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Whitewashing my enemy’s enemy

It is said that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces are nearing Kilinochchi and are on the threshold of capturing the town. I saw, on Al Jazeera Television, the LTTE lobbyists campaigning before the European Parliament about the ethnic cleansing and genocide by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. There was no one there to represent a counter view. Neither did our Embassy seek to clear this position.

But the opposition to the term genocide by bringing out the terminology and the meaning of the word was left to another Indian Dr. Subramaniam Swamy. He said that there is no genocide as defined by the World Court.

We have amongst us Dr. Palitha Kohona influencing the Australian Government to ban the LTTE. Rohitha Bogollagama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, advanced the push given by Dr. Palitha Kohona, and we expect even the Australian Government to ban the LTTE next year.


Troops in action in the North.

In the midst of all this, Prabhakaran finds new allies amongst the Sri Lankan Polity. This time it is the United National Party leadership, which has come to the fore to defend Prabhakaran by bringing a story hatched by them about the murder of one-time war hero Janaka Perera.

Eloquent presentation

I heard quite an eloquent presentation by Gayantha Karunathilaka, stating that Janaka Perera was murdered and that the judiciary had made certain criticism on the investigation, and that therefore the UNP wants an international investigations team to probe Janaka Perera’s killing.

Whitewashing the LTTE has turned a full circle and it is the turn of the UNP to do so. Throughout history, Sri Lankan politicians in the South whether of the UNP or SLFP, strove to whitewash the LTTE from all of its ignominious crimes.

The LTTE has so far been able to ride the wave of popularity among the foreign Governments, not only due to the propaganda carried out by the Tigers, but also due to the propaganda carried out by the members of the opposition, which today is the UNP, in order to demoralise the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and enable them to become victorious in the forthcoming elections.

The circus started with Chandrika Kumaratunga. She brought in the Special Presidential Commission to investigate the assassinations of famed people by the LTTE in order to placate Prabhakaran and tarnish the UNP so as to keep the people happy through these sordid, unbelievable stories which titillated the minds of political imbeciles.

The most infamous episode in the history of the Sri Lanka judiciary began to unfold.

Commissions

Once, a leading lawyer said that these commissions were like shooting at a spot and drawing a circle around it. The findings were known immediately after the warrant of appointment was issued. The evidence would be concocted to implicate the innocent and the circle would be drawn around it. Chandrika believed the LTTE would support her, in order to become the queen reigning over all districts, including the North and East.

It was believed that since she had got the highest percentage of votes to be elected as President of Sri Lanka, the votes she received in the North and East came under the instructions of the LTTE. That was the time they sold the Chandrika bangles and the Chandrika saris to the people in Jaffna.

So she enacted the first infamous drama called the Special Presidential Commission to investigate the assassination of General Denzil Kobbekaduwa, who was by far the most loved war hero in Sri Lanka. Without much ado and fanfare, and devoid of publicity, Denzil Kobbekaduwa became the real hero, the modern Dutugemunu fighting to liberate Sri Lanka from the clutches of the terrorists.

His popularity swept the whole country. This was done so by the ordinary soldiers, who had returned to their families after the short intermission and related heroic stories about Denzil Kobbekaduwa.

When Denzil Kobbekaduwa died, along with Wijaya Wimalaratna and nine others, after being caught in a landmine, which killed him after being rushed to Colombo, there was an undisputed exhibition of sorrow that gripped the nation.

Death of Denzil

Denzil had become a folk hero especially amongst the villagers. This outpouring of grief for a soldier was never seen before. His death attacked the very nerve centre of the nation, it crippled the people leaving no hope of defeating their arch enemies the Tiger terrorists. Without any compulsion, white flags were being


R. Premadasa


Lalith Athulathmudali


Denzil Kobbekaduwa


Gamini Dissanayake

 hoisted.

Then came the rumours, the tabloids, the kavi kola karayas.

The truth melted down and turned into ash. The story was told and retold at every Kopi Kade. Premadasa could have been defeated only by one man and that was Denzil Kobbekaduwa who was to be common presidential candidate of the joint opposition. Premadasa’s political career was finished.

The Government analysts and special ballistic experts, who were extremely independent and who visited the scene, expressed their view that it was a landmine that caused the death of Denzil Kobbekaduwa.

They jointly cried foul at the investigations and the findings of the experts of the Government Analyst’s department. Instead they relied on the evidence given by a foreign expert.

Soon after Kobbekaduwa’s death, Gamini Dissanayake defected from the UNP and founded a new party, the DUNF and in order to fulfil the dreams of his ambitious goal of becoming President of Sri Lanka, Kobbekaduwa’s death was the instrument with which he wanted to kill the prospects of Premadasa becoming the President again.

The stories which were spread by the people and the tabloids of that time were the most unbelievable lies. This rumour was spread by the supporters of DUNF and led many people to urge for an independent commission.

