Mahinda Rajapaksa gave money to LTTE - Tiran

(January 25, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) National organizer of the SLFP Mahajana Wing Tiran Alles has claimed that Basil Rajapaksa had personally handed over, at his office, Rs. 180 million to the then LTTE financial controller Emil Kanthan to ensure that the people of the north boycotted the 2005 presidential election.

That deal had taken place at the request of the then presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mr. Alles has alleged.

Speaking to the media today (Jan. 24) at his Koswatte home that had come under a grenade attack couple of days ago, Mr. Alles said he first came to know Emil Kanthan, then an employee of the Ministry of Rehabilitation, in 2002 when MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena introduced him.

Following a request by the then prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to introduce him to a person capable of doing a deal with the LTTE, Mr. Allas said he had introduced Emil Kanthan to Basil Rajapaksa.

After Emil Kanthan was told that Basil Rajapaksa wanted to meet him on behalf of Mahinda Rajapkasa, a meeting was held, Mr. Alles said, at his office,

After several such discussions between the two, one day Basil Rajapaksa wanted to know from Emil Kanthan what sort of support the LTTE wanted from the premier to strengthen their link.

After consulting the LTTE leadership, Emil Kanthan had come back and said the outfit wanted Rs. 180 million to buy boats.

Mr. Basil Rajapaksa said they only wanted the LTTE to get the people of the north boycott the presidential polls.

The money sought by Emil Kanthan was handed over a few days later in dollar - given by a neighbouring country for the presidential campaign - and rupee notes, alleged the SLFP (M) national organizer.

He said he had revealed all these in his statement to the TID in 2007 subsequent to his arrest by them, and as a result the attorney general had withdrawn all charges against him.

Speaking further, Mr. Alles said he had informed president Rajapaksa on February 14, 2007 about all these through a sworn affidavit signed by Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera who supports the president.

Mr. Alles said he was now compelled to expose Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa's deal with the LTTE as the president and Mr. Basil Rajapaksa were attempting to kill him ? the first such attempt being the grenade attack on his home.

Mr. Alles was flanked by SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera at the media briefing.