ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 42

LTTE denies secret deal, but Mangala reveals more

Was there a deal between Government leaders and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the run up to the Presidential election in November 2005?

Two sacked Ministers, Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyarachchi, say there was one and are asking for a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the matter.

“No one knows the whole story. Only part of the jig saw is known by a few,” Mr. Samaraweera told The Sunday Times.
His remarks appear on Page 4 political commentary.There has been no formal response from the Government.

Against this backdrop, the LTTE joined the controversy yesterday with a strong denial. Its Military Spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan told The Sunday Times that they (the LTTE) had not made any deal with any party in the south other than the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA).

“This is all false propaganda. This is how politicians in the south play political games. When they have differences among themselves they bring the LTTE into the picture,” he said.

However, an aide to Mr. Samarweera said,“Ilanthiriyan’s response is clearly understandable. Even if there was a deal or understanding, he cannot go public with it. That would only earn the wrath of the Tamil community. Therefore they have to take up that official position.”

Both the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) are of the view that the alleged post-election deal with the LTTE should be fully probed to ascertain the whole truth.

JVP frontliner Vijitha Herath said the select committee would enable those making the charges and others to prove or disprove the allegations.

He said the two former ministers who were in the frontlines of President Rajapaksa’s election campaign were making these charges while the government was denying them, but no one knew who was lying or telling the truth. JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said his party also would support the appointment of a select committee though it did not believe the allegations made by the former ministers.

“We believe these allegations are being made to discredit the President and security forces which are having the LTTE on the run. We believe the charges are instigated by the UNP and other pro-LTTE forces.

“If the former ministers cared about the country, they should have come out with the allegations prior to the election – and not after they were sacked,” the JHU spokesman said.The main opposition UNP and other parties are also supporting a probe by a select committee.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.