Monday, August 06, 2007

Tigers distract Sri Lankan Navy with mock operations to save fleeing cadres from the east.

The Batticaloa – Amparai districts Special Commander of the Tamil Tigers, Jeyam, and his retreating cadres numbering around 275 in all are about to cross to Vanni in one or two days time.

According local sources, these Tiger cadres have managed to cross the two main supply route on their way from Toppigala and reached Kumpurupittiya, a coastal village in the north of Trincomalee district .

It is learnt that Keerthi, Nagesh, Mano Master, Amuthan of the political wing and Commander Suganthi of the women wing and her 30 women cadres are fleeing with Jeyam.

Earlier reports revealed that nearly 320 LTTE cadres under the leadership of Thambirajah Ramesh, a former special Commander of the LTTE who took over the Batticaloa – Amparai districts immediately after the renegade leader Karuna left the outfit, managed to send the sick women cadres by boat and subsequently crossed into Vanni without any let or hindrance.

Sources told Asian Tribune that the Tiger tactic was to draw the attention of the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) to a mock operation and forcing it to chase these Tiger boats thereby clearing the way for another cluster of boats to rush in and ferry the cadres to safety in their stronghold.

It is reported that this tactic was used to distract the entire fast attacking crafts of the SLN located at Pulmoddai. While the SLN was involved in the chase and attack of the cluster of boats belonging to the Sea Tiger, another group of boats of the sea Tigers showed up and took all the Tiger cadres to safety.

It is learnt that LTTE is planning another similar mock operation in the Pulmoddai seas. This time the objective is to take the fleeing Tiger cadres from Pudavaikaddu coast to Chemmalai located in the Mullaithievu area.

It is also reliably learnt that a small group of the fleeing LTTE cadres might also trek through Pulmoddai, via Thennamaravadi and cross the Kokkilai Lagoon into Kokkilai in the Mullaithievu district.

In the meantime Vanni has sent a group of cadres, a special team, more than six dozen in all to guide those fleeing cadres from Toppigala through jungle terrain. They will be also bringing some necessary its for the intelligence agents operating in the area. The new special team from Vanni roaming in the jungle areas is led by one Suthakar.

According to sources that there are more than 100 intelligence agents scattered all over the east. Another group of 40 to 50 Tiger cadres are operating inside the Batticaloa district led by Jeyarthan the former commander of the Jeyanthan brigade in the East. A separate group of LTTE cadres under Ram is still active and based inside the Panama jungles to disrupt the border villages located in the Amparai – Monaragala districts.


LTTE cadres still roaming in eastern jungles

Reports emerging from Sri Lanka’s Eastern front reveals that Thambirajah Ramesh, who was the Special Commander of the Batticaloa Amparai District of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, has managed to reach Vanni safely with nearly 320 cadres. He took with him Kuveni, the woman leader responsible for the political section of the LTTE in Batticaloa and 30 other women cadres. Also according to information Santhan and others too have managed to reach Vanni.

It is learnt that Ramesh and his group trekked from Thoppigala to Wanni via the Kumburupiddiya, Thiriyaya coastal areas. On 08th July at Kumpuripiddi a costal village Ramesh managed to send the sick and women cadres by boat.

While the LTTE cadres were sailing in boats, Sri lanka Navy observed the movements of the Sea Tigers boats in the area and managed to intercept them. While the Navy was involved in confronting the Sea Tigers, it is now learnt that majority of the Ramesh group managed to trek through Pulmoddai, and then through Thennamaravadi to enter Vanni.

In the meantime, “Asian Tribune” learnt from reliable sources that people have seen LTTE’s Batti – Amparai Special Commander Jeyam, Mano Master and Keerthi of the intelligent wing of the LTTE in the south of a mountin located 10 miles south of Kudumpimalai. Sources told “Asian Tribune” there was nearly 30 LTTE cadres with them and they were seen cooking meals in the foothills of the mountain. It was also reported that Jeyam and others have footstock that would last for nearly 3 months in the jungle terrains.

