LTTE was authoritarian body sans ideology — Wikileaks

LTTE WAS AUTHORITARIAN BODY SANS IDEOLOGY: WIKILEAKS
Monday, 15 April 2013 | Kumar Chellappan | CHENNAI

For those who romanticise the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and its leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran, it may come as a shock. The LTTE, which fought a long drawn out dreaded war with the Sri Lankan Government for a separate

Tamil nation, was neither romantic nor democratic. It was devoid of any ideology other than terrorist activities. This is what a 2600-word report sent as cable by the US Embassy in the island nation to the Department of States say about LTTE and its leaders whom many Tamils venerate as iconic figures.

The report dated February 12, 1987, was prepared by the US political agent after conversations with local Tamils in Jaffna, intelligence officials of the Sri Lankan Government, Army officers and journalists who maintained close rapport with the Tigers.

According to the findings of the US official, a separate Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka dominated by the LTTE would have been a sure recipe to the region’s instability and disaster. “An LTTE-controlled Tamil Eelam would likely to be an unhappy place for Tamils , even many of those supportive of the separatist movement,” said the report which was dispatched as a cable to the States Department.

The report describes LTTE as a divided house and there were many cleavages. “Tamils drawn from Jaffna were pitted against non-Jaffna Tamils, Hindu Tamils fighting with Christian Tamil groups, caste groupings and regional rivalries with Easterners fighting the Northerners,” said the report. Jaffna region had the upper hand in the running of the organisation while Tamils from other regions were at the mercy of Prabhakaran. The LTTE chief, known all over the world for his revolutionary warfare strategies, was superstitious and choosy about his subordinates.

The resignation of Col Karuna (Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan) from the LTTE in 2004 substantiates the US report. Karuna from Batticaloa, rose to become the bodyguard of Prabhakaran but fell out with the Tiger chief charging that the latter always favoured Jaffna Tamils. Karuna is the vice-president of Sri Lankan Freedom Party headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Contrary to the general belief that the LTTE was built on ideology and discipline, the US investigation found that the organisation never had any ideology to boast of. A regime controlled by the LTTE is apt to be a military dictatorship in the guise of a socialist one-party system. When the report was sent, the LTTE was dominated by low and middle caste Hindus from Jaffna who formed the core of the terrorist organisation.

The report said that by 1987, the LTTE had cowed rival militant groups and established a functioning civil administration in territories under its control. Though not much is known about the educational and professional backgrounds of Prabhakaran, he had converted the organisation into a well-structured establishment.

According to the US report made public as part of the WikiLeaks exposure, the LTTE structure reminded one of a tight pyramid with power concentrated at the apex-Prabhakaran. “Based on its structure and operation style, Prabhakaran would dominate the Eelam. It is a highly centralised and authoritarian organisation sans any ideology. But the LTTE was plagued by cleavages based on regions, caste and religion,” said the report.

Though the report does not give much details about the antecedents of Prabhakaran, it pointed out that there was no differentiation between the LTTE’s political and military hierarchy. Prabhakaran had divided the LTTE into five politico-military regions, each commanded by a regional leader reporting only to Prabhakaran.

“Everyone is required to take an oath of allegiance to Prabhakaran. The regional leaders were picked by Prabhakaran himself on the basis of trust, loyalty and experience. Sathasivam Krishnakumar, the Jaffna region commander was a close relative of Prabhakaran. Both hailed from the fishermen community. Though Sathasivam Krishnakumar , popularly known as Kittu, was a school drop-out he has been described as “an eccentric but rich undergraduate”. He is reported to have told a Colombo journalist,” The Tigers are revolutionary socialists whose ultimate aim is the creation of a one-party socialist State”. Though the Tamil media used to describe him as a full-Colonel, the US report says he was a rash driver and a poor marksman. He lost one of his legs in a car accident

Jaffna, Mannar, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Vavuniya were the five regions which constituted the Eelam. “Number five is considered lucky in Tamil Hindu mythology. It is because of this reason Prabhakaran set up five regional commands,” the report quotes a Sri Lankan Army official as saying. At the time of filing the report, the US agent had the details of only three regions with him.

