police and UPFA's silence
opening the newest
LTTE police station in Mannar
with other invitees and
LTTE police constables at the opening
anyone name a single undivided country in the world where there
are two separate armies and a police force under separate command?
Only in Sri Lanka.
June 10, the LTTE opened its 25th police station at Adamban in the
Mannar District. The opening did not draw a single dissenting
voice from the UPFA despite the fact the police station was opened
during a time of ceasefire and under the government of President
Police Chief, P. Nadesan recounted to us how in similar vein to
previous occasions the LTTE got the parent of a fallen martyr to
declare open the police station. On this occasion it was Pedru,
the father of the first woman martyr, Maladhi. The latter hailed
from Mannar and so was thus honoured. Pedru was the chief guest at
Thamil Eelam Police Chief asserted that the LTTE intends to open
more police stations in order to smoothly carry out administering
law and order to the Tamil people.
ground reality is that the writ of the government of Sri Lanka or
the President, despite her being Commander in Chief of all three
armed forces and Sri Lanka's police force, does not run in the
north and east area. When Anton Balasingham told reporters at the
LTTE's first major press conference that Pirapaharan, the LTTE
chief, is "our prime minister and president" he was not
is no secret that government agents in the north and east are
present at the opening ceremonies of these police stations. What
does President Chandrika Kumaratunga do about that? She averts her
eyes and focuses on the south. All well and good if the president
and the UPFA were of a similar mindset in opposition but far be
and the UPFA were all gung-ho about the LTTE opening police
stations and law courts during the brief reign of the United
National Front (UNF).
cried foul when the LTTE on November 7, 2002 opened their 19th
Tamil Eelam police station in the Trincomalee District at Sampoor.
A day before, the LTTE had opened another police station at
Palugamam 30 kilometers southwest of Batticaloa.
main bone of contention for the then PA-JVP opposition was how
come the LTTE was opening more police stations during the
ceasefire while the armyremained in the same areas they have been
issue raised by the then opposition forced a response from former
Interior Minister John Amaratunga who pledged to ensure the matter
would be taken up at the next round of peace talks which at the
time was scheduled to be held in Oslo.
we elaborate on what was said in Oslo by LTTE Spokesman Anton
Balasingham in relation to the Tiger police stations we will
recall Kumaratunga's own duplicity on this issue.
it was President Chandrika Kumaratunga who made a secret offer to
LTTE leader Velupillai Pirapaharan to govern the Northern Province
for 10 years without elections, promising the Tiger chief that he
could use his cadres as a police force during that period.
asking the LTTE to use its police force, Kumaratunga acknowledged
the Tigers had a fully fledged police force during her tenure, to
which police she was prepared to concede law and order in the
area. Kumaratunga made these revelations in an interview she gave
Time magazine in February 1998.
LTTE began opening its own police stations in 1991 and continued
to do so even during the 1994-1995 peace talks it held with
Kumaratunga and her former PA government. According to Tiger
Police Chief Nadesan, the LTTE continued to open its own police
stations right through the seven year rule of the former PA
government. Chandrika Kumaratunga, as Commander-in-Chief of the
armed forces as well as Head of the Sri Lanka Police force during
this time did nothing to stop them.
Kumaratunga has repeatedly pointed her finger at Ranil
Wickremesinghe when he was Prime Minister, complaining "that
there are 'now' Tiger 'courts of law' and 'Tiger police
stations.'" What the President true to form failed to admit
is that they had been there even when she was negotiating with the
LTTE in 1994!
the time there were not only Tiger courts and Tiger police
stations, but a Tiger taxation system and a Tiger army and navy as
well. So who pray, does Kumaratunga and her new allies the JVP
believe they are kidding?
actual fact the opening of the new Tiger police station in Mannar
did not warrant any comment from the government which was just
recovering from having engaged in a ding dong battle in Parliament
just two days prior where government MPs physically assaulted and
attempted to obstruct a monk representing the Jathika Hela Urumaya
(JHU) from taking oaths.
alone Mannar, Kumaratunga did not even murmur, when in April this
year following the end of its internal battle with its renegade
Eastern Commander 'Col Karuna' the LTTE took a decision to re-open
its Batticaloa District police stations and law courts, which had
been closed down in March on orders given by Karuna.
has Kumaratunga failed to do anything about this? Or is it that
she has already lent tacit approval for a de-facto law and order
administration to be run parallel to the Sri Lanka Police force.
