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Military Matters


KP’s secret mind boggling operations unveiled

The capabilities of the local intelligence was proven beyond doubt by the way they handled the arrest and the spiriting of KP from abroad. Having Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand as centres he operated from, the operation to capture him was the result of the laying of a big dragnet involving the Directorate of Military Intelligence led by Brig Amal Karunasekera, State Intelligence Service headed by DIG Keerthi Gajanayake and the National Intelligence Service headed by Maj. Gen Kapila Henderwitharana. They had worked together on the secret operation for months, collecting intelligence on KP’s engagements.
The brunt of the collecting of data in this connection was carried out by the Directorate of Military Intelligence. While the present Chief of Defence staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka was the Army Commander, he always spelt out the importance of having intelligence capable of identifying international threats to unsettle the country. Going on those lines and with the death of Prabhakaran, the net was laid to capture KP and other Tiger international figures

By Tissa Ravindra Perera
The Defence Ministry took utmost care to keep everything under wraps on their investigations on the new leader of the Tiger organisation and international arms smuggler Kumaran Padmanathan alias KP. With his daring capture in Malaysia the previous week, information on the workings of the Tiger international arms smuggling, their maritime set-up, narcotic smuggling, ownership of businesses abroad, including shopping malls and their connections with media, is being revealed now.

When Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa asked about the on-going grilling of KP, he said measures would be taken to arrest all those connected to their international dealings. If there is enough evidence thrown up from these inquiries about those with connections to the LTTE, they would be dealt with, with the aid of local intelligence of the countries involved, explained the Defence Secretary.

He also reiterated that no country has so far asked permission to question KP or send their investigators down for the purpose. In the last few days there were reports that leading world intelligence agencies had wanted to question KP.
The capabilities of the local intelligence was proven beyond doubt by the way they handled the arrest and the spiriting of KP from abroad. Having Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand as centres he operated from, the operation to capture him was the result of the laying of a big dragnet involving the Directorate of Military Intelligence led by Brig Amal Karunasekera, State Intelligence Service headed by DIG Keerthi Gajanayake and the National Intelligence Service headed by Maj. Gen Kapila Henderwitharana. They had worked together on the secret operation for months, collecting intelligence on KP’s engagements.

More Army officers promoted

On Wednesday (12) saw Military Secretary Maj. Gen. Milinda Pieris issue an order MSB/ 6/1/ (Prom) (38) promoting 14 more Army officers. Accordingly Commander Task Force III Colonel Sarath Wijesinghe and Commander Task Force II Colonel Jayantha Guneratna have been elevated as Brigadiers.

It was Colonel Sarath Wijesinghe who led the 22-2 Brigade into action in the beginning of the Eelam War IV and liberated the area south of Trincomalee, where the LTTE managed to build up during the ceasefire.

Colonel Jayantha Guneratna as Commander 59-3 Brigade, who gave leadership to the troops, after being unable to move forward for months from Kalmunai, finally smashed through Tiger positions up to Mulaitivu, and liberated it from the Tigers.

In addition frontline Lt. Cols. Deepal Tennekoon, Senerath Niwunhella, Jagath Kodituwakku, Harendra Ranasingha, Priyanka Fernando, Lalantha Gamage, C.D.Weerasuriya, L.K. Samarasinghe, D.M.Jayasuriya, D.T.Weerakoon and C.P. Thilakaratne were promoted to the rank of Colonel, while Major Nilantha Jayaweera was promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel.

Col. Lalantha Gamage who gave leadership to troops of 68-1 Brigade during the battle which killed Tiger leader Prabhakaran, takes over the Command of the Commando Regiment.
Colonel Harendra Ranasingha, another special forces veteran who gave leadership to 57-1 Brigade in the Kilinochchi battle, takes over as Commander Special Forces.

The Commander of the Special Forces Maj. Gen Prasanna de Silva who gave them leadership during battles of Mavil Aru, Sampur, Vakerai to liberate those areas from the enemy, and later as Commander 55 Division gave leadership to the tough battles to take over Muhamalai, Chundikulam and Chalai, which was one of his strategically fought victories during the Wanni war, took over as Commander 22 Division Trincomalee on Wednesday.

The 571 Brigade originally led by Col. G.V.Ravipriya (now Brigadier) had four commanders under him and three of them are Commanders once again under Brig. Ravipriya. They are Colonel Ipshitha Dissanayake who will take over as Commander 681 Bde, Col. Subhashana Welikala who will take over as Commander 682 Bde and Col. Senaka Wijesuriya who will take over as Commander 684 Bde. These three in order gave leadership earlier to 8 Infantry Regiment, 4 Sinha Regiment and 11 Infantry Regiment throughout the Wanni War.

The brunt of the collecting of data in this connection was carried out by the Directorate of Military Intelligence. While the present Chief of Defence staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka was the Army Commander, he always spelt out the importance of having intelligence capable of identifying international threats to unsettle the country. Going on those lines and with the death of Prabhakaran, the net was laid to capture KP and other Tiger international figures.

After his arrest in Thailand in September 2007, KP was able to buy his way out of custody there by paying off Thai intelligence a large sum of money. Due to that reason it became imperative to catch him in Malaysia, as KP also came to haunt Malaysia more than Thailand. The move to send Army’s former Director Operations Maj. Gen. Udaya Perera as deputy High Commissioner to Kuala Lumpur was also part of the plan. It paved the way for flow of intelligence between the two countries. By acting as the middle man in exchange of information between the Intelligence of Royal Police, Malaysia and the Sri Lankan Directorate of Military Intelligence, he performed yeoman service.

