By Shamindra Ferdinando
Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday alleged that for want of a cohesive national security strategy post-war peace and stability was at stake.
Arguing that the government was wholly incapable of addressing national security issues, Prof. Peiris said the recent arrest of an LTTE cadre Krishna Kumar along with 300 grams of cyanide, Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment and seven hand phones at Ramanathapuram, South India pointed to the urgent need to take remedial action.
The UPFA spokesperson said that authorities, both in New Delhi and Colombo, couldn’t ignore that two Indian accomplices of Krishna Kumar, too had been taken into custody.
Prof. Peiris urged the government to take tangible counter measures without further delay or face the consequences. The on-going attempts to resuscitate the LTTE should be examined against the backdrop of both internal and external factors,
Prof. Peiris told The Island yesterday. The former MP said that various provocative statements attributed to the Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran both here and overseas as well as a move to release hardcore terrorists from state custody, scaling down of military presence in the Northern region, effort to pave the way for the return of a large number of Sri Lankan refugees from India and the stoning of Jaffna court underscored the critical importance of a fresh review of security.
Responding to a query, Prof. Peiris said that he had addressed some of these issues during a meeting held at Solis hall on Sunday. The Chief Incumbent of Nagaviharaya in the North recently explained the rapidly deteriorating situation during a sermon the priest delivered at Pepiliyana.
Commenting on the forthcoming sessions of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council, Prof. Peiris alleged that the caretaker government seemed unprepared to counter the report on accountability issues scheduled to be presented in early September.
The new parliament meets on September 1. Although the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration had assured the country that Sri Lanka would establish a domestic mechanism to inquire into accusations, several countries which voted for US resolution calling for an external investigation had called for specific foreign role in the inquiry process, Prof. Peiris said.
The government should take people into confidence and tell them of the nature and scope of foreign intervention, Prof. Peiris said.
The former law professor said that the previous government had a well-placed security apparatus to tackle post-war challenges. He accused government of playing politics with national security much to the discomfort of the armed forces.
Close on the heels of the Ramanathapuram arrest, the Indian police had apprehended another ex-LTTE cadre identified as A. Kumaraguru at the Tiruchirapalli international airport. Prof. Peiris pointed out that according to the India media he had an Indian passport issued to him under a fictitious name, A. Arokiadasan, giving a false address in Pamban in Ramanathapuram district as his place of stay. Another Indian had been apprehended for helping the Sri Lankan to obtain an Indian passport, Prof. Peiris said. The former External Affairs Minister said that Sri Lanka should be vigilant to prevent LTTE cadres from entering Sri Lanka masquerading as foreign nationals.