Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sinhalese fund the welfare of the Tamils and Tamils fund the LTTE killing machine targeting Sinhalese by H. L. D. Mahindapala

In one calculated statistical blow the Sri Lankan Peace Secretariat, headed by Dr. Palitha Kohona, has blown apart the myth of the LTTE running a state of its own for the good of the Tamil people in the north and the east.

Statistics revealed by the Peace Secretariat confirm that the LTTE has not only failed to provide the Tamil people their essentials for survival and well-being but also steal 10 - 20 % of the public funds allocated by the Sri Lankan government to run its one-man regime.

The peace Secretariat states: "It is largely from these illegally acquired funds that the LTTE maintains its name-board structures and logistics, trains its child soldiers and places its armed cadres, both men and women, in a perpetual state of war."

In other words, the LTTE runs an efficient killing machine but not a state for the welfare of the Tamils, according to analysts. The Peace Secretariat has appealed to the donor countries engaged with the LTTE to look into this swindling of funds allocated to "address the deprivations of the people of the region and ameliorate their living conditions."

The common ploy of the LTTE agents operating in the diaspora, however, has been to collect millions of dollars from Tamil expatriates claiming that "the Sinhala-dominated" is discriminating against the minority Tamils without providing them health care, education, livelihood assistance, administrative facilities, development, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects, and other essential services, goods like subsidized food etc.

The latest statistics released by the Peace Secretariat reveal that the entire social structure of the LTTE-controlled areas in the north and the east is maintained by billions of rupees allocated by "the Sinhala-dominated government". Political analysts agree that the so-called "de facto state run by the LTTE" will collapse overnight if the Sri Lankan government withdraws the funding that makes Velupillai Prabhakaran look good. The illegally acquired funds from the locals and the equally illegal funding from the expatriates is just enough for the LTTE to oil its killing machine but not to run the welfare services provided by "the Sinhala-dominated" government.

Another revealing statistic is the miniscule amount of revenue collected by the government from the north and the east.

It amounts to less than 0.1 per cent. As against this the Sri Lankan government's expenditure for the north and the east runs into mega billions.

Examples: 1) In the North and East, the Sri Lankan government funds over 53 hospital institutions with more than 4427 hospital beds providing free curative healthcare. State hospitals and State run healthcare centres provide a totally free service - both preventative and curative. The State meets the recurrent costs of Doctors' salaries, drugs, dressings and maintenance of hospitals. Velupillai Prabhakaran's main mission has been to maintain the expanding cemeteries where thousands of Tamils, including children, as a memorial to his failed war to achieve Eelam.

(2) An estimated 1848 state funded schools provide free education to over 700,000 students. The State funded education system including schools, non-formal education institutions, technical colleges, provides free education. The salaries of teachers, administrative, clerical and elementary staff are met by state funds. As opposed to this Velupillai Prabhakaran abducts these children before they could complete their education to beef up his epleted cadres.

The irony is that the billions funding the welfare of the Tamils come essentially from the taxes paid by the majority Sinhalese who are being targeted daily by the LTTE killing machine.

Here is the full statistical report issued by the Peace Secretariat on June 14, 2006:

Contrary to widely held misconceptions, the administrative machinery and infrastructure facilities in LTTE controlled areas is funded and maintained substantially by the Government. In addition, the Government meets an overwhelmingly substantial part of the humanitarian and infrastructural needs of the civilian population living in the North and the East, including the LTTE controlled areas.

For instance :

* State hospitals and State run healthcare centres provide a totally free service - both preventative and curative and are funded by the Government. The State meets the recurrent costs of Doctors' salaries, drugs, dressings and maintenance of hospitals. In the North and East, there are over 53 Hospital institutions with more than 4427 hospital beds providing free curative healthcare and an estimated 1848 functioning state funded schools with over 700,000 students.

* The State funded education system including schools, non-formal education institutions, technical colleges, provides free education. The salaries of teachers, administrative, clerical and elementary staff are met by state funds.

* The district and sub-district administrative offices functioning in areas under LTTE control are funded by the Government - this includes the salaries of Government Agents, Divisional Secretaries, Grama Niladaris and administrative staff.

The Government provides these services and amenities from revenue collected from the public in the rest of the country as the revenue from the North and the East is less than 0.1% of the total revenue.

In addition, a significant number of small, medium and large scale projects have been completed with the assistance of the international community, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in many cases with funds borrowed by the Government. These projects cover a wide variety of sectors.

In the latest figures on ongoing projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, which include both tsunami and non-tsunami projects, there has been a total allocation of US$ 1283.10 Million comprising loans US$ 673.8 Million and grants US $ 609.3 Million.

State Investment in Development and Infrastructure Activities in Northern and Eastern Provinces (2002-2006) - A Summary


* Schools - Rs.3.721 Billion
* Universities - Rs.792 Million
* Skills Development, Vocational and Technical Education - Rs.1.044


* Healthcare - Rs.6.020 Billion

Livelihood Assistance

* Relief and Livelihood Assistance - Rs.14.735 Billion

Infrastructure Development

* Roads and Bridges (Rs.38.674 Billion)
* Housing (Rs.1.582 Billion)
* Electricity (Rs.692 Million)
* Water Supply and Sanitation (Rs.21 Billion)
* Ports (Rs.460 Million)
* Telecommunication (Rs.600 Million)
* Irrigation (Rs.1.635 Billion)
* Institutional and Community Development (Rs.124 Million)
* Agriculture (Rs.133 Million)
* Fisheries (Rs.1.5 Billion)
* Livestock (Rs.60 Million)

Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction - 2002-2006

1) North East Housing Reconstruction Programme - World Bank US$ 75 M Rs.7500 M)

2) North East Coastal Community Development Project - ADB US$ 22 M (Rs.2200 M)

3) North East Irrigated Agriculture Project II - World Bank US$ 64 M (Rs.6400 M)

4) North East Road Rehabilitation Programme – EU

5) North East Community Restoration and Development Project Loan - ADB US$ 180 M (Rs.18000 M)

6) Rehabilitation of Bridges in the North-East – UK

7) North East Emergency Rehabilitation Programme WB/EU

8) Conflict Affected Area Rehabilitation Programme - ADB US$ 80 M (Rs.8000 M)

9) National Protection and Durable Solution for IDP's – UNHCR

10) Jaffna Water Conservation and Environmental Management Project – GTZ

11) Mannar District Rehabilitation and Reconstruction through Community Approach Project – JICA

12) UNDP Technical Assistance Programme – UNDP

13) Food Security and Reconciliation in Batticaloa District – GTZ

14) Agricultural and Rural Development in Trincomalee Districts – JICA

15) Recovery Programme for People Affected by North East conflict – WB

16) Emergency Rehabilitation for the Community in the Vanni and the East

17) Water Supply Scheme in Mannar District

18) Northern Rehabilitation Project NRP-GTZ

19) Pro Poor Economic Advancement and Community Enhancement Project - JBIC

20) Secondary Education Modernization Project – ADB

21) Teacher Education and Teacher Development Project – WB

22) General Education Project II - WB

More than 50% of the foreign funded projects are based on loans granted by international institutions and foreign governments to the Government of Sri Lanka, which is then required to repay these loans. It is the Government that bears the burden of funding the development of the North and the East and repaying these borrowed funds.

However, studies reveal that approximately 10-20% of these funds are siphoned off by the LTTE. It is largely from these illegally acquired funds that the LTTE maintains its name-board structures and logistics, trains its child soldiers and places its armed cadres, both men and women, in a perpetual state of war.

This is an aspect that the donor community needs to address while engaging the LTTE. It is an illusion to assume that the LTTE has the capability to provide even the minimum services to the people of the North and the East. The Government on its part will continue to do its utmost to address the deprivations of the people of the region and ameliorate their living conditions.


Monday, July 24, 2006

LTTE's ethnic cleansing of the Muslims yet not subsided.

"TamilEela Viduthali Pulikal strongly believes in Tamil nationalism and we wanted to embrace the Tamils living in North, East, Upcountry and also the Tamil speaking people – Muslims. There is no Tamil nationalism without the participation of the Upcountry Tamils and Muslims who are also Tamil speaking people," emphasized Pillaiyan the special commander of the TMVP led by Colonel Karuna and one of the senior leaders of the outfit.

Pilliyan announced that several hundreds of Muslims are already members of the TMVP and they will embrace more Tamil-speaking Muslims to join them and to work together politically and militarily.

Pillaiyan was speaking to Asian Tribune regarding the recent decision taken by a group of political parties, who according to reports got together to organize a new organization called "Alliance for the Protection of the People of the East" (APRE) and resolved that Eastern Province should be separated from the Northern Province.

When Asian Tribune asked whether TVMP agreed with the new organization to separate the Eastern Province with the North, Pillaiyan said that so far TVMP has never announced anything to that effect.

He clarified that they were invited to participate in a meeting convened by the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) on 22 March. Representatives from the TVMP participated in the meeting. Pilliayan said that their representatives listened to the views expressed in the meeting and in the end told the convenors that the matters discussed in the meeting "has to be decided in our politburo and would convey our decision later."

Pilliyan further added so far they haven't decided anything regarding the issue of separating the East from the North. In the meantime he said "TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal is not interested in separating the Tamils and the Tamil-speaking people."

