Had they succeeded they would have been the first terrorist outft to do so, and other terrorist organisations would also have had access to these dreaded weapons…
The Police Terrorist Investigation Division has completed inquiries into the attempt on the life of then Army Commander and present Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka by Tiger terrorists in April 2006. The completed report was handed over to Gen. Fonseka by the IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne last week.
With the taking into custody the Tiger operations head in Colombo Piribhakaran, who ran their intelligence and terror network in Colombo, the TID was able to put all the missing pieces in the plot together.
Even the arrest of the Gampaha based Superintendent of Police, Lakshman Cooray, who was in the pay of the Tigers in plots to assassinate the President and other dignitaries, came about with the top Colombo Tiger operative breaking down under interrogation. According to information elicited from Piribhakaran, a soldier who served at Army Headquarters was also taken in for helping the terrorists in their attempts to assassinate the Army chief.
The Muslim soldier, who served as the chef to the then Army chief in his official residence at the Army headquarters since 2004, had collected several thousands of rupees from the terrorists for helping them.
The SP who is in custody with the help of this soldier had moved explosives to Badulla, to make an attempt on the President’s life, as revealed during investigations.
It has become evident that the Colombo based Tiger hit squads are now operating on instructions of the Tiger international network after the wiping out of the LTTE local leadership, and are yet actively looking for VIP targets. The final Uva election rally was held at the Uva University on August 05. At the site where the chopper carrying the President was to land, at the Badulla football ground, a nineteen kilo claymore bomb was found buried, and it had been planted there by the Superintendent of Police Cooray and chef Siddique according to evidence unearthed.
The terrorists’ investigation unit recovered this bomb on August 13, with the taking in of the Police Superintendent and Tiger leaders into custody. This shows that the Tiger international network is still targeting VIPs for assassination in the south. According to information revealed by Piribhakaran, the Tiger terrorist Udayan, another involved with the attempt on Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s life, was taken into custody from a refugee camp in Vavuniya.
From the investigation it is clear that the Tigers were targeting Gen. Fonseka from the time of the daring operation to rescue men trapped in Jaffna Fort in 1991, where he played a key role in its success.
Their attempts to target him finally led them to the Army Chief’s cook Siddique.
Siddique was born in Jaffna and first joined the National Guard Battalion in 1995, and was later assigned to the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps as member of 7 Armour Regiment. He resided in Akurana.
When the late Maj. Gen. Sarath Munasinghe was in charge of Division 54 in Elephant Pass in 2002, Siddique had been his chef. Due to his excellent culinary abilities, he had been in demand and had produced dishes for many a military function in Jaffna.
It so happened, Siddique ended up being Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s chef in 2002 when Gen. Fonseka was Commander Jaffna. He by then had a reputation as a good cook and served at Pallali where he made an impression on Gen. Fonseka with his abilities as a cook, and was also able win his heart. His ability to do better than other trained cooks was his forte.
Siddique while serving in Jaffna, had been regularly visiting the Kankesanturai Mosque for prayers. With the signing of the controversial Ceasefire Agreement in February 2002, and the infiltration of LTTE cadres to Jaffna, in the guise of doing political work, the Tigers had befriended Siddique during his trips to the mosque, and in the process had drawn him into the organisation as a supporter in 2003.
From then onwards the Tiger maintained links with him with the idea of using him. Arriving in Colombo in the latter part of 2004 due to illness, he was assigned to the Seventh Armoured Corps.
Siddique returns to Gen.Fonseka
About this time Gen. Sarath Fonseka also came to Colombo as the Commander of the Volunteer Force. In 2004 Fonseka’s office made arrangements to get Siddique back as his chef from the Seventh Armour. Since then, where ever Gen. Fonseka served, he had Siddique as his chef; when he assumed duties deputy Chief of Staff and even as the Commander of the Army.
On October 10, 2005 the motor cycle Siddique was riding met with an accident at Modera, in which he broke a leg. He was then hospitalised at the Colombo National Hospital for two months, and thereafter entered the Army hospital at Army Headquarters, in February of 2006.
By then he was back in contact with Tiger intelligence. The prime target of intelligence chief Pottu Amman was Gen. Sarath Fonseka who by now was the Army Commander. Piribhakaran who led Colombo Tiger operations now had the task of working with Siddique.
The main target of Tigers was the daring new Army Commander who had a knack for fighting the Tigers.
Piribhakaran was activated on those lines and made a visit to see Siddique, and also make observations on the security at the Army Headquarters.
The Army Commander Gen Fonseka, had not given priority to security arrangements at the Headquarters, and so there were many shortcomings in this area. While these were being taken care of, the Tigers had managed to infiltrate the Headquarters. Their plan was to target the Commander inside the headquarters since Fonseka mostly operated from within.