With intelligence gathered on secret talks KP had on his satellite phone, and information collected on his movements, they managed to capture him on August 5. That was the day KP chose to meet Balasingham Balendran, the younger brother and the son of one time Tiger Police chief and political leader Balasingham Nadesan who died in the final Wanni battle. The venue chosen for the meeting was the First Tune Hotel on 316, Palan Tunku Abdul Rahuman road, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Tamil colony behind the hotel being a safe haven for KP in an emergency, was the reason behind choosing this venue.

Secret meeting
Having received the information on this secret meeting from the Tiger organisation itself, they quickly went into action and with the aid of the Malaysian authorities took him into custody. He had come for the meeting with the group from London with his trusted driver Appu. KP on 05th noon while in discussions with the London group, had suddenly received a call. It would have been possibly from ex Tiger leader Daya Mohan. Getting himself excused saying he was going to meet some friends in the corridor, he stepped out and into the waiting hands of Lankan intelligence sleuths. When the Londoners finally came out to find out about his failure to return, they found both KP and driver Appu missing. According to reports, Balendren had immediately reported the missing scene to his friends. Meanwhile the two teams of both countries had made arrangements to take KP to Bangkok.

Under the direct involvement of the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, KP had been brought into this country. To carry out the task of bringing KP over to Colombo had been entrusted to senior Air Force and Intelligence officers who were flown in a special flight from Katunayaka to Bangkok. KP who had been delivered to this country in secrecy, had been then whisked to Colombo in a similar manner. By Thursday (6) having been brought to Colombo, questioning had begun immediately. The Defence Secretary too had met him and asked him some questions.

According to information so far elicited from him, he had travelled to more than 48 countries using 14 different passports, including Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Rumania, Germany, Slovakia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, Norway and USA for various arms deals.

The original name of Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP is Tharmalingam Shanmugam Kuamaran. Born 6 April 1955 his ID card bears no. 550971231BV, the address given is no. 130, Kankesanthurai road, Jaffna. His Sri Lankan passport bears the no. J0803500. Under such names as S. Shamuhalingam, Selvaraja Padmanathan, PS.Kumaran, Jusly Benjamin, Khalid Saheed Mohamed, Venkataraman Ram and using many more names he has prepared Indian, Swiss, Egyptian, Malaysian passports.

Joining the international merchant shipping, KP established such companies as Ranee Restaurant, Cambodia, Eagle Trading in Myanmar, and Carlton Co. in Bangladesh to procure arms from Ukraine. From the Rubeswan Chemical Co. in Ukraine he purchased 60 tonnes of TNT and RDX explosives and shipped the entire lethal consignment to the LTTE here. The explosives used in the Central Bank and other major bombings were done with material sent by this master terrorist operative.

Claims of ownership
KP the terror leader has claimed ownership to more than forty companies, including Bayas Trading Co. Ltd. Thailand, Wickram Holdings, and Point Pedro Corporation Ltd., Panama. Since the 1980’s decade, the Tiger international trading was in the hands of KP and used funds mostly extorted from Tamils in Europe to achieve Eelam for the purpose of strengthening the businesses run by him and for the purchase of arms.

KP claiming ownership to 11 ships and being the only terrorists outfit to have a fleet of ships in operation internationally, from time and again used the RAW and other foreign intelligence services’ personnel to procure arms.
From 2002 to 2009 KP was removed from international activity and his functions were given to Castro and Pottu Amman.

KP made a come back during the final battle when Prabhakaran got cornered as he and his men took over the No Fire Zone set aside for the civilians. Although KP was given the task of getting the Western countries to halt the Military thrust of the Sri Lankan forces and rescue the trapped Tiger leadership, despite his best efforts, all those attempts ended in failure.
The leaders of this country whom KP associated with while in Sri Lanka, and those opposition politicians who appealed to KP to get the international community to stop aid being given to Sri Lanka, and get them to halt the war efforts of the Sri Lankan Govt., are now coming to light.

Re-settlement of civilians
The government has given the green light for the resettlement of civilians in the areas finally liberated by the Army in Wanni to continue under the strict supervision of the security forces. Security takes priority in the programme. The two hundred thousand personnel limit of the Army will be increased to three hundred thousand with these efforts in view. The OK has been given by the President to recruit another fifty thousand security forces men.

Detections
The Security Forces are still making detections in the areas where the Tiger leaders went into hiding at Vellamullavaikal, and unearthing arms and ammunition and important documents.
The 56 Division has found from the Vellamullaivaikkal and Wadduvakal Bridge area, arms, ammunition, ID cards, mobile phones, documents and other material buried underground.

In the Vellamullaivaikkal area under 68-1 Brigade a huge stock of explosives and arms and ammunition were found by the Security Forces. On information provided by a terrorist in custody to a Special Police unit in Kandy, the 19 Sinha Regiment recovered six fiberglass boats laden with explosives concealed in their body frames on August 01. When they stripped the bodies of the boats they found 600 KG explosives there.

Meanwhile a van supposedly laden with claymore bombs was found by the Colombo Crime Division in Mannar, but this supposed detection has been questioned by certain sections of the Police itself. Although the van had 20 bombs weighing five kilos each, how the van was moved to Colombo without the bombs being diffused is the talk among the security establishment. The suspicious nature of the incident has been brought to the notice of the Police Headquarters by senior DIG Nimal Lewke.

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