Interview members of CUSL had with Mr. Callum Macrae and Mr. Jhonathan Millar
Posted on March 27th, 2014

Committee for a United Sri Lanka

Following a successful side event at the Palais des Nations, where “The Last Phase”, a documentary based on the lives of two former LTTE combatants and told from the point of view of Jeyawadani, a former female combatant, who grew up with the doctrine of the said terrorists group in ‘Sencholai’ and spent her youth in the medical wing of the same group, participating in many of battles launched by this group. Married to a former Sea combatant, they both take turns sharing the story of their childhood, youth, their marriage, the birth of their three children and the years leading to the final phase of the conflict and its aftermath. The film very succinctly conveys the tale of the couple, who having spent a majority of their lives with this group gradually become disillusioned and finally renounced violence to lead a quiet, civilian life, was screened by International Buddhist Foundation (IBF) together with the Committee for a United Sri Lanka (CUSL), the members of the Committee met Mr. Callum Macrae.

The CUSL members had formally introduced themselves and had asked Mr. Macrae about the “selective journalism”, which consequently lead to a constructive discussion between these two groups. The representatives were then asked by Mr. Johnathan Millar to give and interview to express their opinion on the proposed resolution against Sri Lanka.

During this interview the CUSL members expressed that Sri Lankans expatriates strongly believe that it is time to stop pointing fingers at each other but rather for the Sri Lankans and international community to work together and support Sri Lankans. They explained that there is a need to find a home grown solution to the problems, one that would ensure that all Sri Lankans irrespective of their ethnic and religious backgrounds will find a way to reconcile and live together.

They had added that a HRC resolution against Sri Lanka would have a negative impact on the reconciliation efforts, as it would result in further divisions between the two communities. They had also pointed out that the resolution if adopted would send a wrong message to individuals and groups that expect a divided country and that they would be encouraged to start devising mechanisms that would lead to hatred between the two communities. This would then be beyond repair.

The CUSL members had also pointed out that, although the conflict in Sri Lanka has been a multidimensional one, the international community has only seen the two sides of it. This is simply due to refusal of Pro LTTE individuals and groups to recognise the very existence or right to exist of the other dimensions or individuals and groups representing a moderate opinion.  They have been implementing many approaches to supress the moderate view in order to mislead the international community over the years, since such recognition of existence of another side of the story would have changed the whole picture and if that had happened, these cunning ones would have lost the momentum as their true identity would have been revealed. They had further pointed out that the following facts have to be studied with regards to the 30 year armed conflict that was ended in 2009, to see the true picture that the international community has not seen fully.

–          What the people of the North and East had experienced for almost 30 years, regardless  of the fact whether they had been pro “armed struggle” neutral or against it.

–          How the rest of the country had to suffer and experience the conflict, especially the men and women who were in the field, protecting the civilians and making sure that the rest of the country did not have to have sleepless nights.

–          How the by-standers experienced it, including those who have been searching for the ultimate truth about situations when the two sides were in conflict.

They had also made a point that the international community failed to see the true picture of the conflict in Sri Lanka for over a period of 26 years and that the proposed solutions may worsen the damage. The team pointed out that the end of the war provided a golden opportunity for all Sri Lankans to work as a united nation to find home grown solutions to iron out the differences and problems.

They posed the question of where international journalists, such as the Channel 4 reporters were, when countless inhuman acts occurred as a result of the actions of the LTTE. These events which if exposed could have bought about intervention and assistance that would have prevented the destructions the Sri Lankans have witnessed all those years.

One member further mentioned that on seeing the “Killing Fields”, created by Mr. Callum Macrae, at an international film festival held in Zurich was saddened that it depicted, on the whole, a one sided story. They had further added that they were very upset to witness the extent of dramatization in the documentary which later lead to support for the proposed Resolution.

The CUSL representatives commented that if the time spent on this resolution had been spent to encourage Sri Lankans to find a home grown solution, the Sri Lankans could have gained greater momentum to start their reconciliation process on a positive note.

The members of CUSL had ended on a note that represented the view of the majority of Sri Lankans. They had said that they believe that their small Island have the courage and ability to rise as one of the best examples in Asia, where all Sri Lankans would live in peace and harmony in a multicultural society.

