Friday, November 26, 2010


RUWAN WEERAKOON: Army heading for LTTE'S HSZs: "Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops are now moving towards the LTTE’s High Security Zone (HSZ). Progress is slow because the path ahead is lined wit..."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cleaning up terror with a prize catch


Cleaning up terror with a prize catch

Intelligence sources believe that they have nabbed the last remaining LTTE operative in Colombo

The Terrorist Investigations Division (TID) nabbed one of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE’s) leaders recently. What was significant about this arrest was that it was the first post war arrest of a high profile Tiger operative in Colombo. This operative, with access to the highest rung of the Tiger leadership, had been responsible for the attempts to assassinate the President and the Defence Secretary and also other high ranking military officials. He had been the mastermind behind attempts to revive the remaining Tiger cadres dormant in and around the city. With this arrest, the TID believes that they have ultimately been successful in wiping out the last remaining activists in the city and suburbs.
By strictly following journalistic ethics, this column will not divulge some details regarding this arrest and certain details about the Tiger operative, as it may hamper ongoing investigations. For convenience, this column will refer to him as Sivam, though this is not his real name.
Sivam, a high profile LTTE leader who conducted his mission covertly, had been a Tiger operative, carrier of weapons and ammunition, transporter of suicide cadres and kits and was also the mastermind behind the planning of several attacks on certain key figures in the security establishment. He also cultivated several security personnel and had access to most of the important economic places because he spent million to corrupt and bribe officers manning them.  
Enter Sivam 
Sivam, had arrived in Colombo in March 2002, soon after the implementation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) between the LTTE and the then government. The details of his arrival will not be discussed by this column as it had been similar to other Tiger arrivals into the city, as described earlier. Suffice it to say that Sivam too had gained access to Colombo by posing as a Muslim. Attired in Muslim garb he had arrived and set up residence in Colombo. He had made it a point to always carry a copy of the Muslim holy book or the Quran and had even attended prayers in mosques. He had also undergone circumcision, to ward off the ultimate suspicion.
Taking on the identity of a Muslim is probably easier as the two ethnic groups use Tamil as their mother tongue, albeit there are differences in dialect and accent according to the regions of habitation. It will be easier for a Tamil to impersonate a Moor than a Sinhalese.
Sivam too was a well trained cadre and had access to the highest in the organisation. A high profile Tiger, he is the only one in the city to have directly reported to LTTE intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman.  Sivam had been responsible for operating the Tigers’ intelligence network in and around Colombo. Though he was a native of Kilinochchi in the north, he had been mostly based in Colombo and was very familiar with the area.
The terrorist worms his way up
Sivam has a good personality. He dressed smartly and wore well polished shoes. He was also very fluent in all three languages, Tamil, Sinhalese and English. He learnt Sinhala from one of LTTE’s training bases and English from a recognised English institute. Sivam had built a very good rapport with a prominent businessman and he entertained businessman and others in five star hotels immediately after his arrival in Colombo at the beginning of the CFA. Pretending to be a peace lover he had collected whatever data available and relayed them back to his superiors in the north.
He had been living in a highly residential area of Colombo since his arrival. Once the CFA was abrogated by the incumbent government, Sivam had temporarily moved his residence to the suburbs. However, during the latter stages of fighting in the north, he had returned to Colombo and taken up residence in a luxury apartment paying per month Rs. 200,000 as rent. He led a luxury life, driving around in the latest model vehicles; all funded by the LTTE.
While thus engaged, he had been observing the modus operandi of the Sri Lankan Security Forces and Police, and had made sure to avoid arrest.  He had been on the registered household list in Colombo and managed to obtain identity cards with his Colombo address. He had masterminded the attack on the then Sri Lanka Army Commander Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka (currently Chief of Defence Staff and full General). To mount the attack, Sivam had obtained accurate information on the Army Commander from none other than his own cook. Sivam had given instructions to one of his cadres to transport and harbour the suicide cadre.
Important targets
Sivam is one of the main LTTE terrorists who handled and coordinated suicide bombers, but his targets were missed because government intelligence gathering wings are stronger. Not only the Army Commander, he had also attempted to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and  several Ministers as well. He had planned, facilitated and attempted to carry out the attack, receiving direct instructions from LTTE intelligence head Pottu Amman himself, but had been unsuccessful.
During the height of the battle in the north, Pottu Amman had given Sivam specific instructions. He had told Sivam that even if the Tiger leadership is eliminated by the Sri Lankan military, overseas operatives would continue the struggle. Pottu Amman had also told him that the overseas cadres would keep in constant touch with him and for Sivam to follow instructions.
Sivam was the only terrorist to receive orders from Pottu Amman. He  had communicated  with the  then Vanni  leaders via e- mail and when there was an important message and he  had communicated to Pottu Amman  and  Rathnam  Master  and Charles’s on their satellite phones, he had to change his  mobile SIM and obtain an ID copy  from Wellawatte  communication centtrs. When any  person came to get a  photocopy, the operator of the photocopy machine used to get  additional copy and  keep them for Sivam  and  the rest  of the LTTE Intelligence cadres to get mobile phone connections.
TID breakthrough
The arrest of Sivam was yet another feather in the cap for the Sri Lankan intelligence services. From the moment that the TID received scant details of the suspect Tiger operative, they began 24 hour surveillance on him. They observed all his movements.
Slowly, yet steadily the TID detectives began building up evidence to prove the identity of the Tiger operative. They had received orders that Sivam should be taken alive, not to leave room for him to commit suicide, as alive, he would be invaluable. This made the sleuths extra cautious.
Once the Tiger cadre’s identity and mission became clear, the TID arrested him at a popular restaurant. Sivam, who frequented this restaurant, was enjoying a cup of coffee with a couple of sandwiches. A group of TID detectives who had been following him entered the restaurant and took up seats at an adjoining table. A female TID officer was among them and she seated herself where she had direct eye contact with Sivam. After a few minutes of friendly banter among them, the female TID officer glanced at Sivam and smiled.  Which male would not reciprocate a coy smile from a female? Sivam never suspected that these would be the persons who would spell his doom. He was confident that his cover was intact. And this over-confidence betrayed him.
The Sri Lankan intelligence officers were not recognisable as sleuths. They looked wealthy business persons having a carefree day out. Sivam returned the smile.
This happened a few times and one of the Intelligence officers took a few steps and looking at Sivam said, “You face looks familiar.” Sivam had introduced himself as a real estate businessman and invited the intelligence officer to join him with the others.
After some chit chat and coffee Sivam had excused himself to leave. The “business persons” too had said they would walk up to their vehicles with him. Still chatting like a long lost group of friends, they approached the car park. Unknowing to Sivam, the intelligence officers had parked their vehicles in such a manner that it would be difficult for him to beat a hasty retreat.
When Sivam, after bidding adieu to his new found friends, was about to open his car door, the sleuths smoothly moved in and pinning his hands behind, handcuffed him. A surprised and shocked Sivam did not know what hit him. They only said that he was being arrested for maintaining connections with the LTTE. Sivam had no opportunity either to bite his cyanide capsule or use a concealed weapon, if he had one.
So, now Sivam, perhaps the last of the top rung LTTE operatives in Colombo and its suburbs is being interrogated at a high security location. Based on information elicited from him, the TID  has been able to piece together most of the bizarre picture painted by Tiger claws in and around the capital.
In their attempt to thwart the LTTE intelligence network and to eradicate the menace of its suicide bombers, the Terrorist Investigation Unit (TID), the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) and State Intelligence Services (SIS) officers work 24 hours through 365 days. Sri Lanka’s intelligence officers perform their tasks purely relying on their skills and talents.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, suicide bombers explode themselves almost on a daily basis. Although the security forces of the West do possess advanced technology, they are yet to find answer to thwart the suicide bombers in those regions. There is much that the Western countries could learn from Sri Lankan officers.
A high ranking intelligence officer said, “We are continuing our line of duty to crack down on any remaining terrorists. Intelligence is extremely important for the country’s security and stability.”