He explained, "TMVP wanted to embrace the Tamils in the North, East, Upcountry and the Tamil-speaking Muslims. This is what we mean by Tamil Nationalism."

He further clarified that it was Prabakaran who was involved in the heinous act of ethnic cleansing by chasing away more than 10,000 Muslims families nearly 90 to 100,000 Muslims from the North on one very fine day. He said, "We live in the midst of the Muslims and they live in our midst and we wanted them to be an integral part of the Tamil nationalism."

"It is very clear that even after chasing the Muslims out of the Northern Province, who are still languishing in the refugee camps, yet Prabakaran and Anton Balasingham’s revenge against the Muslims have not subsided."

"It became clearly evidence that LTTE acts of ethnic cleansing of the Muslims continues, when Balasingham alleged in the last Geneva conference and continues to persists even after the conference, that a Muslim armed group called "Jihad" is in existence in the East. This was a ploy by Balasingham to paint a wrong picture of the peace loving Muslims of the Eastern province."

Pilliyan said, "He was trying to play petty politics by demonising the Muslims of the East as terrorists in the eyes of the international community."

Pilliyan said "we have seen the Liberian war lord Charles Taylor; the Prabakaran of Liberia arrested and jailed to face charges of anti-human activities in the international court." He added that it want be long for Prabakaran and Anton Balasinghams are arrested and charge sheeted before the international court for acts against humanity."


TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal opposes moves to de-merge Northeast province - Special Commander Pillaiyan

We do not support any move by anyone to de-merge the single administrative provincial unit of Northeast,” said TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). They added this amounts to majority community continuing with its hegemonic politics to subjugate the Tamils and Tamil speaking people in the country. If Sinhala majority community wishes to have a united country in the future, they should give up such moves forthwith in the interest of unity and national integration.

In a move to clarify their position, TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan nom de guerre Colonel Karuna has categorically stated that they are against any move to de-merge the existing Northeastern province.

Pilliyan, Special Commander of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal when speaking to “Asian Tribune” about some political party’s move to de-merge the Northeast said, “We are of the firm opinion that the merger of the North and East is a must and if we do not have this merger, then there will be no opportunity for the Tamils and Tamil speaking people of the North and East to have one united administrative machinery and for the civilians in this region to participate in their day to day administrative activities.”

“Even though the Northeast provincial council today is in the state of limbo, we trust and hope the Government would reactivate the Northeast Provincial Council to enable the people in the region to participate in their day to day administrative activities as in the other parts of the country,” Pilliyan said.

He pointed out that in an attempt to find solutions to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, The Indo- Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, came up with some agreeable solutions which resulted in the 13th amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution. He added that one of those envisaged solution was the introduction of a new administrative system - Provincial Council.

During those days, despite the stiffest opposition forthcoming from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), North and Eastern provinces were merged on 02 September 1988; into one Northeast provincial Council on the request of the anti-LTTE Tamil groups and election for the same was also held in 1988.

Pilliyan underlined that in all the other provinces, Councils are function smoothly and the people are able manage their day to day affairs. Unfortunately the Northeast Provincial Council is being held hostage by the successive Sri Lanka’s Government.

Pilliyan urged that in the interest of the Tamils, Tamil speaking and Sinhalese communities in the North and East, President Rajapakse has to come forward to activate the Northeast Provincial Council. “Our suggestion is that the process of activation could begin with nominating a group of members to activate and run the day to day activities of the now defunct Council.

TMVP never supported de-merger

In a statement to “Asian Tribune,” Pilliyan the special Commander of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal said “I have to bring to the notice about a misconception about the position of the TMVP regarding actions by some political organization to de-merge the Northeast provincial Council.

The political leaders who have taken legal steps to de-merge the Northeast are those who have failed to comprehend the aspirations of the Tamils. TMVP is of the opinion that the merger should remain and it should be made immediately permanent feature constitutionally.

We wish to point out that TMVP representatives participated in the inaugral meeting of the Alliance for Protection of Rights of the People in the East” (APRPE) on March 22, 2006. “

We were there on an invitation by the organizers of the meeting and our reprepresentatives were just observers. Subsequently this issue was taken up in our politburea. We decided that the merger of the North and East should continue and also resolved to request President of Sri Lanka to make the merger an entrenched clause in the Constitution.

Seven party meeting on de-merger

Earlier, Asian Tribune brought to the notice of Pilliyan the news report regarding the meeting conveyed by Patriotic National Movement (PNM) and held at ‘Savsiripaya’ on 22 March 2006, where it was reported that TMVP representatives also participated and consented with the consensus of opinion expressed for the urgent need to separate the Eastern Province from the Northern Province. held on 22 March

The excerpts of the news report is given below:

This is to draw your kind attention to the above issue on which State action has been long overdue. As you may be aware an organization called “Alliance for Protection of Rights of the People in the East” (APRPE) was formed March 22, 2006 with the participation of seven political parties to secure this objective.

Party representatives who attended the meeting convened by the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) and held at ‘Savsiripaya’ were unanimous on the urgent need to separate the Eastern Province from the Northern Province.

The participants included representatives of the SLFP, JVP, PNM, National Congress, TMVP (Thamileela Makkal Viduthalar Pulikal) alias the Karuna Amman Group and the United Democratic Organization.

North-East merger is a must. If we do not have a merger, we do not need provincial councils. Without the merger the East would be Sinhalese by the year 2000 or so.

The 13th amendment and Provincial Councils Act of 1987 established the north
and east as one province, subject to ratification by referendum when
circumstances permitted. As this referendum has not yet taken place, the
constitutional status of the east remains obscure. While successive
parliamentary committees since 1987 have sought to clear up the confusion, the
only clarity thus far achieved is that all Tamil parties, not just the LTTE, are totally
opposed to any northeast 'demerger'.

First interview Report of Pilliyan with “Asian Tribune” opposing the de-merger.

When this matter was pointed out to Pilliyan his response is given below in an interview with “Asian Tribune.”

Excerpts of the interview with Pilliyan that appeared in the “Asian Tribune” dated 01 April 2006 is as follows:

Pillaiyan was speaking to Asian Tribune regarding the recent decision taken by a group of political parties, who according to reports got together to organize a new organization called "Alliance for the Protection of the People of the East" (APRE) and resolved that Eastern Province should be separated from the Northern Province.

When Asian Tribune asked whether TVMP agreed with the new organization to separate the Eastern Province with the North, Pillaiyan said that so far TVMP has never announced anything to that effect.

He clarified that they were invited to participate in a meeting convened by the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) on 22 March. Representatives from the TVMP participated in the meeting. Pilliayan said that their representatives listened to the views expressed in the meeting and in the end told the convenors that the matters discussed in the meeting "has to be decided in our politburo and would convey our decision later."

Pilliyan further added so far they haven't decided anything regarding the issue of separating the East from the North. In the meantime he said "TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal is not interested in separating the Tamils and the Tamil-speaking people."


LTTE denies water to Seruwila farmers

The LTTE has cut off the water supply to over 30,000 acres of paddy lands in Seruwila threatening the livelihoods of a large farmer community.

The situation has assumed grave proportions since the local population are largely dependent on this supply for drinking purposes as well according to the Chief incumbent of the Seruwavila Rajamaha Viharaya the Ven. Seruwila Saranakiththi.

According reports from the area, the LTTE has shut off the sluice gates of the Mavilaru anicut which feeds large tracks of farm land.

The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has confirmed the act.

The Tigers have also barred irrigation engineers from entering the area to open the sluice gates. The majority population in the area are Tamils while it also has a sizable Muslim population.

The Ven.Saranakiththi told the Daily News that the deprivation of water to the paddy fields during the past three days has already caused the withering away of paddy stalks which could destroy the entire harvest.

The Thera said the Mavilaru anicut is the main supply source to the entire Muttur-Seruwila and Ichchalampattu District Secretariat divisions.

He said the situation was grave since the people depend on this supply for drinking purposes too due to the brackish nature of the well water.

Peace Secretariat sources in Colombo say that it is ironic that the LTTE who claim themselves to be true representatives and liberators of the Tamil people were causing those very people to suffer hardship.

They point out that even during fierce outbreaks of war between countries one of the unwritten laws is not to deny civilians access to water.

The LTTE has also been hampering development work funded by the Government in uncleared areas. A couple of months ago LTTE cadres shot dead 12 civilians who were repairing an irrigation tank in the Gomarankadawala area and burnt down their vehicles and earthmoving equipment.


Northern LTTE puts command changes to the east on hold

The Vanni high command of the Tamil Tigers in the north has put on hold the changes in their command and control structure of Batticalao - Amparai district—the central area vital for the defence of the eastern flank.

In the month of June, LTTE leadership seriously decided to change the command structure of Batticaloa – Amparai district after the Karuna Group cornered and killed Commander Ramanan of the Tigers.

The break-away Karuna Group is battling to gain total command of the east by eliminating or driving away the Tamil Tigers from the east. The direct hit on Commander Ramanan was severe blow to the Tiger prestige in the east. Following this a confidential report revealed that the Vanni high command had decided to remove the special commanders of the East of Sri Lanka, Colonel Bravo Bahnu of the Batticaloa – Amparai districts and Colonel Sornam presently of Trincomalee district, from their current posts. The Vanni command considers that both have been failures.

