Feature Article

Terrorism was the problem: Krishna; no need of solution now: Gotabhaya

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 August 2011, 15:02 GMT]
In a Suo Motu statement in the Indian parliament, Indian foreign minister SM Krishna viewed that Sri Lanka’s problem for three decades was ‘terrorism’. “Sri Lanka has borne the brunt of terrorism for nearly three-decades,” the minister said, adding that the highest priority for India now is welfare of the IDPs. Colombo’s assurances for building upon the 13th Amendment would meet the reconciliation, he contented. Meanwhile, speaking to Headlines Today this week, SL presidential sibling and defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said that there was no need to talk about solution any more as they had ended terrorism. Headlines Today will be airing the exclusive interview with Gotabhaya on coming Monday.

There is no need for any more solution as the 13th Amendment is already there, Gotabhaya said.

"The political solution talk is simply irrelevant, because as you know with the mediation of India this whole 13th amendment was brought in. It was discussed in great detail at that time with the LTTE. When they were drafting it the government of Sri Lanka was not involved. So this was brought as a solution - all these provincial councils etc,” Gotabhaya told Headlines Today.

Headlines Today on Thursday released the transcript of the interview with Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

"The existing constitution is more than enough for us to live together. I don"t think there is any issue on this, more than that. I mean this was given as a solution for the whole thing with the discussion of these people. I mean now the LTTE is gone, I don't think there is any requirement, I mean what can you do more than this? This gives power at a lower lever even now we had the local government elections. Then the president will have very soon provincial elections and appoint Chief Ministers and ministers. So devolution wise I think we have done enough, I don't think there is a necessity to go beyond that," Gotabhaya said.

"We don't have to talk about solution and various things any longer, because we have ended this terrorism in Sri Lanka. We have a constitution. If there is further amendment needed then government can speak with the elected representatives. Now we have representation from these areas,” was Gotabhaya’s response on engaging the diaspora in the process of political reconciliation.

The SL defence secretary was furious and sarcastic about the Channel 4 documentary and he was derogatory towards the witnesses as well as victims who appeared in the documentary as revealed by his interview to Headlines Today.

But the Indian foreign minister SM Krishna was sophisticated in negating the importance of the Channel 4 documentary in his Suo Motu statement in the parliament:

“There have also been public reactions to the telecast of the ‘Channel 4’ documentary entitled ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’. Presently, our focus should be on the welfare and well being of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Their rehabilitation and rebuilding should be of the highest and most immediate priority,” said Mr. Krishna's statement in the Parliament, released by the Indian High Commission in Colombo on Thursday.

In talking to Headlines Today, Gotabhaya was firm about not allowing Tamils to have their own security but keeping them under SL military control indefinitely.

“But with the issue of security we are not taking any chances on that because we have suffered enough for the last 30 years. That is one of my responsibilities, that I am not giving any chance. I am not giving any relaxation in the security, because we cannot do that. We will continue to develop (the security infrastructure). Of course the modus operandi would be different because there is no LTTE as armed group to go and fight. But now it is more on intelligence, surveillance, preventing arms and ammunition coming in to Sri Lanka. More maritime security. These things we will not relax," Gotabhaya said.

The New Delhi establishment agrees with the Colombo regime in every respect and both are complimentary to each other in their statements, political observers commented. It is necessary to protect the war partners and at the same time for the future integration of the island as a whole, they said.

Last week, outgoing Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Menon Rao said that the issue about the island “has to be resolved within the region and that India has to be directly involved.”

“We must take care of it in the neighbourhood. We have to avoid jumping into conclusions on any third party’s involvement,” she further said.

Now it is the Indian public, especially the Tamil Nadu public that has to take care of the New Delhi establishment, political observers in Chennai commented.


External Links:
HeadlinesToday: Documentary on Sri Lankan war crimes
HT: 'Channel 4 video footage was doctored'
HT: MEA silent on Sri Lankan atrocities
HeadlinesToday: Is Sri Lanka guilty of war crimes?


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