The other regional commanders were Radha (Mannar) and Kumaran (Batticaloa). Details from Trincomalee and Vavunya were not available to the US officials. The Catholic fighters of the LTTE did not like Radha becoming the Mannar regional commander following the death of incumbent Victor “Mannar had more than 42 per cent Catholic population and they wanted only a Catholic to be their regional commander. Though they threatened they would resign en mass from the organisation, Prabhakaran dispatched Kittu to crush the dissidence. “Nobody resigns from LTTE,” Prabhakaran is reported to have sent this message through Kittu.

The cable said the iron discipline and effective coordination of the LTTE would probably be weakened in a post-Prabhakaran power struggle. Prabhakaran was bumped off by the Sri Lankan armed forces in the 2009 Eelam war. He had lost many of his trusted lieutenants much before that. Kittu went down with MV Ahat, a LTTE-owned ship ferrying arms to Jaffna.

By 2009 May, the top LTTE leadership was wiped out. What is remaining is a rump of the terrorists trying to regroup and recapture the Eelam regions from the Sri Lankan Army.

Though the cable is silent about how the LTTE mobilised arms and ammos, it mentions that Kumaran, the Batticaloa commander, had a station wagon with the name Beirut embossed on it. Radha, the Mannar region commander, is credited with the 1985 massacre of 150 civilians in Anuradhapura.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/ltte-was-authoritarian-body-sans-ideology-wikileaks.html

Statement of Dr.Swamy, President of the Janata Party – March 9, 2013

I demand that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms Jayalalitha give up her sectarian approach on the question of India’s relations with Sri Lanka and instead develop a national perspective.

Not only India has to look after the interests of Tamils but also of Sinhalese since they have kinship with Indians in Orissa, Bengal and Bihar. Therefore to ask that the Tamil interests should prevail over national interest is sectarian and unbecoming of any political leader with a national outlook and the national aspirations. Ms Jayalalitha must know that we are Indians first and Tamils later and anyone who says to the contrary has to be treated as a traitor and a dangerous secessionist.

On the question of alleged atrocities committed by Sri Lankan Navy on Indian fishermen, this problem has arisen because Mr. Karunanidhi in 1974 as Chief Minister gifted away Kachhativu Island on the shores of which are available the best prawns in the world. Therefore, Mr. Karunanidhi had destroyed Tamil interests by collaborating with the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to give Kachhativu Island to Sri Lanka. Now Tamil Nadu is paying a heavy price for his betrayal of Tamil interests.

It is surprising that students of Law colleges in Tamil Nadu are increasingly becoming lawless and violent. It is time that the Tamil Nadu derecognize those Law colleges whose students do not show respect for the Constitution and instead engage in violence.

( SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY )

Assessing Sri Lankan Northern province, 3 years after the war – RK Radhakrishnan, Oct. 31, 2012

http://rkradhakrishnan.com/category/politics/

In a series of articles for The Hindu, and a cover story for Frontline magazine, Nirupama Subramanian, now Associate Editor of  The Hindu, who was based in Colombo from 1995 and 2002, and I, based in Colombo since Dec.2010, have attempted to bring forth how the war-ravaged Northern Province looks and copes today, three years after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers.

We traveled extensively in the province, looked at the developments and spoke to a wide cross section of people across the Jaffna peninsula and the Vanni, before we wrote a series of articles for The Hindu, and for Frontline. In all, we have compiled three stories for Frontline – one, a largish, 6000-word piece on what the ground looks like, and how the people perceive it, another on the government’s view point, as articulated by its Foreign Minister G.L.Peiris, and a third, which looks at the infrastructure development that is taking place across the Northern Province.

The Frontline issue dates Nov.3-16, 2012 (Volume 29, Issue 22), went online on October 30. The print edition is out on the stands in India.

