Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

The Diaspora Tamils want the poor people of Sri Lanka to take up arms to further their (the diaspora’s) ideology, while sending their own children to universities in developed countries to enter lucrative professions, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Greg Sheridan in an interview with The Australian newspaper.

He also said that the United States had given its fullest support to destroy the LTTE’s floating armouries in the deep sea between 2006 and 2008.

“One turning point in the war came when the Sri Lankan navy was able to sink these Tiger supply ships: “Between 2006 and 2008 we destroyed 12 of these floating armouries.” What made this possible?

“The Americans were very, very helpful. Most of the locations of these ships were given to us by the Americans,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.

Expressing his views on reconciliation Defence Secretary said that “This is not an easy task, especially for the people of the North. More than 55 per cent of Tamils live outside the north and the east and have no issues of reconciliation. They mingle with other communities all the time,” he said.

The Defence Secretary accused the Tamil diaspora of promoting terrorism in Sri Lanka. In his interview with ‘The Australian’ newspaper, he said that the Diaspora Tamils urge the poor Tamils in Sri Lanka to send their children for terrorist activities while the children of diaspora are safely studying in universities in developed countries with the aim of getting lucrative jobs.

“The diaspora should understand that they live in countries away from Sri Lanka. Mostly they live in developed countries and enjoy all the facilities of developed countries. But some of them want the poor people of Sri Lanka in this difficult environment to take up arms to further their (the diaspora’s) ideology. They don’t send their own children, who go to universities in developed countries, who enter lucrative professions. But they will talk of the fight for a Tamil homeland — who is doing the fighting?” Defence Secretary told Greg Sheridan of The Australian newspaper.

“The diaspora can raise money and make propaganda, but who will suffer from their efforts?” he questioned. “American satellite technology located the ships and enabled the Sri Lankans to hit them. Before that, the Americans had been somewhat ambivalent about the Sri Lankan struggle. They never remotely justified or approved of the Tigers, nor would they supply weapons to the Sri Lankan forces. Yet throughout the conflict, Sri Lanka got most of its military hardware from Israel and Pakistan, two military allies of the US that would probably have been susceptible to American entreaties not to supply arms,” the Defence Secretary further said.

‘The Tigers were ultimately defeated by a military campaign designed and run by Rajapaksa, Secretary of Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence. A brilliant career soldier, he had migrated to the US after retiring from the Army but came back to help his brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, become President. From 2005 to 2009, Gota, as he is popularly known, oversaw the military campaign that finally crushed the Tigers,’ The Australian newspaper stated.

Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said “But people in the north were so long isolated from the rest of the community and brainwashed into separatist attitudes. Although we have built a lot of infrastructure in the north, reconciliation won’t take place fully overnight. It will take time and the concentrated efforts of all the major parties involved. The majority community also has to extend its hand to show that we can live as one nation.”

“You may not know much about the Tamil Tigers. They were the most supremely deadly and effective terrorist group to emerge at any time in the second half of the 20th century. They pioneered two terrorist innovations — suicide bombings, later copied by al-Qa’ida, and child soldiers and child terrorists,” the newspaper stated.

Pathmanathan, or KP joining The Australian interview said that he wants the diaspora groups to drop all ideas of separatism, to stop trying to stir up trouble, and instead come back and spend time in Sri Lanka, and above all invest and build there. (PRIU / Daily News)