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V. Anandasangaree on penal report

 No one can deny that there were several thousands of causalities during the war. Very many factors contributed for this situation. How or why did this happen?. All these must come to light. You are aware that I am neither a flatterer nor a stooge of the Government or of the LTTE

His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa,                                                              2011-04-25
President of the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
Temple Trees,
Colombo – 03


Your Excellency,

Having carefully considered the seriousness of the present situation in the country and without rushing to the press with a hastily prepared statement, I decided to write to you, breaking my long silence that I had been maintaining since the defeat of the LTTE on 19th may 2009. It is not my intention, to enter into the controversy and aggravate the situation further but only to see whether I can help to defuse the situation. I feel that I am matured enough to advice you on any matter. I hope you will take my advice seriously and save the country from facing grave crisis either in the near or distant future. I am stepping in only to do my duty to the country and its people I love most, in the best way possible without adding fuel to fire.

My sincere advice to you at this juncture, is primarily to prevent organizing demonstrations at random, all over the country and engaging in such other violent activities by enthusiastic people. Also please welcome publication of the report and face it. The ordinary people instigated by others, without understanding the consequences can do more damage by overdoing things. Even if the UN withholds the report from being published, it will somehow or other find its way to the press and in such a situation all the efforts taken will prove counterproductive.

Your Excellency, Hon Ban Ki-Moon is just an individual, but the position he holds as Secretary General of the United Nations Organization is a very high and prestigious office at a World Organization, founded after the 2nd World War, mainly for the purpose of promoting international peace security and co-operation and having a membership of over 150 countries. This is an organization that no member country, including ours, can afford to antagonize, except perhaps a few big powers. The present world depends on the United Nations for a number of matters. The UN through its various branch organizations had always been very helpful to every country. Not only we, almost all countries depend on the UN for a variety of assistances in fields, such as Health, Education, Culture and many such others. The member countries also help each other directly. Hon Ban Ki-Moon is an individual but all his actions will be taken as that of the Secretary General of the United Nations, as long as he holds that office. Even though all member countries are friendly with us and had helped us in many ways, with a few exceptions, all countries will back the Secretary General of the UN and his actions and not that of Ban Ki-Moon’s. 
Your Excellency, just 2 days before the Government declared the war as won, I wrote to you a letter published in the Island of 17th May 2009 with the caption, “War won at high price – valuable lives lost, human sufferings cannot be valued in terms of money-says Anandasangaree”. The following paragraphs contained in that letter, are also given below due to the relevance they have

          “”Life in Mullivaikal is miserable. Even if a new Security Zone is created no one can prevent the LTTE from entering that area and mixing up with the civilians. It is my duty to bring to your notice whatever news I get and believe as true. On the 12th inst. due to shelling more than 36 patients died at the Mullivaikal Hospital with several others injured. Again on the 13th about fifty patients, waiting for treatment with very many others for two days without being attended on them due to shortage of staff, were killed and many more injured. In addition to this agony they are also subjected to starvation. This situation should stop forthwith.”

“Enough lives had been lost during the last two to three weeks. Who is responsible for these deaths is not the question. “Why did these people die?” is a question that will be repeatedly asked by the future generation. Please give strict instructions to the parties concerned that not a single life should be lost in the process of liberation. This request is made to you based on the undertaking you gave the country that no life should be taken by firearms.”

The letter concludes by saying “I wish you all the best and assure you my unstinting support for all good actions taken by you and also urge you to send enough food by any means to Mullivaikal and also order to stop all shelling and save the innocent men, women, elders and children”.

No one can deny that there were several thousands of causalities during the war. Very many factors contributed for this situation. How or why did this happen?. All these must come to light. You are aware that I am neither a flatterer nor a stooge of the Government or of the LTTE and had, off and on, not failed to criticize even some of your actions with which I did not agree as I did to the LTTE. In my opinion some people close to you or pretending to be close to you, merely to please you even though they themselves did not agree with you, over-played the “Mahinda Chinthanaya” tune without realizing the damage they were causing to your name and to your reputation. As a result there is a view among some people that some actions of the Government are not of the Mahinda Chinthanaya but in fact a diluted or polluted form of “Mahinda Chinthanaya”. Please pardon me for saying so. This is how some people sell their ideas by smuggling their own ideas in to the Mahinda Chinthanaya. There are some who rushed to the press with statements and caused much embarrassment to you on certain issues, thereby compelling you to endorse their views as that of yours, when in fact you would or should have expressed entirely a different opinion. The people of this country elected you and only you as the Executive President of Sri Lanka, the highest position one could achieve, hence your powers should not be usurped by any one or encroached into even by persons very near and dear to you. You are the Sovereign Head of the State and hold this Country on trust.

