Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tiger ambush in Hambanthota a fiction

Several pro LTTE web sites yesterday spread the news about an alleged guerilla attack on a SLN convoy in Hambanthota district. According to the report on Pro LTTE web site, an elite commando unit of the tigers ambushed an SLN convoy near Thissamaharama at around 4.30pm yesterday, killing 6 soldiers and wounding 12 more.

According to our information, no SLN convoy has been ambushed in the said area. In addition to that, no LTTE presence was detected in the area although a joint search operation was conducted by the army and the police. A rumor about men clad in black seen entering the jungles near Thissamaharama was the primary reason for conducting the search operation. However it was later discovered that 3 lumberjacks clad in black clothing were mistaken for LTTE cadres by several civilians.


The Mountainous Mole-hole

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as part of its world-wide publicity and propaganda campaign, has released a video depicting battle-preparations by the 21 Black Tiger cadres who attacked the Katunayake airbase last Monday. The unit is shown going through its paces in mock attacks along what appears to be tarmac. It is followed by the customary scenes of public mourning over the death of the Black Tigers. This content is available on under the following link.

The Black Tiger group has since then been elevated to LTTE martyrs. The video is to be screened at several European destinations alongside religious observances and celebrations leading up to fundraisers. The Tigers, who are famous for their ability to generate theatrical masterpieces of its battle-field success are already planning to release the movie along with an accompanying soundtrack and compositions in several European cities. They currently own and operate more websites than the Sri Lanka government, with the main audience being the Tamil Diaspora. Intelligence sources believe that the success of this attack would be used to raise the funds necessary to replenish its depleted heavy weapon munitions and other stocks. The LTTE is also attempting to acquire a new fleet of deep-sea vessels either through purchase or long-term lease. Plans to rebuild its deep sea transport vessels would require vast sums of money and the success of the Anuradhapura attack and the ongoing media campaign would be beneficial to this effort.


Missing the Point and the Tiger

A certain candidate for the forthcoming Democratic Elections in the United States has claimed the LTTE cannot be described as a terrorist group. We understand the yardstick not fitting the measured but must we restate the obvious? Maybe reframing the issue in post 9/11 jargon and within the theories of terrorism would help.

The LTTE’s acts fall within many different categories of terrorism ever identified (Schmidt). These include Nationalist and Separatist/Ethnic terrorism (LTTE defines it as Tamil vs Sinhalese), Insurgent Terrorism (LTTE’s Insurgent Behaviour), Political Terrorism (elimination of political dissenters), Social Revolutionary Terrorism (correcting social ills like Caste, Gender-discrimination) and Pathological Terrorism (pregnant women suicide bombers).

Whilst acts such as indiscriminate bombings, armed assaults on civilians and focused assassinations are considered criminal offences in national or international law, mere crimes do not become terrorist acts (means rather than ends). There must be a distinct political motivation for it to become terrorism (i.e. LTTE’s demands for Eelam through political cessation). There is also a distinct connection between guerilla-warfare and Terrorism. Mao Tse-Tung in his book ‘Guerrilla Warfare’ (1937), concluded terrorism as a second stage of a three stage model of insurrection (1. Organisation, consolidation, and preservation of base areas; 2. guerrilla war; 3. conventional army to destroy the enemy). Mao would have been proud of the LTTE (at least in theory) for they seem to embody all three characteristics of guerilla warfare.

Terrorists also frequently elevate irregular practices of warfare into regular tactics. Suicide bombing for example is an irregular tactic the LTTE has regularized, internalized and regimentalized in, for example, the Black Tigers. Terrorists avoid open combat and avoid meeting its adversaries in conventional warfare.

Schmidt claims that “Acts of terrorism, then, can be understood as a special kind of violence; the peacetime equivalent of war crimes.” The Hague Regulations and Geneva Conventions stipulates that “irregular fighters”(guerrillas, partisans, resistance groups) must fulfill four conditions:

1. Irregulars must be ‘commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates’; (The LTTE seems to have a loosely defined Rank and File)

2. They must have a ‘fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance’; (Violation by LTTE suicide bombers, recent Black Tiger infiltration squad, pistol gang etc)

3. They must carry their arms ‘openly’; (Violation: suicide bombers, Pistol Gangs etc)

4. They must conduct their operations ‘in accordance with the laws and customs of war’. (Violation: child combatants, pregnant women suicide bombers etc)

Terrorist violence is aimed at behaviour-modification by coercion and propaganda by persuasion. Terrorism, when using violence against one victim, seeks to coerce and persuade others. The immediate victim is merely an instrument for a calculated impact on a wider audience. Terrorism is perpetrated as an indirect strategy aimed at a larger audience than the victims of the specific act itself. For example the audience of the Dr Thiruchelvam assassination was the moderate Tamils seeking a negotiated solution.

From which angle we look, the Tigers bear all the hallmarks of a terrorist outfit. So what next? Perhaps we should wait and see how the candidate greets the reality of the world outside the US to make further conclusions. The International Community can be ignorant at times, but it is certainly not foolish.

(1) A.P. Schmid et al. Political Terrorism. A New Guide to Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories, and Literature. Revised, expanded and updated edition prepared under the Auspices of the Centre for International Affairs, Harvard University. Amsterdam, North-Holland Publishing Company, 1988, p. 48. – with additions by J. Post.


Only 70% completed country's Air Defence System-Air Chief

Certain areas of Sri Lankan air space are still vulnerable and it needs at least 06 to 07 months to complete the air defence system fully activated, Air Force chief Air Marshall Roshan Gunathilake said.

Air Force commander met the journalists at weekly press briefing today in Colombo just 04 days after the devastating attack on one of the country’s main air base, by the Black Tiger suicide squad of the LTTE with the help of Tiger air wing.
Gunathilake said that at least 70% of the installation of the air defence system is now in place covering all strategically important areas, with out identifying covered and uncovered areas.

He said that Air Force was able to protect the camp by killing all the infiltrated tiger suicide cadres in the Anuradhapura air base early on Monday 22.
Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake admitted in the parliament after two days of the attack that the air force had lost 08 air craft in the attack, the number which LTTE claimed even before the attack ends.

Independent sources confirmed at least another dozen of air crafts have had considerable damages and are out of operation at the movement.
Air Force commander denied the media reports and said only US$ 15 million were lost due to the attack, but sources close to defence establishment confirmed that the amount is little shorter than three times of the official figure.
Government has made sudden changes in command and operational structure of the armed forces, after the Anuradhapura attack which is considered as the island’s biggest ever lost in a single incident in financial terms.

Outer parameter security of all the air bases in the country with airports, have been assigned to army and at least two of them will be protected by elite Special Forces regiment soldiers else where in the country.
Major General Santh Karunartne, has been appointed as the Overall Operation Commander for the District of Anuradhapura hours after the attack, undoubtedly the worst ever set back military had in the undeclared Eelam War IV.


Norwegian support terrorism

01)It is possible to trace fundraising and bank accounts to the LTTE organisations the last 20 years. Bank accounts in Den norske Creditbank, Bergenbank and Sparebanken Midt-Norge was found before the 1990. Aftenposten, a major Norwegian newspaper, revealed in an article in 2001 that Norwegian authorities have been allowing transfer of funds to the Tamil Tigers, Hamas, ETA and other person organisations. "Those missing were apparently overlooked on the UN list, and Norwegian authorities have been reluctant to add them for fear of unfairly exposing innocent bank customers, and risking damage claims." Even in 2004 there are no restrictions of transfers of funds to the LTTE from Norway. According to LTTE they have six offices in Norway.

The LTTE is hiding under more legitimate organisation like the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) and The Tamil Coordinating Committee (TCC). Fifty persons works in the TCC network in Norway. The LTTE also has a significant Norwegian support structure for fundraising and propaganda activities. LTTE fundraising in Norway is estimated that more than 5 million US dollars. The increasing Tamil community (10.000 ++) in Norway is paying fees to LTTE and LTTE is involved in business activities in Norway. The LTTE propaganda activities have been successful in Norway. It is quite obvious the LTTE have been able to sell "their story" to the Norwegians and received the support of the Norwegian government and military. With more than 10.000 Tamils in Norway, LTTE has become a political important partner for Norwegian political parties. LTTE front organisations in Norway have received millions of Norwegian Kroner from the Norwegian Government and Municipalities, allegedly to support their cultural and integration activities.