Another group of nearly 100 LTTE cadres are still there, led by Ram holed up in the jungle region of Yala. As reported earlier their needs are supplied by an underground group of Sinhala political activists in the region linked to the opposition political party; UNP. Asian Tribune reported this exclusively. (See UNP agents feeding Tigers holed up in Yala jungles

Furthermore, according to some sources, the LTTE Commander Jeyam has mobilized his men around Paduvankarai region. They are reported to be split into two groups, of 20 cadres each. One group is led by Manivannan and the other by Mathan. They are mobilized to lay landmines and claymores and to adopt hit and run tactics to take on the Sri Lankan forces in surprise attacks, cause damages and vanish.

AS reported earlier, another group led by Nagesh has under his command nearly another 100 cadres but sources said that they are divided into small groups ranging from 10 to 15 men in various locations around Thanthamalai in Amparai District border areas.

Asian Tribune learnt that there are more than 360 LTTE fighters till remaining in the Batticaloa – Amparai districts.


UNP agents feeding Tigers holed up in Yala jungles

Latest reports in the Eastern Front reveal that there are about 100 Tamil Tiger cadres holed up in the jungles of Yala with limited supplies of food other and other items. Eastern sources have confirmed that their needs are supplied by an underground group Sinhala political activists in the region linked to the opposition political party; UNP. Military analysts say that it is in the interest of the UNP to keep the Tiger forces going in the east to discredit the Government’s claims of victories.

The role of the UNPers in the east is under suspicion as Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UNP leader, instigates his spokespersons, Lakshman Kiriella, Tissa Attanayake to belittle the achievements of the Security forces that had driven the Tigers out of their commanding position in the east. The Mangala-Sooriyapathi duo, now in an alliance with the UNP, too has joined the UNPers in running down the victories of the Security forces.

The Tiger cadres battling in the Yala jungles are led by Commander Ram and his assistant Stanley.

Another group led by Nagesh has under his command nearly another 100 cadres but sources said that they are divided into small groups ranging from 10 to 15 men in various locations around Thanthamalai in Amparai District border areas.

Recently, a group under Nagesh staged a lightening attack on the Karuna group cadres based in Vakaneri, Pulipainthakal and Pendukalchenai. Sources revealed that two of Karuna group cadres were shot and killed and another sustained serious injuries. Reports reveal that Karuna cadres were also chased away in sudden attack by Nagesh’s men.

The LTTE’s Batticalao district Commander Jeyam it seems has withdrawn from the Beruit border and entered the other side of mountain located in the Thoppigala jungle. It is said that he has with him about 35 cadres.

Another LTTE group leader Pallavan has with him around three dozens of fighters near Koolavadi on the road from Kiran to Tharavai.

Sources also revealed that Keerthi of the intelligent wing and Mano Master are with nearly 50 cadres, hidden deep in the Thoppigala jungle waiting to attack the Sri Lanka army and STF forces.

LTTE has already buried the big guns and mortars they earlier used to attack the Sri Lankan security forces. Now they are involved in lightening guerilla attacks, mining strategic roads and burying claymore mines .

In the meantime, according to sources Ramesh former Batticaloa – Amparai Commander after the split with the LTTE’s breakaway leader Karuna, has already crossed the Trincomalee road and is on his way to Vanni with about 320 LTTE cadres. It is said that majority of them are injured cadres and women fighters.

However, sources added that Ramesh and his fleeing cadres had not managed to pass Nilaveli area in the Trincomalee district. They also face severe problems as the Sri Lanka Army is in the know of the movement of this LTTE cadres and are waiting to confront them before they slip into Vanni.


Special Forces Alpha Squad details revealed by media

Special Forces cap badge. The four arrows depict the 4-man team regularly used for covert strikes and its DPU capabilities

Several days ago, a government television news bulletin showed a group photograph and accompanying video footage of a Sri Lanka army (SLA) Special Forces units who were engaged in the Thoppigala offensive when it was in its initial stages. We were shocked to see the footage because it showed images of the Alpha Squad of 2SF and clearly mentioned the names of its commanders. Alpha Squad was used in Long Range Surveillance (LRS) missions in the first phase of Thoppigala offensive.

