Political killings by LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists
As per the FBI statement made within days of the Sri Lankan government abrogating the ceasefire agreement with the LTTE, FBI described the LTTE as the "most dangerous and deadly extremist" outfit in the world and gave a count up of the number of people killed in its campaign of "violence and bloodshed" including the assassination of two world leaders, "the only terrorist organization to do so."
Despite the fact that the Government of Sri Lanka has made several genuine efforts to bring the terrorists to negotiating table, apart from the mass killing of civilians belong to all communities including Tamils, tactical assassinations of political opponents are continuing, and in some cases with the full awareness of the outside forces interested in destabilizing Sri Lanka, as reported below and are indications of the fascist regime that the Tamil Tiger Terrorists are aiming to establish under so-called ‘aspiration’ of Tamil people.
First major Jaffna killing
Alfred Duraiyappah had been the first parliamentarian killed by terrorists. The popular Mayor of Jaffna was gunned down outside Krishnan Temple at Ponnalai on July 27, 1975. In fact, the LTTE hadn’t been formally set up at that time and Duraiyappah killers had been with TNT Tamil New Tigers). Velupillai Prabhakaran is believed to have been among the three youth who shot dead the politician as he got down from his car. Had he survived the assassination, he would have definitely returned to Parliament which he first entered in 1960.
Duraiyappah who contested the Jaffna electorate as an independent contestant defeated All Ceylon Tamil Congress leader G.G. Ponnambalam, QC, and Federal Party candidate Kadirawelipillai.
It set the stage for a bloody campaign against elected representatives. Tamil youth made several attempts on his life beginning with a bomb attack on his Jaffna residence in February 71. In March the same year a bomb was placed inside his car. In August that year, bombs were thrown at a carnival organised at the Duraiyappah stadium.
C. Kumarasoorier, the then Posts and Telecommunications Minister had been another politician stalked by Tamil terrorists. MP for Nallur C. Arulampalan and A. Thiyagarajah, MP for Vaddukkodai, Ranjan Selvanayagam, the second MP for Batticaloa and Kanagaratnam who crossed over to the UNP from the TULF had been targeted in the early 70s.
Vaddukkodai MP killed
But Vaddukkodai MP Thiyagarajah was one of the first Tamil MP to die in the hands of a Tamil assassin. His assassination on May 25, 1981 was the first major political killing after the Duraiyappah assassination six years earlier. Attacks on politicians identified with the then government in power increased as Tamil groups slowly strengthened their position with training and financial assistance provided by the Government of India.
Although the LTTE was widely believed to be responsible for Thiyagarajah’s assassination, the abduction and killing of Visvanather Dharmalingham (MP for Manipay) and K. Alalasundaram (MP for Kopay) in early September 1985 were believed to be the work of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO). The Manipay MP was the incumbent PLOTE leader Dharmalingham Siddarthan’s father. The TELO which weilded immense power was accused of the double murder.
Indian hand in early killings
Like Duraiyappah, Dharmalingham had first entered Parliament in March 1960. Siddarthan, in an interview with this writer early December 1997 (carried by The Sunday Island on its December 7, 1997 issue) alleged that TELO assassinated the two MPs on the instructions of its Indian masters. The soft spoken politician said that had the LTTE known of the attempt on their lives, it would have probably thwarted the TELO assassination bid. Accusing India of playing a double game, he insisted that Indian Intelligence Services were directly behind the assassinations. He charged that the TELO had received orders from India to assassinate four Jaffna based TULF MPs. TELO led by Sri Sabaratnam (Tall Sri) despite being a friend of the MPs, had no option but to assassinate them. A local TELO leader identified as Bobby had been identified as the leader of killer squad. TELO leader Das had refused to assassinate the remaining two TULF MPs living in Vadamaratchchy. According to him, the Indian Intelligence Services had felt that the presence of TULF MPs would give the party influence. The Indians wanted to undermine TULF leader Amirthalingam’s authority and one way of doing that was to assassinate his MPs.
Of course Siddarthan was referring to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foremost intelligence agency established in September 1968 on the basis of Kautilyan principles.
