Sri Lanka’s Situation Reports:: 24 Hours News Update

Reports Real Situation of Sri Lanka : War and Crime By Government and Paramilitary Groups , About Mahinda and Familly, About LTTE ,the problems faced by innocents in Sri Lanka

The man behind the Tamil Tigers’ retreat (Great Gota)

The man behind the Tamil Tigers’ retreat

Gotabaya Rajapakse

The Man Behind the War : Gotabaya Rajapakse

A former computer systems administrator from suburban Southern California is today leading the charge in Asia’s longest running civil war and these are among his new treasures: This fishing village of empty pummeled houses; a secret cove nearby the ethnic separatist guerrillas are said to have used to smuggle fuel; and a martyrs cemetery a few kilometers down the road containing two generations of slain rebels.

For the first time in a decade the Sri Lankan military has wrested this strategic swath in the country northwest from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the rebel group that has fought for more than 25 years to carve out a separate Tamil homeland. At the helm of that military advance is Gotabaya Rajapakse, a naturalised US citizen who is today Sri Lanka’s feared and influential Secretary of Defence.

Defence budget soars

Rajapakse has repeatedly rejected the rebels’ offers of a ceasefire. He has dismissed calls from his nation’s allies including the United States to negotiate a political solution to the ethnic conflict. The defence budget has soared during his three year tenure even as the nation’s economy has sputtered.

The military has recruited heavily and over the past year it has bombed rebel strongholds, sent in commandos to execute high profile rebel leaders, and passed steadily into the Tamil Tigers territory prompting an estimated 250,000 ethnic Tamil civilians to flee deeper into rebel land under apparently perilous conditions.

Today the rebels hold less than half of the land they administered under the last ceasefire agreement signed in 2002. The army says it is on the outskirts of Kilinochchi, the guerillas’ de facto capital which a recent visitor described as a ghost town.

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November 26, 2008 Posted by | Political Hot News | , , , | 2 Comments

Weerawansa suspended :: JVP broke out so many secrets

Hon Wimal WeerawansaThe crisis within the JVP came out ino the open yesterday following reports that the party’s Central Committee had decided to suspend its Parliamentary Group Leader Wimal Weerawansa.

Reports said the JVP Central Committee that met on March 21 had decided to suspend the party membership of Mr. Weerawansa who is also the party’s Propaganda Secretary.

However party sources said although there was an ongoing problem within the party it was being sorted out at the moment. Party sources also said the Central Committee decision would not be publicized until the Eastern Province Elections were over.

Mr. Weerawansa had not attended any of the main party functions since March 31.

In the meantime the JVP’s commemoration of those who were killed in the 1971 insurgency is to take place today at the Vihara Mahadevi open air theatre and there was uncertainty with regard to the attendance of Mr. Weerawansa at today’s function.

Mr. Weerawansa was at the centre of controversy following a statement he made at a meeting of the Patriotic National Movement. He said at the meeting that the Pillayan group in the East should not be disarmed immediately, differing from the stance taken by the party leadership that the group should be disarmed without delay to hold a free and fair election in the East. (This is the most known reason publically )

Following this, the party’s trade union leader K.D. Lalkantha addressing a gathering of party members said those who could not agree with the party’s majority view should not be in it. He said there were those who got caught in traps laid President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the JVP as well.

 

Weerawansa having a high class life style despite of partty’s policy, his wife drive brand new expensive cars. She went to Disney world (USA ) and Other countires with her kids on their vacations. Since Weerawansa don’t have any extra income how all this possible , the members question this.

 

Weerawanse has very close link with Mahinda Rajapakse ,and helped the government many times. All this links are established by Basil Rajapakse with the tight adhesive of Money. Since Weerawanse spent all of his young age with JVP and Marxist policies ,now he like to see the luxurious life  and want to make his wife and kids happy. It means he don’t believe the policy of the party now.

 

This is a indication  that the    bad time of JVP is in peak now as it already started . Pushing out  The powerful Propaganda Secretary will lead to another group (3rd group ) in JVP soon . JVP has its own new political teams and organizations in different name . So Weerawanse may take one in his hand to go on own way.

 

April 5, 2008 Posted by | Political Hot News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mervin Silva Case : Still not conclued by the Government : The known result

Minister Mervin Silva The SLFP inquiry into the Dr. Mervyn Silva incident at the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation has taken nearly four months and no progress seems to have been made as the committee tasked with the inquiry is keeping its findings, if any, a secret, SLRC trade union sources said yesterday (4).

