Kumaran Pathmanathan alias “KP”, the detained former chief arms procurer and smuggler for the LTTE, is currently making an immense contribution to peace by working for ethnic harmony, says the Singapore-based expert on terrorism, Prof. Rohan Gunaratna.
“He is building bridges between the Tamils and other communities, both at home and overseas, and is striving for ethnic unity.He is contributing to peace immensely,” Gunaratna told Express over phone from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he heads the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research.
Asked on what basis he was saying that KP was transformed, as Saul turned Paul, Gunaratna said that he had met the man.
“KP has met many people, including Tamils from Sri Lanka’s North and East. He is working silently,” Gunaratna said.
“He has been set up to build unity among the various Sri Lankan communities, Tamils and others.”
KP was never tortured, Gunaratna claimed. “Why torture a man and put him in jail when he can serve a good cause?” he asked.
According to the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the capture of KP in August 2009 was as important as the killing of the LTTE chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran in May that year.
With KP in the net, the LTTE’s huge arms smuggling system collapsed. And with his detention, the LTTE, which he claimed still existed under his leadership, also collapsed. Meanwhile, KP took a new name “Selvarasa Pathmanathan”, and started a movement to establish a Transnational Government of Tamil Eelem (TGTE). Although this movement is still alive in the US and Europe, despite his capture, it has lost considerable financial clout and the ability to rebuild a military machine.
It was due to KP’s detention and interrogation that the Lankan government was able to seize from an Indonesian port, MV Christina (aka Feng Shun 7), a chopper carrying ocean going vessel, which Prabhakaran was to use to escape from the Mullaitivu coast in the closing stage of Eelam War IV.