9 Responses to “Interview members of CUSL had with Mr. Callum Macrae and Mr. Jhonathan Millar”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Sri Lankans TOTALLY REJECT the concept of “United Sri Lanka”. We need a UNITARY SL.

    We DON’T want a United Sri Lanka. What we need is a UNITARY SL.

    Just keep your United Sri Lanka with you.

    GOLS must work towards strengthening UNITARY SL and destroy all attempts to create a United Sri Lanka.

  2. Nanda Says:

    We need United Sinhalese tackle United States of Terrorist.

  3. Nanda Says:

    We don’t even need to mention the word “Unitary”, which is even more dangerous as this gives that there is a question to “Unitary ” nature.

    “United Sri Lankans” is better but hypothetical.

    This is the problem. We are fooled by various English words from the aggressors. United, Unitary, Political Solution, Reconciliation, Ethnic Problem , etc. etc.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    No Nanda.

    These words are NOT JUST words. They have a HUGE meaning.

    United is a very dangerous thing for a country. UNITARY is what we need to retain.

    MOST countries in the world are unitary so we have nothing to fear. ONLY ARTIFICIAL COUNTRIES are united.

    e.g. Endia, USA, Canada, Australia (these were NOT countries 250 years ago just genocide killing fields)

    We should NOT be like them.

  5. NAK Says:

    Why can’t we be Sri Lankans united,in a unitary Sri Lanka.

  6. Senevirath Says:

    sinhale was and is one country. there is nothing to unite . it is a unitary country

    EK SESATH under ONE UMBRELLA every body

  7. Senevirath Says:

    EK SESATH — EKATH CHATTRA . THAT WAS SINHALE THAT MEANS UNITARY

    ONE COUNTRY . WHAT IS THERE TO UNITE.
    YES THEY ARE
    TRYING TO DEVIDE
    LORENZO IS CORRECT

  8. Jayantha Says:

    I read this article this afternoon in DBS Jeyaraj Column.

    Crackdown on LTTE Colombo cell reveals plot to assassinate President Rajapaksa or his brother Gotabhaya

    28 March 2014, 1:59 pm

    20140328-135642.jpg by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

    Hectic events over the past few weeks in Sri Lanka have driven home three salient truths on the security front relating to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization. The first is that tiger or pro-tiger elements in the Tamil Diaspora will persist with efforts to resurrect the LTTE and disrupt life in Sri Lanka. The second is that the Sri Lankan state will effectively respond to such a challenge regardless of international implications. The third is that the strongly entrenched security apparatus in the country is capable of cracking down hard on any such perceived LTTE revival attempt and crushing it.

    Last week saw this column focusing on the shooting incident in the Tharmapuram area of Kilinochchi district and subsequent events including the manhunt for an LTTE operative known as “Gobi” and the security crackdown on suspected attempts to revive the LTTE. What the country at large seems to have failed to comprehend is the seriousness of “what might have been” had not the security authorities countered the challenge posed.

    Though different shades of opinion in the political spectrum have either wittingly or unwittingly opted to trivialise the issue , the crux of the matter is that the attempt to revive the LTTE , if successful may have resulted in drastic consequences for the country. Thankfully the LTTE revival threat seems to have been effectively neutralised while in its embryonic stages for the present , though the security crackdown continues in some parts of the Island.

    According to reliable security related sources, the most important breakthrough in the probe into a potential LTTE renaissance was the detection of a conspiracy to execute a major assassination in Colombo. The target seems to have been either President Mahinda Rajapaksa or his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa the Secretary of Defence and Urban Development. The simple logic seems to have been this.

    COLOMBO

    The defence establishment has been lulled into a sense of false complacency due to the past years of LTTE inactivity in Colombo and the suburbs after the military debacle at Mullivaaikkaal in May 2009.Security measures in Colombo have been progressively relaxed. This has created a situation where it may be possible to mount an “operation” in Colombo utilising the element of surprise.

    Given the current weak state of the LTTE it would require a great deal of resources and organizational capacity to carry out even one attack in Colombo. Therefore chances of executing a single successful attack alone may be possible initially.Thereafter security authorities will be on full alert thereby diminishing possibilities of another attack.

