Sri Lankan former rebel commander recalls international support

08:44, December 14, 2010      

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A former senior commander of Sri Lanka's defeated Tamil Tiger rebels recalled the assistance they received from international backers.

Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan known as Karuna Amman in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and now the deputy minister of resettlement testified before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Monday.

He said Norwegians who brokered the 2002 ceasefire between the government and the LTTE, and international organizations backed by the Tamil diaspora funded the rebel group's arms purchases.

He also recalled that India provided training for the Sri Lankan rebels in 1983 but the LTTE's assassination in 1991 of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi changed the Indian attitude towards them.

Muralitharan, who was the rebel commander in eastern province, said he had no hand in the mass murder of some 600 Sri Lankan policemen in 1990.

He told the LLRC that a political solution was needed to settle the problem with the Tamil ethnic minority.

Muralitharan broke away from the rebel outfit in 2004 over differences with his leader and it was a contributory factor to the rebel group's elimination.

The LLRC, appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look back at the longstanding conflict which ended in May 2009, would recommend ways to stop the repetition of circumstances which led to it.

Source: Xinhua


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