Gota assassination bid and the TNA factor


Gota assassination bid and the TNA factor

As a handler and LTTE agent, Sivakumaran was assigned with the preparation and carrying out of a vital task. He was to coordinate the
assassination of Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

 V. Sivakumaran has had a very good rapport with Prabha, the Majestic City businessman who was nabbed by the state intelligence sometime ago, and of which this column gave the details earlier. Prabha had financed and assisted him to purchase the house at Athurugiriya, and also obtain a luxury Toyota vehicle apart from other matters. Prabha had also introduced him to Lt. Col. Ranjith Perera, who is currently in custody for maintaining links with the Tigers.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
The State Intelligence Services (SIS) sleuths’ eagle eyes are keenly watching over the city of Colombo and its suburbs. The war may be over, but for them their objectives are not. Every day and every moment, they are busy pouring over details, sometimes even scant information which may lead to the arrest of any individual even remotely connected to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or its affiliates.
Recently, they were successful in nabbing one such person from the Athrugiriya area. This person, whom this column will identify as V. Sivakumaran, though this is not his actual name, is the son a prominent Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliament member who has been residing in the Athurugiriya area since early 2006. This column will not go into the details of how he arrived in Colombo, as it has already divulged the details of similar arrivals of LTTE agents and handlers into the capital.
The beginning of Tiger terror
V. Sivakumaran was such a LTTE or Tiger handler. But some unique features differentiate him from the others. One is that he is the son a prominent Tamil National Alliance (TNA) politician. The other is that his uncle Sellakkili was a pioneering member of the LTTE terrorist outfit from its inception. Sellakkili and some others were responsible for blowing up a truck in which Sri Lanka Army personnel were travelling in July 23, 1983. This truck was approaching Urumpirai from Thinnavely when it was targetted. Sellakkily himself is said to have detonated the mine which blew up the truck. A fire fight ensued and afterwards, when the fleeing Tiger members had retreated and were being congratulated by its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, Sellakkili’s absence had been noticed. One of the cadres, Victor had then rushed towards a boutique where Sellakkili had taken up position during the attack, to find him lying with a gunshot injury to his chest. Sellakkili had succumbed to his injuries later.
Sivakumaran the handler
As a handler and LTTE agent, Sivakumaran was assigned with the preparation and carrying out of a vital task. He was to coordinate the assassination of Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
V. Sivakumaran has had a very good rapport with Prabha, the Majestic City businessman who was nabbed by the state intelligence sometime ago, and of which this column gave the details earlier. Prabha had financed and assisted him to purchase the house at Athurugiriya, and also obtain a luxury Toyota vehicle apart from other matters. Prabha had also introduced him to Lt. Col. Ranjith Perera, who is currently in custody for maintaining links with the Tigers. (This column sometime back also exposed the involvement of Lt. Col. Perera.)  Lt. Col. Ranjith Perera is said to have provided Sivakumaran with much of the details pertaining to the movements of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
The plan to assassinate Gotabhaya
The LTTE agents in and around Colombo had prepared a comprehensive plan to assassinate the Defence Secretary, who they believed would be the major obstruction in their path to achieving a separate Tamil state of Eelam. Their plan had been comprehensive, with all details being looked into with alternate measures also being put in place.
Two LTTE suicide cadres, one male and the other female, have been specially brought to Colombo for this purpose. After arrival in Colombo, the female cadre had tried out her suicide kit, containing around five kilograms of explosives, at a house in Manning Place. Afterwards, she had been dispatched to a safe house in the Kegalle area with specific instructions that she be in Colombo within 24 hours of notice. She had been assigned a vehicle with a driver as well for this specific purpose.
The male suicide cadre was to ride a motor bicycle laden with explosives, and was to ram it against the Defence Secretary’s vehicle or others from the security escort. A three wheeler or a van was to follow this motor cycle. This vehicle would carry several cadres armed with Uzi machine guns, the Israeli built weapons which are compact and easy to carry concealed. They would also carry six or more grenades and two spare magazines of ammunition for the Uzis.  Identifying the approach of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had been made easier for them by the closure of Colombo roads, whenever he travelled along them.
The proposed attack
The motorcycle and the three wheeler or van would be on standby at a by road until informed of the approach of the Defence Secretary. When the target approached, the motorcycle was to proceed towards the Defence Secretary’s vehicle or escort vehicles and ram against them. The ensuing explosion would create confusion and also might kill or maim several security personnel, but Rajapaksa’s vehicle might not be severely damaged as it is bullet or ballistic proof. In such an event, the security personnel would be forced to transfer Rajapaksa to another vehicle to be taken to safety.
During this crucial moment of transfer, the other Tiger cadres in the backup three-wheeler or van would barge in and open fire while hurling the grenades. This would be the real attempt on the life of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. His escaping with only injuries from such an attack would be quite remote indeed.
But the Tiger cadres would not leave it for granted. They had another alternative plan in the event the Defence Secretary was only injured. They apparently guessed that he would be rushed to the Emergency Services Unit of the National Hospital in Colombo, which is equipped to meet such eventualities. The female cadre stationed in Kegalle would then be at the scene of the attack , pretending to be one of the injured victims during the attack, and would be rushed to the National Hospital. She would be there by the time the Defence Secretary, if injured, was brought in. She would bide her time amidst the rush until Rajapaksa was transferred on to a stretcher or gurney to be taken into the ward. At this crucial moment, she would force herself among the crowd and jump towards Rajapaksa and blow herself up. Fortunately, this comprehensive plan had not materialised.
The remnants recovered and political antics
These details were revealed by Sivakumaran while under interrogation by SIS personnel. And based on his revelations, security forces personnel recovered the suicide kit and part of the weapons arsenal from Andra Housing Complex at Modera in Mattakkuliya recently.
These details were not obtained within minutes or days. It had taken sleuths several weeks of painstaking corroborating of details and tremendous effort on their part. However what is surprising is the reactions of certain bankrupt politicians towards this episode. A left leaning politician, who had unsuccessfully contested several elections under his own party banner, and also in alliance with other opposition parties, has claimed that this whole episode is a cooked up story by the authorities. He and similar power hungry politicians have definitely underestimated the capabilities of the Sri Lankan security forces and Police in regard to winning the war against a ruthless LTTE. But they should remember, and remember well, that whoever comes to power, the interests of the country Security should be the prime concern.