Although the three-member committee, headed by the Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva had recorded the evidence of a number of SLRC employees and some outsiders, it had not been able to conclude its inquiry into the incident, SLRC sources complained.

They also quoted a statement made by the Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernadopulle, who had said in a speech telecast over a TV channel that some of his speeches were also not given coverage by the SLRC and probably Mervyn Silva’s visit to the State owned TV channel was prompted by such a reason. This they said was a clear indication that the committee was favouring Silva.

Mervins goon

The SLFP committee had said their work was delayed for a number of reasons including the local government elections in Batticaloa. It is now making excuses saying its members were busy with the provincial council election campaign in the East, they  Said.

Mervin is Mahinda Rajapakse’s very close friend and devotee , Mahinda defended him already by telling ” Mervin did the correct think ” in a meeting. After the Rupavahini incident the series of revenge against the employees of Rupavahini taken place ,and still the police did not find any culprit behind the scene .

It is an open secret that government will not take any action against Mervin , But we people watch this ,understand the injustice of the ruling people but will vote them again in the election. AS all of us are Born in Sri Lanka ,and have the capacity like that. (I dont say that all of us are fools )

 

April 5, 2008 Posted by | Political Hot News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Human rights situation in the country::Report part III

Ranawaka took over SU after ousting
Gunasekera by thuggery worthy of the LTTE

East became playground for rival extremists

Too weak to capture power, JHU needed
a deal with a potential winner

Acrimonious exchanges between JHU  and PNM

UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella speaking during the emergency debate in parliament on March 5 spoke of the human rights situation in the country and tabled the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) Special Report No.29.

The report dated February 21 is titled The Second Fascist Front In Sri Lanka – Towards Crushing The Minorities And Disenfranchising The Sinhalese.

The authors of the report are the current recipients of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights.

The Deputy Secretary General of Parliament, Dhammika Dassanayake contacted by The Sunday Leader and asked whether a report that is tabled in parliament and not expunged is covered by privilege responded in the affirmative stating, “If it has been tabled it becomes a public document.”

  SSR  today publishes the third part of the report without comment given that it is a document tabled in parliament. The second part was published last Sunday.

Fascism is commonly understood as ‘a system of government characterized by strong, often dictatorial control of political and economic affairs, and often by warlike nationalism and brutal suppression of political dissidents and ethnic minorities’

(Wordsmyth English Dictionary). The extremist forces behind the Government may be termed a second fascist front, giving pride of place to the LTTE, which as a functioning organisation showed these characteristics from the early 1980s.

All extremist forces in the Sinhalese South, the JVP, JHU, MEP and sections of the SUP, share much in common in ideas (the inexorable Sinhalese Buddhist character of Sri Lanka and opposition to a federated North-East) and objectives (e.g. Sinhalisation of the East). Particularly the JVP and JHU owe a good deal to the Jathika Chintanaya (National Ideology) movement of the mid-1980s. Formulated by Gunadasa Amarasekera and Nalin de Silva, it gave shape and form to scattered ideas that had motivated Sinhalese exclusivism for many decades. It critiques political institutions and systems (Marxism in particular) imported from the West, sees Sri Lanka as in essence Sinhalese whose genius is to be realised by a unitary state establishing its lost Buddhist ethos.

Like most writings of this ilk, ex-Trotskyite Prof Nalin de Silva’s, though arcane, have a mesmeric quality for the young and impressionable, viz.: “The western Judaic Christian culture knows only of one consistency, defined with respect to two valued formal logic

and only Newtonian bodies and mathematical structures respect this logic. Even quantum particles and bodies have no respect for two valued formal logic.” (The Island 1 Oct.03)

His obscurantism and intolerance of minorities and their sense of identity is also expressed in the same article: “It is unfortunate that since the Dutch period the demography in the Jaffna peninsula has been changed with the importation of labour for the tobacco cultivation from South India, and since then the western Christian colonialists have been successful in driving a wedge between the Sinhala Buddhists and the imported Tamil Hindus and creating and using a Tamil racism against Sinhalathva in this country.” It is history plucked out of thin air and violent in its realisation.

When advocates of ideologies, whether Marxist or Nationalist, are heedless of the core values of humanity, they closet themselves in very narrow interpretations, against the demands of responsible humanity. In canvassing their ideas they ultimately appeal to what is low and base in people. Humanism has no barriers, nor is it a preserve of the West. It is indeed very sad if those who are counted intellectuals among us do no better than breed hatred, intolerance and blindness to ‘others’, and their feelings, in the name of countering Western ideology.

