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Cold war between President’s brother and son!

Trio on the mission. Dad Sathasivam Ramanathan, President Mahinda Percy Rajapakse and son Ankajan Ramanathan

 Human smuggler promoted by the government!!

(November 07, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A cold war between the President’s brother Basil Rajapakse and his son Namal Rajapakse is felt in many fronts. It is strongly sensed in the northern theatre. Both are progressively breeding their factional animosities.

Since his election as a Member of Parliament, Namal Rajapakse wants to play a leading role in the north to project him as the man having absolute control of the north to show his southern vote bank the authority he has in the north. But unfortunately, Basil Rajapakse has stretched his wings before his nephew could creep in.

Following the end of the war in May 2009, a 19-member Presidential Task Force was appointed by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province. Basil Rajapaksa MP is the Chairman of the committee. The committee does not have any Tamil representation. But it has become a lame duck body and Basil Rajapakse on his own is spearheading the work mandated to the committee. Basil is using his position in the committee and as Minister to undermine the influence of Namal in the northern theatre.

Namal Rajapakse is attempting to score points on every available opportunity. His effort to forcefully grab forty odd tractors destined to the war victims from the ICRC is a task that he neatly executed with the backing his father, to show his Southern audience that he is the man to do the job. In the contest of strength, Namal is backed by his father and the President’s other brother Chamal Rajapakse who is the speaker of the legislature, whilst Basil is said to be subtly backed by Gotabaya.

Namal is developing his own network in the north. He is promoting his one time classmate at St Thomas College Ankajan Ramanathan, the son of the controversial and corrupt Sathasivam Ramanathan from Valvettithurai. Ankajan is been backed by the President himself and he too promotes himself as President’s direct man.

Ankajan’s father Sathasivam Ramanathan is a notorious full time human smuggler and is involved in big scale money laundering activities in collaboration with the government of Sri Lanka. His clandestine human smuggling business started with the backing of the former President Dingiri Banda Wijetunga. Since former President Wijetunge’s time, a systematic underhand policy of bringing the minorities of Sri Lanka to a manageable level of ten percent of the population was practiced on the advice of the prominent H W Jayawardene (Queens Council).

To execute part of the ‘manageable minority policy’ of the government Sathasivam Ramanathan was given unlimited backing to passage through large numbers of asylum claimants out of Sri Lanka without any hindrances through the Colombo airport. For this service, he was charging exorbitant sums from his clients. He also developed an international human smuggling network even sub-contracting his service to notorious human smugglers. He even said to have linked up with the Russian and Italian mafias, when the human smuggling became more difficult to operate due to boarder controls and vigilance by the authorities.

Millions of dollars of illegal money was earned by Sathasivam Ramanathan and he was freely moving around the world using multitudes of foreign passports. Even the politicians and government officials benefited from this clandestine money laundering operations and to this date Sathasivam Ramanathan was not targeted by the Sri Lankan security establishment or the international policing network over his criminal activities.

Some asylum seekers were even charged $40,000 by Sathasivam Ramanathan to take them to the destination they wanted. Those who sought his help will say he did a fine job compared to other operators. His operations even extended during the other Presidents rules and during President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranayake’s term the theory of H W Jayawardena to control the minorities to mere ten percent of the population took stronger roots and Sathasivam exploited this opportunity very well to build his ill gotten wealth.

Sathasivam Ramanathan is said to be living a luxury life in Singapore at present, though he faced some difficulties with the authorities there few years ago.

With the ill gotten money of his father, the son Ankajan is all ready to exploit the military dominated and government propped up political agenda for the north. His immediate competitor is the government minister and the paramilitary leader Douglas Devananda. Ankajan is on the crusade to destroy Douglas Devanada.

Mahinda Rajapakse duly recognized Ankajan and made him his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) organizer for Jaffna. Ankajan contested the general election under SLFP ticket and did not win. During election campaign Douglas Devananda’s paramilitary men manhandled Ankajan and this fumed all the troubles for the paramilitary leader.

His support base with the government started to decline with the election of Namal Rajapakse as a member of parliament. Namal’s influence has distanced the President, Chamal and other ministers from Douglas Devananda. Even Basil and Gotabaya are carefully threading their relationship with Douglas Devanada fearing they may get into controversies.

In the backdrop of troubles brewing for Douglas Devanada, he is finding avenues to safeguard his interests. He has already started investing in international businesses to give employment for his activists overseas to sustain his group.

With the looming crisis within the Rajapakse family to dominate the Jaffna politics, the war weary people are suffering. The government is in no mood to play decent, transparent and accommodative politics to embrace the war weary but is eager to create divisions and troubles to keep the Tamil people on the tab.

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