Close aide reveals last days and hours of Prabha


Close aide reveals last days and hours of Prabha

“If we fail in our final plan, we would be killed by the Sri Lankan Army. In such an eventuality, no one can claim an Eelam in Sri Lanka and the Eelam dream would become a nightmare.” These were Prabakarans’s last words to the rest of the Tiger leaders
How the Eelam dream became a nightmare
It was during the height of Eelam War IV, when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or Tamil Tigers were pushed to the last remaining piece of real estate. To be exact, even that little bit of real estate was not directly under its control. It was the government declared ‘No Fire Zone’ (NFZ) for the civilians held hostage by the Tigers to take refuge. But the Tigers too had taken refuge among the civilians and positioned their bunkers and big guns among them.
It was in this scenario, that the desperate Tigers attempted to mount a counterstrike on the Sri Lanka Army’s Forward Defence Lines (FDL) in a move to break away from the siege, and flee into the Puthukudyiruppu jungles. But the strike was thwarted by the alert security forces who managed to kill most of the top rung Tiger leaders during the pitched battle.
Tiger captured alive 
It was a little after this battle that a senior LTTE member who was wounded in battle was captured alive by the Sri Lanka Army Commandoes and handed over to intelligence officers. The Sri Lanka Army took him into custody and he proved to be a close aide of Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran. He had been with his leader during the last days.
And now, he is still in custody at an undisclosed security location, and being interrogated. An intelligence officer gave this column vivid details of the final stages of the vanishing Eelam dream of the LTTE. It was also an account of the last days of Prabhakaran’s life.
This column will not divulge his real name as it may hamper ongoing investigations. We will call him by another name, Gokulan Master, for our convenience. And this is what he had to say to this columnist:
“We were all living in our dream world of Eelam created by our Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. We were isolated from the real world without our realising it. We saw only Prabhakaran’s world. I watched only TV programmes broadcast by the LTTE as well as south Indian televisions and listened to only the Voice of Tigers radio. Prabhakaran had conducted a psychological operation or psy-ops among the Tamils living within the LTTE controlled areas so that he was seen as the supreme invincible leader, who the Sri Lanka Army could not defeat. He also impressed upon the Tamils that his organisation, the LTTE, can easily carry out attacks in any part of the island at will. We never thought that the Sri Lanka Army would kill Prabhakaran but it happened.”
Prabha underestimated the Army 
V. Prabhakaran made all these statements because he severely underestimated the capabilities of the Sri Lanka Army. That was the greatest mistake he ever committed. He always believed, even during the final pitched battles, and even made us believe, that Norway will come to our rescue.”
Gokulan Master further told his interrogators that when the LTTE lost both Pooneryn and Elephant Pass, Prabhakaran had been in touch, via his satellite phone, with the USA based V. Rudrakumaran and the elusive Kumaran Pathmanadan alias KP. Prabhakaran had urged them to exert pressure on the international community and the human rights organisation to pressurise the Sri Lankan government to stop the military onslaught on the Tiger defences.
In one instance, Prabhakaran was so desperate that he instructed the LTTE’s Political Wing head B. Nadesan to declare a ceasefire with the military.
Nadesan, the policeman turned LTTE ‘IGP’ and in turn its Political Wing head after S.P. Thamilselvan, and was killed in a Sri Lanka Air Force raid, had tried his best to carry out his instructions, Gokulan Master said.
Prabhakaran desperate within the NFZ 
While the remaining LTTE leadership had been confined by the Sri Lanka Army to the small area within the government declared NFZ, Prabhakaran had kept close contact via his satellite phone, with Tamil Nadu Politician Vaiko and Nadumaran, Rudrakumaran from the USA and KP. He repeatedly urged them to bring about an international intervention resulting in a ceasefire.
When the Sri Lanka Army’s Special Forces and Commandos initially attempted to rescue the civilians held hostage, and when the civilians responded by moving towards the army controlled areas, Prabhakaran immediately instructed his cadres to kill anyone who attempted to flee, and display the bodies as a deterrent to the others. He had several such incidents videoed and photographed, and sent them to the international media, putting the blame on the Sri Lankan government forces.
When the LTTE was driven out of the East, Prabhakaran was furious over the Sri Lanka Army’s successes. He never imagined that the SLA was capable of inflicting that sort of damage to the LTTE.
During late 2007, when the battles in the North were ongoing and the military were gaining ground, Prabhakaran summoned his top leaders Pottu Amman, Ratnam Master, Balraj, Theepan, Bhanu, Sornam and Charles, for a meeting. This meeting went into the wee hours of the morning in Prabhakaran’s bunker at Visvamadu.
They discussed strategies and plans to stop or at least slow down the advance of the Sri Lanka Army. A notable feature during this meeting was the details put forward by Balraj. He said, “The Sri Lanka Army’s Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka is adopting different tactics during this battle. Previous commanders had not been able to adopt tactics like these. He also has tremendous political backing, and even the government is not bowing to international pressure. Another element is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (Defence Secretary) who himself was a senior Army officer who has taken part and commanded previous battles. They make a unique combination and may prove difficult to dislodge.”
Recruiting children and elderly
It was following this meeting, that the LTTE decided to increase its manpower and began recruiting children as young as 12 years and adults over 50 years. These persons thus recruited were inducted into the ‘Makkal Padai’ or People’s Force after a very short training.
Simultaneously, on a concept put forward by Theepan and Balraj, the LTTE started putting up earth bunds, going up from five feet to 20 feet in height, depending on the location.
Invest shares in stock market 
During the Ceasefire Agreement period, Prabhakaran sent messages to Colombo and overseas Tamil businessmen to invest in the share market in Colombo. He had also instructed them that when they received orders from the United Kingdom, they should sell their shares they had invested in. This was possibly his way of waging an economic war to cripple Sri Lanka’s economy through the share market. But when he was driven away from his areas of control and trapped in the NFZ, his plans went awry.
Prabhakaran’s luxury lifestyle
Although Prabhakaran led the battles and sometimes was present in close proximity, he had all the necessary comforts in life. He stayed in air-conditioned bunkers; he had enough supplies of food and had enough supply of insulin injections for his diabetic condition.
He had a swimming pool which could be used exclusively by him and his family. Only very close associates and visitors were allowed to use it. He also rode in amour plated vehicles, a Pajero and several specially modified vehicles.
But later on, his life became more restrictive. When the SL Army’s Special Forces and Commandos had infiltrated areas under his control, Prabhakaran’s movements were restricted further. He didn’t speak to his leaders over the phone. He always sent a messenger, one of his trusted cadres from his own security unit, with a message summoning anyone to meet him at a said place. Often this place changed several times before the actual meeting took place.
This was due to security fears. Prabhakaran’s lifestyle became more and more secretive as the battles progressed.
He only trusted his own intelligence unit members. Apart from the general intelligence unit of the LTTE, Prabhakaran had his own unit. From this unit, he placed one or two persons of his choice within the other units to act as spies for him on rest of LTTE key leaders. This unit was regularly updated by Prabhakaran.