02)Norway is supporting the person group LTTE in the conflict in Sri Lanka. Norway has supported LTTE financially, with equipment and made every effort to make this person organisation a "legitimate" negotiation partner.
Norway has participated in smuggling of high-tech communication equipment to the person organisation. Norwegian generals have also given sensitive information to the LTTE person leaders. General Trygve Tellefsen leaked information about the Navy's pursuit of a LTTE arms smuggling ship to the Tamil rebel group allowing them to escape. After the incident President Chandrika Kumaratunga wrote to the Norwegian Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik to remove the Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Retired Major General Trygve Tellefsen. The Norwegian generals Trygve Tellefsen and Trond Furuhovde have been involved in the conflict in Sri Lanka and favoured the LTTE.

Norway has also invited the Tamil tigers to Norwegian military camps to see Norwegian military demonstrate their skills and equipment. Telephone wiretaps has revealed the close cooperation between the Norway and the LTTE person leaders. Wiretap 1. Norwegian ambbuttador Jon Westborg and Duleep from the person organisation LTTE. In this wiretap the ambbuttador gives information about the communication equipment and inform that the Norwegian's will pay for the added costs. The reveals a discussion with the Norwegian Ambbuttador who speaks to Duleep of LTTE about the transmission equipment that has been "dealt with and explained and arranged with Mr. Bradman Weerakoon." A total of six tons of electronic equipment was delivered to the LTTE in 2002, including V-Sat equipment used in satellite communications. The conversation also revolves around a document that has been signed by Tamilchelvam and another is requested to be mailed to the ambbuttador's residence and not to the embbutty. The equipment received from Norway is according to Indian intelligence sources contacted by the Asiantribune is used actively in the terror against their political opposition: In a meeting with the WAPS organisation the 23rd August Erik Solheim could not confirm that the "peace process" gift from Norway now is used for these purposes. He said " I am not an electronic expert, so I do not know".

The Norwegian consbreastutional committee should immediately start an investigation into this matter. If the Indian report is found correct, Norway should do as Libya, admit responsibility and pay the victims compensation. Wiretap 2. Norwegian general Trond Furuhovde and LTTE political leader Puleedevan. General Trond Furuhovde Sensitive information is given to the person leader and the Norwegian general are coaching the person leader to give the blame on the latest person action to a "third party" with stolen uniforms! The general also states, "I'm using all their resources to calm down the Sinhalese part of the population" and requests Puleedevan to order his people to do the same, whereupon Prabhakaran agrees, but states that the "Tamil people are always on the receiving end." The general advises Puleedevan to "protect himself."

At the end of the conversation, Puleedevan requests the Norwegian to "please be involved continuously in this..." and he is thereby buttured. Col. Karuna is also mentioned during the conversation. Both wiretaps are made in the autumn 2002. After these wiretaps nobody can be in doubt of the illegal Norwegian support of the LTTE persons. It's a tragedy that Norway is giving one of the worst person organisations legitimacy as a negotiation partner.


LTTE continually making full use of child soldiers

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are continually making full use of young male and female child soldiers to defend their Front-Lines from the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Why the LTTE cries out to the International Community and accuses the Government of Sri Lanka of Human Rights Abuses I do not know when the LTTE themselves are abusing the Human Rights of young teenagers who deserve a better quality of life free from the very high possibility of a very short life-span by being forced out on the battlefield. More and more, young Sri Lankan Tamils are fleeing Sri Lanka, our motherland because they fear being recruited by the LTTE.

This is fact! The declaration of Eelam War (IV) is the biggest mistake the LTTE leader Prabhakaran could have made and has cost the lives of over 4,000 people. Human life to the LTTE means nothing, Human Rights, Freedom of Speech, Democracy and Pluralism means nothing. They make full use of their front Human Rights organisations worldwide for their own propaganda purposes to fuel their campaign and support amongst the Sri Lankan Tamil speaking Diaspora which is fast dwindling.

The LTTE have always waved the Human Rights issue when they have been near military and political defeat. It is entirely hypocritical of them to have appointed a Human Rights Spokesperson Ms N. Selvi, a female soldier, a champion of Human Rights for Terrorist Fascists who has no understanding whatsoever of the pain and anguish of a mother who has either lost her son or daughter in the battlefield after being recruited by the LTTE.

There are tens of thousands of our people starving in Sri Lanka because of the LTTE's military campaign; many thousands of civilians are displaced from their home villages. There is a lack of sanitation and basic facilities for our people in the refugee camps. All these unbearable sufferings, because of the LTTE's, plight to achieve Eelam. Prabhakaran knows only too well that neither he or the LTTE will never deliver Eelam.

The fact of the matter is that he is not man enough to admit this and on the same token will never settle for anything less that Eelam. Therefore any solution between the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka would always be deemed “interim”. The LTTE has been deceiving the Sri Lankan Diaspora for decades now. These sufferings’, being faced is definitely not what our community wants and the other communities of Sri Lanka.

This is why we as an organisation are actively working in Sri Lanka once again and abroad for our people and to help protect the interests of the Sri Lankan Tamil speaking community.EROS urges the Sri Lankan Tamil speaking community to open their eyes wide and observe what is really going on in Sri Lanka. The LTTE have transitioned from a movement of freedom fighters to a movement of Fascists.

The LTTE will never achieve their goal in delivering Eelam to the Tamil speaking people, they will only bring tens of thousands of more deaths and bloodshed. Is this what we really want? What will be left of our community’s population in our motherland I do not know for it has plundered to ridiculous levels ever since the LTTE embarked on their journey of killing off rival democratic politicians, political groups and claiming to be the sole representatives of the Sri Lankan Tamil speaking people.

EROS has always advocated that all Tamil speaking people are Eelavar's. Eelam is our traditional homeland, there is no question about it, but that’s all in the past now. This does not mean to say that we do not recognise the North-East as our traditional homeland, we do but we must learn to live amongst one another in peace. The Sri Lankan Tamil speaking community do deserve to have regional autonomy, but it should not be at the price of death and destruction in our homeland. This can be achieved through constructive political dialogue with the Government of Sri Lanka.The only barrier to this is that the LTTE must admit political defeat and will never hand over its arms.

It is the LTTE that has alienated the Sri Lankan Muslim community from the Tamil community by acts of sheer Genocide and ethnic cleansing. EROS is working towards addressing the grievances of the Muslim community and re-integrating the Tamil speaking Muslims back into our community and encouraging reconciliation.We need your support and encouragement.

We are an independent organisation and political party with a good name and reputation amongst our community. We will do what’s right for our community and help bridge the gap between other communities in Sri Lanka. We must learn to be Sri Lankan first and our ethnicity, religion etc should come secondary. Secularism must be encouraged and promoted in Sri Lanka.

There can never be peace in Sri Lanka if the LTTE remains as a military outfit and continues to fight for a separate state. They will always come in the way of true and ever lasting peace in Sri Lanka.


Sea tiger tactics obtained by other terrorist groups around the world

According to military experts, future conflicts will take place in the littorals i.e. where sea meets the land. A large proportion of the world population is located in the littoral.

Besides, much of the industrial infrastructure and wealth are concentrated in these areas.Coastal regions serve as the nodes for transport of trade, culture, as also the hub of Illegal activity, be it contraband trade, drug smuggling, gun-running and even human smuggling. The sea serves as an easy highway and acts as a catalyst for promoting such activities. A quick look at the geography of the Indian Ocean region indicates that terrorist hubs are located in the littoral: LTTE in Jaffna , Sri Lanka,Al Qaeda in Yemen , Somalia , Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia and Jemaah Islamiyah and Free Aceh Movement in Indonesia . Some of these are also home to pirates. The centre of gravity of piracy and terrorism at sea is currently located in the Indian Ocean region. This is further flavored with the " Golden Crescent" and the "Golden Triangle", hubs for drug smuggling and gun-running.

