Sri Lanka police grill Tamil human rights activist for six long hours
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo,
August 26, 2008, 11.44 p.m..
A Sri Lankan opposition parliamentarian, who heads the Civil
Monitoring Commission, which monitors the human rights violations in
the country, was grilled by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID)
for more than six hours on Tuesday.
Mano Ganesan, a human rights activist who was also the first runner up
in the annual US Freedom Defender's Award and leader of the Western
People's Front was questioned from 11 a.m. onwards on his peace
delegation visits to Killinochchi during the Ceasefire Agreement
period in 2002 and 2004.
The TID sleuths had demanded to know if Ganesan had developed any
special relationships with LTTE during those visits.
The following statement was issued by Ganesan's office a while back:
Western Peoples Front Leader Mano Ganesan accepted the written request
extended to him by the Director of TID. This is in accordance with our
policy of supporting the maintenance of Law and Order and cooperating
with the legal system. Ganesan asked the Director of TID that he be
provided with a translator at the time of inquest.
Mano Ganesan said he had given a statement to TID's OIC-CI Prasanna de
Alwis and SI Abdeen of TID/Unit II. The statement had following
Mano Ganesan said he visited Killinochchi during peace process period.
It was legal and accepted during that time. All discussions were based
on political solution within a united Sri Lankan state.
It was not only him but ministers of the present government Arumugan
Thondaman and P. Chandrasekaran visited Kilinochchi. Many other
government ministers and officials too visited Kilinochchi. Every time
Ganesan went to Kilinochchi for discussions, the then prime minister
Ranil Wickramasinghe and UNP's deputy leader Karu Jayasooriya were
informed. The last time he went to Kilinochchi was in year 2005.
It was the time when Eastern Tiger commander Karuna Amman had drifted
from LTTE. Mano Ganesan carried a peace message to LTTE leader
Velupillai Prabakaran from then president Chandrika Bandaranayake
Kumaratunga on Karuna Amman in 2005. President Chandrika had said that
she would offer asylum to Karuna Amman, if Karuna appeals for it. It
may happen. But if that happens it should not be considered as an act
against the peace process. Ganesan said that he carried this message
of Chandrika to Praba. Upon return from Kilinochchi, he met Chandrika
and conveyed LTTE leader Prabakaran's response to her. At this meeting
at Presidential palace in Colombo Fort, minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna
Ganesan had vehemently refused any special relationship with LTTE and
any link with any arrested terrorist suspects. In view of the question
on so called 'special relationship', Ganesan said he had no such
relationships with LTTE. But many were under such wrong belief. During
the close up to last presidential elections, late minister Jeyaraj
Fernandopulle and present presidential advisor Basil Rajapakse MP
visited his home requesting Ganesan to help them to develop a special
link with LTTE. It was to organize an electoral boycott in the north
and eastern province during the presidential elections in November
2005. They came with such wrong impression on him. But Ganesan
rejected such request on the grounds that he had no such special
relationship with the LTTE to help Jeyaraj and Basil for an election
boycott in the north and east.
The statement further said that In the recent past opposition
parliamentarians Jayalath Jayawardena of UNP, Vijitha Herath and
Ramalingam Chandrasekar of JVP were subjected to inquiries at TID.
Many terrorist linked accusations were made inside and outside
parliament against many government politicians including of the last
presidential election boycott issue. But no police investigations were
made against any government politicians named. Ganesan's comments in
total were typed included in his statement to the TID and he placed
his signature on it. Mano Ganesan was accompanied to the TID by
parliamentarians Jayalath Jayawardena, Johnston Fernando and his
Attorney-at-Law Asthika Devendra.
Published: Tue Aug 26 14:53:14 EDT 2008