Colonel Bahnu who is in command now is to be replaced by Colonel Jeyam who was one of the delegates to Geneva.

Furthermore it was already decided to post Colonel Ramesh as commanding officer in charge of Vaharai region, consisting of the villages of Vaharai, Paalchenai, Verugal and Kathiraveli.

The Vanni command was concerned about the violence rising against the LTTE and targeting their cadres. Key political pro-LTTE figures like Joseph Parajasingham, an MP in Batticoloa and T. Vigneswaram, a prospective MP in Trincomalee were gunned down by suspected cadres of the other Tamil groups. Vanni command was also alarmed by the deteriorating combat capabilities to challenge and destroy the fast emerging Karuna’s group, Tamil-Eela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal.

The success of the TMVP has challenged the authority of the LTTE in the East. TMVP has, within a short space of time, established a political office in the heart of Batticoloa town which in now visited by numerous international organizations to maintain direct contacts with them. The latest round of talks was held with the UNICEF in which both parties agree to consult each other before issuing public statements. Tiger leadership campaigned heavily to blacken the Karuna group as a para-military group working hand in glove with the Sri Lanka army’s intelligence wing.

Tamil-Eela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal is gaining popularity because of its two-pronged approach: 1) its military wing targeting the Tamil Tigers and 2) its political wing advancing to win the hearts and the minds of Tamil-speaking population in the east. TMVP has an edge over the Tamil Tigers as its final goal is to enter the democratic mainstream without claiming to be the sole representative of the people and eliminating other political rivals. .

As political and military pressure mounted it was decided that a senior commander had to be sent to Batti-Amaparai district. Reports reveal that it has been decided to remove Bhanu from the east and locate him in the Vanni. Bhanu will be replaced by Colonel Jayam although he has been branded as Karuna loyalists.

Colonel Jayam is one of the senior commanders and was one of the member of the LTTE's delegation to the first round of talks in Geneva and later in Oslo. He is to be assigned as special commander of the Batticalao – Amparai districts.

Although Jayam has been branded as Karuna loyalists, LTTE leadership is confident that once he is posted to Batti-Amparai as special Commander his loyalty would not waver. He was suspected as being a loyalist of Mahattaya, alias Mahendrarajah and former deputy leader of LTTE. Mahathaya was arrested and subsequently killed by the LTTE. Jayam was also given the third degree treatment by the LTTE. He was arrested, tortured and even deprived of his membership in the LTTE.

It is also reported that Colonel Karuna has openly said that he wants to have Colonel Bahnu either arrested and tried publicly in the East for crimes against humanity, or killed. Col Bhanu was responsible, along with S. Ilamparuthi alias ‘Anjaneyar’ the present head of the political division of Jaffna, for driving out 100,000 Muslims in the latter part of 1990.

According to reports, Karuna’s men nearly got Bahnu on 10 October 2005 in an incident in Vavunathievu, nearly 05 kilometers away from Batticoloa. But he managed to escape and survive, according to reports. This attempt confirms that Karuna is serious about targeting Bahnu. The LTTE has decided to move him out of Batticalao to avoid any chance of being arrested alive and the humiliation that may follow of such arrest.

Earlier reports revealed that Colonel Bahnu who was stripped of his uniform and demoted was reinstated and sent to Batticoloa-Amparai district as a special Commander with 100 special bodyguards, to replace Colonel Ramesh in the first week of October 2004. Now Vanni command considers that Col. Bahnu too has failed to check the challenge posed by Col. Karuna’s men in the region.

Earlier the Vanni leadership was planning to re-install Col. Ramesh as the special commder of the LTTE in the Amparai - Batticalao districts.

According to reliable information, it was pointed out by S.P.Tamilselvan to his group within the LTTE that Col. Ramesh was once a failure. They were also suspicious of him because he is from Batticoloa and whenever there is a regional conflict of interest between Jaffna and “Batti” Ramesh would tend to take the side of the East .


Batticaloa – Amparai Districts: Colonel Jeyam - in: Colonel Bahnu - out: Also Colonel Ramesh on a demoted position.

At last the Vanni Tigers has quietly effected the long awaited changes in the command and control structure of the region under their control in the Batticalao –Amparai districts. The changes which were on hold are now effected. Colonel Jeyam is the new overall commander of the region. Colonel Bravo Bahnu is expected leave back to Vanni in a few weeks time after handing over responsibilities is completed.

The Eastern flank continues to remain a hotbed to the Vanni Tigers. Since Colonel Karuna left the outfit, they haven’t managed to find suitable men of the soil to hold the region under their control.

As anti-Jaffna feelings in the East are on the rise, Vanni Tigers find it difficult to find suitable persons to man their command and control structure. They look with suspicion all their cadres from the Eastern province.

LTTE leadership fears that one day or other their present cadres from the Eastern province might betray them and join with Colonel Karuna.

After the departure of Colonel Karuna, on 06 March 2004 they were forced to announce the appointment of Colonel Ramesh as their new overall commander of the region, who is from Kiran – the man of the soil and was earlier Colonel Karuna’s deputy.

But Ramesh was unable to contain the gradual growth of Karuna’s group in the East. Vanni Tiger leadership began to view Ramesh with suspicion and removed him and appointed Colonel Bravo Bahnu on 10 October 2005, as special commander for regions under their control in the Batticaloa – Amparai districts,

Colonel Ramesh was brought to Vanni and incarcerated on charges of dereliction of duties and responsibilities. He survived LTTE’s death squad because of a strong interference on his behalf by Colonel Soosai. Ramesh is married to Colonel Soosai’s sister.

Ramesh is now posted as Commanding officer of Vaharai division, consisting of the villages of Vaharai, Paalchenai, Verugal and Kathiraveli.

This is said to be a demoted position. However LTTE insiders revealed that this was the first step undertaken to rehabilitate Colonel Ramesh.

Other sources raised doubts that this may be a ploy to dump Ramesh by ordering cadres belonging LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman to shoot at an available opportune moment, without creating any fuss and doubts to the outside world, especially to Colonel Soosai.


Sunday, July 23, 2006


The LTTE controlled Tamil Net said the recent claymore explosion inside their territory near Mannar was an attack by the Sri Lanka Army’s Deep Penetration Unit

According to them, the explosion has been targeted at a NGO vehicle and only the officials of the organization got minor injuries. The news items failed to explain why anybody would waste its precious resources and time and taking life threatening risks to target a NGO vehicle and inflict minor injuries!

But mystery surrounds the blast since the LTTE media like the Tamil Net reported only about the three NGO workers who were injured with their driver. According to other sources, there were also five LTTE cadres who were killed in the explosion but there wasn’t a single word about that in the Tamil Net.

But the government controlled Daily News said in the same blast the NGO officials of the North East Irrigated Agriculture Project got injured, the LTTE cadres traveling in another vehicle with NGO markings in front of that vehicle got killed.

The Tamil Net said the Claymore explosion took place in Kokupadaiyan, 28 km southeast of Mannar town, July 20 around 2:45 p.m. “The incident took place on Silivathurai - Mullikulam Road between Kallaru and Kokupadaiyan, the website said. The place is inside the LTTE controlled area.
Did the LTTE guerillas get killed or didn’t they? Usually the LTTE would not admit such a large number of them died in an army organized explosion.

The army also would not say anything about it since it’s a violation of the ceasefire agreement to go inside LTTE territory and described it as a LTTE claymore explosion. It said, “Four employees attached to a World Bank Funded Project Operating in uncleared areas of Mannar under NEIAP organization were injured in an LTTE activated claymore mine blast Thursday (20) afternoon KOKKUPADAYAN.

Those four employees were proceeding on a double cab when suspected terrorist most probably due to mistaken identity activated the claymore mine.”

To prove their version five LTTE guerillas cannot die if the mine was activated by the LTTE. So, they also could not tell anything about the five deaths of the guerillas, either.

The conflicting reports would also indicate the LTTE’s great worry about a Deep Penetration Unit of the Army. Is there such a unit? Or, is there some other group attacking Prabhakaran with the help of RAW, maybe? Whatever it is the five deaths of Tigers will remain a mystery for now.

In a different news item on the same day the Tamil Net, said in the LTTE controlled Semamadu in Vavuniya district three members of their auxiliary army were injured by a claymore mine explosion of Sri Lanka Army’s Deep Penetration Unit. Like many of the Sri Lanka Army soldiers who get injured by claymore mines they were also injured while being engaged in road clearing duties. How similar!
Are the Tamil Tigers getting a dose of their own medicine?


Friday, July 21, 2006


The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) charged that Sri Lanka Army troop has penetrated deeply into their territory and killed a Lt. Colonel, two captains and a private of their guerilla army in ambush at night.

The Sri Lanka Army has denied any of their troops had penetrated into the LTTE territory to kill, as alleged.

Under the ceasefire agreement signed by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Velupillai Prabhakaran, the government of Sri Lanka territory and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam territory are demarcated.

