation.

Dr. Arudkumar said: “I made the decision as an individual to explore the opportunity to help the uprooted civilians, people incarcerated and those held in detention camps. Earlier, I served the people of Vaakarai in Batticaloa for four weeks after the 2004 tsunami catastrophe. I am not a politician. I only wanted to help…But, after sensing the intentions behind the Sri Lankan military intelligence, the foreign minister and the defence secretary, and experiencing the restrictions put in place, my decision was not to succumb to the tactics of Colombo….They will only bring their mindset into you, attempt to divide and destroy you. They will misuse your intentions for their advantage, especially in convincing the West that the Tamil Diaspora is now cooperating with them.”

He further said: “KP told us that one should be satisfied with what is being offered and should look after the civilians and the former cadres. He was sounding ‘spiritual’ and was criticising the political initiatives of the Diaspora…The TNA speaks only about political solution and Tamil Nadu leaders are jokers (koamaalikal), is the opinion reflected in the speeches of Kapila, Gotabhaya and KP.”

Tamilnet quoted Arudkumar as saying that the visitors were told of outside interests in the land of the North and East. When asked who those outsiders were, the reply pointed at India. Dr. Arudkumar thinks that there is an intention on the part of the Sri Lankan government side to bring about in a rift between the Eelam Tamils and India / Tamil Nadu. "Even if you can’t, we will bring the Diaspora to cooperate," the visitors were told with arrogance and confidence.

“Tamils have no right to ask for a political solution and they should accept whatever is given”, was the attitude of the government side, and it was like treating Tamils as slaves, says Arudkumar, adding that when such was the attitude, he felt embarrassed to see KP’s gesture of embracing Gotabhaya at the meeting. The terms like transnational, united, federal, etc., are sensitive terms and they should be avoided. From South Africa to Japan, countries have so many other models. “One should go to the grassroots to find the solution”, foreign minister G.L.Peris told the visitors.

“One should not talk about the past or history, but should cooperate to build the country together. Mahinda has got a mandate from the Sinhala people”, was the response from the government side when the visitors began talking about political solution. When KP was asked about his arrest, he told the visitors that he was arrested by the Malaysian authorities, interrogated for two days, and was flown to Colombo with Sri Lankan intelligence officer Sam, a subordinate of Kapila Hendawitharana. Sam was also present at the meetings. Kapila Hendawitharana, in his conversations, mentioned that he had met KP back in 2006, says Dr. Arudkumar, who describes the intelligence chief as the ‘master mind’.

The visitors were taken to Palaali military base and were briefed by the commanders there before being taken to Raamaavil in Thenmaraadchi where they met resettled families. It has to be noted that intelligence operatives and visitors were not allowed to meet civilians in Kilinochchi. When visiting Cheddikulam internment camp in Vavuniya, the visitors wanted to see Zone-4 of the camp, but they were only taken to Zone-2. While talking to the families in the camp, we were able to detect that some people had been planted among the IDPs to interact with us, the doctor has said.

“When there are already a number of organisations working for rehabilitation, what was the need for Tamil Rehabilitation Centre (TRC) initiated by KP?” asks the doctor, reasoning that it was to show the outside world that the Diaspora is now politically with the government. “Even while we were on our visit there was talk that many more Diaspora groups were going to come. What I tell them is that it is of no use. KP can do very little,” Dr. Arudkumar said.

The words from Dr. Arudkumar must be taken seriously. As the Sri Lankan diplomatic establishments across the world are extensively militarised in recent times, Diaspora circles fear that a major covert operation against Diaspora Eelam Tamils is already in progress and that the KP programme is only the tip of the iceberg. The Sri Lankan government, with the help of KP, already held meetings in Malaysia with the support of some Tamil Ceylonese organizations.

According to the Sinhala newspaper, Lakbimanews, “Top entrepreneurs of the Ceylonese Tamil Diaspora in Malaysia gathered most recently to raise funds. The tables at the gathering were priced one million rupees upwards and the Maxis Communication CEO donated 35 million rupees, adding that the fund will be for resettlement, reconstruction as well as rehabilitation of the LTTE cadres and disabled army soldiers.”

Sri Lankan government’s cover operation to bring about divisions and rivalry among the world Tamils, especially Tamil Diaspora, is at its early stages. Tamils are now facing greater challenges than before. Tamil observers say that it is time that the Tamils came under one umbrella, leaving aside all differences. This way, they can keep the Sri Lankan government’s covert operations at bay. Sri Lankan missions abroad are ready to divide the Tamils, as it would show the world that Tamils support the government and that would help to discredit the UN’s endeavours over war criminal investigations. It would also be significant for the government financially because Sri Lanka desperately wants money from the Diaspora Tamils. The Sri Lankan government is also trying to encourage violent activities among Diaspora Tamil youths in order to make Tamils to brand them as bad seeds.

The LTTE issued a statement on June 29th saying that Sri Lanka is seriously attempting to divide the Tamils worldwide. The statement was signed by Ramu Supan. From Tamil Eelam Headquarters, Supan addressed the statement saying that Sri Lanka realized the Eelam struggle would be wiped out after the last phase of war of last year, but now realizes that the Eelam struggle cannot be defeated. So, the government is trying to divide the Tamils and then show the world that the government is the saviour of Tamils. Through this statement, the Sri Lankan government thinks that the war investigations instigated by the UN can be opposed, thus showing the world that the Diaspora Tamils, too, are ready to give up political demands. The statement warned that the government has absolutely no intention of alleviating the sufferings of Eelam Tamils. Rather, the government is giving Tamils a hard time and the government is using the obnoxious provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Once the spirit of Diasporas is destroyed, the subjugation of the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan State would be complete. It is quite clear that Ministers Devananda and Karuna are acting in cohort with KP in dividing the Tamils abroad.

World Tamils, including Diaspora Tamils, are at the stage where they are facing a real war initiated by the Sri Lankan State. Leaving aside all petty differences, Tamils should come under one umbrella for the freedom of Eelam. Need of the hour is to be vigilant, identify and weed out the bad seeds.

(The author can be reached at e-mail: satheesan_kumaaran@yahoo.com)

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.