President Mahinda Rajapaksa says LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran was a psychopath who killed his own people.
In an interview with The Australian newspaper, the President said that most of the LTTE’s targeted victims were other Tamils as they set about eliminating any alternative Tamil leadership to themselves.
“Prabarkaran was a psychopath who had a delight in killing. He killed his own people, his own relations,” the newspaper quoted the President as saying
He also denied his army knowingly or intentionally killed civilians. “In a war like this, it was a war against terrorists. If we had killed civilians, civilians would never have come to us. But some 300,000 civilians fled to our side. When people tried to flee from the LTTE, the LTTE shot them.”
Now, his request to outside critics is simple: “I would invite people to come and see for yourselves.” There are regular air services to Jaffna, and the road is always busy. Travel to Jaffna and all parts of the north is free. Outsiders are welcome.
But Rajapaksa believes that the international LTTE network is still alive and well, or at least the networks among the Tamil diaspora, which formerly raised funds and waged information campaigns on behalf of the LTTE.
Controversially, he believes these networks are deeply involved in people-smuggling from Sri Lanka to Australia: “The LTTE sympathiser networks have been in this business for a long time. It was their big money-raiser. They are still doing it today. I don’t know whether the money they make goes to the LTTE today or to propaganda efforts.
“It’s easy money for them. Sometimes they even rent a fishing boat, just hire it, then use it for this (people-smuggling) purpose.”
He also accuses the LTTE networks of “using money to bribe politicians” in the West, to get them to take an anti-Sri Lankan government line.
Rajapaksa’s government is involved in the most intimate co-operation with Canberra to stop the people-smuggling trade. The President wants Australia to take a hard line by refusing to allow illegal arrivals by boat any chance of permanent settlement in Australia.
“We are very happy with Australia’s policies,” he says. “If you take (the boatpeople) in and give them all the benefits, then there will be huge pull factors. (Colombo Gazette)