A doctor named Dr Puri was detailed with providing medical attention to Prabhakaran. He used to check Prabhakaran’s blood pressure at least twice a day. During the latter stages of battle, Prabhakaran’s health too suffered. He suffered from high blood pressure due to the stress, Dr Puri said.
In 2007, V. Prabhakaran appointed his elder son Charles Anthony as the deputy leader of the organisation. When he did this, his spies reported to Prabhakaran that most of the other leaders had voiced their displeasure over this decision. Due to this, Charles Anthony was heavily guarded and always lived with his father.
When the Sri Lanka Army’s Special Forces and Commandos infiltrated LTTE held areas and began eliminating mid-level leaders, Prabhakaran became highly depressed. He used to say that the loss of even a single leader was a big blow to the organisation as it had taken nearly five to six years to train such a leader. The vacuum could not be filled so fast, he opined.
When Charles (not Prabhakaran’s son), the LTTE intelligence leader was ambushed and killed by the Special Forces in Mannar, it dealt a severe blow to the LTTE. Prabhakaran was shocked to hear the news of Charles’ death.
He blamed Pottu Amman for the lack of intelligence. But during and after the Tiger attacks on the Anuradhapura Sri Lanka Air Force Base, Prabhakaran was a happy man. He was also thoroughly pleased when he heard that the suicide bomber had blown himself up killing former Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle.
But again, when the attempts to assassinate Army Commander (then) Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka and the failed attempt on Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, coupled with the inability to attack and destroy the Security Forces’ radar station at Vavuniya came to light, Prabhakaran was a furious man. He blamed the dearth of proper intelligence and also blamed Pottu Amman.
After the battles progressed and the Tiger leaders were driven from Puthukudyiruppu into the NFZ, Prabhakaran’s movements became increasingly restricted. Prabhakaran never visited Kilinochchi in five years, as he felt that security was not adequate for him in the area. When the LTTE lost Pooneryn and Kilinochchi, Prabhakaran once told Pottu Amman that 75 per cent of his struggle for Eelam had gone downstream.
He said that the LTTE had to boost the sagging morale of its cadres and slow down the enemy, at least till the international community intervened on the LTTE’s behalf.
While these ideas were being bandied about, Balraj was killed in another Special Forces ambush. This dealt another devastating blow to the Tiger outfit.
With a faraway look in his eyes, Gokulan Master continued with his narration. He said by this time the morale of the cadres had reached a low ebb. Everybody had a feeling that the Sri Lankan Army would defeat them very soon. But the LTTE’s psy-ops always insisted that the international community would bail them out, even at the last moment.
When the Sri Lanka Army was about to overrun Visvamadu, Prabhakaran shifted to Puthukudyiruppu. From there he directed the fight while ensconced in underground bunkers set up by utilising containers. These were almost all air-conditioned.
At this juncture, an interrogating officer interrupted Gokulan Master to ask a question.
“What do you think of Prabhakaran’s comforts during these times?”
Gokulan Master’s reply was, “Not only Prabhakaran, even the other upper echelon leaders had all the comforts in life. Prabhakaran enjoyed extraordinary comforts while the others had better than average comforts. They had at least three meals a day while the fighting cadre had only one meal or no meal at all during some days.”
Gokulan Master went onto say that Prabhakaran became increasingly depressed as the battles progressed. When the Sri Lankan Security Forces were poised to take over Puthukudyiruppu, Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman slipped into the ‘No Fire Zone’.
“I too slipped in with them,” added Gokulan Master.
But before slipping into the NFZ, Prabhakaran instructed his cadres to set up bunkers and artillery positions in close proximity to the civilians. While fleeing from Puthukudyiruppu to the NFZ, Prabhakaran could not take most of his personal belongings with him. And at Karayamullivaikkal, all the leaders had their bunkers built close to each other. “We were confined only to the NFZ by then. Then on the night of May, the SL Army’s Special Forces and Commandos entered the NFZ unexpectedly. They opened a safe route for the civilians to enter government controlled areas. They began fleeing in numbers and we could not stop them, however much we tried.”
According to Gokulan Master by then, knowing the situation, Prabhakaran summoned Pottu Amman and ordered him to instruct most of the LTTE intelligence cadres to move into government controlled areas along with the civilians. Some even carried children and infants to allay any suspicions. They were instructed to remain as refugees until such time they receive instructions regarding the weapons which were buried. They were to utilise these weapons as and when necessary to attack the government security forces. When the LTTE was losing territory to the advancing SL Army, Prabhakaran had instructed his cadres to bury all their weapons before retreating.
Once the Special Forces opened up a route for the civilians, Prabhakaran demanded from his leaders as to how it had happened. They said that the Special Forces had moved to close proximity even without their knowledge, and they were too close to be stopped by then.
Gokulan Master continued his narrative
“By then our life was not comfortable at all. Our food was mainly high nutrition biscuits provided by several INGOs earlier. Even during the tsunami of 2004, these INGO and NGOs brought in heavy earth moving equipment for rebuilding purposes. But they left them with us when they went back. Those machines were the ones we used to put up bunds and also build bunkers. During the ceasefire period, we got enough and more construction material like cement, iron rods etc.
‘Then, while the civilians were leaving across the Nanthi Kadal lagoon, we were attacked from the south as well. On May 16, Prabhakaran had an emotional meeting with his leaders. He said there were only two options left now.
He said, the Sri Lanka government was neither giving into international pressure nor stopping its onslaught. The options left were to either mount a massive counter attack on the military Forward Defence Lines (FDL) in the south and make a break towards the Mullaitivu jungles, or to mount a similar attack on the FDL across the Nanthi Kadal lagoon and enter the Puthukudyiruppu jungles. Once inside the jungles, Prabhakaran was sure that we could survive for another month or two.
“According to this plan, on May 15, deploying some suicide cadres, we mounted an attack on the Sri Lanka Army’s Defence Line with committed suicide cadres. But contrary to our expectations, the SL Army was too alert and stronger than we expected. Our attack was a disaster. Many of our top rung cadres were killed during this attack.
On May 17, Prabhakaran told us he was ready for the last gamble, to break through the enemy and enter the Puthukudyiruppu jungles. The plan was to break through the SL Army defence lines and march along the Nanthi Kadala lagoon banks into the Puthukudyiruppu jungles. Prabhakaran told us that if we succeeded, we could stay within the jungles for a few months until the international community or South India intervened on behalf of the LTTE. If we failed, we would be killed by the Sri Lankan Army. In such an eventuality, no one can claim an Eelam in Sri Lanka, he said.
So, on the morning of May 18, the near 35-year-old dream of Tamil Eelam became a nightmare to us.
[Interruption by interrogators]
Question: What will happen now to the other LTTE cadres still hiding in Colombo and the south?
Answer: When there is no leadership how can they function? I can say the entire LTTE organisation died on May 18. If there is a ghost of the LTTE still remaining, it too will be wiped out. As a Tamil, I believe that the LTTE has brought about the greatest disaster to the Tamils. Each and every displaced civilian would be cursing the LTTE and Prabhakaran as its leader.
He spent a luxury life putting others into suffering. Even the soap he used was brought from overseas. And at the tail end, he too had to undergo at least a fraction of the sufferings, without food or shelter, depressed and hunted by an unbelievably strong enemy, the Sri Lankan security forces.