All pictures, barring two, are mine. I am not a professional photographer: I am on the learning curve and have been taking pictures for The Hindu and Frontline regularly since I have been posted in Colombo. The Hindu’s Chief Photographer, N.Sridharan, approved a suggestion of Editor Siddharth Varadarajan, to allot me a professional camera (D-7000). Photo Editor D.Krishnan, and Senior Photographer S.R.Raghunathan, put me through the paces. It is difficult to assess the pictures in the online edition since only low-res pictures have been used for the online version!

Here are the link to the three stories:

Our assessment: http://www.frontlineonnet.com/stories/20121116292200400.htm

The GL Peiris interview: http://www.frontlineonnet.com/stories/20121116292201800.htm

Development efforts in the North: http://www.frontlineonnet.com/stories/20121116292202000.htm

Assessing Sri Lankan Northern Province, 3 years after the war

 

  In a series of articles for The Hindu, and a cover story for Frontline magazine, Nirupama Subramanian, now Associate Editor of  The Hindu, who was based in Colombo from 1995 and 2002, and I, based in Colombo since Dec.2010, have attempted to bring forth how the war-ravaged Northern Province looks and copes today, three years after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers. We traveled extensively in the province, looked at the developments and spoke to a wide cross section of people across the Jaffna peninsula and the Vanni, before we wrote a series of articles for The Hindu, and for Frontline. In all, we have compiled three stories for…

A war memorial and LTTE’s last stand

 

  (The second in the series by Nirupama Subramanian and me for The Hindu)   PUTHUKUDIIRRIPU: In the heart of northern Sri Lanka, at the place where thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed during the military’s last successful push against the LTTE, stands an…

In Prabhakaran’s birth place, a different kind of hero

 

By Nirupama Subramanian and R.K.Radhakrishnan (The Hindu’s Associate Editor, Nirupama Subramanian, who was based in Sri Lanka between 1995 and 2002 and I, Hindu’s correspondent for Sri Lanka now, travelled extensively in Jaffna and the Vanni early this month, for a short series of articles that focuses on the ground situation. The first in the series.) VALVETTITHURAI (JAFFNA): In the town that cradled Sri Lankan Tamil militancy and was the birthplace of its most ferocious practitioner Velupillai Prabhakaran, a different sort of legend is now getting belated attention. The urban council of VVT, as the small town on the north…

Full text of Subramanian Swamy’s speech

 

  Note: Swamy spoke extempore.  This is the text he circulated. Of course, you won’t find his one-liners. One went like this: “They [Diaspora Tamils] don’t consider me a Tamil. I don’t consider then human.” RK Essentials of Post-Conflict Reconciliation & India’s Concerns Introduction The world witnessed a historic event in May 2009, when in a final assault of the Sri Lankan armed forces, a treacherous and murderous terrorist outfit called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [LTTE] was decimated. Its Supremo V. Prabhakaran and his main associates were killed on May 19th. Correctly disregarding the…

Huge task ahead of us, says Fonseka

 

    Just a few hours after he was released from the Welikada prison, former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, who had a gruelling day, talked to R.K.Radhakrishnan, for the first time, about his priorities, and his plans, at his residence. Regardless of the conditional pardon that restricts his political career in the immediate future, Fonseka is determined to work for the people.   Q: Your comments on your journey so far…   A: During the presidential election I had limited political experience. But as I have seen people, I have come to know the politicians of this country and I have learnt more about the aspirations of the…

Stage set for Fonseka release

 

  R.K.Radhakrishnan   COLOMBO: The stage has been set for the release of the jailed General Sarath Fonseka, contrary to speculation that a procedural delay was delaying his leaving the Hospital where he was shifted to last week.   “President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed the papers on the 18th evening and handed over the papers to Chief of Staff Gamini Senerath before leaving forQatarto enable the release of Sarath Fonseka. Papers will be sent to the Ministry of Justice on Monday,” Bandula Jayasekara, Presidential Spokesman, said early on Sunday.   Speculation on his release date began doing the rounds after The Hindu…

Who is Neranjan that Lalith Weeratunga highlights?

