2ND LEAD (UPDATE)
KP-Diaspora programme operated by SL Military Intelligence: Doctor Arudkumar
[TamilNet, Monday, 28 June 2010, 21:31 GMT]
Sri Lankan Director of National Intelligence, Major General Kapila Hendawitharana, the longest serving intelligence officer of the military, is in charge of the covert and overt programme of dividing and conquering the Tamil diaspora, alludes British Tamil doctor Velauthapillai Arudkumar, who visited the island recently as part of a ‘Tamil diaspora visit’ organised by Colombo through Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP. TamilNet releases an exclusive video interview with Dr. Arudkumar taken two days ago, in which he reveals the details of the trip. SL Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Maj. Gen. Hendawitharana and External Affairs Minister G.L.Peiris, all spoke in a well-synchronised way. Military counterinsurgency and ‘post-war development’ are intertwined aiming at Tamil subjugation, the doctor infers in his interview.
Dr. Arudkumar was one of the nine diaspora Eezham Tamils who visited the island from 6 countries between 15 June and 20 June. KP and his associates in the diaspora played a crucial role in mobilising this diaspora group to have talks with the Sri Lankan government on post-war rehabilitation of civilians and former LTTE cadres in detention.
The doctor says he made the decision as an individual to explore the opportunity to help the uprooted civilians, people incarcerated and those held in detention camps. Earlier, he had served the people of Vaakarai in Batticaloa for four weeks after the 2004 tsunami catastrophe. “I am not a politician. I only wanted to help,” he said.
But, after sensing the intentions behind the Sri Lankan military intelligence, the foreign minister and the defence secretary, and experiencing the restrictions put in place, his decision was not to succumb to the tactics of Colombo.
They will only bring their mindset into you, attempt to divide and destroy you. They will misuse your intentions for their advantage, especially in convincing the West that the Tamil diaspora is now cooperating with them, the doctor said.
KP told the diaspora visitors that one should be satisfied with what is being offered and should look after the civilians and the former cadres. He was sounding ‘spiritual’ and was criticising the political initiatives of the diaspora.
The TNA speaks only about political solution and Tamil Nadu leaders are jokers (koamaa’lika’l), is the opinion reflected in the speeches of Kapila, Gotabhaya and KP, says the doctor.
The visitors were told of outside interests in the land of the North and East. When asked who were those outsiders, the reply pointed at India.
Dr. Arudkumar thinks there is an intention in the Sri Lankan side to bring in a rift between Eezham Tamils and India / Tamil Nadu.
“Even if you can’t, we will bring the diaspora to cooperate,” the visitors were told with arrogance and confidence.
Tamils have no right to ask for political solution and they should accept whatever that is given, was the attitude of the government side, and it was like treating Tamils as slaves, says Arudkumar, adding that when such was the attitude he felt embarrassed to see KP’s gesture of embracing Gotabhaya at the meeting.
The terms like transnational, united, federal, etc, are sensitive terms and they should be avoided. From South Africa to Japan, countries have so many other models. One should go to the grassroot to find the solution, professor G.L.Peris told the visitors.
One should not talk about the ‘past’ or ‘history’, but should cooperate to build the country together. Mahinda has got a mandate from the [Sinhala] people, was the response from the government side when the visitors began talking about political solution.
When KP was asked about his arrest, he told the visitors that he was arrested by the Malaysian authorities, interrogated for two days and was flown to Colombo with Sri Lankan intelligence officer Sam, a subordinate of Kapila Hendawitharana. Sam was also present at the meetings.
Kapila Hendawitharana in his conversations mentioned that he had met KP back in 2006, says Dr. Arudkumar, who describes the intelligence chief as the ‘master mind’.
KP was giving details of different personalities in various countries and was talking about properties and money associated with them.
When Arudkumar asked why couldn’t the Sri Lankan government release the frozen TRO money for the use of the resettlement of civilians, Kapila Hendawitharana responded by saying that the visitors should first start bringing in the diaspora money.
The number of people to be rehabilitated varies from one government agency to another, between 190,000 to more than 300,000. Perhaps the needs are different for them to cite different numbers, politics on one hand and money on the other.
The visitors were taken to Palaali military base and were briefed by the commanders there before being taken to Raamaavil in Thenmaraadchi where they met resettled families. But, there were intelligence operatives. Visitors were not allowed to meet civilians in Ki’linochchi. When visiting Cheddiku’lam internment camp in Vavuniyaa, the visitors wanted to see Zone-4 of the camp, but they were only taken to Zone-2. While talking to the families in the camp we were able to detect that some people had been planted among the IDPs to interact with us, the doctor said.
When there are already a number of organisations working for rehabilitation what was the need for Tamil Rehabilitation Centre (TRC) initiated by KP, asks the doctor, reasoning that it was to show the outside world that the diaspora is now politically with the government.
Even while we were on our visit there was talk that many more diaspora groups were going to come. What I tell them is that it is of no use. KP can do very little, Dr. Arudkumar said.
During Chandrika Kumaratunga’s presidency, Kapila Hendawitharana was in charge of the military intelligence. He played a crucial role in getting the renegade LTTE commander Karuna to work with the Sri Lankan military intelligence and in launching covert operations against the LTTE, resulting in a series of assassinations. His unit was mainly responsible for the serious violations of the clause 1.8 of the Ceasefire Agreement by deploying paramilitary operatives against the Tigers. After repeated complaints from various actors, he was transferred and posted to Thailand as Defence Attaché. Later, when Rajapaksa came to power, he was made the intelligence chief to coordinate with Gotabhaya and Fonseka.
As the Sri Lankan diplomatic establishments across the world are extensively militarised in recent times, diaspora circles fear that a major covert operation against diaspora Eezham Tamils is already in progress and that the KP programme is only a tip of the iceberg.