Now that the Wanni battle is over, Intelligence sleuths are fully engaged in tracking down and arresting Tiger hit-teams who had infiltrated the city, to carry out attacks.
Military and Police Intelligence are not only successfully tracking down the Tiger hit-teams, but are also in the process of uncovering their sinister plans to create mayhem in the country.
Police Intelligence made a major breakthrough last week, when they bared a Tiger plot to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa, which had been hatched with the connivance of two INGO officials and two local politicians.
This Tiger plan was uncovered following the arrest of a Black Tiger who had been posing as a Muslim under the name Muskin. The day following the arrest of Muskin, another LTTE cadre was nabbed with explosives in his possession. Investigations later led to the arrest of a senior LTTE cadre as well. Sleuths attached to the Western Province Intelligence had discovered several bombs and large quantities of explosives from the hideouts of the Tigers. In one instance, they discovered a gas cylinder stuffed with over 40 kilograms of C-4 explosives at the residence of the senior LTTE cadre arrested at Weppankulam, Vavuniya. 50 detonators, a claymore mine, several bombs, hand grenades and wire rolls were among other items recovered from this house. A magazine, some live bullets and a micro-pistol were also recovered from the lodge of the Manager of Save the Children.
Investigations have revealed that the explosives meant for assassinating the President, had been transported to Colombo with the help of the two politicians, who are to be arrested. shortly.
The enemy within
Meanwhile, three drivers, two from two UN Agencies (one located at Kurumankadu, Vavuniya and the other at Puntottam), the third one from ‘Save the Children’, have now been arrested. It transpired during investigations that the Tigers had planned to transport explosives to Colombo from Kilinochchi by vehicles belonging to the UNHCR. Their mode of operation was to pack domestic cylinders with C-4 high explosives after removing the bottom cover and re-fixing it after packing. The vehicles belonging to two INGO officials, one of them an American, the other a Swede had been used to transport these cylinders packed with explosives from Kilinochchi. The two INGO officials have been taken in for questioning. Thanks to the efficient functioning of Western Province Intelligence Division, several previous attempts to assassinate President Rajapaksa and launch bomb attacks in the city by Tigers, could be thwarted. The timely arrest of two Tiger suicide bombers, Vatsala and Vadini, and a Police Inspector who had
aided and abetted them, by the Western Province Intelligence Division, aborted another attempt on the life of the President and his family members.
Meanwhile, State Intelligence is proceeding with investigations into the case, where an Army Colonel bought by the LTTE, had planned to assassinate the President, Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Army Commander Sarath Fonseka.
It had transpired during these investigations that some officers from the Army, Police and the Navy had maintained ties with the LTTE and these officers are to be questioned.
War booty unearthed
Meanwhile, troops carrying out mopping up operations in Wellamullaivaikkal, had unearthed currency notes amounting to Rs. 6.4 million and a large haul of gold jewelry worth millions of rupees, buried inside a Tiger bunker. The authorities believe that the money and gold jewelry were removed from safes and vaults of Tiger banks. The currency notes and jewelry were found packed in polethene bags and school bags and buried about a foot under the bunker. Money and jewelry had been buried on the orders of Karikalan, and the Tiger leaders had appropriated portions from this `treasure trove’, before retreating to safety.
Prabhakaran’s parents have been brought to Colombo pending necessary legal action to be taken against them.
Security authorities have learnt from a Tiger under interrogation, that there had been three more `submarines’ similar to the one the troops discovered near the ship Farah-3 at Wellamullaivaikkal quite recently. The Tiger had revealed that they had put on a trial ride four submarines they had turned out. It was following this information that troops discovered the submarine near the ship. This submarine is believed to be the target identified and hit by a surveillance plane of the Air Force, which later came under the Army’s artillery fire as well, towards the end of the Wanni battle.
Army Chief pays tribute
Army Commander General Fonseka, who paid a visit to Mulativu on June 19, which was, incidentally, the first ever visit paid to this war-torn area by an Army Commander, took time off to inspect this Tiger submarine. General Fonseka, who was at the scene of the last battle, just one month after the historic victory, made it a point to pose for a picture with the heroes of the last battle. Later, he addressed the war heroes.
“There is no army in the world that has put a complete end to a war, after destroying the entire enemy hierarchy. Our army has demonstrated that its prowess and morale are not second to any other in the world. Some thought that I was out of my mind, when I said that I would finish the war in three years. We could successfully conclude this war that raged for 23 years with no end in sight, in a matter of two years and 10 months, after destroying 22,000 Tigers. We prosecuted the war according to a plan. We planned to corner the remaining Tigers in this stretch of land, before destroying them, and we did it. We, at Puthukudiiruppu, Putumatalan and Wellamullaivaikkal, repeated King Dutugemunu’s feats at Vijitapura.
“The entire world has already accepted that the Sri Lanka Army has achieved an amazing victory. We achieved this victory thanks to the valour and bravery demonstrated by our soldiers in a spirit of self-sacrifice. They fought day and night, undaunted by formidable odds. I have come here today, to pay my tribute to our valiant soldiers, for their memorable performance at this place just one month ago. All those soldiers who contributed to the victory will be honoured with medals and promotions,” said General Fonseka.
Promotions and postings
Steps are now being taken to award war medals to all heroes, including the fallen ones. Lieutenants will be promoted to the rank of Captain, Lieutenant Colonels to the rank of Colonel, and Colonels to the rank of Brigadier.
Military Secretary Brigadier Sumith Padumadasa issued a letter on June 22, appointing Colonel Aruna Jayasekara of the Gemunu Regiment, as Director, Operations of the Army. His predecessor, Colonel Aruna Wanniarachchi has been appointed Chief of Staff, Brigadier at the new Division headquarters in Mulativu. Director Planning, Brigadier Mahesh Senanayake has been appointed to act as Director Training, while functioning in his substantive post.
Major General Jagath Dias, who commanded 57 Division that captured Tiger bastions of Tampane, Periyatampane, Periyamadu, Palampiddi, Tunukkai Mallawi and Kilinochchi up to Vishwamadu, has been appointed as Deputy Ambassador to Sri Lanka’s embassy in Berlin. Major General Udaya Perera, who functioned as Director Operations of the Army, had already been appointed as Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner for Malaysia. This was the first time that Army Officers have been appointed to diplomatic positions while in active service. The main task entrusted to these officers is to counter anti-Sri Lanka terrorist forces active or likely to become active in the countries to which they have been posted.