Govt. takes steps to re-settle
civilians in Wanni
Fifteen thousand IDP’s already earmarked for resettlement
Tissa Ravindra Perera
The Government has already taken necessary steps to begin re-settling
civilians in the Wanni. They are to begin resettlement starting with
Thunukkai and Mallavi areas west of the A9 Highway.
The Army intelligence has begun the process of registering those to be
resettled after evaluating the civilians and the Tigers. The Army and
Police intelligence are also continuing with unearthing buried Tiger
Inspector Lal Gamage leading a team from the TID was involved in digging
up a haul of suicide kits and cannon type weapons in Vellamullaivaikkal,
Security forces believe that at least 50% of Tiger arsenal has yet to
be recovered. What had been buried in the Eastern province is yet being
unearthed. To resettle people without unearthing the buried weapons
caches, would be like waving the green light to terrorism once again.
Up to now out of about 280,000 people in IDP camps, only one hundred
and forty thousand have been registered. There are more Tiger leaders
and senior cadres yet to be identified. They will have to be weeded out
and rehabilitated. Without limiting their identification just to
photographs, they will have to be fingerprinted and detailed
intelligence services have pointed out. The necessary finger printing
machines have still not been provided, and those responsible have to
make sure these requirements are procured immediately.
Those thus resettled have to be easily recognised at check points
while travelling in the South, and their personal details have to be
computerised and be made accessible to the security checkpoints through
mobile phone systems, as such measures can help to check any terror
activity in the South.
About fifteen thousand IDPs in these camps who are originally from
Jaffna and the Eastern province are to be resettled once the
authorisation is given.
Maj. Gen. Daya Ratnayake has been appointed this week as the new
Commissioner General of Rehabilitation by the government to look into
these matters. He will function under the Defence Ministry. An efficient
officer from the Infantry Regiment, he has shown his prowess in
conducting operations, intelligence work and other areas. He served well
as the Commander of the 23 Division, and showed his mettle during
operations to recapture Thoppigala and Vakerai.
The responsibility of rehabilitating about ten thousand Tiger cadres
who came with the civilians will fall on Maj. Gen. Daya Ratnayake. Under
a separate scheme based on education, spiritual development and job
skills, they are to be rehabilitated and brought back to society. The
fact that there are hard core Tiger leaders and indoctrinated fighters
amongst them makes that task very difficult
Among them are terrorists involved in Tiger intelligence, commanders
of their armoured divisions, and leaders of their snipers, suicide
bombers, those involved with bombing the Air Force camp in Anuradhapura,
bombing the Naval buses at Digampathana, bombing harbours in the South,
and Tiger leaders involved in the killings of Ministers Lakshman
Kadirgarmar and Jeyeraj Fernandopulle, inside these IDP camps.
The intelligence confirms that the sniper involved in the killing of
Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar too is in a camp. Their leader too is in
the camp as confirmed by intelligence. It is so far confirmed by the
intelligence, that the brain behind the planning of the killing of
Minister Kadirgamar has already been killed by the Tigers. The
information has come from the wife of A. Jeyagowry, the Tiger leader who
masterminded the assassination. They had been in love but the Tiger
organisation did not approve their marriage, but they had got married on
the sly and he had been murdered secretly by the Tigers as a result. Her
husband had been a powerful intelligence member while she a senior
member in the armed division. She had been given photographs of those
involved in Kadirgamar’s killing before her man died, but she had
destroyed them before coming to the camp, it has been revealed.
While things remained so, K.P. or Kumaran Padmanathan who tried to
take over the leadership with the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran,
continues to meet with opposition from Tiger membership under Pottuamman
and Castro overseas, who have raised their heads once more, according to
information coming via International intelligence agencies.
With the signing of the controversial peace accord in February 2002,
Tiger leader Prabhakaran had appointed Pottuamman and Castro as the
International Leaders replacing K.P., but as the noose tightened around
the Tigers, Prabhakaran recalled him as their international
representative. These groups aligned with Pottuamman and Castro in
Europe, are lining up against K.P. according to intelligence. Although
these two groups met with K.P’s group at a secret location abroad
recently, they have not come to any agreement intelligence sources have
Eelam dream given new face
It has been confirmed by these reports that the Eelam dream has been
given a new face that is in search of a political solution, and is being
promoted internationally by K.P, according to security intelligence.
