Sarath Bandara, Chandana Piyasiri and The wives and
children of the two home guards who were abducted by the
Thursday, October 7, telephones of several Colombo-based
journalists started jingling off the hook. The news from
the other side of the line was a bombshell. The military
was saying that two top Tiger commanders, Sea Tiger
Leader Soosai and Trincomalee Military Head Suwarnam had
reneged against Velupillai Pirapaharan.
Tiger Leader, Soosai
rebellion was a result of the corruption charges against
former Eastern Military Head, Ramesh. Ramesh is under
investigation for misappropriating funds to the tune of Rs. 10
to 15 million. He is in the Wanni currently. And according to
the leaks, the two senior commanders had expressed their
disapproval of the treatment meted out to Ramesh.
Soosai story did not hit the headlines till Saturday (9). The
LTTE reacted with media coordinator Daya Master being quoted
on the Tamilnet website as saying there was no basis to the
story and that Soosai would be attending the following day's
LTTE Women's Day celebrations in Kilinochchi.
smoke without fire
Soosai did not appear and the LTTE has remained mum on the
issue leading to more speculation that there can be no smoke
the story were true, it would mean the Karuna rebellion would
have been joined by other senior leaders all the way up to
Mullaithivu where Soosai runs the Sea Tiger base.
mid-last week even army sources themselves were having second
thoughts about the story. On Friday, LTTE theoretician, Anton
Balasingham released a statement saying the southern media was
spinning stories. He said Soosai had had to seek rest
following a reoccurrence of a gunshot wound suffered during
fighting the IPKF.
on Monday, October 11, the villagers of Nagasthanne, 11 miles
from Welikanda were woken up by explosions around 2:50 a.m.
Earlier in the night a group of eight men had walked in from
the surrounding jungles into an abandoned house to escape the
rain. The men were Karuna supporters who had been moving about
in the jungles for the past two months, according to sources
at the Welikanda Police.
the group was one named Newton, who was in effect a mole. He
was responsible for the grenade attack that was the cause for
the explosions. After throwing the grenade he reportedly fled
to LTTE controlled areas. Two among the remaining seven were
dead on admission to the Polonnaruwa Hospital. They were
identified as Jude and Rajenderan.
others injured were identified as Maradan, Nee, Sada, Rasdeel,
Murthi and Wije. They were transferred to Colombo for further
village itself lies in a government controlled area but is
quite close to the line of control. Cadres loyal to Karuna
have been reported to be moving in the areas north of
Welikanda and east of Aralaganwilla, further south. The LTTE
inducted troops from the north into these areas in an attempt
to stop the attacks.
Thursday two civilians were wounded due to gunfire near
Valachchenai. One of the wounded was a former member of the
LTTE who left the organisation and was running a tavern. The
LTTE said it suspected Karuna supporters of being behind the
Nagasthanne attack is yet another example of the effectiveness
of Tiger moles who have infiltrated the Karuna network.
Sivanesadurai alias Reggie was killed during an ambush at
Anivilmadu near Karadiyanaru on the night of September 22 with
the use of a mole the military has identified as Pushpan. He
had given away the location of the team that Reggie was
leading near Karadiyanaru.
the morning of July 15, LTTE cadre Mahendran Pulidaran shot
Kanapathipillai Mahendran alias Sacthi Master inside the
Batticaloa jail. Pulidran too had infiltrated Sacthi Master's
inner circle inside the prison. He used to give his ultimate
victim head massages inside the prison and according to
sources with intimate details of the murder, had used a weapon
in the possession of Sacthi Master and one of his accomplices
inside the jail.
July 26, seven Karuna supporters were massacred at a safehouse
in Kottawa. Soon after the attack, there were reports that
said the cook who had been with the gang was a LTTE cadre who
had mixed sleeping tablets with the dinner. Unconfirmed
reports from the east said that he had fled to LTTE held areas
in the east after the killings.
Yogarasa alias PLOTE Mohan was assassinated on July 31 in
Bambalapitiya using an impostor who was lobbying for a liquor
launches political party
the east was dominated by a killing once again last week,
Karuna upped the ante by launching his much awaited political
party, at least nominally. The website appeared on Tuesday
night for the party; Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (Tamileelam
Liberation People's Tigers). Karuna also released a damming
statement against his former leader Pirapaharan with the
launching of the party.
people are retreating from the eelam struggle by this
fratricidal war. This was the chief reason for the ruining of
the Tamil eelam struggle. Even today he refuses to accept this
truth and Pirapaharan continues with his killing spree,"
he said in the statement that accused Pirapaharan of
everything from murdering lovers to nepotism.
said that if not for Pirapaharan's obsession with leadership,
eelam could have been achieved 15 years ago.
requesting those Tamils who reside in the Tamil eelam, as well
as those Tamil diasporas living in foreign countries not to
become scapegoat to the fallacious and malicious propaganda
let loose by Pirapaharan, at the same time I appeal to give us
all your help and support to make our liberation struggle
victorious," he ended the statement.
party secretary was identified as G.R. Ganaraja. Military
sources in Batticaloa said that he was linked with the
ill-fated EDLF. However, there was no independent
address on 'NGO drive'
address of the party was just given as Lake Road, Batticaloa.
Lake Road is alternatively referred to as the 'NGO Drive.' It
is along this road that most of the offices of the
international agencies like UNICEF and UNHCR are located. Even
the SLMM office is located along Lake Drive.
that is not very good, is it?" was how an official from
one of the organisations reacted when informed of the address
given by Karuna on the new party website.