No army of both sides could enter each other’s territory. But LTTE guerillas could enter the Sri Lanka territory unarmed for political purposes. But in many reported incidents the LTTE entered Sri Lanka territory armed and for illegal child kidnapping purposes. During the past few months armed LTTE men entered Lanka government territory and exploded claymore bombs and ambushed Sri Lanka Army troops who were on road clearing duty. They also entered those territories to assassinate their political enemies from organizations like EPDP and PLOTE and Sri Lankan intelligence men.

The ceasefire agreement was signed when the LTTE was at the risk of losing some of their most important people in their guerilla separatist army by attacks of the deep penetration unit of the Sri Lanka army. For instance Thamilselvam, escaped death by the skin of his teeth. So, it was important for the LTTE to sabotage the deep penetration unit. As soon as the Ranil Wickremesinghe government came into power the police raided the Millennium housing scheme hide out of the deep penetration unit and exposed many combatants of the unit by the pro-UNP media. Some of them have been assassinated by the LTTE since then.

Analysts asked whether the army’s deep penetration unit has been revived or whether it was Karuna who was attacking the LTTE in ambush now. According to the statement issued by the LTTE, the terrorists are very much alarmed about what is happening deep inside their own territory.
The LTTE said the four guerillas were killed in ambush about 9 p.m. July 12 (Wednesday) at a place called Kadawanaikulam in Thampalakamam division in Trincomalee district. The attackers have been waiting in ambush at night. The Tamil Net said the attackers had penetrated into the LTTE held area Kadawanaikulam along Trincomalee-Kandy highway located about 20 kilometers off the South West of Trincomale.

According to the LTTE statement the following LTTE guerillas have been killed by the party in ambush: Lt.Colonel Eesan (Muthulingam Kalaiarasan of Eachantivu-Alankerni), Captain Theepan (Nagarajah Venthan, of Pattithidal-Muttur), Captain Thanushan (Venthan of Batticaloa) and Veeravengai Karuna (Thangavel Karunakaran of Mullipottanai-Thampalakamam).
Whether the attacks were done by a deep penetration unit or by the Karuna faction the incident has made it extremely dangerous for any LTTE troop to be engaged in any night movements now.


Sinhala DPU resumes offensive in Vavuniya

Three members of the Tamil Eelam Auxiliary Force were injured at around 12pm on Thursday when the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) exploded a claymore mine in Semamadu, Vavuniya.

DPU activities in Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) administered Vavuniya region died down after the assassination of Major-General Parami Kulatunga in June 2006.

The Auxiliary Force members were engaged in a regular road clearing operation when the mine exploded, LTTE sources said. Earlier in the year, SLA DPU had killed several civilians traveling on roads in the region.


Vahaneri incident brings an end to paramilitary politics

English version of the editorial comment in LTTE’s official monthly “Viduthalaippulikal", June – July 2006

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has adamantly maintained that the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) is not involved in the shadow war conducted against the Tamil people and the LTTE since December 2005. It has held fast to its position that this shadow war is a clash between the LTTE and other Tamil paramilitary groups.

The attempted attack by a large SLA battalion that had penetrated into the LTTE area of Vahaneri in Batticaloa must be tested against the above stance of the GoSL. Twelve bodies of SLA soldiers were captured after this attack and SLMM has confirmed that the location of the attack was in fact an LTTE area.

Does this mean that the GoSL has rejected the CFA signed by the two parties and endorsed by the international community?

The GoSL has been attempting in several ways to break the CFA and force another war on the Tamils. The GoSL also wants the LTTE to be blamed for restarting the war. It has therefore continued to provoke the LTTE with its attacks on the LTTE and extrajudicial killings of Tamil civilians.

Although the LTTE has not continued to take part in direct talks, it has exercised patience and flexibility to protect the CFA environment thus avoiding a full scale war. It is to break this patience of the LTTE that the GoSL has ordered the large scale attack at Vahaneri. Had the GoSL forces succeeded in the attack and had all its members escaped back to GoSL controlled area, then the GoSL would have claimed that it had no involvement in that attack. At Vahaneri, the SLA, that had so far penetrated into the LTTE areas in small groups of four and five, had moved in with dozens of members for the attack.

The GoSL has flatly rejected the call to remove the paramilitary groups from the Northeast as agreed upon in the CFA and called for by the international community. Even the Secretary General of the GoSL Peace Secretariat has ascertained this position of the GoSL.

The GoSL believes that removing the paramilitary groups is detrimental to its interests. If the paramilitary groups are removed then the GoSL will lose its convenient scapegoat to blame its military attacks.

Exploiting the paramilitary phenomenon and staging elaborate dramas to posture as seeking a resolution to the conflict are not new for the Sinhala governments. These tactics have been used by previous Sinhala leadership as well. Tamil people have understood these tactics of the Sinhala side through long experience. It is this realization that is creating a huge upsurge among Tamils.

The GoSL still continues with these dramas in an attempt to dupe the international community. It is the hope of the LTTE that the international community will see through these deceptions of the GoSL.

The removal of the paramilitary group is not the only CFA clause that the GoSL has rejected. Other political and economical issues have also been rejected by the GoSL. The ban on fishing along the Northeast coast is continued by the Sri Lankan Navy. The SLA is restricting the transport of fuel and building materials into LTTE areas. Many humanitarian projects undertaken by the INGOs have been interrupted by the restriction on building materials.

The truth is that the Tamil people have not enjoyed the fruits of the four and a half years of peace. Tamil people have continued to face destruction of life and property, displacement, and refugee life.

The present ground reality is that it is only the military strength of the Tamils that will deliver them a peaceful life and dependable livelihood and respectability. The need of the time is for the Tamils to come together to defeat the Sinhala military schemes to gain their freedom. It is only the Tamil unity and the Tamil military strength that will determine the fate of the Tamils.


Humanitarian workers injured in SLA attack

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) exploded a claymore mine at around 3pm today, injuring four workers of North-East Irrigated Agriculture Project (NEIAP), deep within the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) administered region of Mannar district.

"The DPU may have targeted the NEIAP vehicle in the believe that LTTE cadres were traveling in it," speculated reports from Colombo.

However, a civilian from Mannar said: "NEIAP vehicles are clearly marked on all sides, including the roof. The occupation forces are targeting humanitarian agencies so that they will flee, and we would be left to starve to death."

Indeed the latter speculation from the civilian in Mannar appears to be confirmed by a pattern of attacks by the SLA on humanitarian agencies working in the Tamil Homeland.

Workers of Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) and CARE International have been targeted in the past.


The Significance of the Vakeneri Incident

In the Vakaneri incident a posse of over 100 SL soldiers went across the border of the de facto Eelaam on July 16 2006. They were immediately confronted by the LTTE and in the ensuing fight 12 SL soldiers were killed, one captured, and the rest beat a hasty retrueat. The bodies of killed soldiers were uncermoniously dumped into a truck, paraded aroud, surrounded by gleeful LTTE cadres (as shown in the photo). This was adding insult to injury. The bodies were subsequently handed over to GOSL. In a way this was the "Thank you note" for the "humanitarianism" shown ny MahindaR to Daya Master.

did not show much respect for the dead either. The bodies were simply handed to the next-of-kin. The MR government even placed the blame for the incident on the SL soldiers for straying into Eelaam territory. Few Governments would have treated their own soldiers in such disrespect. But this is the usual Hela style. Meanwhile the MR government immediately proclaimed its readiness to continue the cease-fire, in case anyone had any doubts about this. Of course the LTTE does not observe any cease-fire.

The reason for the behaviour of MR is not hard to find. It is that he has no policy for countering the terrorism of the LTTE. There has never been any example of this kind of cringing subservience to a terrorist group in any part of the world. Indeed it is only possible with the Helas of SL. The blame for this should not only be laid on the corrupt political leaders of the country. It is also shared by the hordes of Hela MR devotees, especially in the Hela expatriate groups.

This incident shows the growing recognition of Eelaam as a reality in Sri Lanka. It is now well on the way to de jure recognition. When one-seventh of the country has been given over to a terrorist, and GOSL dare not trespass into his territory, the cries of "Heladiva" and "Sinhaleh" of the Hela "patriots" must sound hollow.

Meanwhile the Hela patriots have maintained a stony silence. They are more interested in SL "maids" slaving for Arabs in Lebanon and earning foreign exchange for the corrup Helas at home, than in their own soldiers killed by the LTTE. Of course they have missed the lesson of Lebanon entirely. This is that Israel is prepared to attack of sovering country to defeat terrrorism. In SL the terrorists are treated with honour and even given a large chunk of the country. Of course the LTTE have killed more than the Hizbollah.


Eastern camps of Wanni Tigers will be attacked – Karuna faction

Karuna faction has vowed to attack all Wanni Tiger camps housed in the Eastern Province. Sources said that Karuna faction has demanded the release all captives by the Wanni Tigers, who said all camps in the East will come under attack in the future.

Karuna faction has stated that not only the civilians in the East but also in the North should be freed from the Wanni Tiger harassment which has been their demand for over the past few years.

It further states that all taxes collected from the civilians should be stopped. It has emphasized that all arrangements have been made to influence the Wanni Tigers on this with the assistance of the civilians in the East in the near future.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Claymore explosion kills three Mannar civilians

Three Tamil civilians were killed in a claymore explosion Wednesday afternoon around 4:00 p.m. while transporting sand in a tractor from Kallaru located in the Liberation Tigers controlled Musali division in Mannar district, civil sources said.

