Gotabaya Rajapaksa hits out at Jayalalithaa

August 8th, 2011 - 8:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) A top Sri Lankan official has hit out at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa for demanding the trial of leaders in Colombo for alleged “war crimes”.

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa also told Headlines Today that Sri Lankan would not devolve any more powers to the minorities in spite of the promises it made in the past.

“If they are interested in the welfare of (Tamil) people, it is useless calling for international investigation,” Rajapaksa said in an interview in Colombo. “What does that bring to the people?”

The Tamil Nadu assembly, controlled by Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK party, has passed a resolution calling for a trial against Sri Lankan leaders accused of committing “war crimes” in the war against the Tamil Tigers.

She has called for international sanctions against Sri Lanka.

Rajapaksa said: “This (resolutions) must be for her to gain political advantage… It is not reasonable because … we are Sri Lankans. We are more worried about our citizens than anyone else.

“This (resolution and statements by Jayalalithaa) is without knowing facts.”

“If she is so concerned about the welfare of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka, they must stop Indian fishermen coming into Sri Lankan waters and fishing in areas dominated by the Tamil fishermen of Sri Lanka.

“When it comes to that, they do not talk about the welfare of the Tamil people… People just talk about welfare of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka, but when it comes to the real thing they are not shouting.

“This is what Jayalaithaa should address first if she is very keen on the welfare of the Tamil people of this area,” he added.

The younger brother of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa also told the Tamil Nadu chief minister to focus her attention on the need to rehabilitate the Tamils in the war ravaged areas of Sri Lanka.

“We have to do a lot of things to develop and improve the infrastructure and help the people to resettle and restart their lives. This is what is required.”

The US has warned that an international mechanism would have to be brought in to investigate war crimes in Sri Lanka if it failed to probe these charges through a credible process internally.

The allegations of atrocities follow the crushing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the Sri Lankan military in May 2009.

Some published accounts say tens of thousands of civilians, mostly Tamils, died towards the end of the war.

Rajpaksa said there was no justification in the calls for an international probe.

“How can an international mechanism kick in? This is a sovereign country, and we have done nothing wrong.

“This is not the international community. This is a wrong description. This is just some countries…

“We have strong backing from the rest of the world, starting from Russia, China, I am sure India, Pakistan a lot of the countries from Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. That is the international community.

“A few people in the world can’t say they are international community.”

Speaking about further devolution of power to the Tamils, Rajapaksa said there was little scope to go beyond the current levels of devolution.

“The existing constitution is more than enough for us to live together. I don’t think there is any issue on this more than that.

“I mean this was given as a solution for the whole thing with the discussion of these people. I mean now the LTTE is gone, I don’t think there is any requirement.

“I mean what can you do more than this? … Devolution wise I think we have done enough, I don’t think there is a necessity to go beyond that.”

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