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Archive for September 6th, 2009

A group of Japanese experts, who had been given access to the LTTE-held area shortly after tsunami in December, 2004 had helped terrorists build a channel to launch underwater craft.

The foreigners had worked on the project for some time in a high security zone in the Puthukudirippu area, well informed sources said. Responding to our queries, sources said that though the 58 Division had found a 360-foot long and 25-foot wide tunnel and a 300-foot long and 30-foot deep dock early May, the involvement of Japanese experts in this project had not come to light until recently.

Sources said that the then Brigadier Shavindra Silva’s troops had captured the tunnel in the Irattavaikkal area three weeks before the army finished off the LTTE leadership on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon on May 19.

Sources said that the LTTE planned to float the submersible from the dock to the sea through the camouflaged tunnel. Sources asserted that the LTTE could have used the same technique to take in a submersible.

In the wake of tsunami, the then UNF government allowed experts from many countries to launch rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the LTTE-held area. According to information from LTTE suspects in custody, the Japanese team had also helped them develop submersibles though their first attempt to test the first craft ended in failure.

Divers subsequently recovered it close to Farah III, a Turkish ship which had run aground at Vellimullivaikkal.

The LTTE had smuggled in a range of items needed for this particular project from overseas before the navy cut off their supply route north-eastern coast. The LTTE had powerful Japanese built outboard mortars, radar and communication equipment among several other items recovered by the army and navy, especially in the eastern Vanni.

Sources said that a Sri Lankan Tamil probably domiciled in Japan had accompanied the experts who left the area well before the resumption of hostilities in August 2006.

Sources said that interrogation of terrorists, particularly those with specialised units would shed light on top secret LTTE operations. During the LTTE rule, the group also brought in foreign experts from several countries to boost its strength.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa last week said that the LTTE had invested heavily in a programme to undermine the Sri Lankan navy. The recovery of a vast amount of armaments, explosives laden boats, torpedoes and other equipment was evidence of this strategy.

(The Island)

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TIGER PRISON CHIEF CAUGHT

Those officers and men of the armed forces captured during attacks had been made to work and then killed by the Tigers. These revelations have been made by the Tiger Prison Chief taken into custody from an IDP camp in Vavuniya by a Special Intelligence team.

Any person or members of security forces taken into custody is interrogated by this Tiger leader. The name of this Tiger terrorist is withheld due to security reasons. After leaving school he had been given three months training in intelligence work and deployed in this capacity by the Tigers.

According to information so far revealed by him, there had been six hundred working under Tiger Prison Chief. Navy Captain Boyagoda, Inspector Jeyaratnam, Captain Lakshman, Lt. Rajah and other members of the security forces were under him. Most of those under his custody were those Tamils who were charged with being against the Tiger movement

It is being confirmed now about plans of the Tigers to take out VIP targets by going through loopholes in their security.

Puvasan, a key Tiger who maintained documents in the LTTE military intelligence commanded by Colonel Charles, is spilling the beans on such plots.

Likewise renegade Police Superintendent Lakshman Cooray and similar others in custody, also are divulging many details of their activities. On the day of the salute to the brave soldiers who helped to defeat the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world, celebrated last June 03 at the Galle Face Green, Lakshman Cooray had been in charge of Police duties from Kollupitiya to the Galle Face Green where the ceremony was held. He had been inducted there on special duty. .

The ceremony was attended by a large gathering of VIP’s including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Heads of the three defence services, diplomats, opposition politicians and many other dignitaries. The ceremonial salute was completed with a march past of 329 officers and 4915 other rankers from the three Forces and Police.

The fact that the SP who is now in custody for his involvement with the Tigers was in command of the route taken by those who attended the ceremony, could have easily endangered their lives.