Kanishka Goonewardena wrote (‘National Ideology’ in a Buddhist State’ Himal, Oct.07): “In spite of obvious historical and cultural differences, there exist some remarkable parallels between the ideological forms and epistemological claims of Jathika Chinthanaya, Hindutva and National Socialism: their emphases on harmony, community and nature; and their critiques of materialism, modernity and socialism… These groups desperately needed a community with which to identify, as well as an enemy to identify against, both of which were powerfully forged in these cases – as the ,fate of Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian Muslims and German Jews demonstrate.”

With so much in common, why are the Sinhalese extremist forces heavily at odds with each other and in the late 1980s even killed one another? Nalin de Silva sees both the SLFP and JVP as children of Bandaranaike’s Sinhala Only revolution of 1956 and as two groups that critically need one another. He was among those greatly pained when the JVP after agreeing to the DPA manifesto on the basis of which to support SLFP leader Mrs. Bandaranaike’s presidential candidature in late 1988, went on a violent binge and ensured her defeat and in February 1989 made an attempt on her life. The SLFP had illusions even after the JVP assassinated Mrs. Bandaranaike’s son-in-law Vijaya Kumaratunge in early 1988.

Political genealogy is awkward business for those who never repented their legacy of terror and conveniently undergo reincarnation as champions of anti-terror. Champika Ranawaka who is described as Jathika Hela Urumaya’s (JHU’s) chief ideologue and a right hand man of the President told the Daily Mirror (2 Feb.07) that he left the JVP in 1986 – “When they were taking [a] violent approach I left”. By this claim he whitewashed his association in the JVP’s terror including the abduction and murder of socialist student leader Daya Pathirana. We quote from ‘Politics of the South 2000 – 2005’  by Asanga Welikala and David Rampton:

“Some of the current figures in the current JHU (namely the Venerable Athureliya Rathana Thera, Champika Ranawaka and Udaya Gamampila) were once JVP organizers and were active during the 1980s agitation against the Indo Lanka Accord. At that time Ranawaka and Rathana were both ideologically aligned to Jathika Chintanaya and (as Inter University Students Federation leaders) to the JVP … However Champika Ranawaka was to play an integral role in the split with the JVP on two issues. First Ranawaka had a dispute with Wijeweera over the JVP’s ideological path, declaring Marxism dead and urging the JVP to wholeheartedly embrace nationalism as its central ideological engine – a line Wijeweera refused to countenance. Second, the JVP’s refusal to support Mrs. Bandaranaike’s candidacy for the 1988 presidential election triggered the final split between the JVP, Jathika Chintanaya and SLFP-aligned unions.”

In the 1990s, Ranawaka became active in the National Movement Against Terrorism (NMAT), a parent of Sihala Urumaya (SU). S.L. Gunasekera backed by professionals, university dons and retired army officers held the leadership of SU. At the October 2000 parliamentary elections the SU secured a single national list seat, which the faction led by Ranawaka took over after ousting Gunasekera by intimidation and thuggery worthy of the LTTE. However SU was no winner when it came to elections.

The change came in December 2003, when President Kumaratunge had paralysed the UNF (UNP) government of Ranil Wickremesinghe and was obliged to hold elections. Ven. Gangodawila Soma died naturally of a heart attack in St. Petersburg where he went to receive a degree. Sihala Urumaya and Ven. Ellawela Medhananda of its associated monks’ organisation JSS started a campaign insinuating that Ven. Soma was killed by a Christian fundamentalist conspiracy. A number of churches were attacked. Seizing the opportunity, the JHU was formed fielding all JSS monks for the April 2004 elections, SU ‘donating’ itself a vessel in service of the JSS monks. It won nine seats in its short run.

The JHU was a wild card from the start, ensuring the victory of the UNP candidate for speaker against the JVP-backed, SLFP-led government’s. It took Ranawaka’s long experience as a party infighter to bully, kidnap (once an MP monk who voted for the Government’s candidate for speaker who was forced to resign), fight Ven. Dhammaloka’s attempts to keep power a monopoly of monks, getting thrown out from his secretary’s post by Dhammaloka (who then left the party and campaigned for Ranil Wickremesinghe at the 2005 presidential election), before asserting himself in the party.

On the rival track to the JHU and NMAT, the National Patriotic Movement was preceded by the Organisation to Protect the Motherland (OPM) launched at a meeting in Maradana (Colombo) by Ven. Elle (Alle) Gunawanse on 15th January 2003. This was when Ranil Wickremasinghe was prime minister and had in talks with the LTTE agreed in Oslo to a federal settlement. Gunawanse had earlier been patronised by Gamini Dissanaike and President Premadasa.

