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Military Matters


Six Tiger stragglers gunned down in Kovilladdi jungles

Intelligence uncovers reports about terrorists in refugee camps secretly being sent abroad to escape…

By Tissa Ravindra Perera
The troops who continue to track down Tiger stragglers in the East and the South, managed to break up one of their final links in the Trincomalee district last week. Two Tiger big guns Poleelan and Shashyan, who went into hiding in Kovilladdi, Trincomalee to escape being captured, were killed along with six others.
The secret operation which was going on for sometime came to an end last week in the jungles of Kovilladdi when the final six in hiding were killed.

Some other LTTE groups who had been operating in Kumburuppidi, Peraru jungles in Trincomalee had also been killed in operations done by the Navy and Army Intelligence, while the final Wanni battle was going on. 
While these operations were going on last week, reports about terrorists in refugee camps being sent overseas in a systematic way came to light. The clandestine operation came to be confirmed after the capture of the private secretary of Tamil Chelvam in the Wellawatte area. A female Tiger agent involved in sending terrorists escaping from IDP camps abroad, was also taken into custody from Chapel Lane, Wellawatte. She was arrested with Rs. 6.5 million in cash, and the investigators are of the opinion that these were monies had been given to her by the Tigers.

The investigations have revealed that Tiger terrorists escaping from IDP camps are brought to Colombo and provided with forged ID’s, passports and visas and then sent to European countries. Their objective is to get these terrorists abroad temporarily. Now the security forces are burdened with finding those in the camps who facilitate their escapes, and those organisations responsible for providing the terrorists with forged documents to go abroad.

Tiger leaders

Whilst Tigers in Europe are interested in getting their key members out of the country, Intelligence have received information that some groups using the name of the LTTE are trying to raise the terrorisms head once more. In this regard it is learnt that European based Tiger agents are trying to form relationships with Tamil groups in and around Colombo.

In the same manner in which the Malaysia based Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) was nabbed last month, sending shockwaves through the Tiger international network, the Government is looking into the possibility of trying the same with other LTTE leaders operating from countries like Eritrea, Norway and the USA.

The prime focus is in having the Tiger legal consultant V.Rudrakumar operating from the USA arrested.  Last week addressing foreign media, the outgoing Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona said that the Government would seek assistance from the US Government in this regard.

 The Government is also focussed on Eritrea after the disclosures made by KP in custody. According to him there are ten light aircrafts purchased by Tigers still stashed away in its capital Asmara. The LTTE also uses Eritrea as a centre for its gun running. It is these revelations that shifted the government’s focus to that country.
Eritrea which was a province of Ethiopia, close to the Horn of Africa, broke away from that country after a bitter struggle. It also borders the Red Sea,Ethiopia and the troubled Somalia.

Lankan General graduates with flying colours from Philippines Defence College

Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal - 2009 for his thesis “Strategic Military Victory over LTTE” during his master’s degree course at the National Defence College of the Philippines.

Major General Hathurusinghe who followed the Master in National Security Administration course at this Defence College recently, received his Gold Medal from Defence Undersecretary Antonio Santos during the graduation ceremony of the 44th Regular Course - Master in National Security Administration (MNSA) in Manila.

Geared toward preparing future defence and security leaders for command and other high positions in the Armed forces, the intensive course requires its participants to undertake strategic research and special studies as the basis for the formation of policies to enhance national defensce and the security programmes of their respective countries.

The course was attended by several military officers from the Philippines and overseas, including India, Malaysia and Nigeria and in addition to other military, government and private sector students. General Hathurusinghe’s thesis entitled, “Strategic military victory over Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam,” prevailed over 32 other thesis presented in the class of 2009.

Emerging top of the class and winning the gilded prize was no easy task, since all the students were required to submit a 30,000 word thesis on a topic decided by the Faculty of the College. Each dissertation then had to undergo a rigorous defence course with academics from various educational institutions including the University of the Philippines. That General Hathurusinghe, who was assigned former Philippines Armed Forces Vice Chief of Staff Lt. General Rodolfo Garcia, as his thesis advisor, was able to generate such a commendable impression, is commendable. The largely circulated English daily “Manila Times” in its September 02 issue prominently carried a news story about his graduation with flying colours under the heading, “Sri Lankan General gains top award at the National Defense College”.

