More chilling facts on Lanka killings come to fore

Island nation's Tamil MP tells party colleague that Rajapaksa had threatened him

 A Sri Lankan Tamil MP, who was in telephone contact with a senior LTTE leader hours before the Tiger leaders were machinegunned along with their families at Vellamullivaikkal in Mullaittivu on May 18, has confirmed to a party colleague that he was threatened by Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaka.

Speaking to the Deccan Herald over phone from Sri Lanka's Vavuniya district, which is close to the war theatre, Tamil National Alliance (Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi) member of parliament Sivanathan Kisshor said: “He is in Bangkok now. I spoke to him (Rohan Chandra Nehru) two days back over Skype. He is naturally scared that something may happen to him.”

Rohan Chandra Nehru, an MP from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party is believed to have disclosed to a correspondent of  The Sunday Times that he was “threatened” by the “president and his borther” after he learnt that instead of taking the surrender of LTTE political wing chief Balasingham Nadesan and the Tigers' peace secretariat head Seevaratnam Pulidevan, Sri Lankan special forces troops gunned them down in cold blood.

According to The Sunday Times correspondent, on May 17 Nadesan called Nehru who immediately contacted Rajapaksa and recounted to the president the “events of the next hours”.

In the report, Nehru has been quoted as saying that “The president himself told me he would give full security to Nadesan and his family. Nadesan said he had 300 people with him, some injured.” In response Nehru apparently told Rajapaksa that “I would go and take their surrender”. To this, The Sunday Times report continued, Nehru said Rajapaksa forbade him from going to the “war zone” and put his “life at risk”.

Safety assured

Nehru disclosed to the British correspondent that Rajapaksa's brother Basil, who is a senior MP and presidential advisor, called him and assured him that Nadesan, Pulidevan and the LTTE's artillery chief “Colonel” Ramesh would be “safe” and that “they have to hoist a white flag”.

According to Nehru, Basil also gave him the route that Nadesan, Pulidevan and Ramesh, along with their families, “should follow”.

When Nehru called up Nadesan "at about" 6:20 am local time on Monday (May 18), he heard the sound of gunfire getting louder. It was then that Nadesan told him that "we are ready…I am going to walk out and hoist the white flag".

But the LTTE group of 12 was gunned down before they could surrender. The next day (May 19), Nehru fled Sri Lanka. It is suspected that Nehru took a flight out to Bangkok and has, in all probability, contacted the LTTE's international relations chief and chief arms procurer, Kumaran Pathmanathan, alias KP.

Nehru's conversation with Kisshor underscores the fact that senior government leaders, including the president and his powerful younger brother Basil knew of Nadesan and Pulidevan's willingness to surrender, but they did little to spare their lives. Clearly, the security forces were under orders not to take any of the LTTE leaders alive.

Kisshor indicated that Nehru's flight from Sri Lanka was a desperate attempt to save his skin lest government security forces harmed him for "knowing too much". Ever since he escaped, Nehru has kept in regular touch with his party colleagues, including MPs and other associates in Vavuniya and Kilinochchi.

DH News Service

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