Opposition bigwigs attended the meeting to endorse Gunawanse’s simple argument that the North-East which Jayewardene merged under Emergency Regulations in 1987, should now (15 years later) be de-merged as the Emergency had lapsed under the ongoing peace process. Leading persons at the meeting were Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera and Nalin de Silva from Jathika Chintanaya and Tilak Karunaratne from the Sihala Urumaya.

The next stage was on 1st October 2003, when Elle Gunawanse as convener of the meeting following a march from Kandy, inaugurated the National Patriotic Movement (PNM). Gunawanse accused Prime Minister Wickremasinghe of trying to divide the country. Among the participants were SLFP parliamentarians including Anura Bandaranaike, Dr. Gunadasa Amerasekara and JVP propaganda secretary and parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawanse. Sihala Urumaya declined to participate.

The hostility within the extremist camp as represented by the PNM and JHU could be seen in their acrimonious exchanges. Jathika Chintanaya’s Nalin de Silva opposed the JHU monks contesting the April 2004 elections independently of the SLFP (PA)-JVP alliance as a divisive move. After the JHU upset the Speaker’s election, de Silva (Lankaweb 24 Apr.04) accused the JHU of being a plant of the Uijathika (alien) forces: de Silva said the JHU `were financed by Thilanga Samathipala and his brother,

Edirisinghes of Swarnamahal, and were given prominence in media that belongs to Thilanga, [UNP leader] Ranil Wickremesinghe’s brother (TNL), Swarnavahini of Edirisinghe and Maharaja’s MTV… the monks were put forward by non-national forces only to hoodwink the Buddhists.’

Going back to 7th August 2000, monks who later were closer to the PNM, including Bengamuwe Nalaka, Muruththettuwe Ananda and Maduluwawe Sobitha, were having a protest meeting against Kumaratunge’s proposed constitution at Abhayarama Temple in Narahenpita, when a bomb went off injuring some. Reports at that time suggested that supporters of Sihala Urumaya that had not been invited exploded the bomb.

Too weak to capture power, the JHU needed a deal with a potential winner, both naive and pliable. This, the JHU, even as Champika Ranawaka staged his coup within, found in Mahinda Rajapakse and moved quickly in August 2005 to cut short Kumaratunge’s presidential term by an appeal to Supreme Court. A solid base of legal authority held the term ended in late 2006 (P. Rajanayagam with citations in Sunday Observer 8 Feb.04).

The Chief Justice who needed new allies obliged the JHU. A pact was quickly made with SUP presidential candidate Rajapakse who ditched the SLFP’s twelve-year stand on a federal settlement to the ethnic problem. Ranawaka became Minister of Environment in January 2007. The East tragically became the playground of rival extremists.

March 23, 2008 Posted by | Political Hot News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Second Facists … The University Teachers Reopot Part II

UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella speaking during the emergency debate in parliament on March 5 spoke of the human rights situation in the country and tabled the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) Special Report No.29.

The report dated February 21 is titled The Second Fascist Front In Sri Lanka – Towards Crushing The Minorities And Disenfranchising The Sinhalese.

The authors of the report are the current recipients of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights.

The Deputy Secretary General of Parliament, Dhammika Dassanayake contacted by The Sunday Leader and asked whether a report that is tabled in parliament and not expunged is covered by privilege responded in the affirmative stating, “If it has been tabled it becomes a public document.”

The Sunday Leader today publishes the second part of the report without comment given that it is a document tabled in parliament. The first part was published last Sunday.

The Kool Party Pact foreshadowed a repressive order in the north-east unacceptable to Muslims or the Tamils. It was bound to run into opposition from all Tamil and Muslim politicians commanding public esteem and behind the move were the Sinhalese extremist forces with their own agenda. Further, sooner or later Karuna and Devananda would have to face elections of some kind.

Is it a mere coincidence that following the killing of Joseph Pararajasingham MP in December 2005, two popular politicians from Jaffna, former MP Sivamaharajah and MP N. Raviraj were gunned down in September and November 2006 respectively?

Raviraj was killed in Colombo on 10th November 2006 (Supplement to Special Report No.23 and Special Report No. 26). Although the police story underwent changes, it seemed from what they said that two gunmen who came in an auto-rickshaw had been waiting on Elvitigala Road when Raviraj with his police security man Sgt. Lakshman Lokuwela drove out of Matha Road to cross the road and turn right. Two gunmen from the waiting auto rickshaw followed on foot and opened fire from behind the car, fatally injuring both occupants. Later information from a frightened witness suggested that a 4WD vehicle had blocked Raviraj’s car. Two men on a motorcycle, who had been there prior to the incident, saw it through and went away.

