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Archive for August 30th, 2009

The Tigers who have managed to infiltrate the South must be captured along with the traitors within the armed Forces and Police who are tied to Tiger activity and other southern unpatriotic forces. In the light of Superintendent of Police Lakshman Cooray’s involvement with the LTTE in the attempt on the life of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the assassination of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, those that got rich suddenly in the services have to be investigated.

The relationship between SP Lakshman Cooray and the LTTE was developed during the Peace Accord period after a Tiger leader by the name of Papa had visited and met with the Jaffna based top brass of the security forces and Police for discussions. These discussions took place on the insistence of the Norwegian peace facilitators. All security personnel who were involved in these discussions should be investigated according to intelligence

Warns Sri Lankan Intelligence. The latter has also warned of the involvement of service personnel with Tigers who have infiltrated the South. They want all service personnel who have become rich overnight, to be investigated…

By Tissa Ravindra Perera
Intelligence services have established that LTTE operatives abroad are now trying to once again activate sleeping Tiger cells lying dormant in Colombo.
The plot to send in two separate teams to assassinate Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa came to light while probing into above developments. Although the State Intelligence Service had in their custody a top Tiger operative, he had not divulged the whereabouts of hidden bombs or his local connections. Even the media had revealed six months ago about a red Hero Honda bike laden with bombs sent to Colombo to assassinate the Defence Secretary, but there was no trace of the motorcycle.

As sleuths continued probing the top Tiger in their custody without disconnecting his phone that was found on him at the time of arrest brought out the information regarding their moves to activate the dormant Tigers.
The woman Tiger cadre taken in from Vavuniya in relation to the above, and the confession made by her enabled the SIS officers to take in three more LTTE operatives.

It was on information provided by these operatives that the recovery of the five kilo suicide kit, the mini Uzi gun, two magazines, five hand grenades, 13 capsules of cyanide, batteries used in suicide kits, 10 detonators and a remote control was made possible at the Ananda Rajah housing complex in Mattakkuliya on August 24, inside a metal cabinet which looked similar to an iron safe. Another Tiger woman suspect who was found in the house was also arrested. More people are to be taken into custody shortly.

Assassination plan

Their assassination plan had been to activate the motorcycle bomb on the bullet proof vehicle the Defence Secretary would be travelling in, and after the attack while he is being taken to safety, or to the National hospital, the woman suicide bomber was to mount the secondary attack.

On the earlier attempt made on the Defence Secretary in December 2006 at the Pittala Junction in Kollupitiya, by exploding an explosive packed three wheeler on his convoy, he miraculously survived with hardly a scratch on him and he was whisked away to safety by his security personnel accompanying him. Even in the attempt on the life of former Army Commander and present Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka in April of that year he too survived most miraculously after being rushed in an Army ambulance to the National hospital.

Reactivating cadres

After such previous failures, the LTTE now readies to have two separate bombers in case one failed. According to the evidence gathered by the State Intelligence, this plan too came out of Malaysia. The bombs had been brought to Colombo and hidden in January 2009. The lethal consignments sent to Colombo before the death of Prabhakaran are still hidden away in unknown places.

“Certain Tiger leaders who were responsible for bombs and bombers have died during the last battle. As a result, there is no one to give orders to the suicide cadres. Some of them are going about in Colombo with no plans or idea of what to do. The activists abroad are trying to reactivate these cadres giving them fresh targets. Some of the doings after the death of Prabhakaran confirm this,” an intelligence officer revealed.

A very similar assassination attempt to the one above was divulged by a Tiger leader taken into custody at Wellawatte by the Police Special Task Force in 2007. He had five separate ID’s under different names. The plan had been to send in a Dolphin type van with dark tinted glasses three suicide cadres in the back of the vehicle with RPG’s, and another to travel in front passenger seat wearing a suicide kit. They had trained for this in a van with the rear seats removed in the Wanni.

The plan had been to get the van close to a VIP convoy of bullet proof vehicles, and attack it with RPG fire and to complete the attack with the activation of the suicide bomber on what remains of the convoy. Had that attack been carried out an entire VIP convoy would have been wiped out. The plan had been to target the President, Defence Secretary or the then Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka.

Their plan was foiled due to the work of sharp STF intelligence officers. According to intelligence warnings, the Tiger activists overseas also have their ideas of crippling the economy of the country with acts of terror so that the government cannot carry on.
Traitors

The Tigers who have managed to infiltrate the South must be captured along with the traitors within the armed forces and Police who are tied to Tiger activity and other southern unpatriotic forces. In the light of Superintendent of Police Lakshman Cooray’s involvement with the LTTE in the attempt on the life of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the assassination of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, those that got rich suddenly in the services have to be investigated.