 

   R.K.Radhakrishnan Who is this Neranjan, who was involved in the CTO blasts in Colombo, in mid-1980s?  Sri Lankan President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, quoting a passage from C.A.Chandraprema’s ‘Gota’s War,’ says that he was released, after being arrested, on India’s request.  The Indian Intelligence will be better placed to answer:  Appended here is the anti-India portions that Lalith Weeratunga read out: “Undoubtedly, the role that our neighbourIndiaplayed, is under intensive discussion in the book. From page-134 onwards, the author describesIndia’s role in different eras of the…

‘India has sponsored terrorism in Sri Lanka’

 

‘R.K.Radhakrishnan   COLOMBO: The Indian intelligence agencies had a big hand in planning and executing terrorist strikes inColomboin the mid-eighties, the President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga said.Readingfrom a book, Gota’s War,’ at its launch here, he said, the…

Waheed to discuss crucial Maldivian issues in Delhi

 

R.K.Radhakrishnan   COLOMBO: A host of complex issues will come up for deliberations as Maldivian President Waheed Hassan Manik, arrives inNew Delhion Friday, soon after the successful visit of the former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed toIndia.   Dr.Waheed, the former…

Sri Lanka transfers its face in Geneva

 

    R.K.Radhakrishnan   COLOMBO: At the end of a short-lived war waged through the media by a few diplomats, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday said that it had transferred Ambassador to the United Nations inGeneva, Tamara Kunanayakam, and appointed “team player” Ravinatha Aryasinha as the new ambassador.   Aryasinha, is now the Ambassador of Sri Lanka toBelgium,Luxembourgand the European Union. Kunanayakam, a Tamil, was showcased as the Sri Lankan face during the last United Nations Human Rights Council meet inGeneva, has been posted toCuba.   The media war began soon after the UN Human Rights…

Nasheed in campaign mode after revamping party

 

    R.K.Radhakrishnan   COLOMBO: After completing a purge in the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), former President Mohamed Nasheed has begun campaigning for the Presidential election primaries.   The dates for the election are yet to be announced. The political parties in theMaldives, a country of about 1200 islands, are yet to arrive at a consensus on when the elections should be held.   After a few set backs, including two electoral reverses, Mr.Nasheed decided it was time to re-organise the party. Last week, the MDP removed its president Ibrahim Didi, and deputy Alhan Fahmy, at an emergency meeting of the…

Muslim register massive protest

 

Dambulla and Colombo R.K.Radhakrishnan   COLOMBO: Muslims gathered in mosques in unusual numbers across the country for special Friday prayers to appeal to the Almighty to prevent the shifting of a mosque in Dambulla. The eastern province, which has a significant number of Muslims, virtually shut down in Friday, for a second day, protesting the desecration of the mosque in Dambulla, a town about 150 km north east ofColombo.   Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne had ordered relocation of the mosque from Dambulla, as mobs and some people in the robes of Buddhist monks had launched a sudden protest against the mosque on April…

Today’s Juma crucial

 

  R.K.Radhakrishnan   COLOMBO: Salat al juma (Friday prayers) in Sri Lanka will attract attention from afar and near: today’s prayers and the sermons that follow, will determine which direction the country’s Muslim minority will take to salvage its rights. It was last Friday that a mob, comprising of Buddhist radicals, wanted a mosque demolished, because it was built in a place considered sacred by Buddhists.   Trouble is brewing in the Muslim majority areas of Sri Lanka, following the attempts to desecrate a mosque built in an area sacred to Buddhists in Dambulla, a town about 150 km north east of Colombo, and the…

AfterKrishna, its Sushma’s turn to be painted a lair

 

  R.K.Radhakrishnan   COLOMBO: After Indian Foreign Minister S.M.Krishna, it isIndia’s Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj’s turn to be insinuated as lying after meeting the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.   Soon after Mr.Krishna meet the President in January 2012, the Indian side released to the press a statement, which said that the President had agreed to the implementation of the 13th Amendment (which grants some powers to the provinces) as a means to cater to the hopes and aspirations of Tamils in the Northern Province. Then too, there was no briefing from the government side. A day later, the government’s…