In October 2000, terrorists attacked USS Cole , an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. As a matter of fact, the plot to attack US warships was conceived in January 2000 against USS Sullivan in Yemen . It was planned to ram an explosive filled boat into the ship. However,due to a miscalculation of the weight of the explosive charge, the boat sank when the explosive charge was put on board. The attack resulted in 17 fatalities and an estimated $100 million in damage. The attack highlighted the meticulous nature of planning, infrastructure built by a local professional figure trained in handling explosives, use of one or more suicide bombers supervised from a long distance, in this case Afghanistan . The bombers had links with Al Qaeda and America's No. 1 terror suspect, Osama bin Laden.

The terrorist attack off Yemen on the French oil tanker Limburg is a chilling reminder of the vulnerability of maritime enterprise to asymmetric threats. A speedboat packed with explosives rammed into the ship leaving it disabled and leaking oil. The attack was similar to the one against USS Cole . Traces of military explosives (C4) were found on the tanker as also debris of the speedboat that exploded. Al Qaeda has publicly called for attacks on economic centres and attacks on oil supplies to the west. Reportedly, Abu Laith, claiming himself as the spokesperson of the Al Qaeda, has issued a statement, " We, the fighters of the holy war, in general, are hoping to enter the next phase…It will be a war of killing, a war against business which will hit the enemy where he does not expect us to". Close on the heels of Limburg incident, a Greek warship operating near the entrance to the Persian Gulf was approached by a small, high speed boat. The ship fired warning shots and the boat turned away. A nearby flotilla of Japanese support ships were put on alert, fearing the incident indicated another Al Qaeda attempt to attack ships from nations supporting the war on terror.

Similarly, in April 2002, six small powerboats approached USNS Walter S. Diehl , a
US Navy tanker of the Military Sealift Command, while transiting through the Persian
Gulf. The tanker first fired flares to warn the small boats away but the boats appeared determined. Finally, it fired its .50-calibre machine gun and the boats then sped off.

Soon after, in June 2002, three Saudis were arrested in Morocco in connection with an
Al Qaeda plot to use boat-bombs against US and British warships transiting through the Strait of Gibraltar .

On January 19, 2003 , Palestinians tried to blow up an Israeli Navy vessel using a
small boat-bomb. Israeli sailors noticed a suspicious raft approaching them in waters
banned to vessels off the northern Gaza coast (near the beach of the Jewish community
of Dugit). Warning shots were fired first and then fired for effect, which caused the raft to explode. It is not known how many persons were aboard the raft-bomb. In November 2002, four Israeli sailors were wounded when terrorists detonated a boat-bomb off the coast of Gaza . The Israeli patrol boat was damaged but managed to return to base.The above incidents clearly show that the terrorist groups have built up capability and expertise in suicide attacks against ships.

An important question arises: where from this capability was obtained? It is fair to argue that it was obtained from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). The LTTE, fighting for a separate ethnically cleansed Tamil enclave in Sri Lanka, had developed a sophisticated strategy of attacking maritime targets like Sri Lankan navy ships and other commercial vessels. Sri Lanka has lost at least a dozen naval vessels, both in harbor and at sea, as a result of LTTE attacks. The

LTTE has engaged in wolf pack tactics, using high-speed boats filled with explosives that rammed into naval vessels. Sea Tigers, the naval wing of the LTTE, has emerged as one of the most ruthless and dangerous maritime capable groups in the world. The LTTE was reported to have developed a human suicide torpedo. The Maritime Intelligence Group, a Washington-based think tank, has noted that members of the Jemaah Islamiyah, had been trained in sea-borne guerrilla tactics developed by the LTTE .

The LTTE remains active despite the reported peace talks with the Sri Lankan government.A mystery ship, reportedly controlled by the LTTE, was spotted 100 nautical miles north east of Mullaitivu; it offloaded weapons to small boats before the crew noticed that they were being watched by Indian forces and began dumping items overboard.

Sri Lankan naval forces intercepted a dingy with six-armed LTTE cadre and communications equipment. Reportedly, Indian and Sri Lankan navies have instituted a range of measures to step up surveillance to prevent LTTE smuggling arms across the narrow northern strait separating the two countries.

In the recent past, the waters off Sri Lanka have witnessed frequent acts of piracy.In one incident, a merchant vessel, M V Cordiality, was captured and five Chinese crew were allegedly killed by Sri Lankan terrorists near the port of Trincomalee. LTTE rebel

forces are also reported to have hijacked ships and boats of all sizes, and kidnapping and killing crew members is a common practice. In August 1998, a Belize flagged general cargo vessel, M V Princess Kash was hijacked by LTTE rebels. While on its way to Mullaitivu , a LTTE stronghold , the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed the vessel to prevent the ship's cargo falling into the hands of LTTE. The status of the 22-crew members is still not known.

In a notable incident since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement in 2001,

the crew of a Jordanian ship, MV Farah III that ran aground near rebel-controlled territory off the island's coast, accused the Tamil Tigers of forcing them to abandon the vessel which was carrying 14,000 tonnes of Indian rice and risking their lives.The crew said that LTTE fired four times to force them out of the vessel after failing to explode it in choppy seas three days ago. The skipper of the vessel said;

"First they tried to set up a bomb and explode the anchor cable and when it failed they ordered us to weigh anchor"

He also said that the Tigers dismantled and removed all radio communication equipment and radar from the vessel.Later in May 1, 2007 Sayed Sulaiman, the chairman of the ship's owners, Salam International Trading Company gave an interview to the BBC Tamil service said;

"We hear from the parties who are concerned with the ship, the insurance company etc, that... everything that could be taken - like the rice, lights, generators - has been taken from the ship. The ship is now bare The presence of FOC (Flag of Convenience) vessels has indeed exposed chinks in the armor of security and posed new challenges for the maritime forces.Several terrorist

organizations are known to possess merchant ships. For instance, LTTE has a flotilla of ships that are engaged in maritime trade. Most of these are registered in FOC countries known as " pan-ho-lib" i.e. Panama , Honduras and Liberia.Operating under flags of convenience and staffed with a Tamil crew, these cargo ships carry out their activities between Asia and Europe . They are also known to regularly transport illegal immigrants or indulge in any kind of traffic on behalf of LTTE. For instance, LTTE vessels ship narcotics from Myanmar to Turkey . In order to give legitimacy to their fleet as also to generate revenue, LTTE ships move general cargo such as fertilizer, timber, rice, paddy, cement and other dry cargo.

Sri Lankan port of Jaffna is home to Tamil pirates and drug dealers. They provide security and courier for Myanmar drug shipments. Importantly, they have developed an integrated network of drug production and shipment by the sea route. Bulk quantities are transported over the seas to mainland US and Europe . Reports also suggest that 'ganja ' cultivation is being resorted to by some Acehnese in the remote areas of Aceh in Indonesia . If the "Free Aceh" rebellion catches on, drug cultivation and drug running could be used by them to finance their insurgency.

The LTTE has established a very sophisticated network of gun-running. It has contacts in several South East Asian countries, particularly Thailand , Myanmar and Bangladesh and conducts its business with impunity.The LTTE gun trade route passes Through the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea . Arms originating from Cambodia are loaded inboard small fishing trawlers in the southern Thailand port of Ranong. These vessels then transfer the consignment to larger vessels at sea for onward passage to Sri Lanka.