The relationship between SP Lakshman Cooray and the LTTE was developed during the Peace Accord period after a Tiger leader by the name of Papa had visited and met with the Jaffna based top brass of the security forces and Police for discussions. These discussions took place on the insistence of the Norwegian peace facilitators. All security personnel who were involved in these discussions should be investigated according to intelligence.

Army cook

The Army cook Siddique who was involved in the attempt on the life of the former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka, was recruited by Tigers during this same CFA era. Soldier Siddique who later turned traitor and had accepted Rs100,000 from the LTTE for his involvement in the attempt on Maj. Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s life while working in his residence as chef. He had confessed to the investigators of the TID that although he was promised Rs300,000 by Piribhakaran, his LTTE handler who planned the attack, he received only hundred thousand.

Having been injured in a motorcycle accident in October 2005, Siddique entered the Army hospital and stayed on until May 2006 according to hospital records. It has been exposed now that on April 25 he had gone to Army headquarters from the hospital on that day of the attack on Gen. Fonseka. However the hospital records show that he had been in the hospital on that day.

The fact that he was the cook at Gen. Fonseka’s official residence would not have aroused any suspicions about his movements with any security personnel and the previous Commander’s security had not given priority to security within the headquarters. As a result there were many loopholes in the system. While these security lapses were slowly being corrected, the Tigers made full use of the situation.

On the day of the attempt on the then Army Commander’s life, over thirty people had entered the Army headquarters without making any entry, according to the findings of the CID. The best expert in the CID on telephone networks, its present Director SSP Ravi Waidyalankara, in his probe of SIM cards, established that Siddique the cook had been in touch with the woman suicide cadre Manjula Devi alias Durga from the moment the Army Commander’s line of vehicles was ready to take their boss for his lunch, and until it took off with him, giving information on the goings on from 1.31pm to 1.38 pm. At 1.35 pm, as the vehicles left, he had informed her. The final call that day had been taken to her phone at 1.41 pm, but by then she had blown herself up and the phone did not work. After that he had thrown away the phone given to him by the Tigers.

Treatment

In 2006 when Siddique was under going treatment at the Army hospital Gen. Fonseka had visited the hospital during the New Year to look into the condition of soldiers who were hospitalised and hand them gifts. On seeing Siddique he had given him a gift too.

On his return from Singapore after treatment for the bomb attack injuries, and when he was to lead the fourth Eelam war, he once again visited the Army hospital and Siddique was yet there receiving treatment.
The fact that Siddique was originally from Jaffna had not been discovered by the Army during initial background checks done when he joined the Army. At the time he had been living in Akurana. Otherwise he would not have got the opportunity to work as the cook of the Commander. When he returned from vacations he used to bring back with him Wattalappan saying it was for the Army Chief, but he had never consumed the delicacy himself.

Unused canon

Meanwhile intelligence services recovered an unused 130mm cannon on August 25 worth more than ten million rupees at Kombavil, Pudukudyiruppu North. It had been dismantled and hidden six feet underground; while some more of its parts had to be dug out from the hiding place. The weapon was recovered on information given by a top Tiger who was in a Vavuniya refugee camp, a team headed by Police Inspector Zulfikar under the direction of DIG Nihal Samarakone who is in charge of Kilinochchi area, along with Army personnel had unearthed this cannon. In addition 46 barrels filled with ammunition buried underground were also unearthed this week.

Re-settle IDP’s

In the meantime action is being taken to resettle those in the Vavuniya refugee camps who originally came from Jaffna, Baticaloa, Trincomalee, Amparai and Mannar.
The Security Forces have been instructed to record the data of about seventy thousand such IDPs for resettlement. This work has been already completed in respect of about 8000 IDPs for resettlement.
The intelligence services have warned that in rushing to resettle IDPs there was the real danger of not properly vetting them for Tiger infiltrators, which can lead to terrorism raising its head once again in the resettled areas.
It had been earlier revealed that Tiger activists living overseas had been remitting huge sums to their operatives in Colombo, to get terrorists hiding in IDP camps smuggled abroad.

Anuradhapura

The situation being thus, the Army headquarters decided to remove the Anuradhapura Joint Operational Command office that was set up after the attack on the Air Force base there in October 2007, and bring the three Forces and Police together. Its first Commander Maj. Gen. Sanath Karunaratne retired recently.

Anuradhapura is the first major town for anyone coming from the Wanni. It is also the supply base for security forces for men and material and serves as the key medical evacuation point for wounded soldiers. This Command also kept the Tigers who had infiltrated Wilpattu quiet. The sudden closure of this unit will bring a halt to the joint operation of the three Forces and the Police.
However it has been decided to raise 19 new battalions with five more new attack divisions. At the moment only two fighting divisions 53 and 58 are in operation. Kandy too will have a division stationed there in the future.