According to information elicited from SP Cooray and others in custody of the Police Terrorist Investigation Division for their Tiger links, a three wheeler taken into custody recently in the Matale area by State Intelligence Service is the vehicle that transported the attackers who carried out the attack on the motorcade of former Pakistani High Commissioner, Bashir Wali Mohammed on August 4, 2006, and the suicide attack on the office of Social Services Minister Douglas Devananda. The owner of the vehicle is a Sinhalese and the Tigers have paid him for the services provided. Originally a blue-coloured three wheeler, it had been repainted red by the time it was taken into custody.

Investigations to arrest SI

Meanwhile, investigations are on to arrest a Sub Inspector who had served in the VIP security division and had been drawing a monthly wage from the Tigers. He had started as an investigating officer of criminal dens in the Mt Lavinia division, and then changed over to the VIP security. He has since gone into hiding in Singapore, it is learnt. The renegade SI had received Rs 50,000 monthly. He had provided them with official Police uniforms and transported their cadres, arms and ammunition, according to reports on investigations on his activity. As a criminal investigator he had easy access to scenes of Tiger attacks in and around Colombo, which are also visited by many top officers in the Police and Armed forces. If the Tigers had wanted to target any such senior officer, the SI could have made it possible for them to carry out such an attack. Since least suspicion was drawn by the presence of this officer at a crime scene, the Tigers could have even got him to destroy important evidence from such scenes.

Following this revelation a need for reassessment of Police crime scene investigations has arisen, especially as to who should have clearance to be present at such scenes.
Similarly investigations carried out under the supervision of ASP Russel de Soysa of the criminal investigation unit of Vavuniya by its OIC Sub Inspector Nalaka Gunasekara and his team, key terrorist Puvasan had given them plenty of information on attempts on VIP lives. Also information on security personnel who were under Tiger custody has been confirmed.

According to what is known now, groups under Pottu Amman and Charles went at their targets with dual strike capability; in the event the first attack fails, a second was on standby to finish the job.

Attempt on Gen. Fonseka

The attempt on the life of Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka when he was the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army had been carried out in that manner. If he survived the attack made by the suicide bomber Durga (Manjula Devi), Charles’s group was ready with the second attack while he was being taken to hospital as confirmed now.

The Tiger suicide cadre Vaikunthan taken into custody from an IDP camp at Mudaliyarkulam, Vavuniya, had been ready to go into action as the second bomber, but the message sent to Pottu Amman from Galle Face by Durga’s handler Piribakaran after the suicide blast, was that they got the target and Tiger military intelligence chief Charles who thought their mission was complete removed Vaikunthan from the scene.

During the attempt on Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s life at Pittala junction, Kollupitiya too, the Tigers had readied two other attempts. The man who was in charge of these operations Col. Charles, was taken out by a Deep Penetration unit of the army Special Forces in a location close to the Wanni Western Coast about six months before the final Wanni battle, driving fear into the Tiger leadership.

The investigations carried out by OIC Nalaka Gunasekara have revealed the details of the abduction of the 2nd in command of the Terrorist Investigation Unit, Mt. Lavinia Inspector Jeyaratnam.

Arranged abduction

With the disappearance of key figure in the LTTE intelligence unit Newton with some important secrets, and fearing that Jeyaratnam would help to extract those Tiger secrets, Prabhakaran, Pottu Amman and Charles arranged the abduction of the Police inspector.

During this period Newton had been secretly taken into custody by Army Intelligence, and this created some concern in the Tiger camp. The Tigers had even planned to abduct the media personnel who first reported Newton’s disappearance to find out details known to them, but the State Intelligence knew about their plan.

The Tigers used Soundarajan Paul, a friend of Jeyaratnam to abduct him. Soundarajan’s family had been taken to Wanni and the operation to abduct Jeyaratnam was planned. They had been given an inhaler to make him unconscious. A car and a van had been made available for the purpose. Soundarajan, had got Jeyaratnam drunk at a hotel in Mt Lavinia, and then had him put in a van with two Tiger cadres dressed in Police uniform and taken him to Puttlam and from there taken to Vedithalativu in a boat.