Colombo’s Praba’ caught


Colombo’s Praba’ caught

On March 20, 2009 around 8:30 pm, security forces personnel were engaged in routine vehicle checking operations at the Kollupitiya end of the entrance to the High Security Zone covering Temple Trees, Galle Face and Janadhipathi Mandiraya areas. A taxi was stopped and checked, when the passenger inside duly submitted his NIC and Police clearance certificate and said he was on his way to meet a friend at the Colombo Swimming Club (CSC). He also showed his Club membership card. Since everything seemed in order, he was allowed to proceed. This was also because the passenger had spoken in fluent Sinhalese.

The personal weapons cache of Prabhakaran

The stranger at the CSC
The ‘passenger’ was a bald headed male, around five-feet eleven-inches tall, wearing a dark blue long sleeved shirt and black trousers. He wore highly polished shoes, and a gold bracelet on his wrist. He was carrying what appeared to be an envelope in his hand, as he entered the CSC. He signed the Club’s visitors’ book and entered the lobby. As he looked around, he spotted the diplomat whom he had apparently come to meet, who was known to him. The two had a brief chat and the ‘visitor’ handed over the envelope he was carrying to the diplomat. The envelope contained a DVD disc. He stayed with the diplomat till 9:30 pm, when he left the Club.
However, this person was unaware that he was under surveillance by the State Intelligence Service’s (SIS) agents. The DVD he handed over to the diplomat contained old video footages of a massacre of Sinhalese persons by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sometime ago. But the twist was, he had convinced the diplomat that the video footage was of Tamils killed by the Sri Lankan Army.
Misleading the diplomatic community
This person had been in the habit of meeting diplomats at the CSC whom he lobbied and misled, regarding the conflict in Sri Lanka. He also spoke very fluent English and used it to advantage in his errands for the LTTE. However, his task was not only to misinform the diplomatic community. He had also other parts to play, which were very effective in influencing the diplomatic community to be sympathetic to the Tigers.
His name is Prabha and lived in Wellawatte. He was the owner of an electronics outlet called Panama Traders, Shop Numbers 3-26 and 3-27 on the 3rd Floor of Majestic City. His mobile phone number was 0777 398 117 and his shop phone number was 011 4527057.
Ways of cultivating contacts
Whenever Prabha identified any customers arriving at his shop as being from the security forces, he would personally attend to them and be very polite and go out of his way to please them. If he found that they are indeed from the military or from the police, he would try to ascertain from which arm of the security forces they were, their ranks and type of duties they are engaged in etc. If they were civilian customers, he would immediately ask one of his shop assistants to serve them and revert to his own tasks.
Prabha had excellent public relations skills. If the customer was a military or police officer, he would offer them generous discounts, sometimes up to 50%. He attributed his patriotism for this generous act. This was his modus operandi to initiate and establish contacts, through whom he would solicit the patronage of the contact’s colleagues. After all, here was a patriotic guy offering large discounts to military and police personnel. Who wouldn’t fall for this old trick? Thereafter, he would entertain these ‘friends’ to parties, dinners etc at star class hotels and prestigious clubs, where almost always he was a member.
However, not all service personnel fell for his age-old tricks. Rather, his actions raised their suspicions. This had led to some serious investigations, and even now, several of those who enjoyed Prabha’s hospitality, are under investigation by the SIS and the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI).

