Sunday, April 26, 2009

How they planned to exile Tiger Supremo in Idi Amin fashion

According to certain well sourced news reports, an offer of safe exit was made in the late summer of 2008 to LTTE through an influential group comprising “former Canadian and US diplomats as well as representatives of the ‘co-chairs’ and others of various political persuasions based in Colombo”.

According to sources, this arrangement consisted of the following components: 1) Immediate cessation of hostilities (2) Safe passage to fifty senior leaders of the LTTE and their families to any country that would accept them (3) A blanket amnesty to all combatants with all existing charges withdrawn (4) The agreement guaranteed by India, Norway, Switzerland, and two other countries chosen by both parties (5) The evacuation of the senior LTTE supervised by the ICRC.

The offer, intended at avoiding an unnecessary “bloodbath”, was reportedly conveyed by the Sri Lankan government to the LTTE as well as its proxies in the Tamil diaspora. Despite repeated entreaties, however, the “Tamil leaders” in Toronto had failed to respond to the offer let alone meet to negotiate, these reports say.

Idi Amin style

Some authoritative sources said that what had been considered was “a kind of Idi Amin plan — to pay a fat pension to the supremo and to send him to live in luxury for the rest of his life”.
These sources also said Foreign Secretary, Palitha Kohona visited London, Paris, New York and Toronto in late August and early September for “necessary consultations”.

But Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona, when once questioned about a possible deal, said a “settlement had never been on the cards”. He admitted to having made those visits but said he had done so to meet members of the Tamil community. “It was more like groping in the dark to bring this to an end,” he said. “No deal or settlement was ever offered, either formally or informally.”

The government’s claim last week that the hierarchy of the LTTE has now been confined to a stretch of eight square kilometres in Mullaitivu has raised questions about what will happen to Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the LTTE, as well as other senior chiefs of the terror outfit.
It has been speculated that Prabhakaran might attempt to flee the country taking the sea route using a submarine. The government, pointing out that the naval forces have fortified their positions, has ruled out any possibility of Prabhakaran taking the sea route. Some reports suggest however that certain international actors with vested interests are conspiring to ensure safe passage to the LTTE leader.

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