Interrogated

He had been taken to a camp where Charles and Puvasan had grilled him while being held under the custody of Madavan master. Then he had been questioned by their chief interrogator Arulmuli. (Arulmuli too is now in custody) Here they were unable to get much information as was hoped. Yet, they were successful in getting him to give them information on how the defence establishment identifies Tiger members, and how to avoid getting caught. They had even got him to give their cadres lectures on these topics.

Once Jeyaratnam had escaped from his captors, but he had been fired at and recaptured. On another occasion he had tried to get to a UN office but had been caught. Thereafter he had not been fed. He had appealed to the Tigers if they could not release him to kill him and with the idea of dying he had even consumed sand from the floor of his cell. Ultimately Inspector Jeyaratnam had been shot dead, according to the information divulged by the Tiger seniors now in custody. Captain Lakshman of the Army Intelligence who was in Tiger custody too had been killed by them.

Fourteen security forces men who were kept in their custody without informing the Red Cross until the final period, too had been shot dead, according to the Tiger Prison Chief who is now disclosing these details to security intelligence. In that group had been two officers taken in by Tigers after sinking a Dvora fast attack craft. In addition to these fourteen members there were five other captured servicemen whose presence in their custody had been made known to the ICRC. Those five were allowed to escape with the IDPs, and surrendered to the security forces in the final days of the war.

Captured officers made to work

Those officers and men of the armed forces captured during attacks had been made to work and then killed by the Tigers. These revelations have been made by the Tiger Prison Chief taken into custody from an IDP camp in Vavuniya by a Special Intelligence team.

Any person or members of security forces taken into custody is interrogated by this Tiger leader. The name of this Tiger terrorist is withheld due to security reasons. After leaving school he had been given three months training in intelligence work and deployed in this capacity by the Tigers.

According to information so far revealed by him, there had been six hundred working under Tiger Prison Chief. Navy Captain Boyagoda, Inspector Jeyaratnam, Captain Lakshman, Lt. Rajah and other members of the security forces were under him. Most of those under his custody were those Tamils who were charged with being against the Tiger movement.

Foreign Interest

Foreign Army Commanders want to study Lankan Army tactics in defeating Tigers
Meanwhile ten foreign Army commanders including those of the most powerful countries in the world, have sought permission to come here to study how the Sri Lankan Army defeated the most ruthless terrorist force.

These requests came when they met Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya at a meeting of the Pacific Area Army Commanders held in Tokyo Japan. The conference held from August 24 to 27 was attended by commanders of 22 countries in the Pacific region.

Heads of armed forces of USA, Japan, India, South Korea, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Philippines and Bangladesh held bilateral discussions with the Sri Lankan Army Chief during the conference.

They will soon send their representatives to study how our troops managed to vanquish terrorism fighting and defeating them in guerilla warfare, penetrating their massive ditch-cum-bunds and taking the fight to them, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya revealed to this columnist.

Already the experiences of these fighting methods are being collected and new recruits are given training in those tactics for future requirements.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka as the then Commander of the Sri Lanka Army by personally planning and directing all operations with his excellent leadership, helped to defeat the Tiger terrorism to the amazement of other armies around the world. The war analysts are of the opinion that before giving away those tactics to the world our identity should be stamped on them.

During the peace accord the USA and others in the guise of training our forces came here and took away an invaluable collection of our fighting techniques, especially some tactics developed by the Army’s deep penetration units yet to be used by other armies.
Tour of Eastern Front

Meanwhile Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya after taking over as Commander, toured the Eastern front on September 03. There he met with the Commander of the East Maj. Gen. Srinath Rajapaksa and other Commanders of the area to review the security situation in the region. The Director Operations of the Sri Lanka Army Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva too accompanied the Commander on the tour.

The Terrorist Investigation unit in the Vavuniya Police dug up a load of explosives at Kondachchikulam, Silavaturai, meant for the use in the Southern thoroughfare where security vehicles would ply.

