This week the Government of Sri Lanka managed to nab notorious Tiger fugitive Selvarasa Pathmanathan, alias K.P. alias Kumaran Pathmanathan, the self-proclaimed leader of the LTTE since the killing of Velupillai Prabahakaran by Lankan troops on May 19.
The Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa revealed to this column that Kumaran Pathmanathan, the leader of the Tiger International arms dealing, was taken into custody on Thursday (06) night and brought to Colombo.
It was yet another great victory to the security forces of the country which in less than three months of the death of Tiger leader Prabahakaran, were able to take into custody K.P. who was bent on getting the Tiger terror machine back in action.
Puthinam, a Tiger friendly web reported that a conspiracy between Malaysia and Sri Lanka was responsible for the capture of K.P.
K.P., who had been earlier dumped by the Tiger Leader Prabhakaran as their chief international operative, got reinstated in that position once again due to the need to seek a foreign government’s intervention to stop Lankan troops completely routing the dreaded organisation in eastern Wanni. Until those last few weeks it was Pottu Amman and Castro who had been handling international dealings.
At the final moment, with Prabhakaran’s intervention, Nediyavan who worked out of Norway as the leader of their international network, was made to hand the leadership back to K.P. As a result with the death of Prabhakaran there developed an intense tussle between the two groups regarding the leadership of the organisation. However, the attempts by K.P. to get a powerful country to intervene on their behalf to halt the security forces failed.
While the International media reported that Prabhakaran had suffered death at the hands of Lankan troops, K.P. on May 18 claimed through tiger friendly webs, that the tiger supremo was well and alive. With the utterances of K.P., a search on the 19th brought about the death of the Tiger Leader Prabhakaran. Then the groups opposed to K.P, claimed that the leader’s death was brought about by K.P’s actions.
With the prevailing state of affairs, the Sri Lankan State Intelligence have shown their counterparts in developed countries its capabilities, and once again placed Sri Lanka on a high pedestal with the K.P. affair. The capabilities of the Lankan intelligence services to capture terrorists anywhere in the world have been established with this latest success.
The entire operation had been secretly planned between Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) Maj. Gen. Kapila Hendawitharana.
Intelligence gathered by Lankan embassies abroad, and information elicited from Tiger leaders in custody, coupled with combined efforts of Military Intelligence, the Terrorists Investigation Division (TID) and the State Intelligence Service, have made this possible. The intelligence officers of the Military Directorate of Intelligence under Brig. Amal Karunasekera had worked for some time on K.P. and the Tiger International Network collecting much data related to its activity, also helped in the capture of K.P. and his being brought down to Colombo very discreetly. The sting operation was known only to a few people till it was successfully concluded.
One of the key reasons for sending former Director Operations of the Army Maj. Gen. Udaya Perera as Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia earlier this year, had been to keep an eye on Tiger operations in the region. After getting together all intelligence data, and keeping a close watch on his activity, K.P. was taken into custody. Data collected via his satellite phone on his discussions also helped.
According to reports on Tiger websites, the arrest had been made when K.P. had gone to meet the son and brother of the former Tiger political and Police chief Nadesan on Wednesday afternoon. The arrest had been made at the Tune Hotel on Abdul Rahuman St., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with KP taken to Bangkok secretly and then brought to Colombo on 06 night.
Although KP. was earlier arrested in Bangkok in 2007, Thailand authorities there had released him by the time our team arrived there to collect him.
Enriching himself by extortion from Tamil Diaspora in the name of establishing an Eelam state, this millionaire terrorist used many aliases and as many passports from various countries to run his fleet of 11 arms smuggling ships and other businesses.
At this moment he is being held in custody in Colombo and questioned regarding his international network, and information is being divulged. This questioning is expected to bring information about his connections locally and outside this country as well as Tiger informants who had connections with him. Even after the death of Prabhakaran, K.P. had been in touch with Tiger activists here.
Arrest of Tiger intelligence leader and terrorists involved in Kebithigollewa bus attack
This week the western province intelligence unit arrested a Tiger intelligence leader and two others who had been planning to assassinate a VIP. They recovered from the roof of No.39 Wellawatta, two suicide kits weighing six kilos, a pistol, two hand grenades, a compass and two pairs of night vision binoculars.
This Tiger leader had been under orders from Malaysia, and their target is suspected to be a government minister. Director western province intelligence unit SSP Ravi Seneviratne is in charge of investigations.
This week also saw the arrest of two tiger terrorists involved in the killing of 64 innocent civilians at Yakawewa in Kebithigollewa, with a claymore bomb attack on a bus. This incident that made civilians abandon their villages, had partly led to the beginning of Fourth Eelam war. It also resulted in Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa overhauling successfully the earlier rag tag Home Guards into the efficient Civil Defence Force under Rear Adm. Sarath Weerasekera. The bus No. 63-2548 of the Kebithigollewa depot was bombed by the terrorists on May 15, 2006.
One of the terrorists involved in that horrifying attack had been in a rehabilitation camp in Vavuniya, without causing any suspicion. He had been nabbed while living as a role model IDP, even acting as an interpreter at times of need when Tamils speakers were being questioned. He is fluent both in Tamil and Sinhala.
He had been part of a four-member team that had spent a number of days at Yakawewa waiting for the arrival of a military bus to target, but finally blew up the civilian bus. While escaping after that attack, the terrorists had got caught in a gun battle with security forces at a security ring, where one of their members was injured. They had then travelled by boat towards India and arrived in the Wanni. The other two members involved in this shocking attack, are to be taken into custody very soon.
Recovery of arms/ammunition plant
On information given by a leader of the LTTE’s mortar manufacturing plant where mortars had been made with machinery imported from a foreign country, forces were able to recover the plant with arms and ammunition. The OIC Terrorists Investigation Unit at Boossa, Inspector Lal Gamage, and a team had made the recoveries after combing Vellamullaivaikkal, Anandapuram and Dharmapuram areas with the troops of Task Force VIII.
Among the prized findings are two imported machines for the manufacture of 60mm and 81mm mortars, along with lathes used in making parts of these bombs. It has been established that these items had been brought into the country during the period of the Peace Accord between LTTE and the Government, in the guise of bringing material and machinery for civilian use. In addition to these items, the team recovered a machine used to refine aviation fuel from kerosene for the tiger airplanes.
Also recovered by them were ten suicide kits, a suicide boat powered with a 300 horse power engine, 155 kgs – C4 explosives, 233 kgs TNT explosives, 360 kgs of black gun powder in 9 barrels, one 14.5 mm anti aircraft gun, 5 barrels of 25mm cannon, two RPG launchers with 24 grenades, 31 RGG charges, three 15kgs pressure bombs, nine 2kgs claymore bombs, 74 hand grenades, 30 Arul bombs, 152 anti-personnel mines, 45 electronic detonators, 25 nos. 130mm cannon bombs, 2 bombs used in 122mm cannons, eight Icom walkie talkies and T-56 guns and bullets and a lot of other arms and ammunition.