Alpha Squad is a covert ops unit attached to the SF. Its soldiers are used to penetrate enemy lines and gather intelligence for air strikes and artillery strikes. Information about such units should never be exposed in media as the enemy intelligence in constantly on the lookout for them. Previous media debacles where sensitive information about covert units were publicly revealed ended up with the intelligence personnel paying with their lives. (best example would be the millennium city incident, where several newspapers irresponsibly published a full list of names of personnel involved in the clandestine DPU unit nicknamed "Mahasohon Brigade'). Although credit should be given to soldiers who put their lives on the line for the motherland, media should be careful not to expose too much specially when the enemy is the LTTE.


Reference :Special Forces enter Thoppigala jungle

2 days ago, civilians in LTTE held areas in and around Thoppigala began fleeing their homes and took refugee in government controlled areas in Batticaloa. This was because they saw the signs of the forthcoming major battle and did not want to be used again as human shields by the LTTE.

The army seems to be engaging in the operation to liberate Thoppigala according to a well devised plan. Firstly, long range artillery fire and airstrikes took known rebel positions deep inside the jungles. During last week, regualr infantry units conducted pre emptive strikes on strategic locations in the east and captured them. The operation has now reached the most decisive phase. It is this phase which triggered the mass civilian exodus during the last few days.

Civilians saw heavily armed personnel, clad in jungle uniforms and wearing black clothes around their heads, entering the jungles of Thoppigala. These men were moving in groups of 4 and 8. The civilians had seen none other than the Sri lanka army's elite Special Forces units preparing to infiltrate rebel defence lines. Special Forces will play a major role in softening up the tigers till the final thrust is made using regular infantry and mechanized units.

Meanwhile intelligence information suggests that LTTE has deployed it's elite Jeyanthan brigade to hunt down any SF personnel who infiltrated their defenses. Jeyanthan brigade fled in disarray when a 40 man Special Forces squad carried out a legendary amphibious assault on Vakarai town center during Vakarai offensive. SF was able to capture the Vakarai hospital within 5 minutes in this assault.

What will happen when Special Forces and Jeyanthan brigade meets for a second time in dense jungles of Thoppigala? Will SF be able to rout the tigers once more? Will the tigers use jungle terrain to their advantage? Only time will tell.


Singapore’s Rajaratnam prevented Sri Lanka joining ASEAN – The Nation

Thailand's English Language news daily, The Nation in an interview with a knowledgeable diplomat revealed that it was Singapore’s former Foreign Minister Sinnathamby Rajaratnam , was the one responsible for who blocking Sri Lanka’s entry to the Association of South Asian Nations (ASEAN) family four decades ago at the very beginning of the group.

The newspaper publishing an interview with a close aid to the then Thai Foreign Minister said that Sri Lanka failed to enter the regional body because Singapore’s Rajaratnam made objections to the island nation’s entry to the organization saying the domestic situation was unstable and that would adversely affect the newly formed organization.

Ironically, independent Singapore’s first Foreign Minister Sinnathamby Rajaratnam was a Tamil of Jaffna origin.

The Nation interview revealed that Sri Lanka sent two ministers to apply for membership in the regional organization August 6 1967 when Foreign Ministers from Indonesia, Malysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore met to prepare the Bangkok Declaration which gave birth to ASEAN.

Quoting the retired Thai diplomat the Nation newspaper said it was Rjaratnam who snubbed the Sri Lankan application preventing island nation joining the nascent organization at the Bang Saen Beach meeting where the first meeting was held.

Sompong Sucharitkul (75) a former aid to the Thai Foreign Minister told the newspaper, "It was Rajaratnam of Singapore who opposed the inclusion of Sri Lanka, He argued the country's domestic situation was unstable and there would be trouble. Not good for a new organization."

Sompong was a close aide to Thanat Khoman, the Thai foreign minister at the time of the meeting in Bang Saen. The Bangkok Declaration was finally signed on August 8, 1967, ASEAN's official birthday.

Given below is the full text of the interview that appeared in yesterdays “The Nation.”

Asean's birth a pivotal point in history of Southeast Asia

In the small hours of August 6, 1967 at Laem Thaen, Bang Saen Beach, the foreign ministers of Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and a Malaysian deputy prime minister were huddled.

