MR: “I told Prabhakaran: Don’t shoot, let’s talk; he didn’t listen”
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he had offered to hold talks with Velupillai Prabhakaran to find a peaceful solution to the Tamil Question. But the founder of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) wouldn’t listen. This left no alternative to physically eliminating him to end the bloody civil war that ravaged the island for over 25 years.
Rajapaksa disclosed this during an hour-long informal breakfast meeting with this correspondent at his residence here last Wednesday. Prof G L Peiris was also present.
“I sent Prabhakaran a message saying: Let’s meet up to discuss the issue to find a solution. You can come to Colombo, or I am ready to come to Kilinochchi,” Rajapaksa recalled. He was the island’s President for two terms (2005-15).
Rajapaksa said he got no response from Prabhakaran. The killings, suicide bombings, the attacks on the troops did not stop.
Rajapaksa said he messaged to Prabhakaran some time before the LTTE offensive resumed in 2006: “Let’s talk. Stop violence. Don’t kill innocent civilians. Don’t attack the armed forces. If you don’t stop the shootings and killings, I will have to order your physical elimination.”
Eventually, that is what happened on 18 May 2009, when Prabhakaran was killed by the Sri Lankan troops at Mullivaikkal on the banks of the Nanthikadal (Sea of Conches) lagoon in Mullaitivu in the Northern Province.
Peiris interjected: “Prabhakaran thought he was invincible.”
According to estimates, the quarter century-long civil war that began on 23 July 1983 and ended on 18 May 2009 has claimed the lives of over 100,000 civilians and over 50,000 fighters from both sides.
Former Indian Foreign Secretary and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon has estimated that the war would have cost Sri Lanka US$200 billion (not counting the opportunity costs), and left the Tamil community “gutted and brutalized.”
(Source: The Island)
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This is correct.
In the Presidential Election Campaign of 2005, Mahinda Rajapaksa clearly stated his intention to have face to face talks with Late Velu to solve the ethnic issue.
Mahinda Rajapaksa is the greatest of all leaders SL has had.
In the next term, if he can change strategies that lead to his defeat and in 2008, rid himself of family and other hangers-on, He has the potential to make our nation great.
I agree with Lalitha,
Mahinda Rajapaksa has had his time in which he achieved many great things.
His charisma is mind-blowing; he is a Statesman.
He should now step aside and let his erstwhile political colleague RW sit on the big chair for 10 years without the threat of being toppled any time. RW can stabilise and build the economy to the next level; if under threat, he will not be able to perform.
The 10 years will assist the next generation of the Rajapaksa clan to build a base and capacity for future leadership.
The Author of this news item in the local Papers ended the article stating “left the Tamil community “gutted and brutalized.” Was it only the Tamil people who were left gutted and brutalized? The whole country was brutalized by the LTTE killing innocent civilians in the north and the rest of the country. The author is trying to convince us that the was armed forces and MR who are at fault for the problems the Tamils in the North faced during the many years of this conflict. These LTTE sympathisers are forgetting that MR and the armed forces were trying to protect the people of our country from the LTTE Barbarians. They had no choice . They were not the terrorists. There seems to be a severe memory loss among our current leaders and the UN when it comes to the crimes committed by the LTTE for more than two decades. Never seen an article in the news where the UN who are supposed to be unbiased pointing the finger at the LTTE leaders for suicide bombing using child soldiers etc.
Thank you for the sensible comment, Kneeranjala.
Though the war had a brutal ending, the uneasy peace needs reconciliation and perhaps, a Truth Commission so that all communities can confront their past and their fears and move ahead. The Sinhala leadership should take this initiative seriously and proceed.
Commentators such as Stanley F will perhaps, then gain maturity.
One idiot telling the other idiot that it makes sense to give over the country to the biggest idiot. What have they done since they came in to power other than blame MR for everything that gooes wrong and evert thing thet can not achieve. And ofcourse steal.
Why in the hell should the current PM be under threat by the past president. Do they have no guts to stand up to him. That alone tels us of the capacity and capability of RW.
My Dear Stanley, You are spot on. Not only blaming MR for the past 3 years! YP couldn’t put any Rajapakse behind bars. When ever there is a problem YP bring Thajudeen out of the grave. Rupeee doesn’t have any value. Fuel prices going up. RW is the biggest idiot who govern the country.
“Why in the hell should the current PM be under threat by the past president.”
It is an IQ problem Stanley. The guy still live in the Licchavi Era some 2000 years ago and trying to run the country the Licchavi did somewhere in India. MR lives in the world where LTTE waged a 30 years of brutal terror and in the era when Donald Trump is the president of the US!
Lalitha, Kneeranjala and Nugan have written logical and valid comments.
The R clan do not have a person to step into high office.
They should stand back and nurture the next generation.