Premadasa who had the entire media against him may have been so jolted by these vicious accusations that he conceded to every request made by the joint opposition in order to get out of the political mud hole he had got himself into inspite of everything he did to recover his image.

He therefore decided to appoint an independent commission comprising of international judges. The judges even sat in London to record statements of the British expert J. R. Wyatt, who based his observations on photographs of the crater left by the explosion and had concluded that the explosive device could not have been a landmine.

He had refused to come to Sri Lanka stating that he feared for his life. The commission appointed by Premadasa, without much hesitation came to a conclusion that the original findings of the Government analyst was correct and that the photographic evidence given by Gamini Dissanayake was wrong.

Yet, no one believed the Commission, and people started casting aspersions on the international judges, dismissing their findings. Thereafter came the death of Lalith Athulathmudali. At that time, the tabloids started spreading rumours that Athulathmudali was killed by someone on the instructions of the ‘top’. The inquest held clearly shown that the bullet fired by Thilak Shatha, Athulathmudali’s bodyguard, was found in the body of the assassin.

Everyone, including leading academic political analysts, dismissed this story, stating that the LTTE would never adopt this method of shooting at a politician to kill him; it was more plausible that a gunmen hired by the Government did it.

Even leading lawyers dismissed the findings of the Government ballistic experts and of the IMO. All believed that these people were in the pay of the Government. So Premadasa had no alternative but to accept the requests of the opposition, at that time the SLFP, to call in Scotland Yard to help the investigators. Everyone believed that Scotland Yard could not be bribed or pushed to come out with wrong findings, and Premadasa was the least liked President by the British.

When Scotland Yard came and looked at the weapon, all believed that the truth about the alleged assassin found in Mugalan Road would soon be revealed.

Perpetrators

In both cases the Government in power, through its media, stated that the perpetrators of these crimes were none other than the LTTE. However, the entire opposition cried foul, and was equivocal in stating that the Government was responsible for the deaths.

They exonerated LTTE. There was not a single paper, other than the Government media, that did not raise suspicions or doubts on the findings and investigations of the local experts.

Finally, the report of Scotland Yard came, confirming that the report of Mr. Silva, the expert on ballistics, was correct. Mr. Silva had very inferior equipment, but was such an expert that Scotland Yard did not find anything that could be contradictory in his report. However, the lobbyists and the NGOs, who supported the opposition, in order to weaken the Government and support the LTTE, continued with their laments against the State and the NGO lobbies were working overtime to prove the innocence of the LTTE.

President Premadasa

Then came the death of Ranasinghe Premadasa. There were many eyewitnesses who had seen Babu blasting him to death. Yet there were people who tried to exonerate the LTTE on the foundation the Premadasa was die hard friend of Prabhakaran and the murder was committed by some one who wanted to replace him.

The story of the place of incident being washed by the Municipality was seen as move to remove any evidence of the murder.

Then came the death of Gamini Dissanayake. When he died, together with several others, killed in a suicide bomb attack, the UNP, which was in the Government, tried to accuse Chandrika Kumaratunga of ordering the killing. One paper reported that Kumaratunga met one of the top officials of the LTTE in Singapore, and that another important member of the opposition wanted to remove Gamini Dissanayake, who was the only obstacle to her to become President.

It seems, though no Sinhalese has ever been able to identify a person who would commit suicide by being a suicide bomber, yet when it suits a political party, there are enough suicide bombers among the Sinhalese.

The only good thing that happened during Ranil Wickremesinghe’s enforced settlement with the LTTE was that Anton Balasingham finally gave the list of politicians and others assassinated by the LTTE which included Premadasa, Gamini Dissanayake and Lalith Athulathmudali. Finally the truth survived and the AG hurriedly withdrew the cases filed against some people on the basis of the findings of the Bandaranaike Commission.

Exonerating LTTE

Therefore, the accusations and counter accusations exonerating the LTTE of all the brutal murders will continue. A few years ago, it was the UNP which was to bear the blunt of such accusations. Today, the same UNP is accusing the Government.

So it is tragic that instead of the LTTE becoming the enemy of all parties in the South, it has become the enemy only of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government. So the UNP, most unashamedly, is trying to whitewash the LTTE of the assassination of one of the war heroes, Janaka Perera. This is why we have taken 20 years to eliminate terrorism from this country.

If anyone casts any doubt on all of these assassinations, he must be considered a traitor to the cause of the Sri Lankan people. So now the people of Sri Lanka must be able to identify who is rejoicing at the death of Janaka Perera. It is the UNP and the LTTE, who are accusing the Government of killing him.

The traitors are soon found out by their behaviour and actions. Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only leader who had unequivocally condemned the LTTE for all of these crimes, and is now fighting this war to eliminate the LTTE and to liberate the Tamil people from the mono-ethnic maniac, Prabhakaran.

And some UNP figures are the true traitors, orchestrating suspicions and real innuendos on the manner in which Janaka Perera died. They are the true friends of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s enemy - Vellupillai Prabhakaran.

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