Saminathan Jacob, 58, Simion Regin, 22, and Simion Antony Gnanapragasam, 17 of Kokupadaiyan area in Musali DS division were returing with their loaded tractor to Kokupadaiyan when their tractor hit a claymore mine buried along the road by the Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) of the Sri Lanka Army.

The tractor was destroyed in the explosion. All three occupants died on the spot, civil society sources said.

Their bodies were taken to Silavathurai hospital, hospital sources said.

The site where the explosion took place is located about 30 km off Mannar town.


4 NEIAP officials wounded in DPU Claymore attack

Three officials of World Bank funded North-East Irrigated Agriculture Project (NEIAP) and the driver of their pickup vehicle, belonging to Mannar District Secretariat, were wounded in a Claymore carried out by the Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) attackers in Kokupadaiyan, 28 km southeast of Mannar town, Thursday around 2:45 p.m. The incident took place on Slivathurai - Mullikulam Road between Kallaru and Kokkupadaiyan, civilian sources said.

A lady officer was among the wounded, according to initial reports.

Details of the officials were not available at the moment.

An Ambulance has been sent from Murunkan District Hospital, medical sources said.

Additional Government Agent of Mannar has rushed to the area, District Secretariat sources in Mannar said.

Sri Lankan DPU teams have been active in the area targeting LTTE cadres. 3 civilians were killed in a Claymore attack by a DPU team in the area 20 days ago.


Three Tamil auxiliarists wounded in DPU Claymore attack

Three Tamileelam auxiliarists who were patrolling in Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled Semamadu in Vavuniya district, were wounded in a Claymore blast carried out by the Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) of the Sri Lanka Army, Tamileelam Police sources in Kilinochchi said. The Claymore attack was reported at 11:45 a.m. Thursday.

One of the three wounded were in serious state.

The auxiliarists were on a regular road clearing patrol, Tamileelam Police sources said.


'Colombo is procuring weapons from Pakistan'

Sri Lanka is on the brink of civil war. R Sampanthan, secretary-general of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), which is Lanka's oldest Tamil political party and now a member of the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance, indicates that the peace talks are headed nowhere. Sampanthan tells Frances Bulathsinghala that LTTE has realised the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was a mistake:

There have been at least four suicide attacks and hundreds of assassinations in the past months. Is LTTE serious about peace?

Yes. It is up to the government to engage LTTE and reach a solution that is acceptable to the Tamils.

Hundreds of Tamils have been killed by LTTE, including eminent Tamil politicians, at least six of them from TULF.

It is regrettable that these killings occurred. It should not have happened.

Is it fear for your own life that prevents you from criticising LTTE?

No. no.

But other Tamil politicians who criticised LTTE have been killed.

As I said it is regrettable. It is horrible.

Do you think LTTE are the sole representatives of the Tamil people?

They are the representatives of Tamil people in the current negotiations based on the mandate given by the people in the last general elections.

Election monitors from European Union had stated that the elections were rigged by LTTE.

Well, there would have been some overenthusiasm by the Tamils for this election. Tamils in uncleared areas (LTTE-controlled territory) had been deprived of their votes in a number of elections.

How independent of LTTE is TNA? Why does it not tell LTTE to stop the killings?

We have told them. We oppose all killings. We oppose the extrajudicial killings taking place in the north and east. We have indicated this to President Mahinda Rajapakse.

There are people disappearing everyday in the north and east. There have been gruesome killings and there have been no investigations by the government.

But it is LTTE that stands accused of a bulk of the killings which have taken place following the ceasefire.

There are killings and killings. It is not only LTTE which is killing in this country. There are killings from both sides.

How do you see LTTE leader Anton Balasingham's apology for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi?

Well, it's a realisation of the grave mistake that has been made.

LTTE is preparing for war and is giving combat training to thousands of civilians. Aren't you disappointed?

The government too is preparing for war. The government military too is recruiting. It is procuring weapons from Pakistan.


Sri Lanka clash kills 12 soldiers by Simon Gardner

COLOMBO (Reuters) - At least 12 Sri Lankan soldiers and four Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in a firefight in the island's restive east on Friday, truce monitors said, in one of the worst military clashes since a 2002 cease-fire.

Nordic monitors and Red Cross officials said they had seen the corpses, while the military said a 13th soldier was still missing and four others were injured.

The Tigers insisted they had shot dead 22 people in the firefight, and said the balance likely belonged to a breakaway faction of former comrades led by renegade commander Karuna, whom they accuse the military of helping to mount attacks.

Kayal Viliyan, a senior rebel in the Tigers' eastern political office in the district of Batticaloa, told Reuters that around 60 troops had entered Tiger territory and been surrounded by about 200 rebels.

"We have found 22 bodies, and we are still searching," he said by telephone from Batticaloa. "They came into our area and we retaliated ... We have captured one soldier."

"The government does not want to admit the number of Karuna people killed in the attack," he added.

It was not immediately clear why the Tigers did not show the Red Cross evidence of any dead Karuna fighters killed in the clash in Batticaloa, where the dividing line between government- and rebel-held areas is often porous and ill-defined.

"Our patrol was fired upon with heavy weapons and mortars, close to an army camp. Additional troops were rushed to the area, and when they arrived, the Tigers surrounded them," said a military spokesman, Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe.

"The 22 figure is wrong. Until we recover the bodies we have 13 missing in action."


The Red Cross is due to coordinate the handover of the bodies of the slain soldiers on Saturday.

The incident came as Sri Lanka's navy rained mortar shells on Tamil rebel positions in the neighbouring northern district of Trincomalee in a separate incident after suspected snipers killed one sailor and injured one.

On Thursday, suspected Tiger rebels shot dead three soldiers and a political rival in northern Sri Lanka. The ambushes and military clashes have killed more than 700 people so far this year and strained the 2002 truce to breaking point.

Sri Lanka's tortuous peace process is deadlocked and teetering on the verge of collapse. Government and rebels are sharply divided over the Tigers' demands for a separate homeland for minority Tamils in the north and east.

Diplomats and analysts fear escalating violence could push the island back into a full-fledged war that would punish the $23 billion economy and the tourist industry.

However, in a rare exchange of goodwill, the Tigers said on Friday they would release a policeman they have detained since September 2005, when he entered their territory without permission to track down a suspected foreign paedophile.

Two fellow policemen were earlier released, one in a prisoner swap. The release of the third, due on Saturday, comes after President Mahinda Rajapakse allowed Tiger media coordinator Daya Master to be rushed to Colombo for treatment for a heart condition.

However, many in the Sinhalese-majority south have little compassion for the Tigers after two decades of civil war that have killed more than 65,000 on both sides.

"Why is the government protecting killers?" asked 32-year-old Roshan Chaminda, secretary of the National Movement Against Terrorism, as dozens protested outside the top-end Apollo hospital. "He is a terrorist organisation leader. They kill Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and anyone else against them," he said.


12 soldiers killed in Tiger clash

Colombo At least 12 Sri Lankan soldiers and four Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in a firefight in the island’s restive east, truce monitors said, in one of the worst military clashes since a ceasefire in 2002.

Nordic monitors and Red Cross officials said they had seen the corpses, while the military said a thirteenth soldier was still missing and four others were injured.

The Tigers said that they had shot dead 22 people in the firefight, and said the balance likely belonged to a breakaway faction of former comrades led by renegade commander Karuna, whom they accuse the military of helping to mount attacks.

Kayal Viliyan, a senior rebel in the Tigers’ eastern political office in the district of Batticaloa, said that around 60 troops had entered Tiger territory and been surrounded by about 200 rebels.

“The government does not want to admit the number of Karuna people killed in the attack,” he added.

It was not immediately clear why the Tigers did not show the Red Cross evidence of any dead Karuna fighters killed in the clash in Batticaloa.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

SLMM meets SLA soldier under LTTE captivity

Members of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) met with captive Lance Corporal Karunaratne at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday at the LTTE's Thenaham building in Karadiyanaaru, LTTE sources in Batticaloa said. Karunaratne was captured by the Liberation Tigers during a clandestine cross border incursion of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) into LTTE held territory on early morrning of 14 July.

Head of SLMM for Batticaloa district Sari Rask and his deputy attended the meeting.

Daya Mohan, LTTE political head of Batticaloa was present on behalf of the LTTE.

Mr Karunaratne told the SLMM members that SLA group entered the LTTE-held area under the orders of SLA commanders, and that the LTTE fighters attacked them first when their group advanced towards Vakaneri.

12 Sri Lankan troops, 4 Tiger fighters were killed during the encounter.


LTTE cadre killed in clash with SLA DPU in Trincomalee

LTTE cadres Wednesday morning around 6:00 a.m. thwarted an attempt by a group of soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) to enter into the LTTE held area through its forward defence line located in Eachchilampathu division, south of Trincomalee district, LTTE sources said.

SLA soldiers fled from the area leaving a live claymore mine and other weapons at the site.

They also took back those injured soldiers, LTTE sources said. It is not known if there were any casualties on the SLA side.

LTTE sources in Sampoor said one LTTE cadre Lieutenant Kuilan, (Thevananthan Vino of Anpuvallipuram), was killed in the encounter.


