Shamindra Ferdinando, from the Island, 6 Feb 2011, uner a different title
S. Pathmanathan aka ‘KP’, described as LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s successor, says his North-East Rehabilitation and Development Organisation (NERDO) will not seek political recognition. Addressing a cross section of people during a three-day tour of Kilinochchi and Jaffna beginning Jan. 28, Secretary of the NERDO assured supporters that he had no political ambitions. He said that NERDO would only engage in humanitarian work with the support extended by the Tamil Diaspora.
‘KP’ was accompanied by several members of the Diaspora, who had been once supportive of the LTTE’s war against the Sri Lanka State. During their tour, they had an opportunity to meet widows of a section of LTTE cadres killed in combat following the opening of a NERDO office at Kilinochchi. The delegation visited Anbu Illam –an orphanage, which was being built at Oddusuddan, east of A9. The delegation met those who had been recently resettled in the Oddusudan area. KP as best man at Prabhakaran’s wedding in India
They met a cross section of civilians in Jaffna on Jan 30, with the first meeting held at the Jaffna MPCS (Multi-purpose Cooperative Society). Pathmanathan told people that his only concern was how to improve the living conditions of the war affected. Pathamanathan stressed the need for providing the best possible education to the people of the North and the East. Pathmanathan and his associates also visited to NERDO branch in Parithithuri, where they met another group of war affected people.
An authoritative official told The Island that ‘KP’ was still in ‘protective custody’ of the government in spite of his being given the opportunity to engage in humanitarian work. According to him, NERDO had been set up in keeping with a national strategy to deal with some of those post-war issues, particularly in relation to Tamil Diaspora. The official dismissed the possibility of registering NERDO as a political party or bringing in ‘KP’ into politics.
In an exclusive interview with The Island in last August, KP, one-time LTTE top gun in charge of overseas operations, including procurement of weapons, said that he wasn’t interested in politics at all.
Government sources said that NERDO would continue its efforts to harness Diaspora support to provide relief to the ordinary civilians affected by the war and thousands of LTTE families. Sources said that the other priority was the post-rehabilitation support to LTTE cadres, who were being gradually released.
The Island learns that ‘KP’ was given access to those who were being rehabilitated.