The murky scenes behind peace talks, LLRC, war crimes probes and Fox’s holidays: arms trade and personal profits came before Tamil concerns
| by Pearl Thevanayagam
(October 19, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The excreta has hit the ceiling. The thin line between state terrorism and separatists’ terrorism has disappeared. With the ugly revelations of former UK Foreign Secretary Liam Fox and his co-horting with Tamil businessmen to seek funds for his charity SLDT (Sri Lanka Development Trust), the State is directly complicit with close links to LTTE, the very militant outfit, it crushed.
The government’s close co-operation with the LTTE hierarchy is not something new. It happened during Premadasa’s regime with the President’s Men procuring contracts from foreign firms to provide and arm the LTTE at a price. Some of these were top defence chiefs who were conducting military offensive against the LTTE!!!
Liam Fox’s liaison with Adam Werrity, his de facto MOD advisor, is not the question here. The man is entitled to his own private life. It is when he used his office as Foreign Secretary to enjoy holidays in Sri Lanka at the expense of using both the Sri Lankan government and the trust’s funds and his overwhelming interest in purchasing a property in sunny Sri Lanka over concerns for war time atrocities which brought him down along with other holidays he undertook with Werrity in countries affected by civil war or internal uprisings against their leaders in the Middle East.
These revelations perhaps provide the answer to that vexing conundrum that Presdient Rajapakse is harbouring war criminals such as K.Pathmanathan, Pillayan and Karuna among other top LTTE leaders. The truth is out there and is staring at us on the face.
It is worthwhile pondering what happened during the so-called peace talks where the government sat down with the LTTE with a few interested countries mediating on different locations among emissaries present. Were they genuinely addressing concerns of the Tamil minority and the LTTE’s goals however subverted in bringing justice to the Tamils or were they sizing up each other’s military capabilities? Were they trying to find an amicable solution to the ethnic problem or were they forging business links in arms trade?
It is little wonder the government is ignoring calls for resettling war ravaged Tamils and giving them access to the properties they had before they were displaced several times over. It wants to forget the whole sad sordid past and move forward in developing the country. Successive governments chose this path and look where it got them. Sri Lanka is facing a huge challenge in governance and it is no longer the responsibility of the country. International intervention is becoming an inevitable solution thanks to its attempts to white wash war crimes and bury its sins.
The ghosts of Tamils are rising from their graves to haunt the government and by the look of things it has to come out with credible answers and not weak excuses such as LLRC and lameduck ambassadors and sidekicks such as Dayan Jayetilleke, Tamara Kunanayakam, Rajiva Wijesinghe defence chiefs manning diplomatic missions abroad. As this writer has highlighted ad nauseum these sycophants do not have the interest of our country or the masses.
Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s murder by Duminda Silva and other extra-judicial killings of journalists and human rights activists are but side dishes to the main course of the bigger crisis facing this government which is the international inquiry into war crimes relating to the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians until May 2009.
Julian Assange’s Wikileaks revelations relating to Sri Lanka will not go away despite attempts by the US government and others to tarnish him with a trivial rape charge. Assange’s sexual escapades should not deter the international inquiry into war crimes which are of far greater significance in bringing a regime change and more to the point bringing justice to the Tamils.
So where do we go from here. Perhaps Prof. G.L. Peiries should make maximum use of his intelligence and find a solution facing the president. To this effect it would not be bad idea to shake hands with his former boss President Chandrika Kumaratunga and say mea culpa. There is a slim chance this could work since he is surrounded by morons and selfish individuals at present.
(The writer is Asia Pacific Journalism Fellow at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, California and a print journalist for 21 years. She can be reached at email@example.com)