Earlier, in December 1990, port authorities at Penang impounded MV Sunbird , an LTTE commercial vessel, and seized diving and communication equipment and some ammunition. The Sunbird had also called regularly at Phuket. Reportedly, a large proportion of LTTE military hardware like artillery, mortar rounds, surface-to-air missiles,big-calibre machine-gun ammunition is bought in Bulgaria , the Czech Republic and North Korea . These consignments are transferred off Thailand from ocean-going vessels to smaller craft and then transited 1,900-km to Sri Lanka through the Bay of Bengal .

multiple methods of fund generation by LTTE

This study will examine the multiple methods of fund generation by terrorist groups and the modalities used by such groups to transfer funds for weapons procurement and logistic support. The operations of the international network of the Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will be used as a case study in relation to the topic on terrorist financing.

The study will have two main focus areas namely, methods used by groups such as the LTTE for resource mobilization and the processes by which such funds are moved for procurement activity. The study recognizes that the LTTE has an active domestic fundraising operation, however the focus of this study will be limited to operations of the international network of the LTTE. Within the scope of the first focus area, the study will identify methods of fundraising and assess the progression of such methods in terms of institutionalization and sophistication. The study will expand on this by developing a four-tiered progression typology which reflects the growth and expansion of fundraising methods.

The second part of the study will examine the illusive network of financial nodes and controllers that transfer funds for procurement purposes. The study will also identify the processes of fund transfer used by the LTTE for weapons procurement.

Structure of the LTTE International Network

To examine the overseas fundraising methods of the LTTE, it is necessary to understand the structure of the international network. The LTTE is known to have a presence in over 44 countries. The LTTE has established a structured presence in 12 countries which are considered to be the top-level contributing countries (TLCs) to the LTTE. The LTTE has designated a country representative in each of the 12 countries. The leadership in each country receives instructions all aspects of overseas operations from the LTTE international co-ordination centre in Kilinochchi. In most cases the overseas leadership diseminates its dictates and authority through the Tamil Co-ordinating Committee (TCC) in the respective country.

The country-level structure of the LTTE is staffed mainly by ex-combatants or siblings/relatives of key leaders from the Vanni. The country level structure in most cases tend to have similar divisions of responsibility. Taking Germany as an example, the overall responsibility of LTTE operations is with the country representative Vijeyendran. There are four units operating under the supervision of the country representative. The Political unit is headed by Sivanesan, the political unit has three regional leaders Sri Kandan, Shanmugarajah and Arulnandan. The Finance unit is headed by Koneshwaran, the Procurement unit is headed by Ahilan and the Intelligence unit is headed by Ramesh.

The Political unit tends to provide the overt representation of LTTE propaganda, while at the same time setting the stage for active community mobilization to facilitate fundraising activities. The Finance unit is responsible for achieving the collection targets set by Killinochchi for each country. The dynamism of the Finance unit is relative to the sophistication, pattern of investments and the level of institutionalization of fundraising processes in that country. The Procurement unit tends to operate outside the direct supervision of the country representative, but has a parasitic relationship with the LTTE infrastructure in each host country. This study will expand on the operations of the Intelligence unit in host countries in the second part of the paper.

In Switzerland, the LTTE structure mirrors that of Germany in most aspects. Overall responsibility of LTTE operations is with the country representative, Kulam. There are four units under the country representative, the Political unit is headed by Arulsothy, the political unit has three regional leaders, Anbalawannan (Bern), N Kumar (Zurich) Sivaneshan (Fribourg). The Finance unit is headed by Suda. In the last five years collections in Switzerland has topped LTTE collections worldwide. The LTTE in Switzerland also has a Procurement Unit and an Intelligence Unit.

As methods of fundraising are highly diverse, responsibilities tend to transcend between the overt elements of the structure and some parts of the covert element. Furthermore, the sophistication and the level of institutionalization is dependent upon the duration of residence, experienced personnel and the legal regime in the host country.

In an effort to examine and analyses the processes of terrorist fundraising, the study will categorize such fundraising methods into four stages of progression. The categorization will list all known methods of fundraising used by the LTTE. In most cases the LTTE uses a combination of methods relative to the size of the Tamil diaspora and other externalities that influence fundraising activity.

First Generation Fundraising Methods

Collections from Individuals/Business

The first generation methods refer to fundraising approaches used by the LTTE in the formative years of the international network. These methods are closely associated with an unstructured or loosely structured community based activism. A significant component of collections within the first generation category can be identified as collections from Tamil individuals/businesses. It is not possible to establish specific details on total collections but the methods of collection range from personal compulsions, to methods of passive and aggressive coercion and extortion.

Event Based Fundraising

The collections from individuals/businesses are supplemented through event based fundraising. Initially, event based fundraising was ad-hoc and dependent on community motivation. However, a recent phenomenon in event based fundraising is a regimented calendar of fundraising appeals formulated after the leadership of the LTTE international co-ordinating Office was tasked to Veerakathy Manivannam (Castro) and former deputy Sivapalasuntheram Gnanaseelan (Kalaiyalagam). The international office requires the country representatives to report back regularly on action undertaken for each appeal. The calendar of LTTE events and appeals provides a mobilization and motivation factor and also reinforces the dominant role of the LTTE within Tamil diaspora affairs. It also provides a periodic surge in fundraising. The most lucrative event based fundraising is marathon radio shows with a specific appeal. Recently in Sydney, a Burwood based Tamil radio station is alleged to have collected over AUD 100,000 by conducting a marathon radio appeal for a blood bank in Kilinochchi.

Other forms of event based fundraising include commemoration of combatants and military operations, cultural shows, sports events, food festivals and guest speaker events. At the time LTTE peace delegations toured Europe, guest speaker events were held in may European cities. On 26 February 2006, the LTTE in Switzerland organized a dinner for the Tamil business community to meet Tamilselvan, Nadesan and Jayem at Thamilini Restaurant in Zurich, at which donations ranging up to SFR 20,000 were demanded from each businessman.

In the last 18 months, there has been a noticeable increase in the activities of the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO), which seems to be taking the lead role in event based fundraising and mobilizing Tamil youth in keeping with the LTTE agenda. The TYO has an international presence with branches in 09 countries.

Narcotics Trafficking and Criminal Activity

The use of criminal activity as a source of fundraising for the LTTE was widespread during the formative years of the international network. It could be argued that the LTTE engagement in narcotics trade and the ensuing gang violence had a lasting impact on the operational ethos of the LTTE international network. The Tamil gangs infused a culture of violence into the fabric of Tamil diaspora societies.
Tamil gang violence in London escalated to alarming levels during the period 2001-2003. In a short period of two years 13 Tamil gang members were killed in violent and brutal attacks. The first attack took place in Roe Green Park, Kingsbury and followed by reprisal attacks in Lynton Park, Wembley. Thereafter attacks took place in Ilford, East Ham, Tooting and Harrow. As recent as 2004, the Ari Ala gang attacked Tamil youth in Wembley.

A report by the Mackenzie Institute in Canada, describes the use of LTTE shipping fleet based out of Twawate island off the coast of Myanmar to ship narcotics to Tamil gangs in Toronto. After a series of gang related murders the Canadian Police arrested 40 Tamil gang members in Toronto wide raids in October 2001.
The LTTE overseas leadership assumed the Godfather role to the surrogate Tamil gangs, which in turn provided the LTTE network with the necessary enforcement powers to impose its hegemonic authority over the Tamil diaspora. The LTTE infiltrated all community based organizations of the Tamil diaspora through a process of patronage in which LTTE activists took control of such organizations. The LTTE was able to direct activities of all Tamil community organizations to a single agenda dictated by the LTTE overseas leadership. The LTTE international network ensures that any dissenting opinion within the Tamil community is ostracized from community leadership positions.
The LTTE international network has engaged in cross-border contract assignments in which gang members from one country are tasked assignments in another country thereby maintaining anonymity and avoid implicating local gangs.

In addition to involvement in narcotics trafficking, the LTTE international network has provided sponsorship to organized criminal activity such as credit card cloning and human smuggling. Recently the Cambodian government sought the assistance of Interpol to track the head of LTTE procurement operation in Cambodia, Renni Lerin on charges of human smuggling.