LTTE hands over bodies of 12 soldiers

Government yesterday appealed to the Scandinavian monitors to secure the release of a soldier held captive by the LTTE after Friday’s clash in which 12 soldiers were killed in the Vakaneri area in Batticaloa.

SLMM spokesman Thorfinnur Omarsson said the appeal had been conveyed to the LTTE to secure the release of Lance Corporal Wijeyapala Karunaratna, but no response was received till yesterday afternoon.

The appeal came after the LTTE yesterday handed over 12 bodies of soldiers at Chenkaladi in Batticaloa to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The bodies were then transported to the Valaichchenai hospital where post-mortems were conducted before they were handed over to the army.

The ICRC after taking possession of the soldier’s bodies had asked the LTTE cadres at Illupadicheni to give access to the injured soldier, allowing Dr. Gianluca Russo of the Italian Red Cross who was part of the ICRC team to check the medical condition of the wounded soldier. LTTE representatives responded that they would need approval from their leaders to allow access for the ICRC doctor.

LTTE Batticoloa district political wing leader Daya Mohan, however, said the ICRC might be allowed such access soon. The Military says the soldiers were killed during search and route clearing patrol in the government-controlled Vakaneri area, but the LTTE claimed they had entered five kilometres into an LTTE-controlled area.

Meanwhile SLMM chief Ulf Henricsson yesterday met LTTE political wing leader S.P.Thamilselvan in Kilinochchi and took up the issue about the soldier’s release.

The LTTE lodged a strong protest with the SLMM, complaining about alleged infiltration by the army into the rebel-held areas.


Home guards to the fore by Chandani Kirinde

Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera who was appointed Director General of the 30,000 strong Home Guard Force (HGF) in April this year has taken measures to recruit, train, equip and deploy additional home guards in areas vulnerable to LTTE attacks, particularly after the Kebitigollewa bus massacre. In an interview with The Sunday Times, he spoke on the importance of protecting the villagers and said the bunker line to protect them would become a reality in the coming weeks. Excerpts:

Q:What is the background to the creation of the home guard unit?

A:The unit was created in 1985 to protect villages from LTTE attacks because at that time the army was unable to guard every village. The government gave weapons to selected youth in each village. Initially there was no payment involved neither did they have uniforms. Gradually the demand for their services grew and they were paid and were also given uniforms.

Q: Can you comment on your appointment as the Director General of the Home Guard Force?

A:After the ceasefire agreement when the situation was relatively peaceful, the importance of the home guard unit decreased and these people found other jobs. This year with the escalation in violence, villages are once again facing the threat of LTTE attacks. In the light of this the government wanted to re-organise the Home Guard Force. I was appointed in April by the President as DG in addition to my duties as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Navy.

Q: What have been your main tasks since taking up this appointment?

A:During the first week, I did a study of more than 400 villages that are under threat, the exact number of home guards deployed in each village and also the minimum number required to protect each village in keeping with the recommendations of the army. I also recruited 5000 people from the affected areas. They underwent a two week training programme at Army and Special Task Force (STF) camps before being deployed.

Q: On what basis were they deployed?

A:They were deployed according to specifications of the Army and the STF .We have also begun issuing weapons to selected civilians on the recommendation of the police. This is meant as a deterrent against attacks on the homes of villagers.

Q: What kind of training has been given to the home guards?

A:They have been trained in the use of T- 56 automatic rifles, shot guns and repeater guns. They have also been given training in field craft and the general law. But the training doesn’t stop there. There are training teams that will visit each village regularly to continue training them as well as motivating them.

Q: What are the most vulnerable areas?

A:The Ampara district, parts of Moneragala, Trincomalee, Kantalai, Vavuniya and parts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Puttlam. This is the threatened belt.

Q: Since the Kebitigollewa tragedy, the villagers are refusing to return to their homes till the bunker line is put in place to secure their villages. Can you comment?

A:These villagers need not be afraid to return to their homes once the Forward Defence Line (FDL) is established in the coming weeks. The work on the bunker line will also start very soon.

Q: How bad is the threat to the areas excluding Kebitigollewa?

A:I believe the situation is now under control. The required number of men will be trained and deployed in the villages and it will be their responsibility to protect the villagers. We have selected youth from their own villages because when they have to protect their own kith and kin they would do a better job than a person from outside. It is the responsibility of the army and the STF to supervise them. Responsible residents in the village including priests, retired teachers should also be vigilant of their activities and report to me if there are any lapses on the part of the home guards.

Q: How important is the Home Guard Unit for the security of the country?

A:I believe it is important as these threatened villages are a major component of the national security. If these villagers leave their homes and head south it could destabilise the whole country. So these villages have to be protected and the Home Guard Force is there to do just that. This is why the unit must be further strengthened. It is also the responsibility of every citizen in the country to ensure the security of these people by way of contributing in whatever way they can.

Q: Any future plans for the Home Guard Unit?

A: I think the government has plans to make it a permanent force. Now it is an auxiliary force .


Little light at the end of the tunnel by Chandani Kirinde and Nalaka Nonis

One month after the Kebitigollewa tragedy, The Sunday Times goes back...

The sounds of wailing have died down in the villages around Kebitigollewa. A few plastic wreaths lie on top of the mass grave, where 67 people lie buried. The place where the jam-packed commuter passenger bus was hit by the explosion shows no signs of the deadly incident that snuffed out so many lives in a few seconds. What remains today are abandoned homes, deserted roads and closed schools. Hundreds of villagers fled their homes to take refuge in safer environs with only a few of the brave choosing to stay behind.

This is the sad plight of the villagers of Indigollewa, Yakawewa, Halmillawetiya, Thalgahawewa, Meegaswewa and Kalugahawewa for whom the nightmare of that tragic day is far from over. While government authorities as well as the military and police are trying to persuade the villagers to return to their homes, they are far from reassured.

Today the area around the Kebitigollewa town is dotted with white tents to which mainly women and children have been confined while the majority of men who are employed in the home guard force are away on duty. The last time they fled their villages after a terrorist attack in the area in 1995, they remained displaced for over five years and it was only after the 2002 February Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) that many of the villagers returned home.

J.Dhanapala of Halmillawetiya is one among the few still staying on in his village since that fateful day. Of the 86 families that resided there, only nine remain.” Seven people from our village died, some of who were my relatives. But I was born here and I have lived here thorough all the years of the conflict and I will not go now,” a defiant Mr.Dhanapala said.

The terrorist attack has struck a severe blow to the economic conditions of the villagers many of whom are farmers. “We have no income at all since the attack. We cannot go to our paddy fields, we cannot go into the jungle to collect bees honey or sand, both of which gave us a good income. We are surviving on what we had collected before the attack,” he said.

Several weeks before the attack on the bus, two of the villagers were shot dead by the LTTE and some of them had also seen foot prints which they believed belonged to LTTE cadres. “We asked for additional security and for the road to be cleared but nothing was done till the attack on the bus,” he lamented.

The tragedy has affected the young and old alike. One and half month old Tharushi Kavinda was just 15 days old when the incident occurred. Blissfully unaware of the cruel goings on around her, Tharushi now sleeps on the ground with a tent to shelter her from the scorching sun. Her mother Swarnamala and grandmother are with her while her father who is a home guard is on duty in the village at Yakawewa which is now abandoned expect for policemen and home guards who have been assigned there on duty.
“The security is inadequate for us to return to the village. There are no buses plying on the road and if a child falls sick, there is no way for us to come to the Kebitigollewa town after dark,” Swarnamala said.

A single CTB bus started plying on the road last Wednesday, nearly a month after the attack, but many of the villagers are scared to travel on the same route although the sides of the road have been cleared by the army who also carry out a route clearing operations each morning.

Today about 500 families live in five temporary shelters- including tents and a temple premise-close to the Kebitigollewa town.Less than 100 families remain in the six villages that were affected. Many have also moved into homes of relatives in safer areas.

An official of the Divisional Secretariat in Kebitigollewa said the displaced are being provided with dry rations and security. However many of the displaced were worried that the lack of sanitary facilities and water shortage could lead to health hazzards if they had to stay in the tents for a long time.

The Kebitigollewa Madya Maha Vidyalaya which was transformed into a massive funeral parlour to place the coffins of the bus attack victims is also slowly returning to normality with students trickling back to school since last Wednesday.

Two students of the school were among those killed in the blast while another was injured. The displaced villagers who were staying in the school since the tragedy were last week moved into tents and other temporary shelters. The school reopened fully last Wednesday but the authorities are still facing the problem of accommodating about 400 additional students from Halmillawetiya School that closed after the attack.

Kebitigollewa MMV principal W.S.Seneviratna said the displaced students would be admitted to the school but additional class rooms would be needed to accommodate them. “ We have adequate staff but we need more room for these students. We have about 50 students in each class at present so we cannot take in anymore,” Mr.Seveviratne said. He added that the Chief Minister of the North Central Province Bertie Premalal Dissanayake who visited the school on Wednesday had assured that a temporary building would be put up within two weeks to accommodate the displaced children.