Body of slain LTTE leader Prabhakaran
Prabha’s real mission
Prabha, the electronics dealer, was one of the persons behind many Tiger activities in and around Colombo, investigations have thus far revealed. He facilitated accommodation for LTTE suicide bombers and coordinated their missions. He financed the LTTE moles living in Colombo and facilitated their communication with the LTTE leadership in the North. He received instructions from LTTE intelligence head Pottu Amman, Kapil Amman, Charles and Ratnam master, a senior SIS agent told this column. All in all, Prabha was one of the key LTTE leaders operating in Colombo.
During the ceasefire, Prabha had travelled several times to LTTE controlled areas, and met with the LTTE leadership. He had supplied them with digital and video cameras, used by the LTTE for its worldwide propaganda. He had also placed Fixed Colour Video cameras at several lodges in Wellawatte, so as to prevent the abduction of Tiger cadres by rival groups. But, he was not successful in installing such cameras on the approach roads. He had developed high level contacts with Police officers in and around Wellawatte, and whenever a search operation was to be conducted, he received prior information, and took action to safeguard his accomplices.
The Tigers’ lair
The LTTE had, apparently, funded the construction of a seven-storied luxury apartment complex at 37th Lane, Wellawatte, named Sunflower Apartments. Prabha was instrumental in the purchase of the land and the building of this apartment complex from its inception. This complex became a safe house for LTTE operatives in and around Colombo.
The Tiger travels with accomplice
Prabha used to travel to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, and there is credible information that, while on his travels, he had met LTTE international procurement leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, in Thailand and Malaysia. On two of these trips, Prabha had been accompanied by a Lt. Col. Ranjith Perera.
Prabha had also hosted a party at the Gold Club, which was attended by Western diplomats. He had spent over Rs 100,000 per night on these occasions. His intention had been to lobby diplomats to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan Government to stop the ongoing operations. He is also said to have funded one of the Tamil political party leaders as well.
Tiger fangs bared
Prabha was arrested by SIS agents and even as this column is being written, he is being interrogated by SIS and TID agents regarding his links. His shop at Majestic City is being guarded by the Bambalapitiya Police.
One of Prabha’s major links, as was exposed by this column last week, Lt. Col. Ranjith Perera, was a Colonel General Staff (GS) of 52 Division. He served from 2006-2-9 to 2008-1-8. He had been denied promotion to the rank of full Colonel by the Army Commander. This was because, during a battle at Tanankilappu in Jaffna, when the LTTE had attacked this Lt. Col.’s battalion, he had not offered resistance and, without his superior officer’s command, he had withdrawn his battalion from battle.
As Colonel GS, he had passed sensitive information to Prabha over his phone. Some of the incidents, where prior information had reached the LTTE, are:
The LTTE attack on February 14, 2007, when the Mechanised Infantry Regiment was observing its ceremonial day, in which the then Mechanised Brigade Commander Col. Ralph Nugera was seriously injured and soldiers killed. When the Defence Secretary and the Army Commander flew to Jaffna, the LTTE mounted an artillery attack from Pooneryn on Palaly Air Base. The aircraft did not land and returned safely to Colombo. This trip was a tightly kept secret among the security forces, but not so for the LTTE, as the sensitive information had been already passed onto the Tigers through Lt. Col. Ranjith Perera.
The other was when the then GOC Jaffna Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri was on an inspection tour of Jaffna. Then too, the LTTE directed artillery fire.
And whenever the Sri Lanka Army advanced from the Muhamalai front, the LTTE almost always had prior information from this Lt. Col. All these information passed through Prabha.
Tigers admit loss of their leader
The LTTE’s international procurement head and V. Prabhakaran’s close friend Kumaran or Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias K.P admitted that Prabhakaran is dead when he spoke to BBC on May 25.
The BBC reported: “We announce today, with inexpressible sadness and heavy hearts, that our incomparable leader and supreme commander ... attained martyrdom fighting the military oppression,” said KP, in a statement on Sunday to Al Jazeera. Many didn’t believe that Prabhakaran was dead, not only Tamils but even Sinhalease. Some said the Army had exhibited a body similar to that of Prabhakaran’s, or had created a dummy resembling Prabhakaran. But KP’s statement dispelled any doubts of Prabhakaran’s death.
Top Tiger killing, verification and dismissal of rumours 
Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed on May 18 by the Commandos. As a ‘rule’, when Commandos or Special Forces kill any terrorists, they do not recover their bodies. They collect their personal weapons and produce them to their CO or their Brigade Commanders. This is a practice by Special Forces worldwide.
On May 18 evening, a commando had handed over to his CO, a pistol and a hip holster. The pistol had carried the inscription T.V.P 001, raising suspicion that it belonged to Velupillai Prabhakaran. T.V.P 001 means Thamil Vidudalai Puligal (Tamil Liberation Tigers). And Military Intelligence confirmed that it was indeed Prabhakaran’s pistol.
Minister Vinayagamoorthi Muralidaran, alias ‘Karuna Amman’, one time close confidante of Prabhakaran and Daya master, the former LTTE media spokesman, arrived to identify Prabhakaran’s body. They identified and confirmed that the body recovered was that of Prabhakaran’s. Certain scars and birthmarks had helped them in their identification. Thus, the Army was able to squash all rumors regarding Prabhakaran being alive.
Prabhakaran’s family
There are rumours that Prabhakaran’s wife, younger son and daughter too, have been killed during the final battles. An officer from the battlefront said they hadn’t recovered any bodies of children. When Intelligence agents interrogated a close aide of Prabhakaran, he had said that, last year, Prabhakaran’s wife and younger son Balachandran had escaped by boat to Tamil Nadu, where they were to meet with an LTTE cadre, who was to arrange for them to fly to Singapore, from there to an unknown destination.
Prabhakaran’s daughter, Duvaragha, who was said to be studying in Ireland, during the height of the final battle, hadn’t returned to Sri Lanka, but had been in touch with her father via phone, revealed a credible source from Norway. She had arrived in Oslo as instructed by her father, as there were many to take care of her there.
Checkpoints in Colombo?
When this columnist asked Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as to why the Government had not removed the checkpoints along the roads, now that the battle had ended, Mr. Rajapaksa said that Intelligence had to give clearance that there is no threat to security to Colombo city. “Once that confirmation is received, then I will have the barriers removed,” he said. A very senior Intelligence officer told this column: “At the moment, we wish to verify and ascertain that there are no LTTE cells in Colombo and its suburbs. As mentioned regularly in these columns before, there are apt to be many more LTTE cells or ‘sleeping cadres’ in and around Colombo. These would be revealed in the near future.
Commander and his commanded meet in Kilinochchi
The unprecedented bravery and the varied tactics and manoeuvers engaged by the Sri Lankan military would not go out of fashion or out of date. They even surprised the super powers, right now fighting so many terrorist outfits, and don’t seem to be making any headway.
The troops who sacrificed their comforts, blood, sweat and tears to achieve this unprecedented victory, had a surprise on Friday, May 22. Their Commander, who had himself sacrificed his time and comfort, directing the battle, flew to the LTTE’s former ‘administrative capital’, now under Government control.
Newly promoted General Sarath Fonseka arrived in Kilinochchi to felicitate the bravery of his troops.
General Fonseka, never known to trim or sugarcoat his words, had always stood by his phrase, “I will not leave this fight for my successor to continue. I will see an end to it during my time in the Army.” Hence, May 22 morning, when he went to pay his tribute to the valiant troops, it would have been the most significant and historic moment in General Fonseka’s career.
General Fonseka was received on arrival at the Wanni Security Forces Headquarters by Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri. After a brief stopover, General Fonseka proceeded to Kilinochchi, where GOC, Wanni Maj. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya received him and accompanied him to 57 Division Headquarters.
GOC 57 Division Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias, as the seniormost GOC, received their chief, who masterminded and engineered all operational tactics against the LTTE. The Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment accorded a Guard of Honour to the visiting Army Chief. In his address to the troops in Kilinochchi, the first, after being promoted, General Fonseka told them that, if not for their heroic sacrifices, it wouldn’t have been possible to triumph over LTTE terrorism, like they had done now. He compared the deed with that of King Dutugemunu unifying the whole island under one flag.
General Sarath Fonseka also expressd his gratitude to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and all those who supported the armed forces. He also did not fail to recall the dedication of departed soldiers and others who have been disabled.


Senior Police officer’s deadly nexus with LTTE

Investigations reveal LTTE gave Rs.15 million to SP for Minister Fernandopulle’s assassination

As this column mentioned previously, traitors were behind former Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle’s assassination.
SP Lakshman Cooray had allegedly received Rs. 15 million to transport a Tiger suicide bomber to Weliveriya in April 2008, the place where former Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was assassinated.
 On the morning of August 12, officers from Sri Lanka’s prime investigative unit, the Terrorist Investigations Division (TID) entered the Gampaha Police Station and walked into the Senior Superintendent’s office. They had a friendly chat with Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sarath Kumara. While engaged in this apparent cordial conversation, the TID sleuths told SSP Kumara that they wanted to meet Gampaha Sector 3 Superintendent of Police (SP) Lakshman Cooray.
Gampaha District is divided into three Police sectors. Sector three includes the areas of Weliweriya, Weeangula and Ganemulla. SSP Kumara summoned SP Cooray into his office.
When SP Lakshman Cooray entered the SSP’s office, the TID investigators confronted him and told him that he was being arrested on information received that he had direct connections with the LTTE.
Following the arrest, the TID sleuths took SP Cooray to the TID head office, and began questioning him on his LTTE connections. Though at the beginning he denied any involvement with the Tigers, the TID officers made him aware that they already possessed enough information to prove his connections with the banned terrorist organisation. Later, SP Lakshman Cooray had begun to divulge some shocking details of his involvement with the Tigers.
This columnist, respecting responsible journalism, refrains from divulging further details of how TID officers received credible information of SP Lakshman Cooray’s involvement with LTTE, as this may hamper further investigations.
He had served in several parts of the island including Jaffna, and his last posting had been in Gampaha. Who would have ever believed that a senior officer in the Police would have been involved as an informant and as a carrier for the LTTE?
This person, interrogators revealed, has had direct contacts with the LTTE. SP Cooray had allegedly received Rs. 15 million to transport a Tiger suicide bomber to Weliveriya in April 2008, the place where former Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was assassinated. A bomber transported by a senior police officer towards his own division would have never roused the suspicions of his colleagues. Anyone stepping out of the senior officer’s vehicle would definitely not be considered as a suspected suicide bomber.