Two killers

Early on trusted sources told us that the two killers in the auto-rickshaw were Karuna’s men, and the two men waiting nearby on the motorcycle were from the EPDP. From the number, the police traced the motorcycle to the EPDP. This point is slightly misleading, as seen below.

The most astounding piece of information we received was that the two killers who were from the Karuna Group were brought to Colombo from the east by an extremist Buddhist monk who had direct access to the Defence Secretary and was also close to Devananda. For many months we failed to make any headway on the identity of the monk and his temple. Devananda had ties with several monks – including one at Narahenpita Junction.

After many months, sources with inside knowledge of the EPDP told us that Devananda was close to and often visited a temple in Colombo North. The priest too visits Devananda and has been seen at his Layards Road office. These sources also told us that this temple had a room to put up Karuna cadres who were brought from the east for operations in Colombo and sent back.

Our sources said that the Karuna cadres used in the killing of Raviraj had been brought to the Buddhist temple in Colombo North and were taken back there after the killing. The temple with close links to Military Intelligence we learn has several pay-phone boxes so that people could go in without arousing suspicion, but of late those entering the temple have to go through a checkpoint. The priest, Ven. M, according to our sources has direct access to the President, besides his brother, the Defence Secretary. Ven. M, these sources say met the President within a few days after New Year 2008.

We heard from two different sources that Ven. M is affiliated to the JHU. That does not rule out his having links to other groups such as the JVP or PNM. At lower levels party divisions among extremists are not so important. Interestingly, there are a number of JHU establishments in Narahenpita near the scene of the Raviraj killing.

More important than any party affiliation to Ven. M’s role is his affiliation to the Defence Ministry and the President. The information from our first source of Ven. M’s closeness to the Defence Secretary would be further clarified below. Our sources also said that Ven. M carries a letter from the President, which helps him at police stations to get things done. On one occasion in 2006, Rudra of the Karuna Group was caught near the Pettah CTB bus stand in Colombo in the act of receiving extortion money. It was Ven. M we learn who got him released by the police.

The elements of the apparatus (which had been evolving for some months) following the May 2006 Kool Party Pact, we learn are as follows. Both the EPDP and Karuna Group contribute persons for dirty operations. The coordinators were Kiruban for the EPDP (who left a little before the Raviraj killing) and Rudra (Thooyavan) for the Karuna (now Pillayan) Group. Mr. DS who was used as a translator is from the deep south and has been with the EPDP from about 1990 and speaks perfect Tamil. Mr. DS and Rudra coordinate with two officers assigned by the Defence Ministry from the intelligence services.

One feature of this apparatus is to render responsibility for killings so confusing and dispersed that it is easy for the police to cover up. For example the motorcycle present at the scene of the Raviraj killing was traced to the EPDP and two persons who were not involved in the killing were remanded. Scotland Yard was called in and nothing more has been heard of it. The case would drag on at the magistrate’s court until it is forgotten. We will give some details to show how this happens.

Unchecked abductions

Another fallout from the Kool Party was the rampant unchecked abductions and extortion of Tamil and Muslim businessmen that surged in August 2006. People observed in disbelief as these criminals went past numerous checkpoints in Colombo and outside taking their victims to places such as Maha Oya and Welikanda. Not in one instance did the police charge anyone. According to a political source, Karuna cadres used in these operations have also temples around Maha Oya and Ampara town (not the prominent one) where they could lodge. Sources close to the state apparatus said that there are also other lodging places for Karuna cadres brought to Colombo for dirty operations, and in this game they use whoever is usable. Some army camps are also used.

Also of note is former Air Force Squadron Leader Nishantha Gajanayake who with some members of the Karuna Group worked closely with the Defence Ministry in dirty operations as well as in abduction for ransom and killings (see Special Report No.26). His services according to press reports were offered to the ruling party independently of the JHU or JVP. The Senapathi column in the Nation of 24th June 2007 stated, “The CID maintains that there is evidence to show that Gajanayake was involved with the underworld and various police teams are currently probing different aspects. ‘Gajanayake is in deep trouble,’ and he has implicated at least one senior defence official in several abduction cases.” This was a further indication of the Karuna Group being used by various parties.

Cowering in terror

Gajanayake was given bail on 18th January 2008, owing to the Sri Lankan epidemic of witnesses cowering in terror where any trace of the Defence Ministry is visible. We also cited inside information that Gajanayake was involved in the Raviraj killing. The case has been purposefully bungled. An eyewitness at the scene who saw a black 4WD vehicle obstructing Raviraj’s car was threatened by a security man on the spot that he had not seen what he saw. We have no public record of which way the killers escaped.

