Sri Lanka 'concerned' over US Assistant Secretary State Robert Blake meeting with GTF in spite of the diaspora group's 'separatist agenda'
By Shamindra Ferdinando
The Sri Lankan government is concerned over a recent meeting involving senior representatives of US State Department, Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and British Tamil Forum (BTF) at the State Department, where they are believed to have discussed a strategy to compel Sri Lanka to accept an international 'war crimes' probe.
Authoritative sources say that in spite of both GTF and BTF pursuing the LTTE’s separatist agenda, Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake met the head of the GTF Fr. Emmanuel, Suren Surendiran of the BTF and the US-based head of the GTF Dr. Jeyarajah on March 28.
The meeting took place ahead of a three-member UN Panel, appointed by UNSG Ban Ki-moon releasing its ‘war crimes’ report on the final phase of Eelam war IV. Sources said that this week’s rehearsal at the UN mission in Colombo indicated that the UN expected a possible siege on the offices after the release of the report.
Responding to a query, intelligence sources told The Island that the BTF was spearheading the separatist campaign. The Diaspora was trying to achieve through international intervention what the LTTE couldn’t do with arms and the support of a section of the international community.In fact, the GTF had been created by the UK-based BTF as part of its strategy to strengthen hardliners, led by Norway based Perinpanayagam Sivaparan aka Nediyawan.
Sources said that the US move could undermine US-based attorney-at-law V. Rudrakumaran, the first ‘Premier’ of the Transitional Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) now under pressure not only by the GTF and BTF but a section of his so-called cabinet of ministers.
Asked whether the BTF had received the support of political parties in Europe and the US, sources said that the Diaspora had launched the BTF on Feb. 24, last year at the House of Commons in the presence of the then British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Since then, the BTF had established offices in at least 15 countries, with its main secretariat in London. Sources said that the London Secretariat is headed by former Labour MP for Enfield North Joan Ryan, who first entered parliament in 1997 until her defeat at the 2010 General Election.
Ryan on Dec. 3, last year filed an application on behalf of the GTF in London for an arrest warrant against Maj. Gen. Chagi Gallage, of the Presidential Security Division, alleging that he had committed ‘war crimes.’ Maj. Gen. Gallage, one of the key officers involved in executing ground operations, was accompanying President Mahinda Rajapaksa on a private visit to London. ~ courtesy: The Island ~