The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) views with alarm the recent actions of the unelected Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who have embarked on a strategy of appeasing the local and overseas Tamil separatists, the very groups that supported and financed the three decade long campaign of terror by the LTTE.
According to the reports in the government-owned Sunday Observer, Samaraweera met representatives of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in London to ‘look into potential areas where the Sri Lankan Government and Tamil Diaspora can work together in terms of reconciliation and developing mutual understanding’. He is also reported to be reviewing the previous government’s bans on pro-LTTE organizations and individuals, erroneously claiming that it ‘was done to build the hysteria about the LTTE regrouping in the run-up to the Presidential election’, when, in fact, the bans came into effect in April 2014 at a time when there were no signs of any Presidential or Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka.
The liaison role between the GTF and the Wickremesinghe regime was played by MA Sumanthiran of the TNA/ITAK whose leader said at their 2012 Annual Conference that they do not ‘consider the 13th Amendment to be an acceptable solution’ and that they have not given up their rights ‘under international law to external self-determination’. Also present in London was Erik Solheim who co-architected the infamous Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) between the LTTE and Wickremesinghe. Solheim had then addressed the leader of the LTTE delegation as ‘Your Excellency’, giving undue respect to a representative of an internationally designated terrorist group, at the first round of ‘peace talks’ in Sattahip in Thailand.
Ironically, the joint TNA/GTF media release says that ‘The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera was also present’, thereby relegating Samaraweera’s role to one of subservience. Earlier this year, the LTTE mouthpiece ‘TamilNet’ reported that “Mangala Samaraweera came as a ‘beggar’ urging Tamil support for regime change and abolition of the executive presidency” when he previously met the GTF leaders and Sumanthiran in Singapore during 2013.
WAPS strongly feels that these developments are a direct result of the unholy alliances established within and outside Sri Lanka in order to effect regime change in Sri Lanka. These efforts have received encouragement, funding and blessings from some political leaders and lobby groups in the West and India.
Their first salvo was a campaign of disinformation against Sri Lanka that tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed in the last phase of the war based on hearsay and unverified evidence collected by the unlawful UN advisory committee and the unfounded claims of Gordon Weiss who changed the UN’s count from 7721 to 40,000. The Tamil racists claimed that the Sri Lankan defence forces are forcibly occupying their land.
The TNA administered Northern Provincial Council passed a resolution alleging the genocide of Tamils by successive Sri Lankan governments from the time of Independence. This was followed by the demands of Police and Land powers for the NPC, the release of so called Tamil political prisoners, the de-proscription of the overseas LTTE fronts and finally the necessity to promulgate a new federal constitution.
Without any mandate from the people of Sri Lanka, the Wickremesinghe government appears to be making hasty efforts to meet these Tamil racist claims under the banner of reconciliation.
The latest actions of Samaraweera follows a pattern that includes the downgrading of the security forces, closing down strategic defence establishments in the North and East and releasing hard-core LTTE cadres. Several diplomats who were able counter the LTTE misinformation campaign have also been recalled, leaving these missions exposed or staffed by more pliant officials.
Furthermore, the current regime makes no attempt to engage the expatriate Sri Lankan organizations and individuals who supported Sri Lanka in the past decades, countering LTTE propaganda, assisting service and civilians families impacted by the conflict and supporting welfare projects in remote areas of the country.
Sri Lanka had respond to a war thrust on it by the Tamil Tigers to liberate the country as a whole and especially, the Tamil civilians who were held as human shields and had their children forcibly conscripted. This victory was achieved and peace restored due to the sacrifices and heroism of the defense forces and resilience of the people of Sri Lanka. In the post-terror years, vast areas of the North and East were demined and the comprehensive reconstruction and rehabilitation undertaken rapidly, incurring a sizable expenditure of the GDP of Sri Lanka exceeding three billion dollars.
Therefore, the Government should be conscious of the dangers posed by separatist ‘Tamil Diaspora’ organizations before recognizing their possible contributions to the benefit of the country. Many of these groups have engaged in a continuous campaign of extreme vilification of Sri Lanka. They have also acted hand in glove with the LTTE by funding, supplying arms and training the terrorists, in addition to engaging in propaganda and providing publicity for the LTTE. To this day, they carry out false and vicious propaganda against the government and people, the armed forces, the businesses and even the Cricket team of Sri Lanka.
If not nipped in the bud, any clandestine deals with Tamil separatists will result in the destabilization and dismemberment of Sri Lanka and pave the way for a fresh round of hostilities leading to the creation of a mono ethnic state in the North and East of the country.
Therefore, WAPS urges President Maithripala Sirisena to exercise his mandate as the leader of the nation and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces to immediately call a halt to this policy of appeasement.
We also request that all patriotic members of Parliament and the people of Sri Lanka to voice their strong opposition to any actions that leads to the possible dismemberment of the country and the rape of the unitary state of Sri Lanka.
Ranjith Soysa, spokesperson on behalf of Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka, Victoria
Western Australia Society for Peace, Unity and Rehabilitation in Sri Lanka (WA)
Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka, New South Wales
Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka, Queensland
Sinhala Association UK-Sri Lanka United National Association of Canada-Hela Bima, Middle East
Lanka Friendship Forum, Middle East-Sri Lanka Public Affairs Council (SPAC), USA
Patriots for United Sri Lanka, USA-Veera Parakramabahu Foundation, New South Wales
Sri Lankans Against Terrorism – New South Wales-Jathika Ekamuthwa, Victoria
Sri Lanka Friendship Association, Geneva-Sinhala Cultural Association of Australia inc, Canberra
United Sri Lankans of London, UK-British Sri Lankan Forum, UK