J.N. Dixit, a former Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, in his widely read Makers of India’s Foreign Policy Raja Ram Mohan to Yashwant Sinha, briefly discussed India’s disputed role in Sri Lanka. Dixit’s frank assessment of the then Indian Premier Indira Gandhi who authorised the recruitment, arming, training and financing of Sri Lankan Tamil groups was evidence of Indian’s direct role in triggering chaos in Sri Lanka. Dixit claimed that Gandhi could be faulted for two foreign policy decisions-her ambiguous response to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in 1980 and support to Sri Lankan armed groups. This is what Dixit said, "She couldn’t afford the emergence of Tamil separatism in India by refusing to support the aspirations of Sri Lankan Tamils. These aspirations were legitimate in the context of nearly 50 years of Sinhalese discrimination against Sri Lankan Tamils."
Raid on Male
Had PLOTE succeeded in its attempt to overthrow the Maldivian government in 1988, many parliamentarians would have been killed. India had to intervene in Male where Indian troops swooped on PLOTE cadres, almost all of them trained in India by RAW personnel or Indian military seconded to the spy agency.
India should be ashamed of her role in Sri Lanka. The Indian Intelligence Services which had been directly answerable to the Prime Minister had ordered political assassinations in a neighbouring country as part of a diabolical strategy to subvert the TULF. Had we ever tried to analyse the impact of the Indian action here or at least present our case before the international community? President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently talked of his desire to involve India in the peace process. As he emphasised New Delhi’s support would be critical, but we should be fully aware of the India’s hand in destabilising Sri Lanka. Actually India should publicly regret her actions which created monstrous terrorist organisations which wrecked havoc in Sri Lanka.
Killed during IPKF deplyment
Former SLFP MP Abdul Majeed who represented the Trincomalee district was shot dead at his Kinniya residence in November 1987. The gunmen struck despite the heavy presence of the IPKF. Although the killers weren’t found, the LTTE or some other Tamil group could have carried out the killing.
UNP facilitates LTTE killings
Kumaratunga did not stoop to the level of President Ranasinghe Premadasa whose government turned a Nelsonian eye to LTTE atrocities during a 14-month long honeymoon during which the LTTE assassinated TULF leader A. Amirthalingam and Vettivelu Yogeswaran on July 13, 1989 in Colombo. The fact that the assassins had arrived in Colombo in an Air Force chopper revealed the pathetic state of affairs. The killers had gained entrance to Yogeswaran’s residence by prior appointment claiming that they were coming for talks with the TULF leaders. Yogeswaran had tried desperately to bring about a settlement between the LTTE and the TULF. After failing to persuade the TULF leaders to visit Mullaithivu, the LTTE had sent two assassins Vishu, a senior intelligence wing cadre and Aloysious to assassinate them. The calmly pulled out weapons and fired at Amirthalingam, Yogeswaran and M. Sivasithamparam after Mrs Yogeswaran served them refreshments. Sivasithamparam survived despite receiving gun shot injuries. Bodyguards provided by the Ministerial Security Division (MSD) who allowed LTTE cadres inside the Yogeswaran Colombo 7 residence without subjecting them to security checks on the instructions of TULF leaders, killed both gunmen. Had they managed to flee the LTTE would never have been implicated. Instead, the attack would have been blamed on faceless killers. The possibility of the UNP blaming the JVP which was waging a bloody battle against the Premadasa administration couldn’t be ruled out. But the recovery of bodies with their pistols revealed the LTTE link. The UNP did absolutely nothing to punish the LTTE. UNP leaders including those who shed crocodile tears for Maheswaran turned the other way and the honeymoon continued until the LTTE resumed hostilities in June 1990.
Thambirajah Kandasamy of the MSD told police that LTTE cadres weren’t checked on the instructions of Amirthalingam. According to him, Amirthalingam was to leave for dinner hosted by the then Indian High Commissioner at Taj where he was to meet a visiting Indian envoy. For the TULF which branded Duraiyappah as a traitor for supporting the SLFP, the killings, particularly that of Amirthalingam signalled the end of an uneasy relationship.
Even Gamini Dissanayake who was instrumental in providing police security to TULF leaders remained silent. It would be interesting to analyse the UNP’s conduct during the honeymoon and also the relationship between the UNP and the LTTE. The LTTE took advantage of the relationship to decimate rival Tamil groups. The TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF had been at the receiving end but once the LTTE resumed hostilities in June 1990, the UNP sought the assistance of these groups. The EPDP too was brought in by the UNP. That relationship remained until the PA won the parliamentary and presidential elections in 1994.