Siddique who had some steel wires inserted to restore his broken leg, remained in hospital for further treatment.
Piribhakaran who entered the Army hospital to visit Siddique, photographed his visiting pass issued for the purpose with his cell phone and sent it to Pottu Amman that very day, and within 24 hours received 3 more permits identical to the one he sent to Pottu Amman.
Armed with forged passes, Piribhakaran went to see Siddique from February to April on four occasions, and on the final visit took along the female suicide bomber on a familiarising visit. On each occasion he went to see Siddique, he spent only 15 minutes with the patient. The balance time he made use of to check on the security arrangements on the surroundings diligently. He also had a good look at the escort and the security vehicles the Army Commander used on his visits to his quarters for lunch at the Headquarters for lunch.
By this time, the female bomber to be used for the assassination of the Commander, had been sheltered in Weliweriya. Suriyakumar a resident of Rambukkana who during the peace period plied his lorry between Jaffna and Colombo, met with an accident in the Tiger controlled area and got trapped in a Tiger ploy. With his driving license taken in by the Tiger Police, he had to travel to courts. While on these visits the Tigers managed to net him into their game plan, acting as if they were, in fact, helping him. He was made to support them soon.
He was requested by a Tiger intelligence leader from Kilinochchi by the name of Udayan to help his sister with accommodation until her departure overseas. Thus the female suicide bomber under assumed name Kanapathi Pillai Manjula Devi (real name Dhurga Suriyakumar ) came to live at Rambukkana with Suriyakumar and his wife Dilrukshi. Dhurga alias Manjula Devi born in Anuradhapura had moved to Kilinochchi after the 1983 July riots.
On the pretext of getting her passport, Manjula Devi had visited Colombo on several occasions and met with Piribhakaran her handler. As if visiting Siddique, they entered Army Headquarters Hospital and spied on the set up there.
With Tiger funds they managed to rent a place to shelter Manjula Devi in Weliveiya, which gave her easy access to Colombo. They also paid a Grama Seveka in Rambukkana to prepare her Identity Papers under the assumed name.
Preparing for attack
Meanwhile Piribhakaran, with information he got from Siddique, got ready for the attack on the Commander. Siddique knew about the time the Commander came home for lunch. The Tigers after much determining with their intelligence, chose Tuesday as the day because the Commander was in the habit of getting home for lunch early before the meeting with other security chiefs at Operations Headquarters. They could be inside the headquarters premises during this time as it was the hospital visiting period.
April 26, 2006 was going to be the date for the attack. Travelling to Colombo by train, Manjula Devi was to meet Piribhakaran in Wellawatte, and don the suicide kit they had chosen her, and to look as if she was pregnant, they dressed her in a blue and yellow salwar suit.
Dressed in her suicide kit she was taken in a three wheeler taxi to the Army hospital on the pretext of seeing a patient. Dropping her off near the hospital he went out to the Galle Face area to attend to the rest of things. She was sent in with a forged document- one which would not reveal those involved in getting her inside.
Calling Siddique on a phone given to him earlier, Piribhakaran had inquired whether the Army Commander had come out. As the Commander proceeded at 1.40pm to go to his residence, the waiting suicide bomber blew herself up by jumping at the line of vehicles.
In the attack the Army Commander, his Adjutant Maj. Piyal Wickramasinghe and the ADC’s driver received heavy injuries. The driver of the Commander’s vehicle Sgt. Priyantha Kumara was killed.
While this was taking place, Piribhakaran at the Galle Face Green called Pottu Amman, and informed him that the target was taken. But for some miraculous intervention and the country’s fortune, the Commander survived despite 28 pieces of shrapnel piercing his body.
The CID investigation into the incident that began immediately, also fortunately had a technical expert in SP Ravi Waidyalankara, who through thorough analysing of cell phone networks found out about the activity of Manjula Devi and others.
Siddique who was inside the Headquarters threw away the cell phone and Sim card so that he could not be identified. But SP Waidyalankara confirmed the presence of an insider during the attack.
The observances of persons deemed a security risk within the Army headquarters came into view as a result of this. With no one suspecting Siddique the Tiger informant managed to slip out of the Army hospital by May 27, 2006. Having been security cleared he had once again been assigned to Seventh Armour as he was a Muslim.
After he fell into the hands of the Terrorist Investigation Division and began to divulge his associations, he knew there was no escape for him, and last Sunday (16) he was found hanging with his shirt around his throat.
Under the present conditions it is very clear that the lives of top security personnel and VIPs could still be at risk. And that is due to the possibility of there remaining those in custody intelligence on the trail of others with such links to be taken into custody soon.
