Military Matters


Tiger colonel comes out of jungle holding white flag

The Tiger leaders and all important Tigers who bolted from the organisation following the death of their supremo Velupillai Prabakaran, continue to reveal its hitherto hidden secrets

By Tissa Ravindra Perera
On July 18, another 25 foot submarine belonging to the Tigers was found at Vellamullavaikkal sea on information given to security forces by a consultant to the Sea Tigers. Named “Kohuwlan 24-2008” and submerged 40 feet deep, the informant himself had dived and recovered it with the aid of a fishing net. It is suspected that during the heavy fighting between security forces and the Tigers in this area, it could have been the submarine that the Air Force aircraft and army multi-barrel rocket launchers fired at after observing it from the air.

The submarine which could not be discovered by the Navy’s diving team was brought to the surface by this sea Tiger diver.
The intelligence and security men of 56 Division commanded by Brig. Priyantha Napagoda discovered the submarine and an underground tank holding 25,000 litres of petrol in the Anandapuram area. Theepan, the Tiger military leader and more than 600 hard core LTTEers were routed and killed in the same coconut plantation area in April. The plantation had been in use as a sea Tiger storage facility, and it is here these articles had been found. In addition to these, a stock of claymore bombs, along with thermo baric weapons were recovered from this site.

A lot of documents on Tiger informants and those who supported them, were also discovered by the 1st Armoured Intelligence Regiment at Vellamullaivaikal. Those whose names were found in these documents could be taken into custody in the near future.
It has been revealed by a member of Prabakaran’s personal guard, that Tiger military leader Banu died of bleeding through his ears, while hiding in the water, during an artillery attack on the lagoons.

While such information was rolling in, a Tiger colonel who had fled into the jungles after the death of Prabakaran and the rest of the LTTE leadership, came out this week with a white flag and surrendered to the Armed forces at Viswamadhu.

Later this Tiger leader was handed over to the Omanthai police for further investigation, and a lot of information had come out from him. The surrendered Tiger had been identified as “Kanga” one of the leaders of its Jeyanthan unit (Org.No AN 0024), one of its leading unit in the East. Holding a similar seniority as Karuna Amman in the organisation, he had been in charge of supplies in Batticaloa before 2004. Kanga had moved to the North along with military leader Keerthi and a group of others, during the military assault on the East in 2007. He had been involved to the end with the organisation as a military leader and in charge of supplies in their camps during the Wanni war. Kanga had been with the organisation for 26 years and in Vellamullaivaikal from the beginning of the final battle until May 16, 2009. Thereafter while on the move towards Batticaloa, his group had got split up, when they came under a military assault. Kanga who got separated from his group had been wandering in the jungles until Wednesday (22) when he decided to surrender to the armed forces.

Until then he had survived on sweet potatoes, bananas, and other fruits and nuts gathered from the jungles. On information received from this Tiger leader more arms and ammunition were expected to be recovered.
It is now being revealed about the higher ups of the LTTE who were responsible for, and other details on the attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force base on October 22, 2007. Much of the information has been elicited from the prime suspect in the attack, identified as Ruben. He was taken into custody by a special police team from Kandy at a refugee camp in Vavuniya.
According to this suspect the LTTE was able to carry out the attack successfully, due to security forces not acting on information they were given by the Mihintale Police Intelligence two months prior to the incident about the route along which the Black Tigers were to advance on for the attack. The OIC Mihintale Police M.S. Mahanama in an intelligence report sent to the provincial intelligence division under DIG North Central on August 21, 2007 had intimated about the impending attack. The report had been prepared by Police Sergeant Priyantha Balasuriya and Police Constable Sanjaya Anuradha Yapa.

The report mentioned the imminent danger the air force camp faced and the direction from where they would likely strike. The discovery of a group moving around the area dressed in army uniform prompted them to move in the matter, and they found out that the Anuradhapura Air Force Camp, the Kallattewa Army Camp, the Ranasevapura Camp and Gajaba Camp in Saliyapura were to be attacked. Accordingly they dispatched messages to the relevant points on August 20, 2007 and inquired whether they were conducting night military exercises or operations with troops in these areas making clear the magnitude of the inquiry and requesting immediate reply. The Air Force Camp had informed that they had no such training programmes in that area. That there were groups that were hovering around the area and the fact that there could be the danger of an attack was not taken seriously. Affirming these reports on October 20, 2007 Daniel Appuhamy of Asokapura, Kunchikulama was mysteriously found murdered.
Details of this killing has now been revealed by Ruben. Daniel Appuhamy had gone into the jungle to collect some sticks and had met with a group dressed in Air Force uniforms. The group had been eating and Daniel had approached them striking up a conversation about their meal, and while sitting by their side he had seen some women approaching also dressed in Air Force uniforms, But he had been taken aback when he observed cyanide capsules hanging from their necks. In fear he had tried to get up. Knowing the consequences if they let him go, the Tiger cadres dressed as Air Force troops, killed Daniel Appuhamy.

According Ruben, Daniel Appuhamy had been shot four times in the head and the head had been detached from the body and stuck in a tree hole. The head with gun shots had been severed and hidden to mislead investigations. Ruben has confessed that they had moved via Parasangasweva and from behind the jungles near the Saliyapura camp got into Asokapura, section 11 Kuncikulama, Wijaya weva, and via the jungles of Arankulam weva and crossing the Anuradhapura – Kandy road and going through a roadway near Minister S.M. Chandrasena’s estate, got on to the bund of Nuwara weva and planned the operation. They had moved without any obstruction and unknown to the security forces over this entire route.

The Mihintale Police Intelligence unit’s information of the Tiger presence on this route which was not taken to consideration resulted in the massive attack and the resulting losses have been revealed today with Ruben’s first hand evidence. Although a CID investigation into the attack was conducted, nothing has been done about disregarding the Police warning. Now that everything is coming to light, those responsible for ignoring the Police warning should be found out.

General Sarath Fonseka, the new Chief of Defence Staff, on an invitation by the three commanders of the security forces officially met with them. On Tuesday (21) he met with the Commanders of the Air Force and Navy at their respective headquarters and on Thursday (23) he met Army chief Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya. On that same day the Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasingha also met the Army Commander.
Soon after his appointment the new Army Commander went to the Wanni on 19th and distributed aid to the IDP’s.