Can we expect justice from UN -Vijay Nambiar, chief of staff to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had close links with world dealiest terrorist Organisation LTTE
Posted on May 27th, 2009,,25530957-25837,00.html

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Slain Tamil chiefs were promised safety

IT was a desperate last phone call but it did not sound like a man who would be dead within hours. Balasingham Nadesan, political leader of the Tamil Tigers, had nowhere to turn, it seemed.

“We are putting down our arms,” he told me late on May 17 by satellite phone from the tiny slip of jungle and beach on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka where the Tigers had been making their last stand.

I could hear machinegun fire in the background as he continued coolly: “We are looking for a guarantee of security from the Obama administration and the British Government. Is there a guarantee of security?”

He was well aware that surrendering to the victorious Sri Lankan army would be the most dangerous moment in the 26-year civil war between the Tigers and Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority.

I had known Nadesan and Seevaratnam Puleedevan, the head of the Tigers’ peace secretariat, since being smuggled into rebel territory eight years ago.

The two men were trying to save the lives of the remaining 300 fighters and their families. Tens of thousands of civilians were trapped with them.

For several days I had been the intermediary between the Tiger leadership and the UN.

Nadesan had asked me to relay three points to the UN: they would lay down their arms, they wanted a guarantee of safety from the US or Britain, and they wanted an assurance the Sri Lankan Government would agree to a political process that would guarantee the rights of the Tamil minority.

Through highly placed British and US officials I had established contact with the UN special envoy in Colombo, Vijay Nambiar, chief of staff to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. I had passed on the Tigers’ conditions for surrender, which he had said he would relay to the Sri Lankan Government.

The conflict seemed set for a peaceful outcome. Puleedevan, a jolly bespectacled figure, found time to text me a smiling photo of himself in a bunker.

By the night of May 17, however, as the army pressed in, there were no more political demands from the Tigers and no more photos. Nadesan refused to use the word surrender when he called me, but that is what he intended to do. He wanted Nambiar to be present to guarantee the Tigers’ safety.

Once more, the UN 24-hour control centre in New York patched me through to Nambiar in Colombo, where it was 5.30am last Monday, May 18. I woke him up.

I told him the Tigers had lain down their arms. He said he had been assured by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse that Nadesan and Puleedevan would be safe in surrendering. All they had to do was “hoist a white flag high”.

I asked Nambiar if he should go north to witness the surrender. He said that would be unnecessary, the President’s assurances were enough.

It was still late Sunday night in London. I tried to get through to Nadesan’s satellite phone but failed, so I called a Tigers contact in South Africa to relay Nambiar’s message: wave a white flag high.

I was woken at 5am by a phone call from another Tigers contact in Southeast Asia. He had been unable to get through to Nadesan. “I think it’s all over,” he said. “I think they’re all dead.”

That evening, the Sri Lankan army displayed their bodies. What had gone wrong with the surrender? I would soon find out.

I discovered that on the night of May 17 Nadesan had also called Rohan Chandra Nehru, a Tamil MP in the Sri Lankan parliament, who contacted Mr Rajapakse.

The MP recounted the events of the next hours: “The President himself told me he would give full security to Nadesan and his family. Nadesan said he had 300 people with him, some injured.

“I said to the President, ‘I will go and take their surrender’. Rajapakse said, ‘No, our army is very generous and very disciplined. There is no need for you to go to a war zone. You don’t need to put your life at risk’.”

Chandra Nehru said Basil, the President’s brother, called him. “He said, ‘They will be safe. They have to hoist a white flag.’ And he gave me the route they should follow.”

The MP got through to Nadesan about 6.20am local time last Monday. “We are ready,” Nadesan told him. “I’m going to walk out and hoist the white flag.”

“I told him: ‘Hoist it high, brother, they need to see it. I will see you in the evening’,” said Chandra Nehru.

A Tamil who was in a group that escaped the killing zone later told an aid worker that Nadesan and Puleedevan walked towards Sri Lankan army lines with a white flag in a group of about a dozen men and women. He said the army fired machineguns at them.

Nadesan’s wife, a Sinhalese, yelled in Sinhala: “He is trying to surrender and you are shooting him.” She was also shot down.

The source said all in the group were killed. He is now in hiding. Chandra Nehru has fled the country after being threatened, the MP says, by the President and his brother. Over the past few days, Nambiar’s role as UN envoy has come into question. His brother, Satish, has been a paid consultant to the Sri Lankan army since 2002. Satish once wrote that General Sarath Fonseka, commander of the Sri Lankan armed forces, “displayed the qualities of a great military leader”.

Nadesan and Puleedevan favoured a political solution to the conflict. They would have been credible political leaders for the Tamil minority.

I am in a difficult position as a journalist reporting this story. I first went to Sri Lanka in 2001 to investigate reports that the Government was blocking food and medical supplies to Tamils. Journalists had been largely banned from the Tamil area for six years.

As I was being smuggled out of the area at night, we were ambushed by the Sri Lankan army. I was unhurt until I shouted, “Journalist, journalist”. Then they fired an RPG at me, severely wounding me.

After intermittent contact with the Tamils since then, I had a series of phone calls from the leadership in recent months. In one call, Nadesan said the Tigers would abide by the result of any referendum and begged for a ceasefire. His plea was rejected by Colombo.

One Response to “Can we expect justice from UN -Vijay Nambiar, chief of staff to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had close links with world dealiest terrorist Organisation LTTE”

  1. k k Says:

    who wrote this article?? how can we find out if the story is true! what ever the story we all are gald that the LTTE leadership is gone, Nadesn would have been an credible LEADER?? leaders dont go around hiding behind women and children!!! Neealn Tiruchekvam would have been a great tamil leader and what did the LTTe do? killed him ! i can go on and on of many won derful Tamil people that would have made good leaders!! but they were all killed by who ?the tamil LTTE. so who ever wrote the article should be ashamed he or she has blood on his /her hands!!!!!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress