Wednesday, 16 April 2014 02:45
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities say there is a renewed attempt to revive the defeated Tamil Tiger terrorist organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in the north to launch another phase of its struggle for a separate state.
The military in a statement revealed that information on several key suspects who were leading the campaign for resurgence of the LTTE surfaced in the general area of Pallai in the Jaffna Peninsula.
Investigations into the activities of former LTTE operatives have resulted in several arrests which in turn have led to recovery of arms, ammunitions, explosives and other material that were in their possession.
Investigations have revealed that the local group was functioning under the instructions of Europe-based LTTE leaders Nediyawan and Vinayagam who were preparing the ground for another armed struggle.
Immediate objectives of the local group included the recovery or war like material dumped by the LTTE during retreat, re-establishment of the LTTE intelligence network, regrouping of the potential cadre including those rehabilitated and collecting information on potential targets including in other provinces, the military said.
Military investigations have revealed that the funds for the subversive activities came from Europe using an illegal money laundering scheme in the subcontinent known as the ‘Hawala’ system. It has been found that many safe houses, vehicles and other resources required for resurgence of the LTTE had been procured by the suspected LTTE leaders using this money.
Three local leaders in the attempted resurgence of the LTTE were identified as Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias ‘Thevihan’, who was involved in aerial attacks on Anuradhapura Air Base and Kollonnawa petroleum storage facility in 2007, Selvanayagam Kajeepan alias ‘Gobi’, and Navarathnam Navaneethan alias ‘Appan’.
All three LTTE operatives were shot dead by the security forces during the Thursday night’s search operation in the general area of Nedunkerni in Vavuniya.
Investigators have trailed the three suspects and made several arrests of second and third level cadres who were under the command of the three leader. However the main three had remained elusive.
On 13 March when a team of police and army officers zeroed in on Gobi, the leader, who was taking shelter at the residence of the Tamil activist Balendran Jeyakumari, shot at the police and escaped.
A search in Jeyakumari’s residence had found a ‘Menelab’ F-3 type mine detector, and therefore, Jeyakumari was placed under arrest on suspicion of aiding and abetting Gobi in his activities.
The general area where the three leaders -Thevihan, Gobi and Appan -were hiding was identified. On 10 April 2014 troops in a search operation in the jungle area off Padaviya recovered four backpacks containing rations, medicine, clothes, and other items believed to be used by the suspects.
The troops have surrounded the identified area and in the early hours of Friday, 11 April the three armed suspects who attempted to escape the area clashed with the troops in the cordon. All three were killed and two of the dead were later identified as Thevihan and Gobi. The third is yet to be identified, but is believed to be that of Appan.
Sri Lanka police said 65 persons including 10 women were arrested in the past month under suspicion of attempting to resuscitate LTTE. Sri Lankan authorities recently arrested a senior LTTE cadre called Subramaniam Kapilan a.k.a. ‘Nandigopal’ when he arrived at the Colombo airport following his deportation from Malaysia.
The Government on 1 April banned the LTTE and 15 other Tamil diaspora groups that are alleged of having terror links and involved in reviving the terrorist movement in the country.
Military Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said a volume of information on the whereabouts of the suspects came from the local people who did not approve of any attempt of resurgence of the LTTE and the information helped immensely in the investigations.
A judicial inquiry into the Friday’s incident is in progress, the Spokesman said.
Police probe Gobi’s telephone calls
The police say they are investigating the telephone calls made by Gobi, a former LTTE cadre who was killed during a confrontation with the army last week.
Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the telephone calls of two other former rebels including Appan, who were also killed during the clash in Vavuniya are also under investigation.
Ajith Rohana said that once the details of the telephone conversations the three men had made are collected the next course of action will be taken.
Earlier there were reports that politicians believed to have had links with Gobi may face arrest based on the findings of the investigations by the police Terrorist Investigations Department (TID).
Meanwhile the police spokesman said that 19 of the suspects arrested last week during investigations into alleged attempts by the LTTE to regroup in the north have been released.
He said that among those released are the mothers of Gobi, and Appan. However another 41 suspects are still in TID custody. (Colombo Gazette)