Sushma Swaraj’s Answers

  Q:Sri Lankahas promised devolution of powers to meet the aspirations of Tamils in May 2009 (to Ban Ki-moon, July 2010 (to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh), in January 2012 to S.M.Krishna. In your discussions with the Sri Lankan President did you feel that they were serious about…

Spy case filed in Tamil Nadu against Pakistani diplomat in Sri Lanka

http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35594

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 September 2012, 16:34 GMT]
Amir Zubair Siddiqui, a diplomat in the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo has been accused in a court in Tamil Nadu for his alleged spy activities in India. According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Tamil Nadu Police in a court in Tiruchy, the Pakistani diplomat, through his contacts Haji and Shaji living in Colombo, has employed Thamim Ansari of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu to supply sensitive information of defence installations in India. The Q Branch of Tamil Nadu police arrested Ansari on Monday, while he was going to the Tiruchy airport to catch the Colombo flight. The DVDs seized from him had defence-related visuals, news reports said.

Ansari, 35-year-old, was produced in the court on Friday. The judge granted 24 hours for the police to continue investigations on condition that no mental or physical pain should be inflicted on him. The police have to produce him on Saturday for any further decision.

According to media reports, preliminary investigations involving top police officials of Tamil Nadu have revealed that Ansari had earlier met the Pakistani diplomat in Colombo and undertook the assignment for payment. His next assignment was to cover the nuclear submarine facility in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Three agencies of India, The National Investigation Agency (NIA), the intelligence wing of the Defence Ministry and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) will investigate Ansari separately, news reports said.

Preliminary investigations show a Pakistani espionage desk operating from Colombo concentrating on South India, media reports from India further said.

Citing RAW reports, The Pioneer said a few days ago that a Pakistani intelligence (ISI) listing post to tap the naval movements of India is in operation in Jaffna.

The spy arrest in Tamil Nadu this week has made Colombo-based Daily Mirror to report on Saturday that the ISI is “recruiting Lankan Tamils to spy on India, and the Mumbai-based Times of India to echo with a question “Is ISI recruiting Lankan Tamils to spy on India?”

Both citing ‘intelligence’ sources have targeted the Eezham Tamil refugees that the ISI is actively involved in recruiting Tamil refugees who had returned to the island, since they are familiar with India and could collect information without raising suspicions.

Meanwhile, 40 military personnel, 11 officers and 29 other ranks of the militaries of China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives and India, participated in a 16-day training programme conducted by SL military at Vaakarai and Verukal in the country of Eezham Tamils, this month.

The programme organized by the SL Defence Secretary and presidential sibling Gotabhaya Rajapaksa provided training to 2000 military personnel of Sri Lanka in the occupied country of Eezham Tamils.

Chronology:

“Realise That You Are One People” Dr.Swamy’s advice to Srilankans and Tamilians

http://businesstoday.lk/article.php?article=7430&issue=254

 

Dr Subramanian Swamy is a Member of Parliament from the National Democratic Alliance and President of the Janata Party in India. He is a man who stands for what he believes in and is known to be outspoken. He has vehemently opposed the LTTE and is a friend of the Sri Lankan people. He urges the government of Sri Lanka to bypass the TNA as he doubts their sincerity and go directly to the Tamil people.

Dr Swamy stresses that Sinhalese and Tamils should recognise that they are one people, where Aryan and Dravidian divides are mythical concepts that were perpetuated by colonial rulers in their campaign to divide and rule. “We may have differences, may have disagreements, but ultimately when the country’s future is at stake we should be one.” Wise words from a very wise man.

 

By Udeshi Amarasinghe | Photography Menaka Aravinda

What are your thoughts on the relationship between India and Sri Lanka?

It has gone through significant changes. The relationship between the two countries should have been very good from the beginning but unfortunately there were misunderstandings about the nature of the relationship. India gained Independence in 1947 and Sri Lanka in 1948. India should have been looking into our own neighbourhood and Asia but Jawaharlal Nehru had a European centric infatuation and as a consequence all these other relationships were ignored.