Under the supervision and direction of Brig. Kumudu Perera, the Commander of the 51 Division, the Jaffna Fort is being renovated for the “Uthuru Wasanthaya”(Northern Spring) that will showcase the resettlement of the refugees, which is expected to be seen by thousands of tourists.

Infantry
“In future the infantry will be entrusted with many responsibilities: to provide security during the resettlement of civilians and to be involved in the development programmes will be our duties,” pointed out the Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka when he visited the Sinha Regiment Headquarters at Ambepussa last weekend.

That was when he visited his mother regiment, of which he was the former Commander as the Colonel of the regiment. He was presented with a guard of honour. The presentation took place under its new Commander Maj. Gen. Jayanath Perera and twenty two officers and five hundred other rankers took part in the parade in honour of Gen Fonseka. Here he reiterated, “On December 6, 2005 the President appointed me Commander of the Army with the responsibility of finishing the thirty year old LTTE separatist led terrorist War. From there on, I trained the members of the Army and also recruited many more into our fold and introduced modern technologies and modern weaponry to be on par with any modern Army of the world, feeding our warriors with new technology, training and self confidence, and enlarged the Sri Lankan Army.

“On July 20, 2006 the LTTE shut off the Marvil Aru sluice gates depriving much needed water to civilians of the area for their daily activity. They were submitted to the most severe and brutal punishment and we were entrusted with reopening the waterway. In carrying out the entrusted humanitarian task, force had to be used. By doing so we were able to give the innocent civilians water by releasing the Marvil Aru sluice. With that victory we were able to carry forward our efforts to win over the entire east which was under the terrorists, and bring peace to Muslims, Tamils and the Sinhala people living there.

“There after our target responsibility was to liberate the North from the LTTE terror with humanitarian warfare. In the final battle we were able to release over 250 thousand civilians, and win the world’s biggest human rescue mission against one of the world’s most feared terror organisations. It was done in the most responsible manner enabling us to win the honour of the entire world for our efforts. And also of the religious leaders of this country and foreign leaders for crushing the world’s most uncivilised terrorists who were responsible for the killing of innocent civilians, depriving them of basic human necessities and their civic rights. Its leader the murderer Velupillai Prabhakaran, and many of his followers and other terrorists were killed in battle and as many as 10 thousand captured by our heroic forces, who destroyed the LTTE, which was a canker not only in our view but of the world’s view too.”

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Claymore for President set after war was over

A prerequisite for the success of guerrilla warfare is a base, strategically located in a terrain in which the guerrillas can carry out their duties of training, self-preservation, and development.

Ability to fight a war without a rear area is always attributed as a fundamental characteristic of guerrilla action; however it does not mean that guerrillas can exist and function over a long period of time without the development of base areas. Mao Zedong is one of the pioneers of guerrilla warfare who stressed on the importance of establishing bases. Mao led Red Army on an 8000 km retreat to evade pursuit by Kuomintang forces and established a base in an inaccessible mountainous terrain in Shannxxi in the northwest.

LTTE itself maintained a base, which had been impregnable for the Sri Lankan troops for the most part of the war. Planning and preparation for major military and terrorist attacks took place in that territory which also provided fertile ground for recruitment. Many of the attacks executed in the south and planned in the Wanni were never resolved. However tables have turned since the military defeat of the LTTE. With the rout of the LTTE and the recapture of the territory held by the LTTE, many a mystery over the Tiger plots has been bared.

Last week, we reported how the investigators solved the mystery over the suicide attack on the former Commander of Army Gen Sarath Fonseka. Another major expose reported during the same week was the alleged complicity of the Superintendent of Police Lakshman Cooray who is accused of transporting suicide bombers and explosives on several occasions. Both arrests, of an army chef identified as Siddeek and of Lakshman Cooray were made after the arrest of a LTTE cell leader identified as Piribaran.

This week saw many more conspiracies being exposed. One such is the bomb explosion targeting the entourage of the Pakistani High Commissioner Bashir Wali Mohammad in Colpitty on August 16, 2006. The latest expose came after the arrest of another Tiger operative who is alleged to have masterminded the bomb blast.

The Pakistani High Commissioner

The Pakistani High Commissioner, the investigators now confide referring to a confession extracted from the Tiger mastermind, was a passer by. The attackers were targeting whoever was the VIP taking the route.