These two barrels with the explosives were discovered, on a tip off from a terrorist arrested from an IDP camp. Silawaturai was the first town liberated by the security forces from the terrorist on the northwest coast, where civilians were resettled recently. This incident clearly indicates that enough paraphernalia needed for reactivating terror activity still lay buried at various locations.

The Navy Chief Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe toured the Silawaturai area overland just a few days earlier.

Until these areas are fully restored it would be dangerous for VIP’s to be touring such areas
Among the lethal haul recovered this time were, 4 pressure mines weighing 10 kilos each, two pressure mines weighing 7 kilos each, two pressure mines weighing 5 kilos each – all meant for vehicles, 13 RPG explosives, 400 digital detonators, 23 RPG fuses, 25 anti-personnel mines, 255 anti aircraft guns, 8 T56 magazines with 1750 bullets and other live ammunition were found by the TI unit Vavuniya.

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“phantom detainees” in Tiger prisons

The chief overseer of the LTTE’s prisons has revealed some disturbing details of the prisoners of war (PoW) of the LTTE run prison camps.

The suspect, alumni of Jaffna Hindu College, whose name could not be disclosed due to the confidential nature of the investigations, was arrested by police last month in the Menik Farm IDP camp. He has confessed that 600 prisoners, most of whom from rival Tamil political parties were incarcerated in the LTTE prisons. These figures, though shocking enough, confirms an earlier disclosure as way back as in 2000, by a Tamil youth who escape from a LTTE prison.

The political leadership and rights groups of the day were indifferent to these incarcerations; his disturbing revelation is that 600 inmates in LTTE’s political prisons were shackled inside the underground bunkers. They were phantom prisoners. The outside world did not know about their existence. As the chief overseer of the LTTE prisons now confesses, most of them were “disposed of,” executed on the orders of leader Prabhakaran.

He has revealed that there were 14 military personnel in his custody till the very end, all of whom were executed as the military closed in on the LTTE . The International Committee of Red Cross was not informed of their detention.

Among these unfortunate souls incarcerated there were IP Jeyaratnam, the former anti-terrorist sleuth of the Mount Lavinia police, Captain Lakshman, an Intelligence Officer of the Sri Lankan Army, Lt Raja, also an intelligence officer of the army etc., and two sailors of the Sri Lanka Navy aboard an ill-fated Dvora Fast Attack Craft.

Among those military personnel kept in LTTE custody, only five of them, which included four sailors on a sunken Navy gunboat and one soldier taken into custody during a military offensive in Muhamalai, made it alive to the government controlled area.

Kidnapping

The kidnapping, detention and subsequent execution of IP Jeyaratnam is startling and shocking indeed. The LTTE’s prison chief had divulged the modus operandi of the kidnapping saga of IP Jeyaratnam, which is in contrast to the usual practice of assassinations. Still there is logic for the change in the strategy. Pottu Amman suspected that Jeyaratnam was instrumental in the disappearance of Newton, a senior leader of the LTTE’s intelligence wing who went missing in Colombo. Newton was believed to be the second-in- command of Shanmugalimgam Shivashankar alias Pottu Amman. His disappearance shocked the LTTE, which feared that its intelligence operations would be compromised. The Directorate of Military Intelligence was believed to behind the disappearance of the Tiger Intelligence leader. The army never claimed responsibility, but the LTTE intelligence wing suspected that Jeyaratnam would have known of the plight of Newton.Added to that wasthe role played by Jeyaratnam in anti-terrorist operations, foiling a number of major LTTE attacks in the South.

Jeyaratnam was tricked into a late night drinking session by a LTTE agent, Mano who was also an informant and family friend of Jeyaratnam. The Jeyaratnam family was invited to meet a friend of Mohan who was arriving from England. After dinner, Mrs Jeyaratnam went home, while IP Jeyaratnam stayed with the new friend, who happened to be a LTTE operative. They drugged him, mixing a narcotic substance with his drink. He was then transported in a jeep accompanied by two Tiger cadres posing as policemen in uniform to Puttalam from where he was taken in a speed-boat to Mannar.

