I read the response titled “On Malicious & Defamatory Allegations Against The NPC Chief Minister” by the “Private Secretary to the Chief Minister\Northern Province” in the Colombo Telegraph to my opinion piece titled “‘Is The Chief Minister Of The NPC Ethically & Morally Fit To Govern?” in the Colombo Telegraph of 28 July 2015. The Private Secretary to the CM claims that my allegations are “malicious and defamatory”. I challenge the Chief Minister to take legal action against me if my claims are indeed “malicious and defamatory”.
It may be true that more Hindu temples were destroyed or damaged than places of worship of any other religious faith in Sri Lanka during the entire course of the quarter century of civil war between 1983 and 2009. However, my claim that “As a matter of fact many more Churches and Mosques were attacked than Hindu temples….” refers to the post-civil war period only (May 2009 to date). Moreover, I referred to the complaint by the CM to Dalai Lama (as reported by Tamil newspapers in Sri Lanka) and not to his Kannapiran memorial address. Although I may not entirely trust the numbers of Hindu places of worship destroyed or damaged disclosed by the Private Secretary to the CM (citing various sources) in his response, I may agree that, since 1983 to date, more Hindu places of worship were destroyed or damaged than places of worship of any other religion in Sri Lanka.
The Chief Minster should clarify whether his meeting with the RSS Chief was at the World Hindu Congress conclave or separate one-to-one meeting. If it was the former he could be forgiven, but not if it was the latter.
The fact that the Private Secretary to the CM has not disputed the CM’s visit to the Premananda ashram in Trichy, the commemorative meeting for Premananda in Colombo in March 2015, and the CM’s letter to the Prime Minister of India pleading on behalf of the co-convicts along Premananda confirm the claims made in my opinion piece.
The Private Secretary’s claim that the CM has had a number of “………productive meetings with” personnel from overseas and local including this author is untenable. I would greatly appreciate if the private Secretary to the CM reveals the tangible benefits to the people of the Northern Province emanating from such “productive meetings”.
I do agree that I have been in touch with the CM virtually via electronic mail on matters of importance to the province, but nothing productive happened except in just one case; whereby I facilitated the donation of used (but high quality) school books to the Provincial Ministry of Education by a leading international school in Colombo in March 2014. Pursuant to requests made by couple of professional colleagues I had contacted the CM to see whether my research institution could be of any use to the newly formed Northern Provincial Council (NPC). However, to date the CM has not reciprocated positively. When I sought an appointment for a foreign delegation to meet the CM in February 2015, the CM asked me to contact a Minister of the NPC, who has been dodging my emails and telephone calls in spite of initially expressing interest in the meeting; finally, I gave up.
In his response to my opinion piece, the most untenable defence of the Private Secretary to the Chief Minister is on my claims about Rasiah Nimalan Karthikeyan. I reiterate my claims made against Rasiah Nimalan Karthikeyan in the opinion piece in the Sunday Observer of 26 July 2015 and subsequently in the Colombo Telegraph. If my claims about Nimalan Karthikeyan are in fact “defamatory” as claimed by the Private Secretary to the CM, I challenge the former to take legal action against me. The facts are as follows.
Rasiah Nimalan Karthikeyan joined the UNDP in 2002 after the ceasefire agreement between the GoSL and the LTTE as the Deputy Project Manager of the Umbrella Project of the UNDP, which was superseded by the Transition Programme in 2003. Nimalan later joined the TRO in Colombo (the humanitarian front organisation of the LTTE banned by various western countries including the UK and USA, but continues to operate in Australia even today) and appeared as its spokesperson on television in Colombo after the Tsunami of 26 December 2004. According to the Sunday Times newspaper (12th July 2015), Nimalan Karthikeyan was also a member of the LTTE delegation during the last round of peace talks held in Geneva in February 2006 during the Rajapaksa regime. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/150712/news/us-tells-wigneswaran-to-work-with-govt-scale-down-genocide-talk-156712.html
In light of the foregoing, CM’s condemnation of my “defamatory and baseless allegations made against Karthikeyan” and unequivocal denial that “…Karthikeyan was ever a Tamil Tiger member in any capacity whatsoever…” is untenable. Moreover, this author never claimed that Karthikeyan was a member of the LTTE; my claim was that Rasiah Nimalan Karthikeyan was “a former Tamil Tiger mole in the UN….”
If indeed “Karthikeyan is a respected former officer of the UNDP in Sri Lanka” as claimed by the Private Secretary to the CM, why did he join an LTTE front organisation, TRO, in late 2004. If Nimalan had not joined the LTTE delegation for peace talks with the government in February 2006, why has he not disputed the claim by the Sunday Times of 12th July 2015? Would the Chief Minister explain to the public whether Nimalan Karthikeyan was sacked by the UNDP or whether he left the UNDP voluntarily and joined the TRO in late-2004?
This author was a member of the inter-agency United Nations Mission to the Eastern and Northern Provinces of Sri Lanka in November 2002 (along with Nimalan) and met with a number of government officials (both provincial and national in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, and Batticaloa), UN field staff (including in Kilinochchi), representatives of the local, national, and international non-governmental organisations, civil society members, and two high ranking LTTE officials in Kilinochchi; namely Pulithevan (prior to his appointment as the Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat of the LTTE) and Thuyavan (Head of Tamil Eelam Economic Development Organisation – TEEDO). This was the first time I met Nimalan. Most of the members of this inter-agency UN Mission were foreign nationals working for the UNDP and UNHCR in Geneva. The Head of the Mission was from the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) of the UNDP in Geneva. There were three locals representing two different UN agencies, but only Nimalan and I could understand and speak Tamil.
I do not want to delve into the details of the meeting with the high ranking LTTE officials in Kilinochchi in this reply. But I still have the transcripts of that meeting which made me to suspect that Nimalan was a LTTE mole. Nimalan’s close association with the TRO in 2004 and beyond confirmed my earlier suspicion. These are highly sensitive issues, especially in light of the upcoming parliamentary elections. If the Chief Minister requires further evidence I am willing to provide such evidence either in private or in public after the 17th August 2015.