One instance among several where the police had good evidence says it all. Thomas Jesudasan (37), father of two girls, was seen abducted from near his home in Kotahena on 7th January 2007. The police obtained a video security record at an automated teller machine belonging to Commercial Bank showing the person pulling out the money using the victim’s card and his motorcycle number. We learnt authoritatively that the investigation was suppressed on the order of IGP Chandra Fernando. A poignant feature of the case is that the victim’s father had been an Inspector of Police – a colleague of the IGP. The Karuna name also served as a useful cover for security officers involved in crimes of abduction and murder.

Mannar account

As a matter of curiosity, one of those employed as a translator in this apparatus is a middle-aged lady from Mannar connected to the EPDP. She very likely took the job without knowing its nature. In Special Report No.28 the police investigating an extortion racket in Pt Pedro involving the intelligence apparatus said that the victims were instructed to bank the money into the Mannar account of a lady named Savariammah!

For Karuna and Devananda who were desperate, and the LTTE gunning for them, what the state offered them was double edged. In their desperation they made a crucial error. In keeping their side of the bargain they blackened their name irredeemably. Pacts with a more powerful party where the weaker loses any ability to make the other keep its word are useless. Karuna and Devananda became a useful dump for the government’s crimes. Allan Rock for example was not impressed by the government’s evasions.

By mid-2007, government spokesmen were making virtuous noises about Karuna having to be disarmed. The interim councils Karuna and Devananda were promised became a pipe dream. Their dissatisfaction and fear of being cheated were evident in late 2007.

Too intimate with the top for comfort

The killer apparatus, it was widely spoken and as the circumstances below strongly indicate, functioned under Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse. While the principal details below are from one trusted source, important ties have been confirmed by information from other independent sources, such as Pillayan’s relationship to the intelligence operative Wasantha and their PNM connections.

Two important intelligence operatives who deal closely with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse (GR) are Kamaldeen from the navy based in Trincomalee and Commanding Officer Tennekoon, of the army from the Gemunu Watch, based in Welikanda. The latter has rank probably of major or above. Dealing with and directing killer operatives from the Karuna (Pillayan) Group and EPDP are Sampath, ex-naval intelligence, who is under Kamaldeen and Wasantha who is under Tennekoon. Sources in Batticaloa have linked Pillayan with Wasantha and the PNM has also been mentioned to us in this connection.

Kamaldeen is also close to Devananda, and an ex-militant R, who had left the country in 1986, introduced the two. The three of them had a long meeting about mid-2007. Ex-Air Force Squadron Leader Gajanayake and his operatives being picked to work for the Defence Ministry also indicates that there are several groups operating in this manner. Kiruban who left the EPDP about September 2006 leads another outfit operating also under Kamaldeen. Under Kiruban are four Tamils, including John alias Raju, a former bodyguard of Devananda, later assigned to Kiruban. Though based in Trincomalee, this group is sent for killer operations elsewhere, including Jaffna, when required.

Motivated

Kamaldeen like many others is motivated by the LTTE having committed crimes against persons very close to them. R who was involved in Joseph Pararajasingham’s killing lost his mother, mother’s sister and several members of his family to wanton murder by the LTTE. Two or three brothers of Kamaldeen were reportedly killed in Trincomalee by the LTTE during the 1980s. For persons in their state of mind anyone having even a political association with the LTTE had played with fire and deserves what he gets. The LTTE created a climate where the state could use lots of people blinded by a desire for revenge, for sinister purposes going far beyond purportedly defeating the LTTE.

Ven. M comes into this in more roles apart from sheltering Karuna cadres brought to Colombo for certain operations. Karuna was sent to India for a time and Kamaldeen was instrumental in making some of the arrangements. Ven. M was then a go-between for Karuna and his leaders in Sri Lanka. He carried letters, messages and CDs between them and also discussed party matters. Kamaldeen played an important role in the decision to replace Karuna with Pillayan as TMVP leader. The latter was thought to be more pliable. It was Kamaldeen who brought Pillayan to Trincomalee when the internecine conflict in the TMVP came into the open in May 2007.

We may describe the terror apparatus as having three levels. At the lowest are cadres from the Karuna Group, operatives from the EPDP, Muslim paramilitary elements and deserters from the LTTE. The second comprises cadres from the JHU, PNM and the intelligence services, all dealing with persons from the third layer. The topmost layer comprises the state, represented by the Defence Ministry and especially the Defence Secretary, dealing with the second, and occasionally with the third, usually through the second. They try to negotiate boundaries, relations and tensions between the second.