In the meantime Sri Lanka wanted to undo what the British had done. And, they tried to do this in a hurry. The British co-opted the Tamil population who in turn became their collaborators and as such the Tamils had a disproportionate share in services, universities and so on. After Independence, Sri Lanka brought in amendments such as Sinhala only and standardisation without thinking ahead and that led to bad blood. The Tamils looked to India to support them. As a result Tamils immediately began to be looked upon as an extension of India, when in fact both communities had come from India.

India over time became an advocate for Tamils, when they should have been advocates for both, because both communities had been a part of India and that is an acknowledged fact. We failed to rectify the distorted history, which the British had forced on us – India and Sri Lanka. The idea of Aryans and Dravidians, where the Sinhalese thought themselves as Aryans from North India and the Tamils as Dravidians from the South is actually a non existing concept that has now been thrown out of the door by DNA studies.

Then Rajiv Gandhi tried to rectify the damage his mother had done by training militants. She had a personal grudge against J R Jayawardene who was seen as pro-western. She thought she could do a Bangladesh type of operation where she would become a hero of the Tamils and the southern Indians. Rajiv tried to rectify this by having the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement. Unfortunately Sri Lanka under the leadership of Ranasinghe Premadasa entered into a collaboration with the LTTE and that led to strained relations between the two countries. The LTTE assassinated Rajiv Gandhi and then of course it all boomeranged because the LTTE was a terrorist organisation and they betrayed the agreement, they in fact assassinated Ranasinghe Premadasa.

During the period of the conflict India had assisted Sri Lanka substantially. We should have built on that but we made this big mistake of supporting the US backed UNHCR resolution. The general opinion in India was that we should not support the resolution because this is a knife that can be used both ways. It can be used against us too. And the Americans have no right to talk about Human Rights because of what they have done in Afganistan with their drone where innocent civilians have been killed.

But, the new problem that has arisen in India is the affiliation of Sonia Gandhi to pro-LTTE forces. She has written to the President of India that the killers of Rajiv Gandhi should not be hanged, which I do not think any widow of this sub continent would consider doing. She was the one who was insistent that India should support the US backed UNHCR resolution. I feel that the European powers have influenced her. As such the relations between Sri Lanka and India hit rock bottom. We were shocked.

We are now trying to improve bilateral relations. The government in India will change in the next elections. The new government will start with a clean slate.

What can each country do to strengthen the ties?

India should now focus on the economic side and they must invest in the Northern region where there has been very poor investment. Sri Lankan banks have gone there and have started giving loans and other facilities and as a result there is an improvement. India must stop being an advocate of Tamils, India must be an advocate of both, Sinhala and Tamil. We are Indians first and then only Tamil. Therefore this has been going on too long. India feels guilty regarding the Indian Tamil plantation workers who were brought back to India and then rendered stateless creating misery for them. There was over compensation when it came to the conflict with the LTTE. India should now play a role in construction especially economic construction of Sri Lanka. Later this may translate into better relations and we will become more credible. Initially Sri Lanka approached India for assistance to develop Hambantota but India did not want to upset the Tamils. I want to ask what Tamils? I too am a Tamil. 99 percent of Tamils are against the LTTE. Therefore all problems are because of a few leaders and their greed for money.
Another step that Sri Lanka can take to improve relations is to give the data that they have acquired from the interrogation of LTTE members about the money that has been given by the LTTE to certain politicians in India. We can expose them to show that they are doing this for money.

Tamil Nadu has exerted significant pressure on the central government of India which has resulted in decisions that are detrimental to Sri Lanka, what are your thoughts on this?

Well the primary influence is of Sonia Gandhi. I feel that her family has some connection with the LTTE, which needs to be probed. She has consistently come out in favour of the LTTE. Even in May 2009, she sent a letter to Prabakaran through a person by the name of Father Jasper to sign and she said then India will intervene openly in the LTTE’s favour. But that man was a terrorist and had no brains. He consulted Nedumaran and Vaiko who said that the government in India will change and a new coalition would be formed. Prabakaran believed them, but then on May 16 the same government was elected and it was too late for him to change his mind.

The New Problem That Has Arisen In India Is The Affiliation Of Sonia Gandhi To Pro-LTTE Forces.

