The main Opposition UNP yesterday came up with documentary evidence regarding the alleged deal the Government had struck with the LTTE in the run up to the Presidential Election in 2005, and reiterated its call for a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the matter.
UNP frontliner Lakshman Kiriella told journalists yesterday the UNP had obtained an affidavit from a person who witnessed Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa handing over money running into millions of rupees, to the LTTE leaders before the election.
Mr. Kiriella said that under this deal, the LTTE prevented the people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces from voting at the Presidential polls and this eventually resulted in Mahinda Rajapaksa winning by a narrow margin.
`Recently, Senior Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle challenged us to produce evidence instead of making mere allegations. Now, we have documentary proof of this secret pact. So, we are urging the Government to appoint the proposed Select Committee to investigate it,` he said.
He alleged the Government also provided another large amount of money to the LTTE through a Cabinet paper ostensibly for housing projects in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
The UNP alleged that Rs.757 million had been made available to the LTTE under this project.
`What is surprising is that this happened when the Mavil Aru military operation was going on. When former President Chandrika Kumaratunga tried to set up the Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) for reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the two provinces, Mr. Rajapaksa opposed it as the then Prime Minister, along with the JHU and JVP,` he said.
In this context, he said they were stunned to see the President allocating funds for a housing project in areas like Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu while the war was raging at Mavil Aru last year.
Mr. Kiriella said that hostilities broke out between the security forces and the LTTE only because the Government did not disarm paramilitary groups including the Karuna faction, as agreed during the Geneva talks.
`The Government had also agreed to disarm Karuna and hand him over to the Tigers under the secret deal. The same pledge was made during Geneva talks,` he said.
He said the supply of funds to a terrorist organization was an offence not only under local laws and regulations but also under international law.
`We will take stern action against those responsible if the Select Committee is not appointed. All top officials of the Government are silent about this allegation,` he said.