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Paramilitaries have links to security establishment

Everyone here knows that the Paramilitaries are linked to the Security establishment. In this case the paramilitaries were Protestants and the security forces were British and the terrorists they were fighting were the Catholic IRA.

It’s no secret that the British security establishment made widespread use of paramilitaries in Northern Ireland to neutralise the IRA and to carry out strikes against the terrorists. It was also used as a bargaining chip by the British government in its settlement of the Irish issue.

The Good Friday agreement signed on Friday, April 10th 1998 made provision for devolved government in Northern Ireland on a stable and inclusive basis and provided for the creation of Human Rights and Equality commissions, the early release of terrorist prisoners, the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons and far reaching reforms of criminal justice and policing.

Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was the largest of the Protestant paramilitary organisations, emerged in 1971 after local Protestant defence organisations came together.

Initially it had a mass base in Protestant working class areas especially in Belfast. Despite efforts to present political opinions through various documents, it was never more than a sectarian murder gang indistinguishable in its activities from the UVF. It killed under the title Ulster Freedom Fighters.

Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was set up as a local regiment of the British army after the disbandment of the B Specials in 1969.

Despite the fact that the leading figures in the Civil Rights Movement, like John Hume, welcomed its formation, it was never anything other than a sectarian force. Ex-B Specials joined en masse and were accepted without restriction. It ended up 97% Protestant in composition.

In Catholic areas it soon acquired a reputation as a partisan force. This was reinforced by the examples of serving UDR soldiers who were found guilty of sectarian assassinations and by the widespread evidence of collusion with loyalist paramilitaries.

In 1992 it was merged with other regiments such as the Royal Irish Rangers to form the Royal Irish Regiment and it operates under this title today.

The first UVF was formed by Unionist leaders financed by sections of the British-establishment in 1912 as part of the resistance to Home Rule.

In 1966 a few loyalists reformed the UVF to "take out the IRA". After a few atrocities they collapsed. The modem UVF was in reality re-launched at the beginning of the trouble, with some people who had been active in organisations led by the Reverend Ian Paisley, playing a key role. The protestant preacher, Rev Paisley and his party is the British equivalent of the JHU (Jathika Hela Urumaya).

The UVF have been responsible for a catalogue of sectarian crimes. Between 1972 and 1977 one UVF unit, who were known as the Shankill Butchers, became notorious for the torturing and mutilation of their victims.

The UVF has killed under other names, notably the Protestant Action Force, and more recently the Red Hand Defenders.

The British security establishment did not disarm the protestant paramilitaries without a comprehensive agreement for the settlement of the Irish issue including the decommissioning of weapons of the IRA, under supervision by the Canadian General John de Chastelain.

In Sri Lanka the LTTE have alleged the existence of "paramilitaries", who are allegedly used by sections of the security establishment against the LTTE. The SLMM or the LTTE have failed to produce any conclusive evidence as to their existence. But the SLMM claim that they have approached armed cadres in government controlled areas and they have stated that they are Karuna cadres. However, the SLMM have failed to provide any evidence to clarify if these cadres who claim to be Karuna cadres are actually Karuna cadres or LTTE cadres who are claiming to be Karuna cadres for the benefit of the SLMM.

The Sri Lankan state maintains that there is only one paramilitary group and it is known as the Special Task Force (STF) which was set up with Israeli training and assistance as a counter terrorism initiative.

The LTTE’s position with regards to "paramilitaries" is confusing. Initially when the Karuna Group broke away from the LTTE, the LTTE’s declared position was that it was an "internal problem". Then the LTTE mobilised its so called special forces, the "Leopards" to deal with the Karuna phenomenon and the LTTE supporters were ecstatic about the invincibility of the LTTE and its impending victory.

But it seems that the Leopard Special Forces and the wild Tigers of the Vanni have failed to deal with the Karuna phenomenon which the LTTE claimed to be "insignificant". Now the LTTE have changed their position and maintains that the Karuna group is a paramilitary group of the Sri Lankan army.

It is confusing as to how the Karuna group who were trained and armed by the LTTE, and a one time internal problem of the LTTE, became a paramilitary group of the Sri Lankan army.

If the LTTE’s claim is accurate, then the Sri Lankan security establishment is to be commended, as even the British security establishment with all its expertise and resources failed to pull off such a stunt, by getting a Catholic group armed and trained by the IRA to work as a British paramilitary unit against the IRA.

If the allegations of the LTTE are accurate, then the Karuna phenomenon is a success far beyond the wildest dreams of the British security establishment, and a success that they will envy in our common battle against terrorism.

Following the British example of the Good Friday agreement, such a ‘security success’ should only be decommissioned as a part of a comprehensive settlement which includes the disarmament of the TTE.(Island-by Dushy Ranetunge in London)

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April 17, 2006 - Posted by | News and politics, South Asia, World News

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