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Sunday, 17 June 2012

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LTTE Diaspora, a threat to UK security

Some opportunist parliamentarians in the Opposition did their damnedest to gain political mileage by projecting a gloomy picture during Sri Lanka's 2006-2009 humanitarian operation, thereby giving a prop for LTTE terrorists.

When the Security Forces marched victoriously, demolishing Tiger power in towns in the North and the East, certain UNP parliamentarians had the audacity to question whether the Security Forces had really liberated those areas. They even accused the Government that its Security Forces were going towards Medawachchi though it claimed to have gone to Kilinochchi.

At the time, Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and parliamentarian Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena went on regular overseas junkets, tarnishing Sri Lanka's image and that of the Security Forces in the international arena. While Dr. Jayawardena sang hosannas in favour of the INGOs and the LTTE Diaspora, his leader misled world leaders.

This too could have influenced the US and the countries which supported it to pass the recent Resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC Sessions. Several Opposition politicians too waxed eloquent over it, thereby giving the last drop of oxygen to the moribund LTTE leadership which was eventually vanquished at the Nandikadal lagoon three years ago.

It is still fresh in the people's minds how Dr. Jayawardena and several Opposition politicians made tendentious statements to exert undue pressure on the Government through the international community and retard the Security Forces' forward march. As a result of these deplorable acts, the Government had to battle against deadly terrorists on one hand and opportunist politicians on the other during that dark era.

Despite the LTTE being crushed militarily, Dr. Jayawardena continues to pander to the whims and fancies of the LTTE Diaspora and Tiger sympathisers. At a time the Government has embarked on an ambitious reconciliation program having successfully resettled displaced persons and put in place infrastructure development in the North, Dr. Jayawardena is now attempting to give a political twist to isolated incidents to gain undue political mileage.

He has written to Pope Benedict XVI, seeking the Holy Father's intervention on alleged threats against Mannar Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph. In his letter, Dr. Jayawardena has stated that the Bishop has been victimised by various comments by "chauvinistic and communal-minded" people. He has also taken to task the local media of being "sympathetic towards the Government". The UNP MP has called upon the Pope to use his good office to ensure that the Bishop could "continue his mission without threats, intimidation or false accusations".

The Holy Father is highly respected and honoured by millions of people across the globe. Hence, Dr. Jayawardena, being a Roman Catholic himself, should have known better rather than make such an appeal as this does not come under the purview of the Holy Father. Dr. Jayawardena, in doing so, has insulted the Holy Father.

When Sarath Fonseka was serving a jail sentence, his sympathisers wrote to US President Barack Obama seeking the release of the former Army Commander. At the time, they were told in no uncertain terms that there was no point in making such an appeal to the US President since only President Mahinda Rajapaksa could pardon him.

Fonseka was subsequently granted a presidential pardon, following DNA parliamentarian Tiran Alles' fruitful rounds of talks with President Rajapaksa.

In like vein, in the event the Mannar Bishop has been "victimised by various comments made by chauvinistic and communal-minded people", as Dr. Jayawardena alleges, such a complaint should have been lodged with the relevant authorities here and certainly not the Pontiff in the Vatican. We also fail to see the logic in Dr. Jayawardena complaining to the Holy Father against the local media. Had the local media being "sympathetic towards the Government", as the UNP MP alleges, he should settle the score locally, at least by speaking to the relevant media personalities and appealing to their media institutions.

Dr. Jayawardena should have desisted from dragging the respected spiritual leader of millions of Catholics around the world to gain petty political advantage. On the other hand, it was done in a sinister manner, just days after President Rajapaksa had a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI. Is there any point in complaining to the Pope over the alleged questioning of the Mannar Bishop by law-enforcement agencies over certain matters relating to national security. Parliamentarian Jayawardena knows only too well that Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph is a citizen of Sri Lanka and is not exempted from the laws of the land. If the need arose to question the Bishop of Mannar, the police and the Security Forces have every right to do so in a respectful manner. The controversial conduct of the Mannar Bishop is a secondary matter. One wonders whether Dr. Jayawardena had been inspired to do so following the unruly manner in which the LTTE Diaspora protested in London recently. Even if he had been spurred on by these protesters, one should not take him seriously as he had a notorious track record of being extremely sympathetic towards a terrorist outfit that had killed thousands of civilians for nearly three decades.

The violent and unruly manner in which the LTTE Diaspora behaved in London during Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, calls into question UK's security, rather than that of Sri Lanka. Scotland Yard and the London Metropolitan Police seem to have woken up only after the recent protests in the British capital.

The LTTE Diaspora, which funds even certain Western politicians, who survive on the expatriate Tamil vote, has the wherewithal to assemble thousands of its members across Europe within a matter of hours. Hence, it has the liberty to disrupt the day-to-day life of the London citizenry at any time and bring things to a complete standstill.

The LTTE rump is exploiting the maximum advantage of the five-star democracy that prevails in Great Britain. But does this provide them the right to protest at the drop of a hat anywhere at any time of the day and disrupt the lives of the majority of other citizens? This runs counter to the principles of democracy. A coterie of such people in the UK should not be permitted to hold the entire city administration to ransom in the guise of democracy.

This is akin to the LTTE's killing of its own community and moderate Tamil leaders for their so-called liberation. The British authorities must take the bull by its horns and conduct a close study of a possible security threat by LTTE activists there and take stringent action before it is too late.

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