Story behind the SP

Superintendent of Police Lakshman Cooray hails from Polonnaruwa. His father was a Provincial Council member of the ruling party. Lakshman was educated at Polonnaruwa and on completion of his school education, he had obtained his external Bachelor of Arts (BA) following which he had enlisted with the Sri Lanka Police Department as an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).
When a person is found to be a traitor to his country, the normal procedure is to try him or her for treason, and if proved, sentenced to death.
Section 114 of the constitution notes that waging  war  or attempting to wage  war or abetting the waging of  war, shall  be punished with  death or imprisonment of either description, which may be to the extent of 20 years,  and shall forfeit all  his property  to the public.
Earlier too this column exposed another traitor from the Sri Lanka Army, Captain Piyasiri Perera. A sentence of death was imposed on him after a court marshal. The date and time of any death penalty imposed by the judiciary or military has to be sanctioned by the President. But in Captain Perera’s case, the President commuted the death sentence to a life sentence.
 Earlier, this column also disclosed the involvement of Lieutenant Colonel Ranjith Perera with the LTTE. The sole intention of this column is to expose such corrupt personnel to the public. If the public is aware of further information on these persons or of such other persons, it is their duty towards the country to inform the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) or the Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) or the Sri Lanka Army. 
Initial suspicious signs 
When analysts went through the video images obtained of the scene during and after the suicide bomb explosion which killed former Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, SP Cooray has been visible in the footages, standing well away on the opposite side of the road from where the blast occurred, apparently making sure to keep himself far from harms way.
This particular suicide blast on April 6, 2008 during the start off of a marathon race to celebrate the upcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year, claimed the life of a popular Minister in the government, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and 14 others, including Sri Lanka’s marathon champion and Olympic participant K.A. Karunaratne, National Athletic Coach Lakshman Alwis and Minister Fernandopulle’s personal security officer – Chief Inspector K.D.R. Kannangara. It also injured over 90 other persons. Gampaha Division Senior Superintendent of Police Hector Dharmasiri too was critically injured in this incident.
Immediately following the explosion, SP Cooray had not shown any visible signs to raise any suspicions. He had returned to his station, possibly to await further instructions regarding his next mission. After all, traitors do not regret their missions, they are only concerned about the financial benefits their missions bring in. 
Lakshman’s not so unusual cravings, preachings
A Police officer from the Gampaha Division told this columnist that SP Cooray’s fancy was purchasing whatever latest model of mobile phones hit the market. And he said that Cooray always, like a preacher, would tell his colleagues that they have to be honest in their dealings, love their jobs and always be faithful in their duties. He also enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle.
It is also reported that this multi-millionaire SP had never deposited any of his ill gotten gains with banks. Instead, he had been a regular visitor to several financial companies, and it is suspected that he may have deposited all his millions with such financial institutions, including those that were deemed illegal.
Attempts on President’s life
Even after his alleged complicity in the assassination of former Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Cooray had not stopped his alleged connections with the LTTE. He had allegedly assisted in at least three attempts to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa at three different locations, utilising claymore mines as well as suicide bombers.
One such attempt had been at the President’s home town of Tangalle. The second had been at Kurunegala during the last Wayamba Provincial Council elections and the third such failed attempt had been in Badulla. All these attempts had been unsuccessful as the security provided by the President’s Security Division had been too tight for penetration.
If the LTTE had paid Rs. 15 million for Cooray’s alleged complicity in the assassination of former Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, he would have been offered almost thrice or more of that sum for the attempt on the President’s life.
Lakshman Cooray is said to have participated at several defence briefings, details of which he apparently had leaked to the Tigers. He is said to have kept in close contact with the LTTE via telephone and other modes of communication.
SP Lakshman’s other side of service
During the year 2005, Lakshman Cooray had been stationed as an Assistant Superintendent of Police in Jaffna. He was in Sector three, which includes Manipay, Chunnakam, Telippalai and Innuvil. It was apparently while serving in this area, that the LTTE had approached and absorbed this officer to the terrorist outfit’s benefit. During this stint of service too, Cooray has apparently passed sensitive information to the Tigers.
In August 2005, there had been unrest in the Jaffna area, seemingly among the civilians. They vented their fury on the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and the Police through mob violence. During the afternoon of August 4, 2005, there was a massive ‘civilian’ protest at Innuvil. When the protestors had become restless and resorted to mob violence, Superintendent of Police for Jaffna, Charles Wijewardena, on receipt of orders to try to defuse the situation, had arrived at the scene. He was accompanied by several Police officers and constables.
When SP Wijewardena arrived at Innuvil, the protestors had said they were willing to talk to the Police. Some of them had approached SP Wijewardena and said they wanted to talk with him.
They had requested him to come to a nearby house alone and unarmed. A firm believer in negotiation and persuasion, the SP had obliged and gone to the house even without taking his walkie-talkie with him. However, details have not been clear after his entry into the house. It was the last time any of his colleagues saw SP Wijewardena alive.
SP Wijewardena’s trust betrayed
The Police team that accompanied him was waiting for SP Wijewardena’s return. But he never returned alive. Later investigations revealed the murky details of the incident.
Even as the Police team has waited outside the house, as soon as the SP had entered the house, the so-called mobsters had overpowered him, removed his uniform, dressed him in a sarong and shirt and moved him away to an undisclosed location.
When their senior officer had not returned, the Police team had wanted to enter the house where he should have been. But the arrival of the Sri Lanka Army had prevented them from doing so. The Army personnel had said that the abduction had been planned by the LTTE, and the possibility of negotiations was a ruse to get the SP away from his team.
Information gathered by Army intelligence later had suggested that SP Wijewardena was alive when he was taken hostage in a van and driven away from Innuvil. He had been moved while Police officers who accompanied him waited outside the house.
The then Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) was informed in the afternoon of the hostage situation and protests, apparently by LTTE political head for Jaffna Ilamparithi. The monitors including acting SLMM spokesperson Vilja Kudvonen, had arrived at Innuvil afterwards and had found nobody to negotiate with, and around 7.00 pm had returned to their office.
However, by around 7.00 pm, the mutilated body of SP Wijewardena was found lying near Pillair Kovil at Palavodai, between Innuvil and Suthumalai, about five km north of the protest site. Wijewardena’s body bore evidence of torture. There were cut marks and stab injuries on his body. His head had been smashed and his Police cap was lying beside his body. Evidence suggested that he had been killed soon after he was moved from Innuvil.
The link allowed to slip away
During this incident, Lakshman Cooray was the Assistant Superintendent of Police in Jaffna. On August 8, a special team of sleuths was dispatched to Jaffna for an inquiry.
This team was successful in apprehending one suspect, said to be a hard core LTTE cadre. This Tiger member named Gopi was without one of his hands. He was said to have led the mob which was suspected to have killed SP Wijewardena. He was brought to Colombo and produced before the Fort Magistrate’s Court. When the CID produced him for an identification parade before the Police team that had accompanied SP Wijewardena, they failed to identify him. At that time the Fort Magistrate was surprised that the Police constables couldn’t identify Gopi.
They felt it was a bit unusual that they failed to identify Gopi , as his missing arm would have been a dead give-away. Informed sources from the Police say that Lakshman Cooray who was the Jaffna ASP, had given these Police personnel strict instructions not to identify this hard core LTTE cadre as he had received instructions to save Gopi who was claimed by the LTTE as a vital member of the outfit.
When this columnist inquired about SP Cooray from Police constables to Senior DIGs, all of them said Cooray was a disgrace to the Police force and dubbed him a “traitor.”
One senior military officer told this column that the public should support ongoing investigations of Lakshman Cooray conducted by the Terrorist Investigation Division. He further noted that any details the public knows about the SP must be revealed to the TID.