K.P. got his powers restored after the Tigers took refuge in the No Fire
Zone set aside for civilians, when the Tiger leader sought his help to
obtain international support bail them out of a precarious situation.
Until then it was Pottuamman and Castro, who called the shots, according
to security intelligence. It is believed that both Pottuamman and Castro
perished with the rest of the Tiger leadership trapped in the NFZ.
While trying various methods to get the international unit fired up
again, K.P. is also again collecting funds for operations. The security
intelligence points out that there is the possibility of K.P. using his
suicide cadres who have infiltrated into the South to assassinate either
a senior military officer or a high ranking minister, thus showing the
world they are yet strong. This sort of showing could enhance their fund
raising capacity and expand their coffers, and it might be an incentive
for the sleeping cadres over here to activate themselves- unless they
are kept under close watch by the Armed forces.
Meanwhile the terrorists who were involved in plotting to kill
President Mahinda Rajapakasa while being employed by the UN, and had
used their vehicles to bring in the necessary explosives, are still
being visited by foreigners at the Borella Police station, security
intelligence has reported. They were taken into custody by the Western
Province Intelligence unit last month.
Three Brigadiers who courageously led the troops in the massive
thrust to capture Wanni - Shavendra Silva, Prasanna de Silva and Chagi
Gallage were promoted to the rank of Majors General this week. In
addition 46 Colonels were promoted as Brigadiers. They are: D.R.
Mayadunne, Tissa Jayasuriya, D.M. Gunesekara, K.P. Wickramasinghe, K.C.
Gunawardene, D.D. Dias, D.S. Weeman, D.I. Karunaratna, D.S. Weerasekera,
R.P. Rowell, C.S. Wanniarachchi, W. Kariyawasam, A. Kariyakarawana, A.S.
Ranasinghe, U.K. Hettiarachchi, Sarath Ambewa, S.K. Senadhira, Aruna
Jayasekera, Ralph Nugera, Nishantha Wanniarachchi, Sudath Perera,
Laksiri Waduge, Athula Koddipilli, G.V. Ravipriya, Athula Galagamage,
Raj Ranawaka, S. Dissanayaka, I.P.Ranasingha, C.M. Kodituwakku, P.R.
Seneviratna, B.A. Sudasingha, M.Kulatunga, Suraj Bangsajayah, T.J.
Nanayakkara, Janaka Mohotti, R. Wanigasuriya, K.P.D. Perera, A.D.Silva,
Mahinda Weerasuriya, Athula Hennadige, M.J. Seneviratna, C.D.
Gunawardene, Wasantha Kumarapperuma, V.K. Jayasingha, E.G. Jayakody And
Additional changes were made in the upper ranks this week by Military
SecretaryMilinda Pieris with his signature via circular MSB/A/6/1 (APPT)
(165) dated July 30. Maj. Gen. Daya Ratnayaka was appointed Commissioner
General of Rehabilitation attached to Defence Ministry. Majors General
Laksiri Ameratunga, Mahesh Senanayaka, Janaka Walgama, Sumith Padumadasa
and Dampath Fernando have been attached to Joint Operations
Headquarters. Commander 22 Division Trincomalee Maj. Gen. Janaka Walgama
takes over as Director General Intelligence. Intelligence units of all
three Defence Forces and Police will fall under his purview.
Maj. Gen. Prasanna de Silva will take over as Commander 22 Division.
Brigadier Amal Karunasekera in addition to his duties as the Army’s
Director Armoured Intelligence, will act as Director Infantry. From
being the Commander Commando Regiment, Brigadier Ralph Nugera takes over
as Commander 23 Division, and the vacant slot as Commander Commando
Regiment is taken by Second in Command of 53 Division Brig. Sudath
Perera takes over as Commander 55 Division. Brig. Athula Koddippili will
take over as the Deputy Commander 53 Division. Col. Harendra Ranasingha
takes over as Commander Special Forces Brigade.