    Under such circumstances it would be pointless to attack comparatively easier soft targets as the alerted authorities will crack down hard thereby negating chances of further operations. As such the opportunity to attack must be utilised against a very high profile target. If softer targets are hit earlier the security around such high profile key targets would be strengthened. Breaching such “security walls” would be impossible for the revived LTTE that is actually embryonic in Sri Lanka. In that context the targets should be very very important persons. The President and his brother fit this target description perfectly.

    Besides the targeting of either the President or the defence secretary would help the LTTE derive maximum political mileage. Demonstrating the ability to take on such powerful targets has great symbolic value and would re-capture the diminishing support base of the LTTE amidst the global Tamil Diaspora. It would also prove to the world that the LTTE is not a spent force. Also Mahinda and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are virulently hated by tiger elements after the LTTE was militarily defeated. Harming either of the two would warm the hearts of many a diehard supporter in the Diaspora and fill the LTTE coffers abundantly.

    BACKLASH

    It would also demoralise the country and throw into disarray the politico-administrative equilibrium. A process of de-stabilisation could set in. Moreover in the volatile atmosphere that is likely to prevail in the aftermath of such an attack, a backlash might occur against the Tamil people. A recurrence of anti-Tamil violence in the Island is what the tigers, pro-tigers and supportive fellow travellers are yearning for. The attack if successful may have caused exactly such a violent backlash against the Tamil people.

    Targetting the upper echelons of leadership has always been part of the LTTE modus operandi in the past. If the tigers want to render an organization or entity ineffective, defunct or coerce it into toeing the LTTE line, they do not target the rank and file. Instead they go for the leader or top tier of leadership particularly the livewires who make the organization tick. Thereafter the entity concerned becomes non-operational, ineffective or falls in line. This has been the LTTE practice in the past when dealing with organizations they want to either control ,destroy or render impotent.

    Militarily too the LTTE has adopted this strategy effectively until perhaps the post -2005 period. Earlier the LTTE that was relatively weaker than the armed forces in manpower and firepower in a general context would seek to remedy that state of affairs in a particular context by adopting this strategy. It would select a key military target, mobilise maximum resources and attack it utilising the element of surprise. This successful attack would cause consternation and result in consequent over estimation of the LTTE military prowess. This in turn paved the way for demoralization to set in amidst the armed forces.

    The LTTE adopted this strategy successfully when it attacked the Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front(EPRLF) in December 1986. The LTTE being relatively stronger than the EPRLF in the North vanquished them by launching simultaneous attacks on the northern EPRLF camps. In the East it was the EPRLF that outnumbered the LTTE and was also more widespread. There was a great disparity of strength with the EPRLF having the advantage.

    HEADCAMPS

    The LTTE however outsmarted the EPRLF by harnessing its limited resources and selectively targeting the three head camps of the EPRLF in the three Eastern districts. The tigers launched simultaneous attacks against the EPRLF head camps at Thambiluvil, Kokkattichoalai and Saambaltheevu in the districts of Amparai,Batticaloa and Trincomalee respectively. With the overrunning of the three head camps the rest of the EPRLF though large in numbers became virtually headless chickens.

    The plans in the pipeline to target the President and Defence secretary are also illustrative of past LTTE modus operandi.The tigers battered and shattered in Sri Lanka after 2009 were now in the process of attempting a revival. Given the inadequate assets at their disposal, Gobi the mastermind behind the LTTE resurgence in Sri Lanka also envisaged the targeting of Mahinda or Gotabhya Rajapaksa in a Colombo based attack. Fortunately such a deadly objective has been detected and nipped in the bud while the plot was in an evolutionary stage.

    Knowledgeable circles indicate that the proposed safe house in Colombo to be used as a launching pad for the envisaged attack has been identified and raided. This safehouse apparently was a bakery establishment in Dehiwela. Twelve persons connected to the premises were taken into custody. All of them are being held under provisions of the prevention of terrorism act(PTA).Ten are detained at Boosa while two are being intensively interrogated on the second floor at the Police Terrorism Investigation Division(TID)headquarters in Colombo.

    DEHIWELA

    A few of those arrested on the Bakery premises are apparently innocent being totally unaware of the diabolical designs of the others involved as the LTTE generally functions on a need to know basis. It appears that the Colombo connection of the revived LTTE is now de-activated after the mopping up at Dehiwela.

