Gota frowns on TNA-Blair talks on accountability etc BHC: We aren’t coordinating former Prime Minister’s visit
Posted on January 6th, 2016

By Shamindra Ferdinando  Courtesy The Island

One-time Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair had talked about accountability issues in Sri Lanka, whereas the UK was yet to release its own war crimes investigation report that dealt with alleged atrocities committed by British forces during six-year deployment in Iraq. UK quit Iraq in 2009.

War veteran Rajapaksa told The Island that Blair himself had been under investigation as he ordered the British deployment on the basis of falsified intelligence reports pertaining to non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in Iraq.

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The former Defence Secretary was responding to Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan discussing accountability issues with visiting former British leader.

They discussed current political situation, release of Tamil political detainees, inquiry into missing persons, military presence in the Northern Province, releasing of land held by the military. The TNA quoted Sampanthan as having told Blair that accountability needed to be addressed on the basis of truth, justice, reparation and the assurance of non-recurrence.

The Blairs visited Colombo last August.

“The LTTE resumed war in August 2006. We didn’t have any other option but to fight back. In fact, the Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission blamed the LTTE for resumption of offensive action with simultaneous attacks on Jaffna front lines.”

Rajapaksa said Blair made a desperate effort to halt the Sri Lankan military offensive in April 2009. Had former President Mahinda Rajapaksa given in to British pressure, the top LTTE leadership would have survived and the TNA would still be under Prabhakaran’s thumb, Rajapaksa said, adding that Blair sent his Foreign Secretary David Miliband to force a halt to the offensive. “Former President Rajapaksa earned the wrath of the British for turning down Blair’s ultimatum.”

The former Defence Secretary stressed that the TNA had been one of the major beneficiaries of the LTTE’s annihilation, though the four-party alliance never appreciated the freedom now enjoyed by them.

Responding to a query, Rajapaksa said Blair should request former Whitehall official Sir John Chilcot at least to give a definite date for the publication of Iraq war crimes report. Chilcot launched the investigation in 2009.

Asked whether the British High Commission in Colombo had facilitated Blair’s visit, a BHC spokesperson said; “Former UK PM Tony Blair is here on a private visit and the British High Commission in Colombo is not coordinating his visit or meetings.”

Blair arrived in Colombo last Sunday. He is scheduled to attend a government organised two-day economic forum on January 7 and 8 at the Cinnamon Grand. Among other guests are international investor George Soros and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz.

Rajapaksa said Blair wouldn’t have even considered visiting Colombo if not for Sri Lanka’s triumph over terrorism over six years ago.

The former Defence Secretary emphasized that the previous government had created a climate here to attract foreign investment. Pointing out that Trincomalee District MP Sampanthan during discussions with Blair had called for a comprehensive development plan for the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Rajapaksa said that wouldn’t have been realistic if the LTTE survived. The LTTE would never have allowed large scale infrastructure and livelihood development projects under any circumstances, he said.

5 Responses to “Gota frowns on TNA-Blair talks on accountability etc BHC: We aren’t coordinating former Prime Minister’s visit”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    Very well said Sir!

    Please keep your voice live to protect Mother Lanka. I really appreciate that you have come out of the shell during the last few weeks. This will encourage the Patriots to surface.

    Your voice may have influenced Maru Sira’s stand on Geneva bullshit and LieTTE prisoners issue…

  2. Nanda Says:

    However, Blair is trying to sell Chinese investments in Sri Lanka this time. Not Prabhakaran’s investments.

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Had the government started a comprehensive investigation into alleged war crimes of and abetting them by Tamil sections in 2009, this would not have happened. Armed with a war crimes report of all war crimes instigated, abetted and committed by Tamils, the government would have easily silenced the TNA.

    Now it is far too late. Northern Chief Minister has turned into an absolute monster since taking oaths.

    Sri Lanka should focus on saving uniformed war heroes when the Special Court sits.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Adding Points to Ponder :

    *. The LTTE was practicing some strange acts with mini-subs during the Norway Peacekeeper times. So much for help from the west to eradicate the LTTE !

    *. Mr Blair was a Catholic, became a Protestant during his tenure as PM of Britain, and now has again become a Catholic.
    People will have to figure out why.

    O tempora !

  5. Christie Says:

    Blair is nothing more than an another Pommy bastard who relied on Indian funds and Indian block vote for his political success.

    He has to pay back in kind for that as well as continue working for the Indian Empire.

    He is only following Indian Empire’s directives for his own fame and funds.

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