Second Generation Fundraising Methods

Use of Front Organizations

The next stage of growth is referred to as the second generation fundraising approaches. Second generation methods are more institutionalized and tend to subvert the domestic legal regimes in the host countries. The LTTE international network established several humanitarian front organizations that successfully engaged in fundraising activities. In most cases these front organizations have a dual function, the organizations engage in humanitarian activity with much publicity and also act as a channel for LTTE fundraising.

The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) has been identified by the British Charity Commission as an organization which liaises closely with the LTTE. In a British Charity Commission investigation into the activities of TRO (UK) found that TRO liaised with the LTTE in determining where funds could be applied. The British Charity Commission delisted TRO (UK) as a charitable organization on 10 August 2005. Following the delisting in the UK two new organizations were established the, International TRO (ITRO) and Tamil Support Foundation (TSF) to continue similar operations.

The private residence of TRO (US) head, Dr Nagarathnam Ranjithan, was raided by the FBI in August 2006. In Denmark the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crimes is concerned with the activities of TRO (Denmark). The TRO is also linked by association with active members of the LTTE. The International Co-ordinator of the TRO, Dr Jay Maheswaran, represented the LTTE as a senior member of the LTTE delegation at the first round of peace talks in September 2002. The former head of the LTTE international secretariat Lawrence Thilagar functions as the Programme Officer for TRO in Kilinochchi.

An organization of Tamil doctors in the United States with an unsuspecting nomenclature, the International Medical Health Organisation (IMHO) which was formerly known as the Tamil Health Organisation - USA, provides financial and material support to a partner organization known as the Centre for Health Care (CHC) in Kilinochchi. Based on documentation provided by the Norwegian Tamil Health Organisation (NTHO), the organizational structure of the CHC supports 15 Thilleepan Medical Centres (additional 3 under construction) and 4 Mobile Thilleepan Medical Centres. The head of the LTTE Medical Unit, Arun on 3 June 2004 declared that all Thilleepan Medical Centres are part of the LTTE. This is a clear example of funds channeled from overseas front organizations providing direct support to specific units of the LTTE. This capacity building of LTTE infrastructure was in fact commended by Sea Tiger Leader Soosai on 26 September 2007, when he said that LTTE medical units are now capable of treating serious medical injuries.

Documentation published by the Norwegian Tamil Health Organisation (NTHO).
It was reported in November 2005, that an examination of the 2003 financial statement provided by the Tamil Co-ordinating Committee (TCC) in Melbourne to the Victorian Consumer Affairs Department indicated a substantial part of the income was transferred to a front organization in Malaysia for suspected weapons procurement.

Distribution of Tamil DVDs

The LTTE international network is closely associated with the global distribution of Tamil DVDs (Tamil movies) in Europe and Canada. In a statement issued by Eelam Revolutionary Organization (EROS), the main Tamil DVD distribution company Aynagaran International, owned by K. Karunamoorthy formerly of Inuvil in Jaffna is alleged to have close links with the LTTE. Tamil DVDs are distributed through Tamil grocery shops throughout Europe and Canada. The LTTE provides tacit protection against piracy of movies released by selected distributors which is a mutually beneficial business arrangement for both the distributor and the LTTE.

Return on Investments - Business Ventures

The LTTE is known to own and operate business enterprises in Europe, Canada and South East Asia. In most cases the Finance units in host countries provide seed-capital to close associates of the leadership. The use of a third-party and engagement in legitimate business activity provides opportunities for money laundering, employment for activists and interaction with the community. In Cambodia the Raani Café employed over 8 LTTE procurement unit members. It is suspected that Thamilini Restaurant in Zurich, Makkal Kadai Supermarket in Paris, Ashley Cash & Carry in Harrow, Thamilini Cash & Carry in Southall are a few business ventures supported by LTTE assets.

Mother Tongue Schools

In some of the Scandinavian countries, the LTTE has made significant investments in Mother Tongue Schools (Tamil Cholai Schools). In Denmark, the TCC operates 28 Mother Tongue Schools. In fact the head of TCC in Denmark Arul Thilainadarasa was elected to the Herning City Council which provided funding for several of these Mother Tongue Schools.

Informal Remittance Systems

The LTTE has developed a robust informal remittance system referred to as the “Undi” system (Hawala). The Tamil diaspora can transfer money to relatives in Sri Lanka living in areas not adequately serviced by the banking system. The Undi system is controlled by a small cartel of Tamil Jewellery shop owners (goldsmith) in Switzerland and Canada.

A significant component of money transactions within the Undi system facilitates the falsely-declared import of gold jewellery into Europe from the Gold Market in Singapore for the jewellery market. The LTTE Finance unit in Switzerland has been actively facilitating the money transfer using human couriers between Switzerland and Singapore. In many of the cases jewellery shops owners in Switzerland provide a combined pool of funds to the LTTE for the purchase of gold jewellery from Singapore. The LTTE operatives will send human couriers with cash, who will also carry LTTE money intended for LTTE holding accounts in South East Asia. The couriers will return to Switzerland with receipts that have significantly overvalued the gold jewerelly purchased in Singapore, in some cases craftsmanship value-addition has been five times the value of the gold component.

In February 2007, several LTTE human couriers encountered difficulties in Singapore. An active member of the LTTE Finance unit in Bern, Ratnavel Sashidaran rushed to Singapore and was arrested by Singapore Police on 22 February 2007. The Singapore authorities decided to deport Sashidaran back to Switzerland without charge. In September 2007, Sashidaran sent two close relatives to Singapore as human couriers facilitating urgent money transfers for the LTTE. It is suspected that Sashidaran was under pressure to reactivate the Singapore money route as the LTTE urgently required funds in south-east Asia for weapons purchases. It is believed the Singapore authorities have arrested one of Sashidaran’s relatives, but details on this arrest are limited.

Third Generation Fundraising Methods

Pre-paid Phone Cards

The third generation approaches of fundraising is estimated to generate the largest component of funds for the LTTE at present. The third generation approaches tend to have a legitimate commercial persona focusing on services required by the Tamil diaspora.

The retailing of international call-time using phone cards is one of the most profitable business ventures associated with LTTE fundraising. The LTTE provided seed capital to set up several front companies registered as telecom retailers in Europe. The telecom retailers purchase bulk call-time to Asian destinations from gateway operators in Europe and retail the call-time using phone cards under multiple brand names. The Tamil spice shops and grocery shops are flooded with these phone cards eliminating all other competitive cards. It was suspected by Sri Lankan authorities in February 2000, that Gnanam Phone cards in France was linked to LTTE fundraising.

The phone card business in Paris was developed by V Manoharan, the former head of the LTTE international centre when based in Paris with several Tamil business partners. After Manoharan was recalled to Kilinochchi, and the LTTE murdered Nathan, the head of LTTE Finance Unit in France for misappropriation of funds, the business partners involved in the phone card business relocated from Paris to London. The LTTE continues to generate substantial volumes of funds from retailing phone cards to the Tamil diaspora.

Management of Hindu Temples

The LTTE has tactically adopted strategic business management skills by investing in the management of Hindu temples. Hindu temples are owned and managed by private entrepreneurs. The temple management contracts persons of appropriate caste and learning as clergy to conduct religious ceremonies. The offerings received from the congregation support the upkeep of the temple, the clergy and is considered return on investment for the owners of the temple. The LTTE has found the business of temple management to be lucrative, also having benefits of charitable status and funds with minimum paper trail. There are several cases recorded in the UK, Canada and Australia in which strong-arm tactics were used to gain control of temple management. The case of Rajasingham Jayadevan and Arumugam Kandiah Vivekananthan held captive by the LTTE in Kilinochchi and forced to handover control of Eelapatheeswaran Aalayam Temple in London. The temple owners were released by the LTTE after the intervention of the UK government.

The Human Right Watch report on LTTE fundraising in March 2006, extensively describes the role of the LTTE in the management of Hindu temples. The report refers to cases in Canada and Australia (Perth) in which the LTTE used violent methods to intimidate temple owners.