    Ongoing investigations have revealed that the lynchpin in the entire exercise of reviving the LTTE in Sri Lanka inclusive of establishing a Colombo cell in Dehiwela is Gobi whose full name is Ponniah Selvanayagam Kajeeban.He is known by the nom de guerre Gobi and the nom de plume Kaasiyan. As stated earlier this 31 year old six-footer of medium complexion with a scar on his left upper lip had been living in the Tharmapuram area of Kilinochchi district and functioning as a heavy vehicle driver. Kajeeban alias Gobi had been formerly an LTTE intelligence wing functionary under the dreaded Shanmugalingam Sivasangaran alias Pottu Ammaan. Kajeeban had surrendered at the end of the war and been accommodated at the Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centre (PARC) at Poonthottam in Vavuniya.

    It is suspected that Gobi exited from the Poonthottam camp with the aid of a Tamil member of the ruling regime and made his way to Saudi Arabia and not Quatar as I had mistakenly written last week.. After working for a while in that country Kajeeban alias Gobi made his way to Europe. He had travelled widely in Europe and gone also to Norway. It is now suspected that Gobi had met with prominent LTTE activists in Europe including the low-profile high-ranking leader Nediyavan and his senior deputy Irumborai during his European sojourn. He had been tasked by Nediyavan and Irumborai to revive the tigers in Sri Lanka.

    DRIVER

    He had then returned to Sri Lanka and started working as an owner- driver of a heavy vehicle. Gobi has his own vehicle that he hires out and functions as its driver. This provides him a cover to travel frequently to Colombo and also to towns such as Mullaithivu, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Jaffna.His wife and mother who were taken in for questioning deny all knowledge of his whereabouts and say that he has been living separately away from them.

    Security circles opine that Gobi has been entrusted with the task of reviving the LTTE in the North. They regard Gobi with the “simpleton” looking appearance as extremely dangerous because he is a zealot fired up by a political vision and sense of mission. Gobi is perceived as a highly motivated person because he has turned his back on an opportunity to lead a safe comfortable life in Europe and instead has voluntarily returned home to undertake a potentially hazardous and dangerous task.

    Gobi is also seen as armed and dangerous. Initially he came under the security radar for the relatively “mild” offence of publishing and circulating pro-LTTE leaflets hailing the tigers as Tamil guardians. The arrest of two youths distributing such leaflets in Pallai in the first week of March and subsequent inquiries brought up the name of Gobi. The security forces were on the lookout for Gobi but did not suspect initially that he was masterminding a LTTE renaissance in the North with backing from the Nediyavan led Diaspora tigers. It was the shooting incident at Tharmapuram in the house of Jeyakumari Balendra which alerted the security sleuths to the true nature of Gobi. (This incident was described in detail last week).

    Current Investigations have indicated that Gobi had set up four cells in the North and one in Colombo to execute plans aiming at a LTTE revival. The bulk of those coopted into the nascent tiger network are either ex-tigers or family members of former LTTE members. There is also evidence that funds from Diaspora LTTE operatives in three western countries have been channelled to Gobi’s “agents” in the North.

    OPERATIONS

    The security forces in association with anti-terrorism sleuths are currently engaged in a series of widespread operations in different parts of the North. Hundreds of persons mainly youths from both sexes have been rounded up and interrogated. The bulk of those rounded up were released after some hours. Over fifty persons were detained under the PTA and questioned. Several of these persons too have been released. It is learnt that over 30 persons are currently being detained and interrogated. This figure however is fluid as some are being released while others are being arrested anew.

    Informed security related sources are confident that they have been able to neutralise the “revived” LTTE through the ongoing heavy crackdown. They vehemently deny that Gobi has been apprehended but express confidence that he would be nabbed soon. The possibility of Gobi committing suicide if and when on the verge of being captured is also not ruled out by security circles.

    Further details of the crackdown on suspected tigers as well as the progress of the ongoing investigation into alleged LTTE activity will be outlined in a forthcoming article.

    DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at [email protected]

    GOSL should go on a search and destroy of any and all LTTE cells and sympathizers.

    JP/USA

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    NAK,

    “Why can’t we be Sri Lankans united,in a unitary Sri Lanka.”

    PERFECT!

    This is the SOLUTION.

    ONLY Tamil racists say they can’t be united in the UNITARY SL. They want a united SL to be untied!! Total BS.

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