Brig. C.D.Gunawardene who was Second in Command of 55 Division takes
over as 57-1 Brigade Commander. Lt. Col. N.M.Weerasingha who was with
Directorate of Operations has been moved to Jaffna Security Forces
Headquarters as Colonel Staff. Lt. Col. G. Wanniarachchi assumes duties
as Colonel Training and Lt. Col. Eepshitha Dissanayaka as Commander 68-1
Changes in Navy
In addition many changes also took place in the Navy this week. Rear
Admiral Somatillake Dissanayaka became the Chief of Staff. Rear Adm.
Susith Weerasekera who took over as the Commander of the East, was also
made the Deputy Chief of Staff. Rear Adm. Jayanath Colombage took over
as the Northern Naval Commander, while Rear Adm. Jayantha Perera assumed
duties as Director General Operarations. Commodore Ravi Wijegooneratne
takes over as Naval Commander West, Commodore Shirantha Udawatta takes
over as Navy’s Chief at the Joint Operations Headquarters. Commodore
Rohan Amerasinghe takes over as Director General Staff Training.
Commodore Rohana Perera takes over as Commander South and Commodore Neil
Rosairo takes up duties as the Naval Director Operations.
associate of Prabhakaran speaks to a political magazine
“Prabhakaran wanted to keep his children in public eye”
Thirunavakarasu - Former advisor to LTTE
- Anandapuram battle Prabha’s Waterloo
- Special cyanide preparation for family
article that appeared in a political periodical in
Tamilnadu recently attracted much attention of the
people there. The article was based on an interview
given by a Sri Lankan named M.Thirunavakarasu who had
claimed that he had been a close associate of the LTTE
Leader Prabhakaran, and had been with the latter up to
May 16 this year, confined to a small swathe of land in
the no-fire zone, just three days ahead of the last
battle that eliminated the entire LTTE leadership
Thirunavakarasu, though well known among Tamil
readers as a political analyst, had been in reality an
advisor to the LTTE leadership. He has readily admitted
to his being with Prabhakaran up to May 16. But he had
declined to divulge how he managed to reach the Indian
shores. National Intelligence here had already
identified Thirunavakarasu as a person who had been in
the inner circle of the LTTE for several decades. They
had gathered further information about his antecedents
from the Internet. According to ant-LTTE website
`Theni’, Thirunavakarasu too had played as important a
role as the outfit’s ideologue Anton Balasingham did.
The website says that this person was the livewire
behind the LTTE’s move to drive all Muslim residents
from Jaffna after giving them a 24-hour- notice. He had
even advised Prabhakaran to shift Jaffna university to
Kilinochchi, `Theni’ website reveals.
Now an inmate in a refugee camp in Tamilnadu,
Thirunavakarasu is no longer an important character. He
has now entered the limelight because of his rare value
as a person in a position to give a first hand ball by
ball account of the last days of the final battle off
Mullaitivu, that saw the tragic end of the LTTE
Following are excerpts of
the interview given by Thirunavakarasu
Q: Could you give an account of the last days of
the so called armed struggle for Eelam ?
A: LTTE fighters and the people were resigned to the
impending total defeat when they found themselves
surrounded by the Army. Civilians who had taken refuge
in large bunkers began leaving en masse for the
military-controlled areas. In the absence of a proper
co-ordination process, the Tiger cadres did not know
what they should do in the circumstances. All were in a
state of fear and anxiety. We had to live every second
fearing imminent death. Living with death staring at
you, is a greater tragedy than dying itself. This is an
experience you cannot adequately describe in words. You
can grasp the horror of this experience by only living
Q: What were LTTE’s preparations to face the
A: LTTE leader Prabhakaran had understood what was
coming. He knew they were heading towards a devastating
end. The faith that the LTTE leaders had placed in the
success of their armed struggle appeared to be waning.
At one stage the LTTE hierarchy were fully confident
that Sri Lanka Army would not succeed in capturing
However, when the Army, demonstrating its superior
military might, began their forward march after taking
the well fortified Kilinochchi bastion, both Tiger
cadres and civilians began to feel that the Eelam war
was doomed to failure. Prabhakaran still stuck to his
decision to continue fighting. He did not appear to
accept defeat. The scenes of pitched battles during the
last days of the Eelam War Four were so fierce that even
Prabhakaran may have been unnerved by their ferocity.