Coming to something more easily verifiable, Chaminda and Jayasuriya who worked for the EPDP obtained the motorcycle present at the Raviraj killing. The two who were apparently earlier connected to the security forces were asked to obtain a motorcycle by Sampath and Wasantha. From around Tangalle, near their home, they obtained the motorcycle from an ex-army NCO Nalanda who suffered a grievous injury, which we understand was then registered under the name of one Ravindra. The latter is from a family that was in the late 1980s at the receiving end of JVP terror and made contact with the EPRLF (EPDP) in Trincomalee. They passed on or probably resold the motorcycle to Sampath and Wasantha in Ampara or Ratnapura.

At the time of the Raviraj killing Chaminda was in EPDP’s Layards Road office and Jayasuriya was in Ampara. These circumstances suggest that the two men who waited on the motorcycle and left after seeing the killing through were not EPDPers, but Sampath and Wasantha.

The police arrested Chaminda, Jayasuriya and Nalanda. Chaminda was released sometime in 2007, reportedly because of Devananda’s influence. Jayasuriya and Nalanda we understand are still in prison. We reliably learn that Chaminda and Jayasuriya in their statement to the magistrate fully disclosed the details of the motorcycle transaction.

They, with Nalanda, were very angry that the police kept them under detention to give the impression that they were in earnest about finding the killers, while Sampath and Wasantha have not been touched to this day.

The circumstances above point to Gotabaya Rajapakse as ultimately the man who initiated the killing of Raviraj. The immediate purpose appears to have been the silencing of the Civil Monitoring Committee, whose reports on abductions, killings and extortion by Gotabaya’s covert outfits, created a huge stink. It is hard to accept that the President who delegated the running of the Defence Ministry to his younger brother and was personally a patron of Ven. M was not party to what was going on. He has a good deal of explaining to do.

Closely linked

Even worse, no one could accuse Gotabaya of being secretive. The country as a whole had a good sense of what was going on. People were being targeted and killed and were disappearing after abduction, the total now running into thousands, by killers closely linked to the Defence Ministry. Also killed have been a number of media workers. When the President persists in maintaining as Defence Secretary the very man who threatened the woman editor of a leading newspaper with the Karuna Group and one of her staff with elimination, he has no real defence against the worst sort of allegations.

Almost the whole world has condemned the LTTE and rightly continues to interdict its operations. A state, which deals with the minorities and the opposition by the LTTE’s methods, deserves the strongest censure and appropriate sanctions.

President Kumaratunga and her advisors should never have allowed room for this state of affairs. Not having the courage to do her duty in giving Karuna and his men the protection of the law, she could not resist opportunistically using them in dirty work while showing a different face to Norway and the LTTE. She left them in the lurch to be picked up by extremist groups and the intelligence services. The resulting compact between intelligence services and extremist parties in their use of Tamils abandoned by the peace process, created an opening for fascist forces, which were waiting for a pliable presidential candidate. The result was the worst of all possible worlds for the people and in turn driving her successor to become the worst of all possible presidents.

(To be continued) in next sunday update.

March 16, 2008 Posted by | Political Hot News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Battti Election : 1000 Rs per Ballot Paper !

Bonanza for Batti winners 2 million per victor as an elated Govt. spreads ‘Gama Neguma” to Batti;