They were hammering out the final text of the Bangkok Declaration.

This was to form an organisation, tentatively known as the Southeast Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, or SEAARC.

"The name sounded good to me, like a crescent moon covering Southeast Asia," a retired diplomat who helped draft the declaration said.

"But Adam Malik said at the end the pronunciation of the acronym in Malayu didn’t sound good," he said. "Why don't we use Asean instead. It sounds better. Everybody agreed," Sompong Sucharitkul told The Nation< in a rare interview.

Thus, Asean was born.

Thailand's then foreign minister Thanat Khoman, Philippine foreign secretary Marciso Ramos, Singapore foreign minister Sinnathamby Rajaratnam and Malaysian deputy prime minister Tengu Abdul Razak signed the document establishing the region's most powerful grouping on August 8 at Saranrom Palace, the former home of the Foreign Ministry near the Royal Palace.

Sompong, one Thanat's closest aides, revealed two ministers from Sri Lanka were waiting in an adjacent room at the Laem Thaen meeting.

"I remember one was an economics minister. He waited there anxiously for a signal to join the discussion; but it never came."

"It was Rajaratnam of Singapore who opposed the inclusion of Sri Lanka," the 75-year-old retired international-law professor said.
"He argued the country's domestic situation was unstable and there would be trouble. Not good for a new organisation," he quoted the first Singapore foreign minister saying.

Rajaratnam was born in Sri Lanka of Tamil descent but taken to Malaya shortly after by his father, who had emigrated to the colony.

Thailand and the other founding members did not oppose barring Sri Lanka.

"Indeed, we would have welcomed Sri Lanka as a member. If you look at the map, it's not far from Southeast Asia. It is also a Buddhist nation," he added.

But, the idea of having all 10 Southeast Asian nations together was always at the back of the minds of the founders - even though, at that time, the region was divided into three: non-communist Southeast Asia, communist Indochina and isolated Burma.

"We knew in our hearts they would be part of Asean one day. That was why, towards the end of the Bangkok Declaration, we invited all countries of Southeast Asia to join," he explained.
The expansion of Asean came in 1984 when Brunei joined, followed by Vietnam in 1995 and Burma and Laos in 1997. Cambodia signed up in 2000.

It is interesting to note Asean is poised to admit East Timor, the world's newest independent nation. It will be the 11th and final member.

This implies Asean will turn down the application of Papua New Guinea. It has had observer status since 1976.
The veteran diplomat said credit must be given to Thanat who forged the idea of a regional organisation, following years of conflict and disturbance.

Thanat, the only surviving signatory, is unavailable for comment as a result of poor health.

The so-called konfrontasi between Indonesia and Malaysia and the crisis between Malaysia and the Philippines were still fresh in the memory.

"Thailand was in a position to forward and work for the creation of Asean", he said. "We were an independent nation and had friendships with all non-communist neighbors," he added. "They liked to use the good offices of Thailand."

Asean was preceded by an organization called the Association of Southeast Asia, or ASA, an alliance consisting of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand and formed in 1961 but disbanded a year later.

"We were able to persuade Indonesia, which had just emerged from the crisis of 1965 to be part of Asean," he added.

Indonesia had 120 million people at the time - a mammoth country. Sompong recalled Thanat asking him to put together the draft of the declaration, which was then sent to the all original members.

Indonesia was the only country to make amendments and they all pertained to foreign military bases. At that time, all members including Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand had foreign bases and were signatories of Western military alliances.
In retrospect, Sompong said Asean has progressed at the right pace, without imposing rapid change on members.
"The Bangkok Declaration had everything."

Summing up Asean's raison d'?tre he quotes Rajaratnam: "If we do not hang together, we of Asean will hang separately."


Indians rescued Prabhakaran when he was cornered by the Sri Lankan forces in the 80s.

Tucked away in one line in The Hindu today (August 06, 2007) is one of the untold secrets of Indian intervention in Sri Lankan affairs: Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Tamil Tiger terrorists, was helicoptered out of Sri Lanka by the Indians when he was cornered by the Sri Lankan Army at Vadamarachchi in the 80s.