The Tiger operative had in fact missed the first attempt on an unknown VIP vehicle which passed the place— due to a technical glitch in the remote controller. He then went into the Liberty Plaza shopping mall and repaired the gadget. Returning to his position, he observed what looked like VIP movement and pressed the button, detonating the bomb laden inside a three-wheeler. It was after the blast that attacker came to know that the quarry had been the Pakistani High Commissioner. The explosion killed seven soldiers providing security to the Pakistani envoy and risked a diplomatic stand off between Pakistan and its arch rival India. Mr Wali Mohammed, himself a retired Colonel of the Pakistan army and Inter Services Intelligence blamed India for the attack. India’s Intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was suspected in the attack.

It took three years for the secrets of the attack to surface. The Tiger mastermind was arrested along with a suicide jacket, claymore fragmentation mines, ammunition and a handgun at a house on the Anandaraja Mawatha, Mattakuliya.

The arrest had shed light into another assassination plot. The target of the latest plot, according to intelligence officials, is the Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who survived a previous attack at the Pittala junction in 2006.

Accordingly, the modus operandi had been to ram an explosive laden motor bike on the vehicle of the defence secretary. A back up plan has also been put in place to target the ambulance which would evacuate Rajapaksa after the explosion, using another suicide attacker.

The elaborate plan had been masterminded by an operative identified by his nom de guerre as Venu, who had left for Malaysia having done the preparations for the attack. Police had not yet arrested either, the suicide bombers or seized the explosive laden motor bikes.

We could not vouch for the credibility of regular exposes of alleged plots claimed to have been bared by the Police due the absence of verifiable sources and restriction on media access. However, if we are to go by these claims, believing that they are not of a tall order, they portend a disturbing development . LTTE’s sleeper cells are active, even after the military rout of the movement.

However, such a claim needs to be qualified by a careful analysis of the timeline of the conspiracies exposed by the security agencies recently. Many such conspiracies had been hatched before the annihilation of the LTTE in May. As for the assassination attempt on Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the alleged mastermind, Venu had left for Malaysia in April. However, one anecdote differs from this category. Two months after the military defeat of the LTTE, Lakshman Cooray transported two claymore mines to Buttala. He buried one weighing 15kg at the playground where the President’s helicopter was scheduled to land — which had been changed by the Presidential Security at the last moment – and the other on the road side to target the Presidential motorcade.

Loosely knitted, shadowy cells

Two claymore mines were unearthed with information provided by the arrested SSP.
Cooray acted in cahoots with Piribaran, the Tiger cell leader now in custody.

Piribaran operated directly under the feared Tiger intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman. However, it is not clear under whose orders, the Tiger mastermind operated since the obliteration of the LTTE’s top rung leadership. What is however evident is that his leaders are not prepared to give up-despite the newly appointed LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP’s purported announcement of LTTE silencing guns.

The LTTE is defeated conclusively on the battle front and its top leadership is obliterated and the base lost. Yet, loosely knitted, shadowy cells of LTTE cadres appear to be active, taking orders from LTTE operatives overseas. These groups, as evident in recent arrests of Piribaran are capable of independent action.

This holds resemblance to the metamorphosis of the Al Qaeda, which until the coalition invasion of Afghanistan was a terrorist group with a top down hierarchical structure and an operational base. Having been deprived of its base, Al Qaeda evolved into loosely knit cells which take inspiration from Osama bin Laden and Salafi Jihadist ideology and are capable of independent action. These Al Qaeda affiliated groups have taken precedence in terrorist attacks in the west while Al Qaeda Central receded in influence. LTTE itself is no longer the strict top down hierarchical structure it had been before May this year. The arrest of KP would lead it further into the wilderness. Disparaging Islamic extremist groups draw inspiration from Salafi ideology and Osama bin laden and from what are called Al Qaeda affiliated groups. In the same manner, sleeper cells of the LTTE, though not in large numbers can operate, drawing inspiration from the legacy of the LTTE. Yet, the leadership vacuum would be a handicap.

Perinpanayagam Sivapalan alias Nediyavan,(tall man in Tamil), a resident of Tamil Vestlan and a former cadre of the LTTE’s political wing is rumoured to be the next leader of the LTTE.

Nediyavan is reputed, among Tamil circles for favouring brute force over negotiations, which kept him at odds with KP who announced that the LTTE would take a “political path.” Later, he patched up with the KP, weeks before the latter’s arrest. Intelligence officials say these cadres are in touch with the sleeper cells of the LTTE. One official cautioned that these cells are in the process of reorganizing themselves and linking with their overseas branches. Surely, the once conventional war has now transformed into an intelligence war. It is also a race with the time. The intelligence agencies have to dismantle the sleeper cells of the LTTE before they reorganize themselves.

(Lakbima News)

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