The senior Tiger leaders had by now realised that Sri
Lanka Army’s target was Prabhakaran himself. They
persuaded Prabhakaran to move to Anandapuram with an
escort of 600 Tiger commandos. However, by this time the
Army had beaten them to this move by surrounding
Anandapuram. Gadaffi, Theepan, Vidusha and Durga were
among the commando leaders who were in charge of
Prabhakaran’s security. However, a massive assault on
their camp by the Army soon afterwards, left several
hundreds of Tiger commandos dead. Prabhakaran who under
tight security by commandos like Bhanu , had a narrow
Q: What were the orders Prabhakaran had issued to
his cadres during the last days of the Eelam war?
A: During the last days, top LTTE leaders had
realised the futility of carrying on the fight. So
naturally they discussed the possibility of a formal
surrender. Prabhakaran scotched the talk of a possible
surrender saying, “Our people have held talks with
Hillary Clinton. So we can expect America to intervene.
Let us try to withstand the military assault for at
least another three days.”
But several obstacles came up in the way of an American
intervention. Prabhakaran realised too late the ground
reality that the US could not intervene disregarding
India’s interests. By the time the reality dawned on
him, the Army was already closing in on the last swathe
of land in the no fire zone where they were cornered,
for the final assault. And this reality was the signal
for even LTTE cadres to join the exodus of civilians to
the Army-ruled territory. Later there were reports that
Tiger leaders had been killed by the Army.
Q: According to your information how did
Prabhakaran come to his end?
A: Prabhakaran did not entertain the idea of
surrendering till his last moment. He always said that
death was far better than a meek surrender. There was a
large group of senior LTTE cadres who remained with
Prabhakaran till his end. Even those who were very close
to him, may not have been privy to his thinking in his
Q: Certain reports say that Prabhakaran’s family
members were killed during fighting. There are other
reports that say that they managed to skip the country.
What is the truth?
A: Prabhakaran kept his family members in the
territory under his sway. He did not want to send them
abroad. He made it a point to keep his three children
always in the public eye. He strongly believed that
sending his family members abroad would undermine his
organisation and threaten its survival. His eldest son
Charles Anthony was at the battle front. As the fighting
took a fierce turn, some Tiger leaders had wanted to
send Prabhakaran’s wife Madivadani abroad for safety.
However, Prabhakaran had immediately shot down the idea.
It appears that Prabhakaran had already decided that the
end of the war was also end of his family. Therefore, he
got a certain doctor to make a special cyanide
preparation for use by his family members.
Q: Do you mean that none of Prabhakaran’s family
members could escape alive?
A: When the final battle was drawing towards its
end, I had occasion to visit a bunker that was close to
mine. Prabhakaran’s father and mother were there. As the
battle was raging, they later made their way to an IDP
camp in Vavuniya. A subsequent report said that they
were taken elsewhere for security reasons. I heard that
the Sri Lanka Army is treating them well. Charles
Anthony died fighting. I know nothing about the fate
that befell the other two children.
Q: Do you think there is truth in reports that a
group of LTTE cadres are still hiding in jungles?
A: During the final military operations, about
10,000 LTTE cadres surrendered to the Army. There were
about 24,000 LTTE fighters at the inception of Eelam War
Four. Of them about 7,000 died fighting. Some 2500 had
gone into hiding in jungles. They have no capability to
launch attacks. There is no co-ordination among them
Q: What information have you got about the LTTE
Intelligence chief Pottu Amman?
A: Now that Prabhakaran is dead and gone, there is
no possibility that Pottu Amman and Susai are among the
living. Therefore, there cannot be any truth about
reports that Pottu Amman is in the Army custody.
Q: Did the LTTE believe that the outcome of
general parliamentary elections in India could make a
big change in the battle scenario at the last moment?
A: There was a general feeling that the Indian
Congress Party would come back to power. People were
aware of the reality that the main rival political camp
was not strong enough. The LTTE too did not expect a
change in India’s power equation either.
(Translation by Ramesh Kumar)