By Ratnajeevan H. Hoole –
Both Douglas Devananda and EPDP MP Chandrakumar, during public speeches, virtually admitted to the massacres of and use of cluster bombs on civilians during the last phase of the war in Mullivaikal.
Responding to President Rajapakse’s claim to fame for ending the war, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga had countered that she had been the one to capture 70% of LTTE territory. Claims of being responsible for winning the war have also been made by General Sarath Fonseka who had been army commander during the last phase.
At a Rajapaske election campaign, held on 2 January 2015, at Durraiappa Stadium, Jaffna, EPDP MPs Douglas Devananda and Chandrakumar felt the need to boost credit for the President in ending the war.
Lacking in imagination, they retorted to these claims by President Chandrika Kumaratunga asking whether she would also accept 70% responsibility for the massacre of Tamil civilians in large numbers during the war and for the use of cluster bombs, both stoutly denied by the government up until that moment. To blame Mr. Sisirsena they alleged that the use of cluster bombs had been authorized by him, then Deputy Defence Minister, in the President’s absence.
Worrying is the spate of articles and mass emails since Jan. 2, 2015 alleging that Maithripala Sirisena is a war criminal. No evidence is presented. Presumably these are orchestrated by the EPDP. It is noted that the two main agents of this rumour mongering begun at the Duraiappha Stadium stage are known liars and murderers too – for example when seeking asylum in the UK, Chandrakumar openly accused Douglas of several internal murders including that of Thinamurasu Editor Atputhan. But then he joined Devananda again when offered the chance to contest as an EPDP candidate.
It is noted that it is the same Douglas Devananda who had parrot-like once repeated the President’s obviously untrue claim that troops had fought with the human rights charter in one hand, without even a single civilian casualty. It is the first time that there was official admission of the mass murders or of the use of cluster bombs under the government.
President Rajapakse was present throughout the speeches, seemingly oblivious to the meaning of these Tamil speeches – unless he too thought it was a great rebuttal in his favor and there was no need to retract these most damaging statements to his campaign for Tamil votes.