Tamil National Alliance leader R Sampanthan has praised Sri Lanka’s war crimes accused president, calling him someone “who is prepared to speak the truth and to do the right thing” in a speech to parliament earlier this week, where he outlined the international community’s role in a military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamil civilians.
“The international community played a major role in the military defeat of the LTTE,” Sampanthan told parliament. “India played a major role.”
He went on to name specifically name “Mr. M.K. Narayanan, the then National Security Adviser of India, Mr. Shivshankar Menon, the then Foreign Secretary and India’s Defence Secretary” as a “trio… that strategized the military defeat of the LTTE”.
Sampanthan went on to tell parliament that,
"Commitments were made to India and other members of the international community, including the Co-Chairs, in regard to a political solution. The military defeat of the LTTE is also substantially attributable to the assistance of both India and the international community to achieve that objective. The said commitments need to be honoured. They cannot be reneged upon. If the commitments made to the international community are not implemented – these are all a matter of record that cannot be disputed – it would mean that the international community was used to obtain the necessary assistance to defeat the LTTE militarily, but the commitments made to the international community are now being reneged upon.”
His speech echoed that of fellow TNA M A Sumanthiran who pointed out that repeated assurances had been made to India to the Tamil people that a political solution would be found to the ethnic conflict.
“I would like to say that under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, we, probably for the first time, have a President who is not a politician, who is prepared to speak the truth and to do the right thing,” Sampanthan concluded. “If he is making any errors, we need to advise and correct him. We are prepared to work with him.”
See the full text of his speech here.