Sirisena’s claims on LTTE seen as to­tally base­less

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The Gulf Today - - ASIA - BY NIR­MALA JOSEPH

CHEN­NAI: In­formed peo­ple have re­jected an al­le­ga­tion raised by Sri Lankan Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena that the now-de­funct Tamil TIGER outit HAD planned to At­tack Colombo with an air­craft fly­ing from Chen­nai in 2009.

Speak­ing to the Sri Lankan com­mu­nity in New York where he spoke at the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly, Sirisena said, “No one knew it bet­ter than me.”

Re­tired In­dian mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence ofi­cer Colonel R. HARIHARAN was quoted in the lo­cal me­dia on Satur­day as dub­BING THE SIRISENA CLAIM As ic­tion. “THE Chen­nai air­port was fully se­cured and the Q branch of the Tamil Nadu po­lice was on high alert,” he said.

“They would have known had the LTTE hatched such a plan.”

HARIHARAN now works with THE Chen­nai cen­tre for China stud­ies and the in­ter­na­tional law and strate­gic anal­y­sis in­sti­tute.

TR Baalu, prom­i­nent leader of the op­po­si­tion DMK, who was a Union min­is­ter dur­ing the days Sirisena refers to, said: “What he says is to­tally Base­less. How CAN HE say EITHER THE Cen­tre or the State gov­ern­ment would have al­lowed our ter­ri­tory to be used to at­tack any other coun­try?”

“There was no such plan of the LTTE, a banned or­gan­i­sa­tion. It is to­tally false.”

The DMK was in power in 2009. Sri Lanka ex­pert Prof PS Surya­narayana said, “It is wild imag­i­na­tion that the LTTE had plans to at­tack Colombo from Chen­nai.”

Sirisena was the act­ing de­fence min­is­ter dur­ing the last two weeks of the civil war with the LTTE in May, 2009, when the Tigers were elim­i­nated.

“The for­mer pres­i­dent (Mahinda Ra­japaksa) was away, the for­mer prime min­is­ter was away. There was no de­fence min­istry Sec­re­tary and Army Com­man­der in the coun­try at the time,” Sirisena said, adding that all se­nior lead­ers were out of the coun­try fear­ing an LTTE air raid.

“The Tamil Tigers were go­ing to op­er­ate an air­craft from Chen­nai or some other jun­gle area to bomb and de­stroy tar­gets in Colombo,” the Pres­i­dent said.

Sirisena said it was a well-guarded se­cret that all se­nior lead­ers were out of the coun­try fear­ing an LTTE air raid. “Even I did not stay in Colombo. I was at sev­eral lo­ca­tions out­side Colombo in case the Tigers at­tacked the cap­i­tal city,” he said.

Maithri­pala Sirisena

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