India urged not to accept the credentials of Milinda Moragoda as Sri Lankan High Commissioner: TGTE

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The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has requested the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi not to accept the credentials of Mr. Milinda Moragoda as Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India. Noting that Mr. Moragoda will be accorded a cabinet rank by the Sri Lankan government, the TGTE stated awarding Ministerial status to a High Commissioner is not customary in Ambassador ships and raises many questions.

In the letter to Mr Modi the TGTE also noted that Mr. Moragoda was the Minister of Justice and Law Reform from May 2009 – April 2020 in the immediate post-war period during which tens of thousands of Tamils were brutally forced into Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps. Thousands of LTTE members, supporters, and perceived supporters were also “rehabilitated” in the rehabilitation centers. In the letter TGTE also noted that according to the International Truth and Justice Project and other credible sources, that the detainees were subjected to torture and other unacceptable treatment and these “rehabilitation centers” are similar to the re-education centers set up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.

In the letter TGTE said that Mr. Moragoda also had a large role in the prison system in the island of Sri Lanka where the Tamil prisoners of war were held and subjected to prolonged detention, torture and enforced disappearance. In the letter it is pointed out that as Minister of Justice, the Attorney General’s department was also within Mr. Moragoda’s purview, thus, Mr. Moragoda bears the responsibility for all the persecutions, detention, and torture under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). This law has been described as a blot on civilized norms by the International Commission of Jurists and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, and the European Union have all called on Sri Lanka for its repeal.

The TGTE’s letter also noted that Mr. Moragoda, is the founder of the Pathfinder Foundation, which claims to be working for peace and interfaith understanding, but has close ties to China. Mr. Moragoda has worked with Chinese elements to install the current Sri Lankan government, which does not believe in fostering peace or interfaith understanding.

The TGTE citing the cancellation of the wind energy projects in the islets of Jaffna pointed out that the Eelam Tamils are very much concerned about how Sri Lanka is undermining Indian development efforts in the north of the country by rewarding contracts to China.

The TGTE also stated that since the state of Sri Lanka is consistently undermining India and Mr. Moragoda will be working closely with the Chinese, it firmly believes that the appointment of Mr. Moragoda as High Commissioner will be a strain on India’s effort to help the Eelam Tamils and against India’s other interests in Sri Lanka.

TGTE concluded the letter citing Canada’s rejection of Sri Lankan former Air Marshall Sumangala Dias as Sri Lankan High Commissioner for Canada in 2020, Canada’s rejection of Iran’s nominee for Ambassadorship in 2010 and Saudi Arabia’s rejection of Pakistan’s nominee as precedents.

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