The Trustee of the Amman Hindu temple in Paris Vinyagamoorthy was arrested in October 2006 at the French-Swiss border attempting to courier Euros 18 million in currency allegedly for the LTTE. In April 2007, the Trustee was arrested by French authorities for active involvement with the LTTE.

Subscription Satellite Television

The LTTE is known to have an active media strategy which include the aggressive use of the internet, community based Tamil radio stations and subscription satellite TV. The use of satellite TV provides the LTTE with a single most effective medium to inform the large diaspora. The Tamil Television Network (TTN) a subscription satellite TV provided Tamil entertainment to the diaspora infused with LTTE undertones. It is estimated that TTN had 22,000 subscribers in Europe. It also provided news from Kilinochchi with re-broadcast of NTT (National Television of Tamil Eelam) news segments. TTN operations in Paris were suspended by the French broadcasting authority CSA in February 2007. It is suspected that a new satellite TV which commenced operations in January 2007 from Australia plans to replace the lucrative TTN operation.

Subscription satellite TV not only provides a valuable medium for propaganda, it also generates substantial income in terms of subscription and advertising. In Europe, Tamil businessmen are required to maintain a specified advertising commitment with such satellite TV channels. The TV channels send out monthly statements indicating the specified advertising commitment. The TV channels charged excessive premiums for such advertisements.

Fourth Generation Fundraising Methods

Fixed Income Generation Methods - Registration of the Tamil Diaspora
The fourth generational approach used by the LTTE is a shift from the fluctuating nature of fund generation to a more predictable stable income format. There is also a distinct shift in terms of not using front organizations or third-party, the LTTE is directly involved in the rollout this initiative. All Tamil families in Europe are being systematically registered and assigned a Unique PIN number. Phase one of the European initiative commenced in Switzerland in early 2006, each Tamil family has been issued with a three-page with the banner heading LTTE in Switzerland. The form has 30 questions relating to personal information including details of blood-relatives in Sri Lanka, income status, subscription to LTTE satellite television and contribution to homeland funds. The LTTE intends to issue each Tamil family in Europe with a unique PIN number referred to as the Tamil Eelam identity number. It is suspect that the main database for this project is located in a Scandinavian country with a capability to transfer data to Kilinochchi. It is believed the LTTE intends to use this information to make assessments on contributions levels based income and lifestyle factors.

The base rate under this system seems to be one unit of currency (one Euro in Europe) per person for each day out of Sri Lanka. Additional surcharge is applied depending on income levels, size of family and contributions towards periodic appeals. In an article published in the French newspaper LeFigaro, on 2 December 2005, a French citizen of Tamil origin describes how the LTTE accessed all his personal details at the LTTE check point in Sri Lanka with his PIN number and confiscated his French passport until his family agreed to pay the outstanding contributions owed in France.

PART II - Finance Network of the LTTE

Modalities to Relocate, Hold and Transfer Funds

The second area of focus relates to the modalities used by the LTTE to relocate, hold and transfer funds for the purpose of weapons procurement and other logistics support. There has been research published recently on the financial network of the LTTE international operations. This research has identified the financial network as the Aiyanna Group. It is the view of this study that there is insufficient data about operations of the Aiyanna Group to designate such as the financial network of the LTTE international operations. The Aiyanna Group is involved in intelligence work, and it is the view of this study that the Aiyanna Group is seeking a greater role in international procurement operations in what was earlier a more closed-group. In the post 2002 environment with the relaxation in travel restrictions to Kilinochchi, multiple channels of overseas linkages developed within the LTTE including the strengthening of external intelligence capabilities. While Aiyanna Group is believed to have close links with the intelligence units of the LTTE, the level of involvement in the financial transfer processes is unclear at this stage.

The Sana Group

The LTTE operates a hub and spokes network for money transfer modalities. This study has identified one financial network known as the Sana Group. It is possible that there are parallel groups operating independently of each other, but this study has not found evidence on any other finance network of the LTTE. The group identified by this study has one Principal Controller and 08 trust-managers located in Europe, North America and South East Asia.

The leadership in Kilinochchi stipulates financial targets that each country representative and the finance unit need to achieve. The funds apportioned for procurement purposes are relocated to designated trust-managers and held in safe locations. These transfer take place using several mediums such as, bank transfers, human cash couriers and over invoicing import-export transactions. The trust-managers place the funds in multiple forms of investment to avoid detection by regulatory authorities. These managers regularly update the Principal Controller of the financial status and liquidity of assets. It is believed that the trust- managers do not have contact with each other, and it is the view of this study that the trust-managers are possibly unaware of the identity of the other managers.

The most important role of the Sana Group is the Principal Controller. The Controller is the hub of the network and maintains an inconspicuous profile. In fact all research on the modus operandi of the Controller indicates that no funds are held by the Controller. He merely maintains is a multiplicity of records (financial portfolios) received from each trust-manager on the current availability of financial resources and the level of liquidity of assets. It is suspected that the Controller of the Sana Group is based in a European country.

When the LTTE procurement teams have to meet financial commitments, the Controller is informed by Kilinochchi to make available sufficient appropriations. The Controller depending on asset distribution and liquidity will inform one or more trust-managers to transfer funds. The funds will be transferred to multiple locations in non-detectable blocks. At this point members of the procurement team would consolidate the multiple receipts, most often in a south east Asian country. The best example of this process is the evidence emerging out of the FBI sting operation in Guam. The LTTE sent a three-man team headed by Varatharasa to Guam Island on 26 September 2006. After inspecting a consignment of weapons presented by undercover FBI agents, the team consolidated the advance payment in Malaysia and transferred US $ 452,000 to a Baltimore bank account.


The LTTE has developed the most sophisticated infrastructure for fundraising and money transfer operations in comparison to any other terrorist group. The intent of the LTTE is to progress towards systems that have a stable income generation capability, giving the LTTE the advantage of stability in projected incomes and procurement planning. The ability of the LTTE international network to evade detection and maintain flow of funds reflects the sophistication and robust nature of the operation. Resource generation (fundraising) and financial management is a core component that determines the strengths and capabilities of a terrorist group. The competencies acquired by the LTTE in fundraising activity will definitely be replicated by other terrorist and criminal groups.

Editors Note:Shanaka Jayasekara is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (PICT Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.This Paper on ” LTTE Fundraising & Money Transfer Operations ” was Presented at the International Conference on Countering Terrorism held in Colombo ,18 - 20 October 2007.


LTTE manipulating Colombo stock exchange

The roller coaster ride of the pivotal Colombo stock exchange despite the overwhelming success of the governments $500 million sovereign bond has raised fears of a possible manipulation of the bourse by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

In the backdrop of the Sri lankan Central Bank warning that a person failing to report a suspicious financial transaction could face a fine of up to one million Sri Lankan Rupees, a former Secretariat for Coordinating Peace Process (SCOPP) official has revealed the possible participation of the LTTE in the Colombo Stock Exchange.

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is the only stock exchange licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka.

Shanaka Jayasekera, a researcher of the Centre for Policy, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism of Macquarie University, Australia has alleged that it was revealed by the SCOPP of the "possible participation of the LTTE in the CSE".

In his research paper, the expert said that with LTTE's main supply and procurement lines disrupted by the Sri Lankan Navy with its 10th -- floating ware house -- ship sunk south east off Dondra Head recently, the tigers were being pushed to find new avenues of raising finances to continue their arms conflict.

In this backdrop, investment in the CSE provides a good opportunity to raise funds for the rebels to fight the government, Jayasekara said, adding this allegation had come to light during British investigations on the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), a known LTTE supporter.

As part of moves to tighten the screws on money laundering and terrorism financing, the Sri Lankan Central Bank is considering extending the mandatory reporting requirement on financial transactions to cover banks and other financial companies including insurance corporations.

A noted terrorism expert and a former additional secretary in cabinet secretariat in the government of India, B Raman, says organised criminal mafias, terrorists and intelligence agencies seek to covertly use the stock markets for earning funds as well as causing economic instability in the target country.