Sri Lanka in effect has a Southern Police Chief Indra de Silva and
a north eastern counterpart who has been designated as Chief of
the Thamil Eelam Police, P. Nadesan.
don't the Sinhalese ask Kumaratunga and her Marxist allies what
they plan on doing about this situation?
fact of the matter is that the Sinhalese have lost the ability to
ask these very necessary questions. And this is part of the reason
why they still cannot see that Sri Lanka today is lost as a
nation. We have all lost our souls - reduced as we have been to
nothing but ridicule and shame by politicians who can only be
viewed with nothing but contempt.
matter of the LTTE police stations obviously does not even bother
the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Indra de Silva who has not
uttered a contrary word even after the LTTE's commander for Ampara
and Batticaloa, T. Ramesh, in April this year addressed the media
in Batticaloa, and said that to maintain law and order in the LTTE-controlled
areas, they have decided to re-open these 'police stations' and
a slap in the face for Indra de Silva and even more so that one of
his own colleagues who was part and parcel of the Sri Lanka Police
force for well neigh 11 years, P. Nadesan is today chief of the
LTTE police. But the Sinhala born IGP is the least bothered by
these turn of events.
on December 3, 2002 Anton Balasingham the Tiger's chief negotiator
told reporters in Oslo that the LTTE would continue to open more
police stations in Tiger controlled areas in Sri Lanka, but that
the movement's police and law and order systems would not extend
into areas controlled by the Sri Lankan government.
on that occasion said, "these courts and police stations have
been functional for the last 12 years and the ground reality is
that as a consequence of this war the LTTE has established control
over 70 per cent of the area in the north-east. There are huge
populations here and we have to administer them and for the
purpose of maintaining law and order, or rather social order and
cohesion we need to have certain institutions. These police
stations have been functioning ever since. Even during President
Kumaratunga's government when we had discussions with her these
police stations were operating in Jaffna."
adds that as far as the LTTE is concerned these police stations
are necessary instruments to maintain law and order "because
we cannot allow anarchy and social disorder in areas controlled by
police stations are not a new phenomena. When we reach a final
settlement - we are looking for a regional autonomous model - we
have to have a regional police. This police can become legitimised
at a later stage. Until such time we have to operate within these
administrative structures that are essential for maintaining law
and order in areas controlled by us," he said.
a question on the status of the LTTE's law and order system and
judiciary in a future political settlement, Balasingham reiterated
"It is too premature at this stage to elaborate on how these
two systems can be harmonised. What we envisage is a future model
in which this could be discussed in depth and in detail. And both
parties have to agree on how this regional police could function.
I do not want to go into details because this is going to be
central to the discussions in the coming months."
added for good measure, "Don't forget that government
institutions are still functioning in areas controlled by the LTTE.
We do not interfere with those. We have only taken over the
enforcement of law since our armed cadres are confined to
barracks. And there we are expanding civil administration. Some
day you have to accept a Tamil regional police force and we have
to discuss how it would harmonise with the national system."
Balasingham's statements are indeed bearing fruit today. No doubt
the UPFA has to accept a Tamil regional police force. Nothing has
changed since Balasingham made these comments except the JVP has
been silenced from talking about Manirasakulam, LTTE court houses
or police stations.
Police Chief, P. Nadesan last month told The Sunday Leader that
three more police stations are to be established in the north-east
LTTE controlled areas within the next 30 days. "In our
controlled areas we have got 22 police stations. And in the future
also we have decided to open about three to four police stations,
especially in the east and in Wanni and at Mannar."
is of the view that there was an increase in the crime rate when
these areas were under government control. "See how the crime
rate increased when Jaffna was under government control. Not only
that the crime rate increased, but the people were suffering a
lot," he told The Sunday Leader in an interview, adding that
this is why he thinks a Thamil Eelam Police is necessary. Nadesan
worked for 11 years for the Sri Lanka Police in Colombo having
joined the force in 1973. From the time the LTTE began opening its
own police stations in the north and east he has been in charge -
as inspector general of police for the LTTE.
says the LTTE police even has a special arm calling itself the STF
in identical vein to the Sri Lanka Police Special Task Force.
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