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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 830

Solheim in the pay of Tigers: his house in Norway bought with Tiger money - Col. Karuna

Colombo, 27 November, (Asiantribune.com): In a face-to-face interview with Bandula Jayasekera, the Editor of the Ceylon Daily News (November, 27, 2006) Col. Karuna, the former deputy to Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran said that:

(1) Erik Solheim house in Norway was bought with money donated by the Tigers;

(2) Solheim always told Prabhakaran in Karuna's presence that the Norwegians were with the Tigers;

(3) Solheim gifted a 6ft TV screen to Prabhakaran, a TV addict, despite the former Deptuy Minister, Vida Helgessen objecting to it;

(4) Solheim showed them military bases and donated transmitters;

(5) Solheim advised Prabhakaran how to govern - i.e how to run his military outfit;

(6) Solheim gave 16 million kroners to Anton Balasingham immediately after the signing of Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) in Oslo;

(7) the Tigers bought arms and ammunition with that money and unloaded ammunitions 40 days after the CFA was signed. "We unloaded shipments against the CFA," said Karuna;

These stunning revelations coming from Col Karuna are credible because he was the most trusted and successful commander of Prabhakaran. He was the second-in-command and the most likely successor Prabhakaran.

Here is the full text of the interview with Col Karuna published in today's Daily News:

Bandula Jayasekera

It was April 2004. LTTE's renegade leader Karuna retreated after clashes with Prabhakaran. It happened two days after Karuna gave his final face-to-face interview to this writer who was then at "The Island" newspaper.

The interview was published in "The Island" on 9th April. However, in 2002 the writer predicted that both Karuna and Prabhakaran would split and the article was published in "The Island" in May 2002 and subsequently in India's "Frontline" magazine.

Many violent incidents have taken place since then and we questioned if Karuna was also adopting Prabhakaran's tactics and who would survive. It seems that they both have survived rightly or wrongly while the country is yearning for peace.

One time deputy of Prabhakaran and LTTE's most dreaded 'colonel' Karuna, now the most wanted man of the LTTE speaks to the Daily News face-to-face for the first time in his Eastern stronghold.

Q: Your faction is accused of recruiting child soldiers. Aren't you ashamed of it? Right-thinking Sri Lankans and the world is of the view that it must be stopped immediately.

No. It is not true. I deny it. It is not necessary for us to do so. We already have enough cadres. We don't need any more cadres. We are keen to do our political work. We have weapons only to defend ourselves from the LTTE.

Q: You say, you have enough cadres. What is your strength?

No comments. I cannot give those details out

Q: UN's Allan Rock went on record saying that the Army helped you to recruit child soldiers. Did the Army help you to recruit children?

No. We don't work with the Army. Allan Rock's statement is misleading. Allan Rock is an LTTE sympathizer and a supporter. He helped the LTTE in Canada earlier.

Q: The SLMM and others have accused your group of working closely with the Army. Is it correct or do you get some sort of protection from the Army?

No. Politically we are working with the people. We do not need it.

But, it is the responsibility of the government to protect all political parties. We don't work with the Army. But, I say it again; the government must protect us and all the political parties. They give protection to TNA. Don't they?

Q: Your group is also accused of carrying out abductions, extortions and killings. You are no better than the LTTE though you broke away from them. You have become another menace. Haven't you added to the woes of the suffering people?

It is not true. It is all done by the LTTE. After I broke away Prabhakaran killed over 400 people including my own brother. We now work openly and everyone knows about it. Even Rock met my Secretary. I ask people not to believe LTTE propaganda.

LTTE does everything and puts them in my account. The world must know it. We are keen only to do political work.

Q: You have threatened the TNA MPs. You have said that you will kill them if they do not resign. How could you order them like that? You are no better.

It is not true. But, I say to them kindly please resign because it is better for them to resign.

We are not going to kill them. I am the one who selected them in the East. Today the people of the East are not with them. They have lost faith in them. There is no TNA. Those MPs represent the LTTE, not the TNA.

Q: But, why do you want them to resign? They are elected Members of Parliament.

I say it because they cannot do anything today. They are not accepted by the people.

Q: Did you kill Joseph Pararajasingham?

No. We totally deny that. It is to disgrace us. It is the LTTE. They also killed Raviraj.

Q: Come on. How could you say that? Aren't you trying to put the blame now on LTTE's account?

No. Because Raviraj was openly critical of the LTTE among his friends. He was critical of Prabhakaran's family. We all know what happened to Amirthalingam, don't we? This is what happened here also.

Q: Who killed Lakshman Kadirgamar? Who killed Kethesh Loganathan?

It is the LTTE. There is no doubt. Lakshman Kadirgamar was Prabhakaran's biggest problem because the world accepted what Kadirgamar said.

Do you know that Prabhakaran watch many films and he used the method in the movie 'Day of the Jackal' to kill Kadirgamar.

He got the idea from the film. I must also tell you that Erik Solheim gifted a 6 ft TV screen to Prabhakaran to watch films.

But, former Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgessen was totally against it.

But Solheim went ahead and gifted the screen. About Kethesh. He was an intellectual. Tamil people liked him and he was never against the Tamil people. Kethesh was against Prabhakaran and that's why he was killed.

Q: How do you look at Anandasangaree today?

He is one man totally working against the LTTE. He is a brave man. His receiving the UNESCO prize means the international community must totally reject Prabhakaran now.

Q: Coming back to Norway, Did they give only a TV screen? Did they provide
any other support?

Yes. They did. They helped us (the LTTE) immediately after the CFA was signed.

In Oslo Erik Solheim gave money to Balasingham. I saw it happening. Balasingham also told me later. If I remember right it was about 16 million Norwegian kroners.

Q: What did you do with that money?

LTTE bought arms using that money. We unloaded ammunitions 40 days after the CFA was signed. We unloaded shipments against the CFA.

Q: Is there a special connection between the LTTE and Norway?

LTTE also has given money to Solheim. LTTE looks after him. There is a talk that LTTE helped Solheim to buy his house in Oslo. Solheim always told Prabhakaran in my presence that they were with the LTTE.

Solheim advised Prabhakaran how to govern in the future. They showed us military bases, gave us transmitters, this support came mainly from Solheim.

Norway is well aware of Prabhakaran motives. But, they don't want to show it to the world that they are failing as a peacemaker. They only want to make a name for themselves in the world. They only think of their future.

Late SLMM chief Furhouvde once told me that the Tamils cannot win until Prabhakaran is alive.

Q: How do you asses the present strength of the LTTE?

The LTTE is weak now. They are getting weaker. Firstly due to our split, secondly because the Army is much stronger, thirdly due to the breakdown in the LTTE structure.

They are all scattered now. Another important reason is that the Tamils have realised now how brutal the LTTE is and of their atrocities.

The Navy is doing a good job and the LTTE is facing a severe shortage of ammunition. They have two light aircraft and the Sea Tigers are dependent only on their suicide cadres, that are how they show their strength.

Earlier even Foreign Mercenaries worked with the LTTE and the training for the pilots were provided in Bangkok in private pilot training schools after the CFA.

- Asian Tribune -

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