Your Excellency, some who hold responsible positions say one thing today and another the next day subjected to severe criticism by the International Community in particular. The country has earned the displeasure of a fair section of the International Community due to the unwarranted interference and utterances of certain over enthusiastic individuals. The present crisis can be attributed to bad handling of the situation.

Permit me to quote a little from two more of my letters one addressed to you dated 2009.03.09 and the other to Mr. V. Prabaharan dated   2009.03.12 and a third from a statement issued by me on 2009.01.11 . All these together will give a guide-line as to how this problem should be approached

1.    To his Excellency the President on 2009.03.09
“I am distressed over the claim of the Security Forces that the final outcome of the Eelam War would be decided within this week and that the next 72 hours will be very crucial for the LTTE.  It is not the LTTE that I am worried of.  It is the country and the people that I have foremost in my thinking.  What Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said during a recent briefing to the Forces at the Vavuniya Head Quarters is very relevant in the present context and cannot be overlooked by anybody.  He said, “Our progress from now onwards should be made meticulously, taking maximum preventions, keeping the civilian factor in mind at all times”.    
“To avoid a disastrous situation the forces should be advised to stop aerial bombing, shelling and artillery attacks forthwith.  This step should be taken immediately, if your Excellency agree with me that a serious development had taken place in Vanni to warrant your intervention”.

2.    To Mr. V. Prabaharan on 2009.03.12
“The curse of over three hundred and thirty thousand people belonging to about 81000 families, kept by you under compulsion, will not let you live in peaces and it will follow you and your heirs for many more generations to come.  Those who support you even now will not be spared.  Please change your mind at least now and release those detained, to freedom.  People have started dying of starvation for which you should take the responsibility.”

“As an interim arrangement I suggest that without asking the Government to stop the war, if you agree to act reciprocally we suggest to the Government Forces to stop aerial bombing, artillery attack and shelling which will bring the casualties to the very minimum.  In such a situation a request can be made to the Government to send sufficient food and drugs for the people’s survival.  You also in turn should stop artillery attack and shelling.”  

3.    Statement released on 2009.01.11
“If the LTTE is willing to lay down their arms they can do so and negotiate with the Government for a solution within a united Sri Lanka, wherein all ethnic groups can live as equals, enjoying all rights without any form of discrimination what so ever.  Failure to do so, will only pave the way for some unscrupulous elements to takeover, like snakes taking up residence in the anthills built by the labour of infinite number of white-ants.  The Government of Sri Lanka and the International Community has a moral duty to see that the Tamils are not allowed to jump from the frying pan into the fire.   I assure the Tamil Parliament members that I sincerely feel that they have failed in their mission and therefore to quit their seats in Parliament.  As for me I am not interested in any office but my whole interest is only on the people who are suffering for the last quarter of a century.” 

What the country needs today is absolute peace for all, for which a solution to the ethnic problem, acceptable to the minorities, is in-dispensable. I am sure that no reasonable person in this country will ever object to people’s desire to live in the country as equals. All patriotic citizens will fully endorse my views. Although the country as a whole had suffered immensely the loss of life and property of the Tamils of the North and the East are far beyond ones imagination. I am sure you will agree that I never misled you or anybody else on any matter. The stand I took in relation to the LTTE was most honorable but the Tamil People got easily swayed by false propaganda and put an end to my political carrier. My only regret is that I would have saved several thousand lives and billions worth of property and even Prabaharan and his cadre, if only he had listened to me. It was never my intention to have him destroyed but only wanted him to give up violence and turn to the Democratic Process.

It is now no use of talking about the past. A good opportunity came on your way with the Tsunami when people got united with full of sympathy for each other. I feel that confrontation with the SG – UN is unfortunate but this is a God sent opportunity for the country to get united and to workout a solution acceptable to all. Please consider accepting and implementing the recommendations of the expert committee headed by Professor R.K.W.Gunasekara. You can take it as one coming from a Bench of Judges of greats repute.

In the alternative adopt the Indian model that I had been campaigning for since 2004. I had done a lot of lobbying both inside and outside the country. A number of ministers of your cabinet and a few UNP members with whom I had discussion were agreeable to my suggestion. I am sure you would not have forgotten your telling me, not to harp of the Federal System but to use the Indian model in all my statements appeals and such other writings. I want to know, Your Excellency, as to what you had in mind when you said that. If you take prompt action in this matter the biggest advantages would be, half a century old problem will find a solution, the heat generated locally and internationally will come down saving the country from the embarrassment caused by foreign intervention and permanent peace achieved.                       
Yours Sincerely,

V. Anandasangaree,
Tamil United Liberation front   


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