TMVP members with 61 seats to secure Rs. 122 m

 UNP rejects results; SLMC alleges state terror; JVP, JHU welcome outcome

Ballot papers sold at Rs.1000, Over 100,000 snub election

In what appeared to be a mega election bonanza, the government has decided to grant a sum of Rs. 2 million for each local council member who secured victory in the controversial Batticaloa Local Authorities Elections, held on Monday. Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena announced the bonanza, which he claimed will be utilised by the Batticaloa local council members to develop their respective areas. “The government started many projects in Batticaloa under Gama Neguma. The government had to get involved directly as there was no authority in the district needed to handle such work. But now that there are democratically elected local council members we can carry out the government mooted development projects through them. That is why we have decided to allocate each member with two million Rupees each,” Abeywardena added. Through this scheme the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP), which secured a total of 61 seats out of the 101 seats, will receive Rs. 122 million. The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), which came in second with 15 seats, will receive Rs. 30 million. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), which won seven seats, will receive Rs. 14 million, while the other parties and Independent Groups which secured seats in the election will also be granted Rs. 2 million respectively. The controversial arms carrying Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) swept the boards at the much hyped eastern polls, securing power in eight of the nine local bodies at elections. TMVP secured victory in the Eravurpattu Pradeshiya Sabha, Koralepattu Pradshiya Sabha, Koralepattu North Pradshiya Sabha, Manmunai South & Eruvilpattu Pradeshiya Sabha, Manmunaipattu Pradeshiya Sabha, Manmunai West Pradeshiya Sabha, Manmunai South West Pradeshiya Sabha and the Porativupattu Pradeshiya Sabha. The United People’s Freedom Alliance however won the Batticaloa Municipal Council, securing 11 seats against the six seats won by Independent Group I. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and the Eelavar Democratic Front secured one seat each in the Municipal Council. Over 800 candidates contested Monday’s election which was held after a lapse of nearly 14 years. Although a total number of 270, 473 voters were registered, a poor turnout was witnessed despite the hype generated from government quarters. According to sources only 161, 749 cast their votes. A total of 108,724 voters appeared to have abstained from voting while 19,772 votes were rejected. The total number of valid votes amounted to 141, 977 which made up almost half of the total number of registered voters. Monday’s election however continued to be marred by controversy. Despite the overwhelming victory secured by the TMVP, with the main opposition, United National Party (UNP) rejected the election results and termed it a ‘façade to fool Sri Lankans and the international community.’ UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference, “We refuse to accept the outcome of this election. The government is saying that they are eradicating terrorism. They have only removed one set of terrorists and established another group. This time the government worked with the TMVP to rig the election. They did the same thing with the help of the LTTE to win the Presidential election in 2005,” he said. UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardene alleged that the government has been funding the TMVP for months. He added that the TMVP used the money to influence the voters. “Ballot papers were reported to be sold at Rs, 1000 each in some areas. How did the TMVP get the funds to do this? It was the government who has been giving them millions of rupees to carry out such activities,” he said. SLMC General Secretary M T Hassan Ali charged that several Cabinet Ministers worked with the TMVP to intimidate the people and prevent them from voting. “In certain areas people did not go for voting. Weeks before the elections the TMVP carried out a systematic terror campaign, so the final outcome is the low voter turnout,” he charged. He added that the heavy Police and STF presence contributed to the atmosphere of terror and intimidation. SLMC General Secretary added that the Police provided support to several cabinet ministers. “It is true that there was lot of Police. STF officers were stationed in Batticaloa. But in many occasions they were with several Cabinet Ministers. That gave the residents of these areas an impression that they were there to protect the ministers,” he said. He added that the Batticaloa Police did not accept complaints that were lodged. “The TMVP attacked a security officer of one of our contestants, but when he went to lodge a complaint the OIC did not accept it. We had to call the DIG Elections and lodge the complaint through him. So how can anyone say this was a free and fair election,” Hassan Ali querried? Meanwhile Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) claimed that the Batticaloa elections were a victory for the Democratic process. He added that it was the UNP that acted as an enemy of democracy by not participating at the elections. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake told The Bottom Line that the Eastern Election was held under reasonable conditions. “The election was held under reasonable conditions though armed groups contested the polls. We must be grateful for the Sri Lankan forces for creating such an environment. The election provided the opportunity for people in those areas to elect their representatives and enter into a democratic path,” he said. The Bottom Line witnessed a large number of elderly and educated people spoil their votes due to sheer frustration. They said that they did not have any desire to exercise their voting rights due to the manner in which the elections were conducted. “We have not got the party of our choice to exercise our franchise. We do not want to waste our votes by casting to groups that know nothing of politics and local administration,” they said. Complaints were also lodged by elderly people who had lost their national identity cards. They however could not obtain temporary cards which were sanctioned and issued by the Grama Niladharis. They said they had lost their identity cards due to the war and tsunami. They added that they did not have the wherewithal to take photographs of them to get temporary IDs, which were sanctioned by the respective Grama Niladharis. They said when they went to the polls with the special identity cards issued to them by the President of the country. According to them these ID’s had been rejected. Meanwhile a Muslim Cabinet minister from Batticaloa came under severe criticism for allegedly violating all election procedures and norms, according to people of the area. The minister, eye witnesses said, had even slapped a police officer in public and further threatened to remove his uniform. The police officer M. Rafeek was assigned by the government to provide protection to one of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) candidates M. Ameen. The police officer, according to sources, had gone to the Valaichenai Police Station to lodge his complaint. His complaint had been turned down by the Valaichenai OIC.

Source : The Nation.

March 12, 2008 Posted by | Political Hot News | Leave a comment