"They generally use two methods for this purpose: stock market operations and stock market manipulation. Stock market operations help them to earn money and launder black money and stock market manipulation helps them to earn and launder money as well as cause economic instability," Raman told an international conference recently.

"Jayashekara during the recently concluded international Conference on combating terrorism held here demanded a probe into such transactions of the LTTE.


* What made the Anuradhapura airbase a sitting duck?
* Political fallout outweighs military losses

An old villager named Daniel Appuhamy (51), a resident of Kannitiya Ashokapura made it a daily routine to toil in his chena which bordered a jungle patch, about 5 km from the SLAF Base Anuradhapura.
On Saturday, Appuhamy went to his chena, but he didn’t return home for lunch. On the next day, the villagers combed the jungle looking for the old farmer. To their utter horror , they found his headless body near an abandoned chena. Next to the body was a pair of rubber slippers. Police joined in the search, but, could not find any further clue.
In the wee hours of the next day, a twenty one member Tiger squad attacked the Anuradhapura airbase, taking unprepared airmen off guard and destroying a fleet of aircraft.


Police launched a sweep in the jungles looking for a clue. Fresh concerns were raised about a link between Appuhamy’s murder and the Tiger attackers. Later in the week, police found the severed head of Appuhamy, wrapped in a trouser and concealed in a crevice of a “kon” tree. Two bullet shots were found on the head. It is no w believed that Appuhamy was murdered by Tiger attackers, who may have spotted him in the jungle. The nature of the assassination substantiates the claim.
His throat had been severed below the Adam’s apple, a tactic, generally used by trained killers. The head was wrapped in a trouser to conceal bleeding as blood marks could lead to the place where it was concealed. Appuhamy is the first kill of the Tiger attackers, who later in the day attacked the Air Force base in a daring raid.
It appears that the political fallout of the attack out weighs its military losses. But, suffice to say that the attack forced a nation out of its complacency; it was a rude shock to a public who were made to believe by an overdose of government propaganda that the Tigers were in retreat.


The Tiger raid is a pointer to the glaring lapses in the security establishment. More than that, piecing together details, investigators are concerned as to how the Tigers knew the security procedures of the camp, which they infiltrated virtually unchallenged.
The Tiger hit squad cut through the steal perimeter wire fences of the camp and sneaked through an electrically charged protection wire fence. Shocking enough, the investigators have found that the wire was not connected to the power supply at the time of the raid. Unchallenged, the intruders cut through the third steel fence and moved towards the runway.
Questions have been raised as to how the Tigers removed sound trapped mines, planted between the runway and the perimeter bunkers. The mines were planted to explode creating a massive bang in case of an intrusion through the area. Did anyone within the camp tip off the intruders of its security plan is now the mind boggling question. Investigators have recovered several well detailed maps of the Air Force Base from the slain attackers.
A team of Tiger intruders moved towards the runway, unchallenged, while several men stayed guard taking aim at the airmen in the peripheral bunkers. The Black Tigers are believed to have split into two groups - one moved towards the hangars, while the other moved towards the runway where helicopters- both MI 24 Hind and MI 17 were parked. Though the SLAF Base Hingurakgoda is the home of the MI 24 Hind (NO 09 Attack Helicopter Squadron) MI 24s are placed in couples in the bases in the North East to ensure greater mobility and flexibility. The Vavuniya Air Force camp was earlier the strategic base given its proximity to the battle front; however, the SLAF limited the night parking of most of its aircraft, after the fighting spiraled. One main concern that precipitated the decision was that the SLAF Base in Vavuniya is located within the range of 130 mm howitzers of the LTTE, if the Tigers located 130 mm howitzers in Puliyankulam- the firing range of 130 mm artillery is 28 km.
The intruders attacked two MI 24 Hinds with Rocket Propelled Grenades. One Hind ( Registered No: CH 631) was engulfed in a fire ball while the other suffered structural damage, which SLAF assessors said could be repaired and that it is airworthy. It is also said that the Tiger attacker was snipped by an airman before he targeted the second MI 24 helicopter.

Under siege

As the first shots of the Tiger raid were heard, the camp was alerted that it was under siege. By that time, the infiltrators had neutralized the airmen in the peripheral bunkers and a fierce firefight raged between the airmen guarding a 23 mm anti air craft gun position and the attackers. In a matter of minutes, the Tigers captured gun positions, thereby virtually cutting off any emergency take off of the aircrafts. Tiger cadres, who moved towards the hangar, destroyed three PT-6 basic and advanced trainers (Registered No: CT 180, CT 183, and CT 190).
As the intruders were proceeding with their mission, the Radar system located in Vavuniya detected two low flying Tiger aircraft, which were heading southwards. The SLAF Base Anuradhapura was then on alert. When the Tiger aircraft approached the Air Base, the gunner at the Air Defence system took the aim. However, the USFM Radar combined gun system did not work.
SLAF sources said ammunition stuck in the gun. The Tiger aircraft flew away unscathed after dropping three bombs. One bomb fell near the married quarters of the Air Force personnel, while another fell on the playground, but this was away from the hangars. These pot shots of the Tiger aircraft are suggestive that the Tigers are still a long way to achieve precision in munitions delivering capability.
Though the Air Tiger raid looked more an image booster for the nascent guerrilla Air Wing, certain SLAF sources expressed belief that the target of the Tiger air raid could have been the aircraft parked on the ground, an area which was made inaccessible to the Tiger attackers due to heavy resistance by the alerted troops.
It has now been established that the Black Tigers were in contact with Kilinochchi via satellite phones. Our SLAF sources suggested that the Black Tigers could have directed the Air Tigers to bomb the aircraft parked on the ground. The bombs, however, fell far away from the target.
The greatest loss to the SLAF - of course, other than the 14 security forces personnel who perished in the fight- was the multi million dollars worth Beech Craft B 200T (Registered No CR 842) . It was on Sunday afternoon, that the Beech Craft, the home base of which is the SLAF Base in Ratmalana arrived at the Anuradhapura airbase.
The SLAF inventory has two Beech Craft: Beech Super King B 200T (SIGNIT) and Beech Super King B 200T (HISAR).
The ill- fated Beech Craft (SIGNIT) (CR 842) was procured by the SLAF in 1983 for the personal travel of then President JR Jayawardene. However, later the aircraft was converted to the role of a reconnaissance craft and by the late 90s it was equipped with high tech electronic listening devices which could intercept hand- held enemy communications on the ground and provides their directions.

Beech Craft

In 2002, the SLAF took the delivery of its second Beech Craft equipped with ultra tech HISAR system from Raytheon. Raytheon at that time announced that it received an US$ 10 million plus order from an unspecified South Asian customer. The package included the Beech Craft, HISAR system, Operational centre, spare parts and training. According to Raython, the HISAR system provides precise imagery and intelligence almost any where. During the typical mode of operation, the radar provides wide area, narrow sector searches, strip and spot search and sea surveillance.
By the time of the Black Tiger raid, Beech Craft (HISAR) has been grounded for the overhaul of its electronic system. Thus the Beech Craft (SIGNIT) and Beech Craft (HISAR) were the eyes and ears of the sky. The Tiger raid has yanked out the ears of the SLAF, a hole that needs to be filled urgently because with out its reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities, the effectiveness and the precision of the SLAF’s Kfirs and MIG 27 strikes could be seriously compromised. The need to replenish the reconnaissance and surveillance capability has further been stressed by the fact that - though the government does not made it public - three Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV), some of them not even removed from their packing had been seriously damaged in the attack. This will further erode the SLAFs reconnaissance capability. Among other air craft which were damaged were five Cessna 150 aircraft (Registered No CT 150, CT 151, CT 152, CT 153 and CT 154) all of which were retired from the service after the procurement of ten PT-6 basic and advanced trainers in 2001. The PT-6 replaced the 70s vintage Cessna as the primary pilot trainer. Cessna’s were stored at the SLAF Base Anuradhapura and at least one Cessna 150 was used as a liason air craft. The damage or the destruction of Cessna would have no impact on the SLAF. However, there are certain other details, which the government has covered up: Other than the destruction of three PT 6 trainers, three others were damaged (Registered Numbers: CT 188, CT 182 and CT 189) according to well placed sources. Apart from that one Bell 206 which was procured in 1972 and used as a helicopter trainer was also destroyed.