The Indian helicopters took off from the Hindon military base in Delhi and flew via Thanjavur to rescue Prabhakaran.

The Vadamarachci operation was closing in on Prabhakaran when the arrogant Indians launched the rescue operation. This is a gross violation not only of Sri Lankan sovereignty but also a deliberate attempt to rescue the terrorists, who were destabilizing Sri Lanka.

The Indian were to pay heavily for this rescue operation. Prabhakaran ordered the assassination of the very man who rescued him: the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The Indian RAW – the equivalent of CIA – was running clandestine operations training, providing, arms, financing and applying diplomatic pressure hoping that they could use Prabhakaran to destabilize Sri Lanka and manipulate Sri Lankan leaders to serve Indian foreign policy objectives. During this time India was in the Soviet Russian camp. Sri Lanka, under J. R. Jayewardene, was moving toward the American camp. India used the Tamil dissidents to manipulate both the Tamils and the Sri Lankan government.

In the end Prabhakaran paid back by assassinating the son of Indira Gandhi who took under the protective wing and mothered them. Ironically, the bullet she aimed at Sri Lanka ricocheted and killed her and her son.

Ranjith Soysa, spokesperson for the Melbourne-based Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights, (SPUR) told the Asian Tribune that “India had to pay heavily for her stupidity.” He added: “This shows that India cannot be trusted as a reliable friend, partner or neighbour. Our politicians like Ranil Wickremesinghe who run to India asking for help should open their eyes and realize at least now that Indians will always be unreliable cut-throats. India has not yet learned from history. India is still playing the double game.”

The Hindu report also states that the India sent Indra-II radars on the eve of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse’s first visit in 2005. Political commentators said that India blocked Sri Lanka from buying superior quality radars from China and sent Indra-II which, according to Sri Lankan sources failed to detect the low-flying light aircraft of the Tigers which dropped gravity bombs. Indian machinations in supplying sub-standard radars caught Indian investors off guard. One of the places hit by the bombs were an Indian oil installation.

India now claims that it has sent better quality radars which can detect low-flying aircraft. Political observer note that India has sent this new radars not because it loves Sri Lanka but because China and Pakistan were prepared to supply the more sophisticated radars which India feared would a be a threat to her security.

Here is the full report from The Hindu:

India supplies more radars to Sri Lanka

To help ward off airborne LTTE attacks

New Delhi: After a gap of a year, India has sent more radars to Sri Lanka to help it ward off the threat of airborne attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Defence Ministry sources said.

India had resumed non-lethal military aid to Sri Lanka with the supply of two indigenous radars in 2005. This year in January it sent another military radar to Sri Lanka which was followed by the despatch of a similar radar in June. The radars were sent on behalf of the Indian Air Force, the sources said.

Ironically, both radars were sent from the Hindon military base on the outskirts of Delhi. This was the place from where helicopters were despatched via Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu to rescue the LTTE leader V. Prabakaran at Vadamarachchi on the northern tip of Jaffna after the Sri Lankan Army had cornered him in the late 80s.

India first broke off its self-imposed embargo of nearly five years when it sent two Indra-II radars on the eve of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse’s first visit in 2005. The radars, developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), can detect low-flying fighter aircraft. They were produced by the public sector Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

Sri Lanka operates naval fast attack craft supplied earlier by India but sources in the Indian Navy could not confirm whether boats, configured to chase and hunt down small ships generally operated by the LTTE Naval Tiger wing, had also been sent. They felt such a deal was unlikely because India itself was facing a shortage of these vessels.

Diplomatic sources here said India’s supply of radars, said to be in the non-lethal category, in no way compromised its desire for a political solution to the Tamil issue.

India claims it was forced to supply the radars to prevent Pakistan and China from fulfilling Sri Lanka’s need. New Delhi was uncomfortable with the idea of Islamabad or Beijing-built surveillance equipment being installed close to its shore.

The first lot of radars were sent after Sri Lanka told the then External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh about its requirement and the willingness of other countries to supply them.
In March this year, LTTE aircraft had targeted a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) base near Colombo leading to speculation that the radars supplied by India were defective. However, Sri Lanka later said the reports were wrong.