The alleged deal arrived at with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) in 2005 by former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win Presidential elections by getting the tigers to enforce a boycott of polls in Tamil areas in return for an enormous amount of money is expected to be exposed in great detail in the near future.
A key figure of the LTTE intelligence wing identified by the name Emil Kanthan who allegedly engaged with the Mahinda Rajapaksa camp in this exercise on behalf of the LTTE is now willing to return to Sri Lanka and reveal complete details about the alleged deal to Sri Lankan law enforcement and legal authorities.
The person known as Emil Kanthan who is resident in a western country at present is expected to return to Lanka and voluntarily surrender himself to court as part of an unofficial understanding reached with an influential component of the upper echelons of the Sirisena – Wickremesinghe” Government.
It is learnt that the “agreement” with Emil Kanthan in this respect was reached through the efforts of influential political figures in the corridors of power along with relatives of the ex – LTTE operative in Sri Lanka and Tamil expatriates with LTTE links.
If the arrangement with the man known as Emil Kanthan is implemented as planned the ex – LTTE intelligence operative will return to Sri Lanka shortly and surrender to court. Thereafter he would voluntarily furnish Sri Lankan authorities with full details about the deal between the LTTE and Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sri Lankan authorities describe Emil Kanthan alias Anton Chamil Lakshmi Kannan as the Financial Manager of the LTTE.
The name of Emil Kanthan first transpired during the magisterial inquiry into the controversial RADA case. It was transpired in Courts that high profile officials at RADA had gone to the LTTE controlled area in Kilinochchi and had discussions with LTTE activist Emil Kanthan over the reconstructing houses for tsunami-affected people.
Political Windfall for UNP
This dramatic turn of events is expected to be a political windfall for the UNP as the exposure would reveal how Mahinda Rajapaksa struck a secret deal with the LTTE before the 2005 presidential poll on the one hand while accusing Ranil Wickremesinghe of having a “Elephant – Tiger Pact” with the tigers on the other.
The LTTE enforced boycott in 2005 compelled more than 600,000 estimated Tamil voters in the North and East to stay away from voting. This resulted in Mahinda Rajapaksa defeating Wickremesinghe by a narrow margin as the Tamil voters who were expected to vote for the UNP could not do so. The Tamils were rearing to vote for “dove’ Wickremesinghe against “hawk” Rajapaksa. If they were allowed to vote, Wickremesinghe would have won easily. The Tamils had no option when the LTTE ordered a boycott, and Rajapaksa won.
In return for enforcing the boycott the LTTE led by Veluppillai Prabhakaran demanded and obtained a large sum of money from the Mahinda Rajapaksa camp.
According to available information the payment was in two phases. In the first phase a sum of Sri Lankan rupees 180 million was given to the LTTE in local and foreign currency. In the second phase the newly elected president Mahinda Rajapaksa had authorised a sum of 757 million Rupees for constructing houses in the North and East under the “Jaya Lanka”scheme. The money was allocated to three bogus companies set up by Emil Kanthan as fronts to procure the cash. A sum of 130 million rupees had been given in various instalments when the war escalated to unacceptable levels when the LTTE blocked water at the Maavilaaru dam in Trinco district.
Emil Kanthan’s awaited disclosures are likely to estimate a number of powerful persons in the former regime including Mahinda Rajapaksa, Basil rajapaksa, PB Jayasundara and Lalith Weeratunga.
In what appeared to be a prelude to his return the Former LTTE senior leader Emil Kanthan informed the Colombo Special High Court through his lawyer that he would surrender before Court in connection with the indictment filed against him over the attempted murder of former Minister Douglas Devananda.
Warrant and Red Notice Suspended
Accordingly High Court Special Commissioner Iranganie Perera dissolved the red notice and open warrant issued earlier by the High Court of Colombo against Financial Manager of the LTTE Emil Kanthan alias Anton Chamil Lakshmi Kannan.
Counsel Suranga Wedasinghe, who appeared for Emil Kanthan told the court that, Emil Kanthan was willing to return to Sri Lanka and surrender to Court. But, he was unable to do so because of the red notice and the open warrant; the counsel requested the court to dissolve the aforesaid order so that Emil Kanthan could return to Sri Lanka within two weeks and surrender to the court.
Emil Kanthan and sixteen others are indicted for the attempted murder of former Minister Douglas Devananda, when the latter visited the Kalutara Prison on July 30, 1998. Mr. Devananda was attacked on June 30, 1998 inside the Kalutara prison, when he visited some LTTE suspects. He was attacked with sharp weapons which caused serious injuries to him. The accused were LTTE prisoners.
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Cup of Woes
Analysts surmise that the expected surrender of the LTTE’s Financial Controller, Emil Kanthan, to the Sri Lankan police will add to former President Mahinda Rajapksa’s cup of woes.After tearfully seeing off his second son Yoshitha being taken to the remand prison on money laundering charges late last week, Rajapaksa is now faced with the return of an LTTE operative who, for payment, had allegedlyhelped him secure the Tamils’ boycott of the 2005 Presidential election.
On September 24, 2007, The Sunday Leader said that Rajapaksa had also awarded contracts to Emil Kanthan’s companies to build 800 housing units in the Tamil-speaking North and East at a cost of LKR 757 million. According to the weekly, the companies were bogus. The money was routed through a government development agency.
On Jan 24, 2010, Tiran Alles, the National Organizer of the breakaway group of Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP Mahajana Wing), told the media that Rajapaksa’s brother, Basil Rajapaksa, had personally handed over LKR 180 million to Emil Kanthan, to bring about a boycott. Alles had put the Rajapaksas in touch with Kanthan who was also a businessman.
After the defeat of Rajapaksa in the January 8, 2015 Presidential election, the Jathika Hela Urumaya lodged a complaint with the police on the payment of money to the LTTE to secure an election boycott.