The villagers say if they are to return to their homes, a bunker line should be established along the area between the North Central Province and Mullaitivu- the area from where the terrorists infiltrate these villages. Director General of the Home Guard Force Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera said this would become a reality soon with the forward defense line in place and the strengthening of the home guard units.

So while the government grapples with the task of reassuring the villagers to get them to return to their homes, the villagers watch and wait to see if the promises of strengthening security becomes a reality so that they can go back home.


Defeat to separatism: the Yan Oya basin theory by Sumedha

The aim of the Tamil separatist groups, including the LTTE, is to establish a separate state of Eelam by merging the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. Once this proposed state of Eelam is established the conflict would be continued for the purpose of extending its territory in the first instance to the hill country and subsequently to other parts of Sri Lanka. The ultimate objective would be to establish a country of their own for the 118 million Tamil population in the world by conquering the Sinhala motherland and annihilating its 14 million Sinhala population.

To achieve their first aim of linking the northern province with the eastern province of Sri Lanka, a continuous land mass inhabited by Tamils must be established. This aim can never be achieved unless and until the Yan Oya basin is ethnically cleansed by driving away its Sinhala population to the southern parts of the country. Part of Mullaitivu,Vavuniya, Anuradhapura and Trincomalee districts together form the Yan Oya basin. It was a granary of the ancient Sinhala people during the reign of both King Mahasen and King Maha Parakramabahu. Rice produced from its fertile fields which were irrigated by major tanks such as Padaviya and Wahalkada was exported to China from the harbour at Puhulmotte, which is now referred to as Pulmudai.

The aim of the separatist terrorists next was to bring pressure on the Sinhala population by attacking the border Sinhala villages of this basin and through terrorism to create an exodus of the Sinhala people to the southern parts of the country. To counter this the Army was deployed by the government for the protection of the Sinhala villages in this basin. Yan Oya basin thus became the gateway to Eelam and had to be defended if separatism was to be defeated. If this basin falls into the hands of separatist terrorists the north will be merged with the east and with Trincomalee as the capital of Eelam, the process of establishing the new state would be completed.

The importance of the Yan Oya basin can never be over emphasized, but sadly it seems that both the past UNP government and the present PA government have failed to understand the importance of this basin to protect the unity and territorial integrity of our motherland. No suitable strategy has been evolved to date for the defence of this all important basin. The situation has now deteriorated to such an extent that there is a regular exodus of its Sinhala population daily to the safer southern parts of the country as a result of intensified LTTE threats and attacks in this basin.

On October 25, 1995, a comprehensive report predicting imminent attacks on Sinhala villages bordering the Kebethigollewa-Padaviya road was forwarded to the General Officer Commanding the Second Division of the Army. In this report it was pointed out that several Sinhalese living in these villages had been abducted by the LTTE and that the LTTE would gather information from those who had been abducted to stage attacks on these Sinhala villages.

As a precautionary measure to prevent such attacks this report recommended the immediate construction of a bunker line to cover the gap of fourteen kilometres that existed between the forward defence line of Weli Oya and Vavuniya. It was suggested that this bunker line be started from Padavi Parakramapura in the Anuradhapura district and extended to Periyapuliyalankulam in the Vavuniya district. The construction of 280 bunkers forward of an abandoned road mutually supporting each other and dominating a well laid out minefield in front of the bunker line would have effectively provided adequate defence to bridge the gap through which the terrorists were constantly staging attacks deep into the Kebethigollewa area in the Anuradhapura district.

The initiator of this report was informed that the proposal had been submitted through the Commander of the Army to the Deputy Minister of Defence for necessary action. The gap was however never sealed and since then many Sinhala villages have been attacked as predicted in the report. More than twenty Sinhala villages in the Kebethigollewa divisional secretariat area have been abandoned since and 35% of its population has been reduced to refugee status. More than one hundred Army, Police and civilians have been killed since and many more wounded by LTTE raids conducted through this gap in the forward defence line.

The recent attack on three armoured vehicles killing twelve soldiers and causing a substantial loss in military equipment, the value of which would far exceed the construction cost of the proposed bunker line of fourteen kilometres, indicates the adverse results of not using common sense. The attack on the Kanugahawewa police post on January 18, 1997 during which the LTTE killed twenty one policemen and two homeguards and injured another eighteen policemen could also have been avoided if this bunker line had been constructed as suggested in the said report.

It is also common sense that the closest route to Kandy from Colombo is through Kegalle and not through Kurunegala. Without heeding to common sense and constructing fourteen kilometres of bunker line to bridge this gap, work has begun on the construction of a 21 kilometre bunker line for the same purpose. The tremendous advantages of the bunker line proposed in the report has been totally overlooked due to lack of common sense. One such advantage is that it would have enabled the use of manpower and defence material in the existing bunker line from Periyapuliyalankulam to Kuda Katchikudiya which is seven kilometres in extent that would become redundant with the establishment of the proposed bunker line from Periyapuliyalankulam to Padavi Parakramapura. Therefore man-power and defence stores would have to be found only for seven kilometres as opposed to thrice that requirement for the bunker line now under construction.

With the increase in distance from 14 kilometres to 21 kilometres, a longer period of time would be required to seal the gap and once completed would provide a longer frontage for possible LTTE attacks. The proposed new bunker line will also be hugging some populated villages and many abandoned villages. If an attack is staged on the bunker line by the LTTE, innocent civilians in these villages may be caught up in the crossfire. This new bunker line under construction from Kuda Katchikudiya in the Vavuniya district to Morakewa in the Anuradhapura district will not therefore induce the Sinhala population who have left Ralapanawa, Kelepuliyan-kulama, Kunchuttuwa, Vihara Halmillewa, Halmillewatiya, Dutuwewa, Yakawewa, Indigollewa, Kanugahawewa, Kele Nikawewa, Thalgas-wewa, Maha Nikawewa and Morakewa to return to their homes as they would fear to live close to the new bunker line anticipating possible LTTE attacks. All these abandoned villages could however be resettled if the bunker line is established from Padavi Parakkramapura to Periya-puliyalankulam.

The establishment of the bunker line from Padavi Parakkramapura to Periya-puliyalankulam will make the main supply route to Padaviya perfectly safe from possible attacks by terrorists. It would also enable the route from Medawachchiya to Kebethi-gollewa to be used without fear once more. The road from Kebethigollewa to Vavuniya could also be reopened for safe use.

If, however, the situation that now prevails is allowed to continue unabated it will result in a shortage of essential commmodities in the interior areas of the Yan Oya basin very soon as many lorries that transport these items do not go there any longer due to the risk involved. There is also the danger of buses and other forms of transport being attacked on this insecure road. When free movement is not possible to this area both for people and essential commodities the exodus of the population out of this inaccessible area in search of safer habitats in the south is inevitable.

This article has been written to awaken the common sense of those responsible for the security of our motherland to correct mistakes that have resulted in the loss of valuable life and equipment and with a view to reversing the situation even at this late stage by evolving a sensible strategy to provide adequate security for this all important Yan Oya basin and thereby to defeat the aims and objectives of the separatist terrorists who are systematically engaged in a process of ethnic cleansing in this area.

It is the people who live and work in these areas that can best see the imminent future dangers to this area. The author of this article has lived in more than 50 LTTE affected villages with these innocent people in their humble dwellings and with the wealth of information gathered from this exercise is making these facts available to those who are in authority with the sincere hope of receiving a positive response.


Could Kebitigollewa have been averted? by Lt. Col. A.S. Amarasekera

It’s not too late to establish the FDL suggested way back in 1995 and protect these villages.

The Sinhala villages in the Kebitigollewa divisional secretariat area first came under LTTE threat during the Eelam war II. These threats intensified and several villages were attacked around 1990.

Kelebogahawewa, Konwewa and Veherawewa in the Padaviya divisional secretariat area were the northern most villages of the Anuradhapura district, bordering the Vavuniya district. These were the first to be attacked by the LTTE during the Eelam war II, with several innocent villagers being hacked to death. These threats and attacks extended southwards and many villages such as Mahakollewa, Kudakollewa, Siyambalagaswewa, Nambakadawewa, Nelligollakadawewa, Hammillapotanawewa, Hettigamawewa, Walalubindawewa, Kuda Hettiagamawewa, Manewa, Nikawewa, Kandagahawewa, Meneriwewa, Maha Etambagaskada and Indigollewa were abandoned.

In 1993, villages such as Dikwewa, Yakawewa, Maha Kanugahawewa, Palu Hammillewa, Halmillawetiya, Puliyankulama, Kongollewa, Maha Kandigala, Kuda Relapanawa, Kuda Kandigala, Maha Relapanawa, Maha Halmillewa, Kuda Halmillewa and Viharahalmillewa came under LTTE threat. Even Kunchuttuwa, Olugaswewa and Kele Puliyankulama, Sinhala villages on the Kebitigollewa-Vavuniya main road, faced the threat.

Many Sinhala families, therefore, moved into camps put up for internally displaced persons (IDPs) close to the Kebitigollewa town.

Around 1995, Talgahawewa, Maha Nikawewa, Morakewa, Herath Hammillewa and Tammannewa were attacked and several villagers massacred by the LTTE. The main road from Kebitigollewa to Padaviya was under threat. To make this main road safe, a bunker line was constructed from Kebitigollewa to Bogashandiya, a distance of about 25 kilometres.

