Mixed reactions on nominations of ex-ltteers
July 6, 2013

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) General Secretary Tilvin Silva yesterday asked what was going to happen to the hundreds of Tamil youth under indefinite detention for alleged war crimes committed on the instructions of top LTTE leaders like Thamalini, KP and Daya Master. The three former LTTE leaders are expected to be nominated by the UPFA for the Northern Provincial Council elections to be held in September. The ruling UPFA’s decision to consider them for nominations received mixed reactions from political parties with hardliners severely criticizing the move while some others have taken a liberal stance.

Mr. Silva said the Government must be hallucinating to think it could win the hearts and minds of the Northern Tamils by using the former LTTE combatants.

“The Government attempted to win the support of the Tamils and Muslims in the East using Pillayan and Karuna but it was an utter failure. It will be a similar debacle in the North with KP, Thamilini and Daya Master,” Mr. Silva said. However Minister Wimal Weerawansa accused the opposition of not having a clear-cut policy on ex-LTTE combatants.

“At one time it asked the Government not to prolong their detention but to release them after rehabilitation, which is what the government is doing. But when they have been reintegrated with society and their families, the opposition says it is not correct to treat them as normal citizen. This is double talk. If ex-LTTE cadres are fully rehabilitated and are living as normal, law abiding citizens no one can protest if they want to enter democratic politics. I believe there is nothing wrong if these ex-LTTE front-liners are given UPFA nomination if they meet the necessary criteria. But it is entirely the responsibility of the UPFA nomination board to refuse or accept their applications,” the minister said.

He recalled that no one protested when the JVP entered the democratic political process and contested the 1994 general election after its violent campaign.

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayaka said it was nothing wrong for ex-LTTE combatants to join the democratic electoral process from the UPFA if they have been fully rehabilitated.

“What we cannot understand is that the government always points its fingers at the UNP saying it is hobnobbing with the LTTE but it is quite obvious now as to who is doing the hobnobbing,” Mr. Attanayaka said.

He said almost all ex-LTTE leaders who survived are with the UPFA Government now and hold powerful positions.

Tamil National Alliance Leader R. Sampanthan when asked by the Daily Mirror to comment said neither he nor the TNA had any concern whatsoever as to who was contesting on the UPFA ticket in the North.

Democratic Left Front (DLF) leader and Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the decision to field LTTE women political commissar Thamilini, weapons procurer KP and propaganda head Daya Master in the UPFA nomination list was a wonderful idea.

“Why not, they have been fully rehabilitated and integrated into the society as useful citizens. If they wish to serve their people through politics why should they not be given an opportunity? This is an enlightened policy of the UPFA and I support it fully. I firmly believe that they will contribute to link up the North and South and for reconciliation among all communities if they are given the opportunity,” the minister said.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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