Karuna and his party would not feel totally alien along Lake
Drive. Some of the paramilitaries that operate out of
Batticaloa too call the road home.
chances however of registering the party any time soon are not
very good, according to Assistant Elections Commissioner, K.
Senanayake. Since nominations for the north east provincial
council have been called, no new party would be registered
till the election is concluded.
new party was nevertheless welcomed in some quarters. "We
welcome anybody who enters the democratic process,"
Cabinet Spokesperson, Mangala Samaraweera said last week. He
stopped short of committing the government further on the
government's attention however would have been ferverntly on
the east all the way down to Batticaloa from Trincomalee.
October 13, the North East Sinhala Association that has been
agitating for the release of two home guards held by the
Tigers organised a hartal in Trincomalee bringing the entire
town to a standstill, even disrupting buses coming from
Colombo. The protestors blocked roads and attempted to prevent
transport vehicles from the Prima Flour Mill and the IOC
terminal both located at China Bay about 10 km from the
Trincomalee town from proceeding.
lorries and bowzers however were able to continue with the
journey when police and army intervened to disperse the
protestors and provide security cover. Protestors had earlier
blocked the China Bay junction through which the transport
vehicles have to pass through with logs.
the transporters get through the junction they can avoid the
town and take the Kantale road. Army and police removed the
logs that had been placed across the road before providing
LTTE had said the two home guards would be released in
exchange for 10 LTTE cadres held in the Batticaloa remand
prison on charges of possession of dangerous firearms.
LTTErs in custody were E.P. Rajendran, Rajeeva Kumar, G.
Dayanandan, S. Suthakaran, T. Muralitharan, V. Chandrakuma N.
Pulithamalar, N. Manjula, V. Shyamala and S. Thirimanju.
government had flatly refused to agree to any sort of swap.
"We can not interfere with the judiciary of the
country," Samaraweera said on Thursday morning during the
cabinet press briefing. Ironically, while he was making the
assertion, moves were already under way to release the 10
cadres on bail.
SLMM and LTTE high-rankers in Batticaloa including Media
Coordinator, S. Manoj had gathered at the Batticaloa jail
where bail applications on behalf of the 10 LTTE cadres were
presented on Thursday. The bail procedure however went on for
a while but ultimately, bail was granted for all 10 with the
Attorney General not objecting, following representations made
by the government not to do so.
was asked to post personal bail of Rs. 50,000 and two
sureties.. The next hearing is scheduled for December 13. The
10 along with the other LTTErs were escorted by the SLMM and
the security forces up to Black Bridge on the
LTTErs, including three females were arrested on July 7 and 14
this year, and charged with the possession of lethal weapons.
The LTTE had however maintained there were no weapons with the
cadres other than ammunition.
public avowals by government ranks that they will not bow to
LTTE pressure tactics, by all appearances the release of the
10 is bound to open up charges that it was indeed a swap.
the 10 were released there wouldn't be any problem now. The
LTTE would have to release the two," Samaraweera said.
closely involved in the procedure said last week they were not
quite sure why the bail applications were not processed
earlier. They attributed the delay to bureaucracy but even if
that were true, the timing would still allow accusations to
sources in Kilinochchi reacted to the release on Thursday
night saying that the two home guards would now be released.
The two options being considered by the LTTE were either to
hand over the two - D. Sarath Bandara and Chandana Piyasiri -
directly to the SLMM or to produce them in the LTTE court. If
the LTTE adopts the latter course of action, it would most
certainly be tit for tat.
two home guards were abducted by the LTTE on August 10 in the
Gonabendivewa area in Trincomalee along with two T 56 weapons
and a magazine.
were apprehended by the LTTE in the deep jungles off
Gomarankadawla near the Akalpathuva Tank. Though the two and
their families have steadfastly maintained they were caught
while fishing, others including security forces have said they
might have been hunting game when the LTTErs came across them.
said during Thursday's briefing that the government had made
efforts to bring international pressure on the LTTE to release
the two guards. The Tigers have been feeling the pressure
during the current trip undertaken by a high-powered political
team touring Europe.
team led by Political Wing Head, S.P. Tamilselvan has been
meeting with officials. Before the trip Tamilselvan said they
were looking at the possibility of implementing the ISGA. The
delegation is expected in the Norwegian capital Oslo later
Foreign Minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey who was in Sri Lanka
last week said the LTTE delegation had indicated during talks
that the ISGA proposals were not set in stone.
(ISGA) is not not negotiable, that's what they said," she
told the media. However, she warned that the lack of
confidence between the two parties was hampering any progress.
had the impression that the ceasefire is in danger," she
days later Samaraweera said the government had done everything
possible to recommence the talks and that it was baffled as to
why the LTTE is not coming back to the table.
(government's) counter proposals are ready and waiting,"
he said. Samaraweera said the proposals would first be handed
over to the LTTE before being made public.
his announcement was met with cries of no in the Wanni. The
Elanathan, published in LTTE controlled Wanni said on Friday
quoting LTTE sources the LTTE saw no reason to consider the
newspaper said the proposals were most likely based on the
August 2000 proposal forwarded by the then PA administration.
Samaraweera however did not confirm or deny whether the new
set would reflect the former.
from inside the government said the UPFA was planning to
forward the new proposals probably by the end of the month or
early next month to the LTTE through the Norwegians.
said the counter proposals were still being worked on and the
government would forward them seeking the LTTE's reactions,
adding "the hope is to get the negotiations started on
talks on talks."