However, the Jaya Sikuru Operation of 1997 resulted in the establishment of a forward defence line from Kanagarayankulam to Nedunkeni and all the villages south of this line were rendered safe from LTTE threats and attacks. The people who were living in camps returned to their villages. Even the villages of Kele Bogahawewa, Konwewa and Veherawewa in the Padaviya divisional secretariat area were resettled.

With the collapse of the forward defence line from Kanagarayankulam to Nedunkeni in November 1999, the Sri Lanka Army requested the villagers of Kele Bogahawewa, Konwewa, Veherawewa and Kambilliyawa to withdraw to Padavi Parakramapura and these villages were abandoned once more. Thus a situation was once again created wherein the LTTE was able to threaten and attack all these villages. However, due to the so-called Ceasefire Agreement of 2002, the LTTE refrained from attacking the villages in the Kebitigollewa area.

These villages came under LTTE threats and attacks once more in May 2006. The June 15 claymore mine attack that claimed the lives of 67 innocent civilians travelling in a bus, has shown the imperative need to prevent further LTTE attacks.

The lack of security in these villages in the Anuradhapura district — far south of the so-called LTTE controlled area — has to be addressed without further delay. These villages are terrorized by small LTTE gangs that are able to infiltrate this area due to the absence of a forward defence line between Padavi Parakramapura in the Anuradhapura district and Mahakachchakodiya in the Vavuniya district.

The present police posts that are south of the villages along the Kebitigollewa-Madukanda road or the bunker line along the Kebitigollewa-Bogaswewa road that has been constructed east of the villages, are of little use to prevent any LTTE infiltration, let alone protecting the villages from threats and attacks. The maximum these police posts or the present bunker line is able to do is to give some form of protection to the road by first clearing the road each morning and then stationing pickets to prevent possible claymore mine attacks.

A comprehensive project proposal was submitted recently to the Defence Secretary to establish a 14-mile forward defence line between Pirappammaduwa and Buddhangala. The police personnel and home guards now deployed to protect the eight-mile Madukanda-Kele Puliyankuluma stretch and the 15-mile Kebitigollewa-Bogashandiya stretch could be re-deployed to meet the manpower requirement of the new forward defence line.

Since the suggested forward defence line will traverse a distance of only 3.5 miles in the Vavuniya district, which also happens to be in the Vavuniya South Sinhala divisional secretariat area, with the balance distance of 10.5 miles in the Anuradhapura district, there is no reason for the non-implementation of this defence line, as it is well within the government-controlled area. Such a defence line will not only give security to the villages now threatened but will also make it possible to resettle people in the villages that have been abandoned. It will also make it difficult, if not impossible, for LTTE terrorists to use a land route from the Mullaitivu district to the Trincomalee district through the Anuradhapura district.

In May 1995 when I was the Officer Commanding Troops in Anuradhapura , I submitted a letter to the Divisional Commander of the Second Division, Sri Lanka Army then headquartered at Ranasevapura, Anuradhapura. The relevant part of that letter is reproduced elsewhere.

Probably, due to the lack of resources, my suggestions were not implemented. I was subsequently appointed the Manpower Mobilization and Disaster Relief Coordinator in the Second Division. One of my duties was to ensure that there was no exodus southwards of people from the villages under threat. By October 1995, the situation was becoming critical in the villages of Kebitigollewa. Many villages had been abandoned and there was a large camp for IDPs in the Kebitigollewa town.

On October 25, 1995, I wrote my second letter in Sinhala to the Divisional Commander, recommending once more the establishment of the forward defence line between Periyapuliyalankulam and Padavi Parakramapura. I went to the extent of obtaining 2,000 roofing sheets from a Sinhala youth organization in Abu Dhabi and these were donated to the Sri Lanka Army to be utilized for the construction of the bunker line, but nothing happened. I still have in my possession a signal received from the Divisional Command dated November 10, 1995, wherein it is stated in Sinhala that my letter of October 25, 1995, had been received and that my ideas and suggestions had been forwarded through the Army Commander to the Deputy Minister of Defence.

If my suggestion had received the necessary attention and the forward defence line had been established then, or even subsequently after the forward defence line between Kanagarayankulam and Nedunkeni collapsed, many valuable lives could have been saved.

Learning from the past mistakes of political leaders, I sincerely hope the Defence Secretary will be able to persuade the present political leadership to seriously consider the proposal submitted by me to alleviate the plight of the innocent people living in these Sinhala villages which are under LTTE threat, without further delay.

Excerpts from the letter to the Divisional commander

Defence of border villages

The three cardinal principles of defence — All-round defence, Mutual support and Defence in depth — were incorporated for the first time by 2VIR troops at Ulukkulama, where bunkers were constructed every 50 metres with each providing its own all-round defence and mutually supporting each other.

Defence in depth was achieved by setting up a Platoon Headquarters at a considerable distance in depth followed by the Company Headquarters and then a Battalion Headquarters. This concept is now followed from Kudakachchikudiya to Tantirimale, a distance of 35 to 40 miles with around 750 to 800 bunkers. This form of defence has proved successful over three years, reducing troop casualties to a bare minimum and causing no casualties among the civilian population.

This, however, is a troop intensive method, which if extended from Periyapuliyalankulam in the Vavuniya district to Padavi Parakramapura in the Anuradhapura district, covering a distance of about 10 miles, would provide a complete defence to numerous Sinhala villages in the Kebitigollewa division. Six miles of the ten miles could be manned by relocating the bunkers from Periyapuliyalankulam to Kuda Kathcchikudiya leaving about 80 more new bunkers requiring about 500 troops. The advantage of such an action would be making the police posts at Kele Puliyankulama, Puduwa and Dutuwewa redundant, together with the detachment at Indigollewa and Etambagaskada. The police stations at Kebitigollewa and Padaviya will also be safe from possible attacks. Furthermore, it will also make the main supply route to Padaviya safe for use. The road from Vavuniya to Kebitigollewa could also be made usable.

Due to non-availability of troops this proven bunker line method has been substituted by locating police posts or army detachments in the border villages of Kebitigollewa, Padaviya, Horowupotana and Pemaduwa divisional secretariat areas of the Anuradhapura district for the purpose of providing village security.
While the detachments or police posts thus established are able to provide for themselves all-round defence, through the construction of mutually supporting bunkers around the established camp, defence in depth and mutual support from the closest reinforcement point have always been lacking, either due to non-availability of adequate resources or the distance involved.

This point was well demonstrated when Kele Puliyankulama was attacked on May 10, 1995. The closest point of reinforcement, the Kebitigollewa police station six miles away was unable to rush reinforcements in time to avoid disaster.

The detachments or police posts that are located in such isolation are targets inviting enemy attacks. As a result of seeking administrative advantages and camp comforts, lives have been lost in many of these isolated detachments and police posts. This trend will continue, unless alternative methods are adopted. When the police post or detachment is overrun, it creates fear in the minds of villagers and forces them to abandon their villages and move southwards.

The alternative to living in isolated police posts or army detachments is for the personnel to form independent mobile groups that could live under canvas tents which could be moved from location to location. This type of group could be moved into border villages where while half perform duties as buddy pairs in fortified bunkers, the other half could rest in the canvas tents, which could be relocated from time to time thus never offering a fixed target to the enemy.

The resting troops could reinforce the troops on duty in the event of attack. This method will make the enemy who uses concentration of force to achieve success vulnerable as the resting reinforcements could attack the enemy concentration rapidly.

The police or home guards must also be trained by attaching them to army buddy pairs thus building confidence in them to face enemy threats and attacks from well fortified bunkers at the outer perimeter of each village. As the police and home guards gain enough confidence the army could be withdrawn to be relocated forward of the village in the jungle to kill the enemy before they approach the village. In such a deployment the troops will work as buddy trios, with the army groups never permanently located at a jungle base, but shifting their location from time to time. This action will confuse the enemy and enable the troops to dominate the jungle, forward of the border village.

These suggestions if implemented will contribute towards saving valuable life and equipment. I, therefore, sincerely hope they will receive your consideration with a view for future implementation.


Excerpts from the letter to the Divisional commander

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sri Lanka's Military to deal with Karuna cadres sternly by Munza Mushtaq

Sri Lanka's military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe has reiterated that security forces will take all possible measures to 'deal to the maximum' with LTTE renegade leader Karuna and his cadres if they disturb the peace in any government-controlled area.

Brigadier Samarasinghe told the “Asian Tribune” that, "anyone unauthorized possessing arms operating in government-controlled areas will be arrested. No mercy will be shown on anyone or any group," he stressed.

He also scoffed at recent reports appearing on the LTTE Peace Secretariat which claimed that Tiger cadres had arrested a person who claimed to be a Karuna cadre named Jayachandran on July 7th, who had said claimed the Karuna group and Sri Lankan army (SLA) provided him with claymore mine materials to carry out an attack against the LTTE. Jayachandran had also claimed that the Karuna group members and 50 Sri Lanka Army troops escorted him into the LTTE area for the attack.

Brigadier Samarasinghe noted however that neither he nor the military were "bothered with such false negative propaganda against the security forces."

The military spokesman also maintained that the security forces were at no given time housing any armed group in government controlled areas.