TamilWeek, Nov 27 - Dec 3, 2005
Did LTTE have secret deal with Mahinda to enforce
boycott?

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Speculation is rife in Colombo political and diplomatic circles about a possible
secret deal,  prior to the Presidential poll of Nov 18th , between Mahinda
Rajapakse and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to have the new President
elected through an enforced boycott in the Tamil majority regions of the North -
East!

According to preliminary reports there is much speculation that an arrangement
was ensured after a series of meetings held between LTTE political commissar
Suppia Paramu Thamilselvan and a special representative of Mahinda Rajapakse.

The special envoy is believed to be none other than Tiran Alles the chief of the
Katunayake International Airport in his capacity as chairman of the Airport and
Aviation services Ltd.

Tiran Alles who was operations manager earlier became chairman after the
resignation of Eastern Province Muslim Congress politician Hizbullah.

According to informed sources Tiran Alles is a blue - eyed boy of Aviation and
Ports Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was campaign manager of Mahinda
Rajapakse for the Presidential election.

He was reportedly commissioned by Samaraweera with the approval of Rajapakse
to undertake a series of visits to Kilinochchi in the North and meet with the LTTE
hierarchy particularly the political commissar Thamilselvan

It is said that Alles had established and cultivated contacts with LTTE leaders like
Thamilselvan, Pulidevan, Nadesan, Para, Balakumaran and others during their
several trips to and from  Asian and European destinations through Katunayake
for peace talks.

According to sources Tiran Alles was mandated with the task of ensuring a boycott
by the Tamil people of the Presidential polls.

It was realised that given the pacts signed by Rajapakse with the Janatha Vimukthi
Peramuna and Jathika Hela Urumaya and policies outlined in his election
manifesto an open and straight forward deal with the LTTE was out of the
question.

With the LTTE articulating a strong anti - Mahinda viewpoint for Tamil
consumption any possible deal with him would have been detrimental to tiger
interests.

Likewise the Rajapakse campaign too had a stridently anti - tiger line and charged
Ranil Wickremasinghe of having entered into an "Ali - Koti "(Elephant - Tiger) deal
to get the UNP candidate elected. INformation leaking out of a Mahinda - Tiger
deal before elections would have been counterproductive.

The hush - hush talks therefore focussed on an indirect support being extended
instead of open or direct support.

Since it was a foregone conclusion that the bulk of Tamil voters would be voting
for Wickremasinghe in a free and fair poll the idea was to ensure a Tamil boycott
of the election. This would have prevented Tamil votes being cast for
Wickremasinghe. This in turn would help Rajapakse who was expected to get the
majority of Sinhala votes.

It is believed that the LTTE formally launched an attack on Wickremasinghe to
herald a boycott after an arrangement was made with Alles. The political offensive
against Wickremasinghe was flagged off by senior leader KV Balakumaran in an
interview to "Voice of Tigers" (Puligalin Kural) Radio on  Nov 4th. Thereafter the
boycott campaign gathered steam.

This in turn led to a national and international backlash against the LTTE. It was
pointed out that a Tamil boycott would onlt help defeat the pro - peace, pro -
devolution Wickremasinghe and ensure the victory of Rajapakse the hardliner on
the ethnic question.

Much international pressure was exerted on the LTTE. Periyasamy
Chandrasekeran of the Up Country Peoples Front went as a special emissary of
Wickremasinghe to plead Ranil's case with Thamilselvan. Wickremasinghe wanted
the LTTE to refrain from enforcing a boycott and allowing the Tamil people
freedom of choice to vote.

Thamilselvan then informed the UNP and international circles that the LTTE will
not thrust a boycott down Tamil throats and the people would be free to vote for
any candidate.

This was carried in the media of Nov 16th and the stock market picked up from the
doldrums. Yet the LTTE went back on its assurance and stabbed Wickremasinghe
in the back by enforcing a harsh boycott through violence and intimidation.

