Northern MPCS regularly funded LTTE during the war days

A section of the top Tamil Government officials who served in the Northern Province during the days when the country was involved in a prolonged and protracted battle with the Tamil armed group – Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were surreptitiously involved in arranging and organizing funds in millions on a regular basis to the warring Tamil armed group led by Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Investigation revealed that the top Tamil Government Officers who served in the Northern Province during the conflict days arranged to provide moneys through Multi-Purpose Cooperative Societies (MPCS) in financing the LTTE in their fight against Sri Lanka Government and Security Forces.

Government Agents (District Secretaries) in the five districts of the Northern Province, as well as the Divisional Secretaries (Asistant Government Agents) were alleged to have been involved in issuing bogus dry ration cards in the name of nonexistent people – dead, missing and anonymous, through Grama Sevaka Niladaris.

Assistant Commissioners for Cooperative Development (ACCD) were told to coordinate with the MPCS that were coming under them to instruct the Cooperative Societies to sell those commodities in the open market allocated to the non-existing card holders and either deposit those moneys to the particular bank accounts of the LTTE, or else to hand over the sale proceeds to the accredited agents of the LTTE.

In an exhaustive investigation Asian Tribune conducted, it was learnt that every month on a fixed date cooperative societies must either credit moneys in the LTTE’s bank account or else hand it over to their agents who will visit the society.

It is learnt that if any cooperative societies delayed the payment or showed reluctance, then President, General Manager and Accountant of that society would be threatened by the ‘Ellalan Padai’ – the killer squad of the LTTE, earlier targeting civilians in the North East of Sri Lanka in the name of weeding out anti-social elements, with dire consequences, branded as traitors and in the end even added in the missing persons list.

Also, Asian Tribune further learnt that LTTE high command with the connivance of officials of the Cooperative Department appointed their own armed trained cadres as General Managers and as other important executive staffs of the societies by removing those who failed to cooperate with them.

Also, the LTTE in several instances saw that trained armed cadres and their supporters replacing the existing elected officials of the society, as Board of Directors and Presidents of several MPCS in the Province.

On top of all these, MPCS were forced to grant loans to those in authority and power – huge amounts, and those loans were so far not repaid. Unfortunately Asian Tribune’s investigations revealed that there are no records available in societies at present about the grant of those loans.

According to the investigation by the Asian Tribune that today all most all the 47 Multi-purpose cooperative societies in the North are financially sick organizations, running at a loss and one or two societies in the Jaffna district have so far not paid salaries to its workers for the last five to six months.

As the MPCS are financially weak and in red, banks – mainly People’s Bank has strictly refused to grant even temporary overdraft facilities.

Prior to the establishment of the Northern Provincial Council, Governor granted special loans to a few MPCS to ease their financial difficulties, but after the MPCS were brought under the Provincial Councils the facility of obtaining loans from the Governor’s fund too stopped.

The subject of Cooperative in the North is presently handle by Chief Minister and according to reports so far no meaningful measures are being taken to make the MPCS run without any financial constraints.

Now after the threat of the LTTE removed, Government officials and officials in the MPCS are tight lipped and so far have failed to come up with detail regarding funding the LTTE on the regular basis during the conflict days in the past.

Only God can save these 47 Multi-Purpose Cooperative Societies which are affected by the common contagious disease – ‘shortage funds’ to run the societies.

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