At times it seems like the Tamils in India are more concerned about the Tamils in Sri Lanka, than the Tamils in this country. Why is that?

No, not at all. The Tamils in India are not at all concerned about the Tamils in Sri Lanka or any Tamils anywhere. It is the money factor that is making these people behave this way.

What is the agenda of the Tamil Nadu politicians? Why are they focusing on Sri Lanka? 

It is not that they have an agenda per se but if we take Karunanidhi after I caught him on corruption and his daughter was taken to prison, there is nothing that he can go to the public with. He is thinking this is the only way. He thinks that Jayalalitha will be defensive on that. On everything else she is offensive but on the subject of Tamils she is defensive. But he will come to grief on what he is doing.

The media in India too, propagate this negative image? why?

Well the problem is that the people who are against Sri Lanka are very well organised, large sums of money are circulated and journalists generally do not have the patience to do research. Most people do not know that Sinhalese come from India too. They do not know that there is high percentage of sanskrit words in the Sinhala language.

What are your thoughts on the current Tamil leadership in Sri Lanka, how can we encourage more moderate parties to enter politics?

There are Tamil leaders such as Chandrahasan and Douglas Devananda. Sri Lanka needs to create and bypass the TNA. The TNA is too tied up with LTTE history. I mean the TNAs hypocrisy is clearly seen in 2010, during the Presidential elections. In 2009-2010 they were going on about Human Rights violations and genocide conducted by the Sri Lankan Army. And then they end up accepting the Commander of the Army, Fonseka as their leader and candidate at the Presidential elections. The Tamils cannot rely on the TNA as many of them are compromised. Therefore we need alternative parties so that the people will have a choice.

During the conflict they surrendered to the LTTE and won elections with the support of the LTTE.

What is your message to them?

I am not going to give any message to the TNA. I’m asking the government to go straight to the public. The public has been talking to me and corresponding with me, and they tell me that they are very happy that their children are safe and they do not have to be worried about their children being forcibly recruited. That they do not have to give a portion of their salary to the LTTE. The people are happy because they are able to lead a normal life.

What are your thoughts on the progress achieved by the Sri Lankan government?

As far as reconstruction and resettlement they have done a first class job. But they need to go a step further on reconcilliation. The government must devolve some power. They should not worry about whether the power is misused because the constitution should have a safeguard clause. If the chief minister misuses his police, use the central police as we do in India. At the time I was a minister Karunanidhi misbehaved by assisting the LTTE. I dismissed the government in 1991. When the next elections was held Karunanidhi won only two seats from a total of 234.

You are very outspoken, that is very rare in a politician.

Yes it is because it hurts your career but for me in the long run I always win. There may be problems but in the long run it is always important to stand for what you believe in. I have been elected to parliament five times. I have been a minister twice. There are times when I say things which are very unpopular but people soon realise that I was right. Earlier, people used to think that I was too blunt. Now people say ‘he is honest that is why he is so blunt.’ Today honesty has become an issue. People say the others are cowards and this man speaks.

In Sri Lanka The People Should Realise That They Are One People. That Your Loss Is My Loss.

So at the next elections?

I am part of a coalition – the National Democratic Alliance. We will be in government and hopefully we will not have to wait till 2014. We will try to have the elections next year.

 

Final thoughts?

In the minds of both the Tamils and Sinhalese it should be that they are one people – Sri Lankans. You can say that the Tamil speaking people are a minority and the Sinhala speaking are the majority but they must agree that they are both one people. Stop living in purely Tamil areas and purely Sinhala areas. The government should give people incentives to intermingle. In India whatever differences we may have at the end of the day we are Indians first. In Sri Lanka the people should realise that they are one people. That your loss is my loss. Your gain is also my gain. We swim together or sink together. Sri Lanka has to get out of this Aryan-Dravidian mentality, which we in India have fought on and now it is finally out of our text books. Now there is DNA evidence. Your language is not different, you have a distinct language but not different. You have sanskrit words and the script is Brahmi, so there is this oneness that has to be fostered.