The chief overseers of the LTTE prisons, now under arrest, has revealed that Jeyaratnam was interrogated extensively by the Tiger interrogators, including Charles, the chief of LTTE military intelligence himself. Charles was later killed by a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) team of the Army Special Forces deep inside Tiger territory.
Jeyaratnam had been asked why he despite being a Tamil hated the LTTE. He had replied that his elder brother was killed by the LTTE in Jaffna in early 1990s.

Jeyaratnam was questioned at length by a Tiger interrogator identified by his nom de guerre as Arul Murali, the chief interrogator of the LTTE. Arul Murali has also been arrested by the Police.

LTTE’s prison chief says, that during the interrogations, LTTE found out that Jeyaratnam had no knowledge of the disappearance of Newton.

Failed attempts

Then, he was questioned as to how the cops identify suicide bombers and sleeper cells of the LTTE. Later, Jeyaratnam was instructed to brief the LTTE cadres assigned for terrorist attacks in Colombo about how to avoid attracting attention by police.

Jeyaratnam had made two failed attempt to flee LTTE detention, first with the aid of an LTTE cadre who came for his security briefing. After the second abortive escape, Jeyaratnam was transferred to a LTTE prison, where he was reportedly denied food.He was later executed by the LTTE on the written orders of leader Prabhakaran.

How the top brass of the Sri Lankan police acted throughout the detention and after execution of the dedicated fellow cop is a shameful blot on the police service. Jeyaratnam was labeled a double agent, his salary suspended. Grief stricken Mrs Jeyaratnam was dislodged from the official quarters of the late IP. It took 8 mournful years for Mrs Jeyaratnam to clear her late husband’s name.

“No export licence since January”

Last week, I spoke to Michael Smaz, a supplier of military hardware from Czech Republic which military circles say went an extra mile to assure unhindered supply of arms and ammunition to the Sri Lankan forces in the last leg of the fourth Eelam war.

Smaz alleges that Norway and Sweden exploited an EU ban on export licence to “places with open hostilities” to prevent Czech weapon exports to Sri Lanka. He added that despite such restrictions, Czech Republic maintained a greater degree of manoeuvreability and provided weapon systems at the most critical phase of the fourth Eelam war. Czech Republic supplied 40 T 55 Main Battle Tanks early this year, when most of the existing MBTs required extensive repairs.

He says however since January this year, Czech Republic had not issued any export license to Sri Lanka due to the pressure exerted by Scandinavian countries. He insists that since the war is over such limitations should be done away with. Ebullience at the military defeat of the LTTE appears to be contagious; Smaz, who must have definitely made a fortune out of the war far away from his home— which he however says is his second home— is excited at the prospects.

“Many would say we are sorry because the war is over. No, we are very happy. If we need to do business, surely we do, there are better business now”.
He then said, an oft repeated claim is that the Sri Lankan Army is the only modern force to defeat a terrorist group conclusively.

I asked him how the LTTE got hold of Zlin micro aircraft. He said his investigators traced the serial numbers of the Tiger aircraft back to a Canadian pilot training school. He vouched that the Czech government agencies had “never” sold arms to the LTTE, but that the Tigers could have bought weapons from second-hand sources as well as using end user certificates issued by rogue states such as Burma and North Korea.

I asked him about absence of offset arrangements in the defence contracts of Sri Lankan government despite offset now being a norm in the global defence industry, which since the end of the cold war is a buyers market.

He replied that throughout the Eelam war, Sri Lanka’s procurement orders were of urgent nature and most weapon systems procured were also the second hand systems, which were cheaper in price compared to new systems. Equally, offset arrangements, though enabled technology transfer would be much costlier to a country with a smaller procurement budget. He however said they were looking for indirect offset and exploring the possibility of bringing foreign capital through the Czech Investment Bank which has been tapped to finance a major Hydro power project in Sri Lanka.

(Lakbima News)

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