Those that thought that with the killing of Prabhakaran and the cream of the Tiger leadership, the risk to their lives had been reduced, must realize that there are Tiger assault units earlier infiltrated that are yet hovering about in Colombo.
Likewise the suicide kits found in Arethusa lane, Wellawatte by western province intelligence unit and the tiger activists taken into custody since then, were being directed by groups from abroad. Those caught at Wellawatte had their orders from Malaysia.
Working on information received from the SP, more explosives in the form of suicide kits and claymore bombs have been recovered from Dehiwela and Wellawatte – giving clear indications that the Tiger foreign base is yet active.
Although the security forces were able to go through Wanni with a fine toothcomb, there have been no such searches carried out in the Colombo city. It is risky to think that all is well now because the war is over, since until those Tigers in hiding are flushed out and destroyed, they can always spring attacks.
The Tigers had buried the 130mm artillery gun and covered it with armour plates to be taken out even in ten years for use. The way they had buried massive arms caches gives clear indications that the Tigers planned to take over the country to enact their Eelam dream any day. Tiger leaders who ran to India during the final days of the war too are involved in running remaining local Tiger activists from there.
Although KP is in custody the international leader appointed by Pottu Amman from 2002 – January 2009 Nediyawan, who is now living in Norway will attempt to raise his head once again, by staging something spectacular here soon. By staging some attacks the international leaders could once again resume their money collection to finance their terror network once again.
According to KP, the monies collected by the organisation from January 2009 to the end of the war, was immense and could have reached tens of millions, but even he claims not to know what happened to the money. It is now revealing that Nediyawan and his group that was involved in securing monies for the struggle, had been pocketing it all.
KP had indicated that he was unable to keep up with records of collections due to his involvement in getting international help. By 2002 KP had full control of all monies coming into their coffers, but it was taken out of his control and handed over to Pottu Amman and Castro who struggled against KP’s control, and the money was then placed in the charge of Nediyawan.
Prior to 2002 the collection exceeded $ 100 to 150 million per year. But he did not know what happened to those funds in the years 2002 to 2009.
KP has revealed that the arms purchased with the money collected were shipped to the LTTE. How he purchased anti-aircraft missiles from arms dealers in the USA has been disclosed. How the international terrorist organisation tried to obtain nuclear weapons and nuclear know-how from western countries has been exposed by KP. LTTE had been the first terrorist outfit that had tried to obtain nuclear power. Had they been successful in obtaining nuclear power, it would have flowed into the hands of other terror organisations too, military analysts have shown.
KP had been used by intelligence services of various countries for assorted purposes. During the final battles in Wanni he had tried to get foreign countries to try to force the Government to stop the war. Some leading opposition politicians had worked with KP to get foreign governments to threaten to withhold aid to Sri Lanka if the Government did not stop the war, he has revealed.
Army expedites de-mining
Meanwhile the Army has been expediting the de-mining programme to resettle people in the Wanni. 92 families have already been resettled in the Mannar Adampan rice bowl area after the removal of mines, according to the new Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya.
In parallel to the civilian resettlement drive, the Army plans to raise two fresh battalions to the Engineering regiment. And since the areas where the permanent new Army bases are to be located in the North have already been demarcated, these camps will be established by next month with prefabricated buildings imported from China.
Gen. Sarath Fonseka made a visit to the Wanni on Friday (21) and checked the forward lines there. The C D S and the Army Commander toured Jaffna on August 15 on an observation tour. Gen. Fonseka had indicated to the Commanders of the security forces that the resettlement should be done after carefully separating the civilians from the terrorists. Meanwhile Air Chief Marshall Roshan Gunatillake made a tour of Iranamadu and Mullaitivu and observed the new Air Force camps erected there.
A passing out parade of the Air Force officer and other ranks recruits was attended by the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Friday as the chief guest, with the participation of the Commander of the Air Force Chief Air Marshal Roshan Gunatillake. Here 329 airmen, six pilots and sixteen officers passed out.
The chief guest Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was quoted as saying “We have the best Air Force in the world because we were able to achieve much with limited resources, and show the world what we are made of and say it with lots of pride”
The intelligence services have been given the task of identifying the Tiger leaders who are yet hiding among IDPs apart from grilling those terrorists who are being caught.
Army caches still being dug up
Arms caches are still being dug up from areas liberated from the Tigers, and until such time it has all been unearthed it is not possible to begin resettling people in those areas. The valuation of those arms found too is continuing to take place.
The Army Commander indicated that the US Embassy has made requests to allow them to be involved in the process of building data on the state-of-the-art arms recovered from former Tiger areas.