Eritrea

Since 2007, before any International Community knew about their new arms tentacles, Eritrea had come to be used by the LTTE for gun running.
The Intelligence had been in the know that Aiyyar (Thurairajah) KP’s deputy had arms dealings with Eritrea.
With the idea of countering the Tiger arms operations in Eritrea, the Government has commenced diplomatic relations with that country. As done in Malaysia by posting  Maj. Gen. Udaya Perera as the country’s ambassador to stall Tiger activity there, the Director of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amal Karunasekera will now  be sent to Eritrea as Sri Lanka’s envoy to Asmara.
In the manner KP was able to be taken into custody in Malaysia, it is hoped that all Tiger arms dealings with Eritrea would also be revealed in the near future. Similarly the former Commander of the 57 Division Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias was recently sent to Germany as the deputy ambassador to counter Tiger activity there.

International activists

During the final battle, it was the Tiger international activists who were responsible for the agitations against the Sri Lankan Government. The Government of Norway took great pains to hamper the SL Government operations against the Tiger terrorists standing together with them espousing their cause.

The Czech company, that supplies the Sri Lankan Government arms, was here on a visit last week and its heads informed the Government that the Norwegians, and the Swedes did their best to stop arms shipments to Sri Lanka. Due to pressure brought upon them via the European Union, the Czechs were unable to supply us with arms after January 2009. 

Channel 1V

The efforts of the International activists, to discredit  Sri Lankan Armed forces with a concocted video of soldiers summarily executing purportedly unarmed captured men, first shown on British channel 4, followed by various other western TV stations had come a cropper. The Norwegian Government and officials of certain other countries had vehemently and vividly sought action against Sri Lankan Government based on this video.
The Sri Lankan Governments experts proved that the video cassette had been a concocted one.

Task Forces elevated

The Army’s Task Forces IV, V and  VIII that were formed to finish off the war in the Wanni early this year are now due to be elevated to Divisions. In addition to these three new Divisions, a fourth will also be raised.
Meanwhile Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa toured Wanni on Friday (11). Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya accompanied him on this tour.

On arrival in Mulaitivu, the Defence Secretary had been accorded a March Past by the Ninth Gajaba Regiment.  Incidentally Gajaba is his old regiment. There after he had toured Pudumattalan region where the final battle took place. Here he had addressed the troops of 59 Division, Task Force VIII and Task Force II and told them he would always look into their welfare and also make every  effort to rebuild the lives of  those brave soldiers who have become disabled. The Commander of Kilinochchi Maj. Gen. Athula Jayawardana and Commander Mullaitivu Maj. Gen. Nandana Udawatta were also present on the occasion.

The Chief of Defence, Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka also toured the Eastern Front the same day (11.) Here along with the Eastern Commander Maj. Gen Srinath Rajapakse and other Commanders, he looked into the future security needs of the region.

De-mining

In the meantime Army has made arrangements to hand back to farmers about two thousand acres of paddy land after de-mining the entire area around Yoda weva, in Mannar. In accordance with the directions of the Northern  Governor Maj. Gen. G.A.Chandrasiri 35 villages have been ear marked for resettlement and cultivation in these areas by September 25. Additionally another 2000 acres in Araly and 4000 more acres in Musali, Silawaturai are ready to be given out for cultivation.

Parallel to the de-mining  programme  west of the A-9 highway is a similar programme being carried out by the forces in  the Wanni. The Police Special Task Force alone has  removed 26,734 anti-personnel mines from  the Omanthai – Welioya road.
This week also saw 9994 persons being given permission to leave IDP camps to resettle in their own villages. People from Jaffna, Baticoloa, Amparai and Trincomalee have been thus allowed to go back to their original places.

Intelligence personnel attached to 56 Division commanded by Brig. Priyantha Napagoda recovered on Wednesday(09) 450 kilos of explosives from Pudukudyiruppu. In addition to the haul of explosives, two machine guns, two Claymore bombs, and two T 56 weapons were also recovered. They had been buried in a crater created by a bomb dropped by the air force so as not to attract any attention. The discovery was made on a tip off given by a captured Tiger cadre.  
On the same day troops of the Task Force VIII commanded by Brig. G.V.Ravipriya recovered 32 pistols, 18 T-56 weapons and 3 sniper rifles and a haul of bullets.

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