This resulted in a drop of Tamil votes particularly in Jaffna where only 1. 5 % of
Tamils voted. The shortfall of expected Tamil votes due to the tiger enforced
boycott led to Wickremasinghe's defeat by 186, 000 votes. The UNP condemns
the tiger act as a betrayal.

While analysts and political observers were trying to fathom the reasons behind
the LTTE's  seemingly inexplicable conduct of defeating the pro - Federalism  
Ranil and getting the anti  - Federalism Mahinda winning the Colombo grapevine
began humming with the tale of a Mahinda - Puli deal

It is believed that Tiran Alles undertook an urgent mission to Kilinochchi after
reports of a boycott relaxation and met with Thamilselvan. Alles had been able to
"persuade" Thamilselvan into revising tiger stance again and enforcing the
boycott.

Alles returned triumphantly to Colombo  after ensuring an enforced Tamil boycott
that shattered Ranil's chances of victory.

Darisha Bastians writing in the "Daily Mirror" of Nov 22nd said that Rajapakse had
hugged Alles openly and thanked him for making the victory possible. This is what
Darisha wrote -

"Small wonder then that when Friday dawned and a Rajapakse victory was
confirmed, the new president-elect violently hugged Aviation Authority Chairman
Tiran Alles as he walked into Temple Trees and thanked him for making it all
possible. Alles, whose support had been solicited by Minister Mangala
Samaraweera had been the chief negotiator with the LTTE on the UPFA's behalf.
Alles, following a series of dialogues with the Kilinochchi leadership, finally
ensured that the rebels called a boycott of last Thursday's poll, effectively
snatching certain victory from Wickremesinghe and handing it over to Rajapakse
on a silver platter. "

A website run by the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization also referred to a
representative of Mahinda Rajapakse being present in Kilinochchi to pressurise
the LTTE into enforcing a boycott. The website stated that Rajapakses special
representative was Tiran Alles.

It is also noteworthy that a Sinhala newspaper in Colombo had carried a story
some weeks ago about a possible deal in the making between the LTTE and a
special emissary of Rajapakse.

Chandrasekeram a well - known LTTE sympathiser has been pissed off by the
tiger betrayal and in a statement called upon the LTTE into reviewing its strategies.


Tiran Alles is the son of former DS Senanayake College principal Ralph I.T. Alles.
The well - known educationist was not re-instated as Principal after he returned
from a foreign trip. This was apparently done on a directive of Ranil
Wickremasinghe who was Education minister then. Despite pressure on behalf of
Alles by Ranasinghe Premadasa and Sirisena Cooray Wickremasinghe remained
form and refused to relent. This action by Wickremasinghe many years ago has
not endeared him to the Alles family.

Political and diplomatic circles in Colombo were alerted to the Alles connection in
the LTTE boycott after reports of the warm embrace of Tiran by Mahinda and the
profuse thanks extended to him began to circulate.

Strenuous attempts are being made by Diplomatic and media circles to find out
more details about the suspected LTTE - Mahinda deal. What the terms are is not
known yet .

A western diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity said that he suspected a
financial arrangement was more likely as a political arrangement was virtually
impossible under pevailing circumstances where both sides maintain mutual
hostility openly. He also said that it was unknown at present as to whether LTTE
supremo Velupillai Pirapakaran was aware of the deal or whether the high flying
Thamilselvan had gone behind his leaders back.

A colombo newspaper editor said that efforts were being made to contact all
parties concerned and find out the truth. "If our investigative sleuths uncover
concrete evidence about a Mahinda - Tiger deal and its terms then the shit will hit
the fan" he said.

"Both the Sinhala and Tamil people must know the truth behind this. Did the new
President whose election campaign accused Ranil of having a deal with the LTTE
enter into a secret deal himself with the tigers? Did the LTTE which provided  
various reasons for the boycott enter into a deal with Mahinda to ensure his
victory through an enforced boycott? The people must know the truth" the editor
said.
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