Colombo: Sensing the changed "ground
realities" in Sri Lanka, a former top aide to slain LTTE
supremo Vellupillai Prabhakaran, has agreed to help the
government in its post-war reconstruction efforts, a state-run
newspaper reported Sunday.
Kumaran Pathmanathan, the former chief of LTTE`s
international wing, is now leading efforts to bring together
Tiger sympathisers to assist in the rebuilding of the war-torn
Northern areas that were once their stronghold.
Popularly known as `KP`, he told the Sunday Observer
that several Tiger activists living abroad had now begun to
understand the "ground realities" and want to offer help.
A nine-member delegation of activists, domiciled in
Canada, Switzerland, Germany, the UK, France and Australia,
recently met Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Minister
of External Affairs G L Peiris in Colombo and discussed the
government`s re-building efforts.
Pathmanathan, who played a key role in bringing down
the delegation to Colombo, was also present at the meetings,
the newspaper said.
The Tamil diaspora, the paper said, has been closely
observing the situation in the country ever since the Tamil
Tigers were defeated militarily in May last year and their
leadership, including Prabhakaran, wiped out.
The initial "misunderstandings" had been erased and a
"vast change" has been observed in the thinking of the Tamil
diaspora, the newspaper quoted Pathmanathan as saying.
Apart from their key meetings in Colombo, the
delegation from abroad also received first-hand information on
the post-conflict humanitarian activities by visiting
Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Jaffna.
Pathmanathan said an understanding has been reached to
set up an NGO to streamline financial assistance from abroad
for humanitarian programmes and it is expected to be called
North and East Development Programme.
"This will go a long way to counter the adverse
campaigns carried out by organisations abroad against the
peace building efforts in the country," it said.
Pathmanathan, the former chief arms smuggler for the
rebels, was reportedly taken into custody last August in a
Southeast Asian country and brought to Sri Lanka.
The former leader of the Tigers, who was appointed the
chief of the LTTE`s international activities by Prabhakaran
during the last phase of the war, said that the Tigers` assets
are worth "several million dollars".
"Those who are handling the funds collected by the
LTTE abroad are now willing to transfer them for humanitarian
programmes in the country," it said.