Army heading for LTTE'S HSZs

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops are now moving towards the LTTE’s High Security Zone (HSZ). Progress is slow because the path ahead is lined with mines and booby traps. Troops have to traverse through jungle and open area as well through some villages too.
A reliable source reported that, the LTTE had ordered the villagers to vacate their houses and confine themselves to LTTE controlled areas and used older civilians as human shields. 
The LTTE has positioned snipers to attack troops, according to a battlefront officer who said that this LTTE strategy is well known to the SLA.
The Army’s main aim is to overrun the LTTE heartland, so that, the innocent civilians could be freed from the grip of the Tigers and then destroy their weapons, armaments, equipment, ordnance and infrastructure.
To eradicate terrorism in any country, the main counter terrorism method is to destroy terrorist infrastructure and raw materials used for manufacturing explosives as well as to build up a solid intelligence network.
SLA success within a yearWhile the war in the Eastern Province was going on, the SLA Chief conducted limited operations on the Northern front with Special Infantry Oriented Trained (SIOT) troops who infiltrated enemy territory and eliminated the enemy under the maxim of ‘maximum deaths for the enemy and minimum deaths for the troops.’
He set up additional Offensive Divisions 57 and 59, Task Force 1 or 58 Division, 56 Division and Task Force 2 to confront the LTTE on many fronts. In future, more Divisions’ will be created to counter the enemy and increase the strength of the Elite Commandos and Special Forces.
The targets were Kilinochchi and Mulativu.Battle-hardened General Officer Commanders (GOCs) and Brigade Commanders worked according to a perfect military plan while Wanni Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya supervised offensives on the instructions of the Army Commander. 
Remarkable support from the Artillery and Armoured Corps with their fire power destroyed LTTE military installations and killed its cadres. The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) too, accurately bombed and destroyed LTTE military installations. 
Operation Jaya Sikuru The objective of Operation Jayasikuru was to open the A9 Road. Operation Jayasikuru was the longest operation in Sri Lanka, taking nearly two years, beginning on May 13, 1997 and ending on November 5, 1999. Yet, the troops were able to reach only Oddusuddan and a little further north, after capturing Omanthai, Kanakarayankulam, Olumadu and Mankulam.
The operation kicked off from Vavuniya with only one front. The lack of a military plan and unheeding intelligence warnings by the then field commanders, led to troops marching on to Oddusuddan.
In that time, LTTE leader Prabhakaran summoned eastern leader Karuna and carried out two successful counteroffensives from the rear at Oddusuddan junction, with the result that, the entire operation ended in a debacle. Then President Chandrika Kumaratunga ordered the Army Commander to set up a court martial and punish the senior officers responsible.
Battlefront‘Eelam War IV’ is now entering a decisive phase. In the Mannar sector, the security forces have progressed during the last two weeks to Mulankavil (south-east of Nachchikudah on the Mannar coast) on the A32 Road to Pooneryn and entered the Kilinochchi District. At the moment, they are positioned northeast of Nachchikudah, five kms inside Kilinochchi District at Vannerikulam. 
They are linking the Tunukkai-Mallavi line, west of Mankulam on the A9 Highway, increasing the threat to the LTTE’s Pooneryn and Kilinochchi defences. This should put the LTTE in a dilemma as the security forces have two options - to strike along the A32 Road to Pooneryn withholding operations along the Tunukkai-Uyilankulam-Mallavi sector, or proceed the other way, to threaten Kilinochchi. Both options are viable, as they have another Task Force guarding the eastern flank of 57 Division operating close to the A9 Road. 57 Division troops have moved to the west of Mallavi and east of Mankulam, as well as to the west of Akkarayankulam tank.
The Vavuniya front is in the northern section of the Vavuniya District lying between Omanthai and Mankalam, and also on either side of the A9 Road. Troops of Task Force 2, 56 Division and 61 Division are operating on the Vavuniya front at present.
61 Division troops are mainly engaged in clearing operations in the recently liberated areas of both Mannar and Vavuniya Districts. 56 Division troops maintain active defense on the line that stretches from east to west across the A9 Road at Omanthai as well as conduct offensive too.
Troops of Task Force 2 carry out counteroffensives along the northwestern border of the Vavuniya District west of the A9 Road.
To date, they have liberated Navvi village and are now in the process of liberating the Palamoddai area.
In the WeliOya sector, though 59 Division has managed to capture the Andankulam bases, one by one, of One Four Base
Troops’ battlefront successes has been purely due to leadership and military tactics, higher coordination of the war involving multiple formations, effective use of Special Forces and Commandos in tandem, with conventional operations and retaining the military initiative at all times, with the SLAF MI 24 helicopter gunships giving tremendous support to the ground troops.
During the last six months, the LTTE has lost its operational capabilities considerably, forcing the group to specifically target military logistics.
LTTE leader Prabhakaran had three leaders specially trained in counteroffensives and counterattacks. They were Balraj, Karan and Thileepan, of who only Thileepan remains.
He was the Jaffna commander, but when the SLA advance intensified, Thileepan was appointed overall commander and ordered to carry out counteroffensives and counterattacks, which were successfully repulsed by the Army. 
The LTTE does not have reserve cadres for counteroffensives because their cadres are limited and those cadres are defensive. 
More critical has been the ground lost during this period. The LTTE is now confined to a much smaller area than what it previously controlled.
The SLA has entered Kilinochchi and Mulativu Districts. LTTE supply lines have been crippled, one by one - first, on account of the group being completely cut off from the rest of the country by the SLA and second, due to the strict vigilance maintained at sea, so that, most of the LTTE’s overseas supplies were blocked. The LTTE has clearly lost its advantage over the security forces and remain surrounded on all three sides by the Sri Lankan Armed Force