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INTERVIEW: End of LTTE has not finished the problems of the minority Tamils: India's ex-spy chief

Interviewed by Nilantha Ilangamuwa

(October 24, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) “End of LTTE has not finished the problems of the minority Tamils. As I said they require full rehabilitation with equal rights,” said Mr. Maloy Krishna Dhar, the former joint director, Intelligence Bureau of India, in an exclusive interview to Sri Lanka Guardian at his residence in New Delhi.

M K Dhar’s career with the Intelligence Bureau spanned for nearly three decades, during which he witnessed innumerable counter-terrorism, counter- espionage and political operations. He specialized in counterintelligence measures against Pakistan’s covert and overt aggressions and the proxy war Pakistan had unleashed in the past few decades against India. Mr. Dhar is also the author of several books including Open Secret: India’s Intelligence Unveiled, Mission to Pakistan- An Intelligence Agent in Pakistan, Train to India: Memories of Another Bengal and Fulcrum of Evil - ISI, CIA, Al Qaeda Nexus.

About Maloy Krishna Dhar: He was born in Kamalpur, Bhairab-Mymensingh in East Bengal. As a youngster, he and his family migrated to India walking through bloodbath.He taught in a college and worked as a junior staff reporter before joining the Indian Police Service in 1964. He was drafted to the Central Intelligence Bureau in 1968.

Here full text of the interview;

When we first met a few months ago in New Delhi we talked about the political situation in Sri Lanka. I recall that you told me there was little possibility of General Sarath Fonseka, the common opposition candidate of winning the presidential election which was held last January. It has now happened that Fonseka, the man who led the Army in the war against the LTTE which ended in May 2009, is now a prisoner. Let us start our discussion with this development.

Q. How do you feel about the present situation in Sri Lanka one and a half years after the historic victory against what is considered to be the world's most ruthless terrorist organisation?

I feel happy that terrorism has been vanquished and peace has been restored. I look forward to see complete rehabilitation of the Tamil people and their integration with the country with equal opportunities.

Q. Recently Sri Lanka passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution which ended the limit of the terms of the President and dissolved the independent commissions against corruption, free and fare elections, the police service and promotions of servicemen. A well known newspaper in India pointed this out as a serious threat to democracy. What do you think about that?

I live in India, a constitutional democracy governed by the legislature, judiciary and the Parliament. I do not feel comfortable with the 18th amendment that has given unbridled power to the President and mutilated the systemic machineries. I feel the people of Sri Lanka should protest and opt for open and systemic democracy standing on the tripod of Parliament, Executive and the Judiciary. That is the universal symbol of democracy. With LTTE gone there is no need for special power of the President. I am afraid it is another form of dictatorship.

Q. What is your assessment of Indo-Lanka relations, in the past, the present and the possibilities for the future?

Indo-Lanka relationship has undergone some rough periods. But the present situation is happy and it is hoped that as our closest neighbor Lanka will develop healtier ties with India for mutual benefits.

Q. You were director of the IB (Indian Intelligence Bureau). Do you think there is common understanding between the intelligence organisations in the region with regard to terrorism?

There exists lack of cooperation. Indian and Sri Lankan intelligence may like to establish institutional arrangements for exchange of information on terrorism as terrorists have emerged as a global theat.

Q. Do you think the end of the war against the LTTE was the solution for minority people in Sri Lanka? If not please tell us your opinions of the armed conflicts and ethnic problems in South Asian in the context of your experience?

End of LTTE has not finished the problems of the minority Tamils. As I said they require full rehabilitation with equal rights. It is the duty of the majority community to help them to gain self-respect and self-reliance.

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