Monday, June 21, 2010

Former Head of LTTE Fund Raising Helps Arrange Talks between Pro-LTTE and Govt.

P K Balachandran
Express News Service
21 Jun 2010

COLOMBO: Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, the former head of the LTTE's fund gathering and arms procurement operations abroad, who is now in detention in Sri Lanka, had helped bring top overseas leaders of the militant organisation for talks with the Sri Lankan government in Colombo last week.

Prof Rohan Gunaratna, Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Studies at Nanyang University in Singapore told Express on Sunday that a ninemember delegation comprising "countryhead level" leaders of the LTTE had flown into the island for a fiveday tour and talks with high government and military officials, particularly, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. "All key leaders, barring the USbased Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, who heads the rival Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), were here," Gunaratna said.

The Sri Lankan terrorism expert said he was also in Colombo when the LTTE delegation met. The LTTE leaders visited Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Jaffna and saw for themselves the rehabilitation efforts of the government. They were briefed by the local service commanders and district officials.

In Chavakkacheri, they saw the houses that the army was building for the war refugees and were reportedly impressed. However, on return to Colombo, the delegation told the government that there were some shortcomings in the resettlement process. The government promised to look into those complaints.

One of the significant outcomes of the visit was an agreement to form an international NGO called 'North East Development Programme', which would secure and channelise funds from the Tamil Diaspora for development programmes in the Tamilspeaking North and East.

KP told the stateowned Sunday Observer that the visiting exmilitant leaders had promised to give the LTTE's funds held by them for the development of the North and East.


Asked if all this meant that Rudrakumaran was getting isolated in the proLTTE Tamil Diaspora, Gunaratna said that the people around Rudrakumaran in the TGTE now were "not significant."

Asked why the LTTE's leaders overseas had acceeded to KP's suggestion for talks with the Sri Lankan government, he said that they had seen sense in his argument that the TGTE was a "farce and a mirage." "This view of the TGTE is shared by the key leaders of the LTTE who are presently in cusody in Sri Lanka. While Rudrakumaran and the TGTE are pursing Prabhakaran's ghost, KP is helping the Sri Lankan government make the life of Tamils of the war ravaged North better."

"The Diaspora delegation went back on Saturday convinced that working for the betterment of the Tamils of the North in cooperation with the Sri Lankan government was the only sensible thing to do," Gunaratna said.

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