Pilot training

This will leave the SLAF with only three PT 6s for pilot training. The SLAF also has five K-8 jet trainers in its inventory. One could only hope that the government would fast track the procurement process, yet, still buy the best product for the security forces.
The final list of attrition is as follows: one Beach Craft (SIGNIT), one MI 24 Hind, one MI 17 Medium Lift Helicopter, one K-T basic and advanced jet trainer, three PT-6 pilot trainers, One Bell 206 helicopter trainer and another Bell 212 helicopter crashed in Mihintale, killing two pilots and two gunners, while it was tracking the low flying Tiger aircraft.
Damaged air craft are: one MI 24 Hind, Three PT-6, Five Cessna’s and three UAVs.
Perhaps, in the wake of the Tiger raid, equally disturbing was the obsession with the military losses and inflated figures presented by the Opposition - both by the UNP and SLFP (Mahajana Wing). Last week has been a sad week for us: not only the security lapses of our forces were paid for dearly, but also the bitter political opportunism of Sri Lankan politics was highlighted.
Opposition parliamentarians stole the show one by one to highlight the Tiger raid, often with inflated figures - one put the figure at over six billion rupees while the SLFP Mahayana Wing clamoured that the losses amounted to 17 billion rupees. Both have surpassed the damage calculated by pro Tiger Tamilnet, which put the figure at US $ 40 million.
Rather than ignorance,one could feel a wicked sense of joy in these generous figures. Perhaps these figures are substantiated by the sticker prices of the brand new units, but, it is almost public knowledge that Sri Lanka rarely buys brand new - also, it is rarely that any state pays the sticker prices even they opt to buy brand new. (Refer to India’s latest procurement drive for multi role aircraft) Sri Lanka generally buys from second hand markets; as for aircraft, Ukraine, with its large stock of cold war helicopters and fighter jets is the main supplier. The average cost for an overhauled MI 24 could vary from US 1.5 million to a maximum of US 2.5 million. Of course, still a brand new unit could cost US $ 6 million on its sticker value.
Thus, it must be admitted the actually losses were much lower than these inflated numbers. What is equally noticeable is more than the damage of the destroyed aircraft, their high tech equipment are costlier. Some well placed SLAF sources put the losses at a maximum of US $ 20 million. Commander of Air Force Air Marshal Roshan Gunatilake said the damage amounted to US $ 15 million; he seems to be closer to reality than most Opposition parliamentarians who clamour from their rooftops. However, the Tiger raid has uncovered glaring security lapses in the Anuradhapura airbase which is a main base of forward operations and logistics , but not a single special forces unit has been assigned to guard the camp.
This is indicative that the top brass had ruled out a ground raid. Indeed, a possible Tiger air raid was identified as the main threat to the Air Force Base. The investigators have also found that the camp did not have a contingency plan, nor had security drills been conducted for a quite some time time. These revelations speak well of why the camp was a sitting duck to the guerrilla intruders! SLAF’s elite Regimental Special Force was formed in 2003 to handle the security of the vital Air Bases, following a previous Tiger attack on the Katunayake Air Force base and adjacent International Air port- This unit is similar to the USAF’s first Special Operation Wing. These personnel are trained in airbase rescue operations, field craft, bomb disposal, fire fighting, water survival and rescue operations. However, none of the Special Forces personnel, either from the SLAF or any other service arm of the Sri Lankan Forces had been assigned to the security of the ill- fated air base. The SLAF Base is also home to the No 1 Flying Training Wing, which carries out Basic Flying Training for SLAF pilots. This wing is an independent formation ‘lodged’ within the Base upon which it depends on for administrative, logistic and infrastructure backup.
Several past discoveries in close proximity to the camp, if followed up, could have nipped the Tiger attack in the bud.

Anti aircraft ammunition.

A few weeks ago, a fisherman had in his fishing net found several hundred anti aircraft ammunition. In another incident, certain media reports revealed the discovery of small used tins in close proximity to the camp.
It is open to question as to whether these recoveries were tracked. However, the nature of the attack is indicative that the Tigers have conducted extensive reconnaissance of the base and these used tins could have been left behind by these Tigers The attack is reminiscent of the devastating Black Tiger raid on the BIA and the adjacent Air Force base. The attack resulted in a slump in tourist arrivals and the erosion of investor confidence which precipitated a negative economic growth for the first time in the post independent history of Sri Lanka.However, last week’s raid is unlikely to make a drastic impact on the economy which has shown a greater reliance in recent years. However, the fear is that the raid would force an embarrassed government to a knee- jerk reaction.
In an over reaction, the Government could change the course and opt to a major conventional confrontation with the Tigers.
Such hastily planned actions have been proved to be costly in the past.
The war cannot be expected to be a scripted one- sided play. The Tigers had their day on Monday. Yet, the recent gains of the security forces far out weighs the gains secured by the Tigers.
The government should stay the course and let the troops to consolidate on its recent military gains.

"Human Armor"

LTTE's recent attack on Anuradhapura airbase has somewhat overshadowed the continuous fighting that has been raging along the Mannar-Vavuniya defense lines. LTTE fighters and the Sri Lanka army have been locked in sporadic firefights in the region for the last 4 months. During the initial period of fighting, the army moved ahead of their defense lines on three fronts and captured a significant amount of rebel territory. However the LTTE launched a counterattack and the army lost the territory gained on one of the fronts within a day. After this incident, the army deployed its elite fighting formations such as the Commando regiment and the Special Forces in the area. These units, along with the 57th division have been launching small scale group based attacks on random LTTE bunkers near the frontline for the past month.

During one such attack two weeks ago, soldiers of the 57th division stormed into one of the LTTE bunkers from which the tigers had just been forced to flee. Inside the bunker, along with a few military items, the troopers found a diary. Following is a translation of one of the entries (it is believed that the diary was written by a female LTTE cadre):

"I have been stuck here for a month. The condition is getting worse. I want to go home. I want to see my mother".

In another such attack, SLA soldiers were able to recover 7 dead bodies of LTTE cadres in the general area of Vilathikulam. One of the rebels who got killed in the battle had his diary with him at the time of his death. One of the entries in it read:

"Today we were told we could have a bath but I don't think we'll get the chance. I haven't had a bath in 10 days. Promised supplies are not even here yet."

By reading above entries, one might think that the morale of LTTE is at an all time low. However this is not the case. LTTE cadres who are deployed Vavuniya-Mannar frontline bunkers are not from LTTE's hard core fighting formations such as Jeyanthan, Imran-Pandiyan, Charles Anthony or Victor. Most of the cadres manning the first bunker at at Vavuniya-Mannar border are inexperienced, young fighters (female cadres included). They are controlled by experience LTTE cadres who are in much safer defensive positions. LTTE gains two primary advantages by adopting this strategy:

1. Inexperienced cadres act as a human armor. Even though they are inexperienced, they are capable of offering plenty of resistance to the army and they cannot flee as the senior cadres are stationed to prevent such an act (fight-to-death scenario). Even if the army managed to breach the first defense line, experienced cadres manning the secondary defenses will meet an exhausted enemy.

2. Losses to LTTE's elite formations will be minimal. Even if the army launched a massive operation which the LTTE cannot sustain, elite cadres and secondary leaders will still be able to flee without being harmed as the 'human armor' will buy them time. This way the LTTE will save its elites for a more decisive battle (i.e- Mullaithiv, Kilinochci,etc.)

Although this method has so far worked well for the LTTE in most of the battles in Vavuniya region, its stability will be tested in the coming days. The Sri Lanka army too is using an effective strategy to counter this threat. Launching of small group based attacks instead of major offensives has increased the enemy's frustration.