Tigers strike in Colombo
On May 7, 1990 the LTTE assassinated Batticaloa District EPRLF MP Sam Thambimuttu and his wife Kala in Colombo. The UNP did absolutely nothing as LTTE assassin struck at will. Still the peace caravan continued.
LTTE assassins took the lives of two more MPs V. Yogasangari and K. Kanagaratnam on June 10 and July 15, 1990 respectively.
They were followed by three high profile assassinations which brought the UNP down to its knees. State Minister for Defence Ranjan Wijeratne, and President Ranasinghe Premadasa died in separate attacks in Colombo.
Babu and Premadasa’s valet
Premadasa’s assassin identified as Babu had been a close associate of P.M. Mohideen, the slain leader’s valet. The assassin had been with Mohideen for over two years and had visited Moneragala, Kataragama, Kurunegala, Pelmadulla, Embilipitiya and Ambanpola. He had also been to Sucharitha. Although the suicide cadre who approached the President on a push cycle had been blocked by police commandos, Mohideen had signalled the assassin to come. The assassination of Premadasa guarded by several hundred personnel from the Presidential Security Division (PSD) and the Special Task Force (STF) highlighted the LTTE capability to change its tactics depending on the target. Two dozen persons died with Premadasa including his chief bodyguard ASP Sarath Mahinda and Chief Inspector Upali Silva.
Who killed Lalith?
Although the PA administration made a ridiculous attempt to link an influential section of the UNP with Athulathmudali’s assassination, police investigators had no doubt of the LTTE’s involvement. The then government went to the extent of ‘killing’ a front-page news item in the Daily News which revealed the LTTE hand in the former National Security Minister’s assassination.
But a section of the UNP, too, questioned the assassinations of Athulathmudali and Premadasa. A furious Dulanjali accused of the then government of cleaning the scene of the attack at Armour Street. In an interview with this writer, she severely criticised the government for failing to conduct a proper investigation. The recovery of a body of youth about 150 meters away from the political platform where a lone assassin shot Athulathmudali triggered speculation that the former National Security Minister was a victim of a UNP conspiracy. The recovery of a pistol and a National Identity Card which was subsequently identified as a fake prompted the DUNF to level a series of allegations against the UNP. It was alleged that the youth whose body was found had been held by Arambawalage Don Upali Ranjith alias Soththi Upali, a notorious hoodlum who was on the payroll of the UNP bigwigs at that time.
UNP, EPDP link
Rebel UNP MP Premachandra and some other spokesmen pointed the finger at the EPDP. The DUNF demanded the immediate removal of special facilities given to the EPDP which had declared its support for the UNP at the May 17 Provincial Council elections. The DUNF pushed the then Defence Secretary Gen. Cyril Ranatunga to disarm the EPDP and also withdraw special identity cards issued to cadres operating in the city and its suburbs.
Nimal survives suicide attack
Minister Nimal Siripala was one of the few politicians to survive a suicide attack. The minister visiting Jaffna in the aftermath of security forces bringing the entire peninsula under their control received injuries in the blast triggered by a woman suicide cadre who came on a push cycle. The July 96 blast killed senior police and army officials based in Jaffna.
In June 1988, the LTTE attacked PLOTE MP Vythilingam Balachandran’s residence situated at Anna Street, Pandarikulam. He escaped the attack.
Tigers assassinate Thangadurai
Trincomalee district MPs A. Thangadurai (July 5, 1997) and Mohammed Maharoof (July 20, 1997) and Saranabawan Shanmuganathan (July 15, 1998) who represented the Vanni District died in the hands of assassins. Although I couldn’t remember now, Thangadurai’s assassination fuelled speculation that a group opposed to the LTTE was involved. Unfortunately police never made a breakthrough.
TULF stalwart Thangadurai who publicly acknowledged the futility in pursuing four cardinal principles placed at Thimpu namely recognition of Tamils as a distinct national entity, an identified Tamil homeland whose integrity was guaranteed and their inalienable right to self determination, was targeted at a school function. The LTTE attack also claimed the lives of school Principal Rajeswari Thanabalasingham and several other civilians. The MP who had facilitated government assistance to the needy people of the East had earned the wrath of the LTTE. LTTE gunmen shot dead UNP MP Mohammed Ehuttar Hadjiar Maharoof, his six-year-old son and the principal of the Van Ella Muslim School in an ambush on the Trincomalee-Kuchchaveli road. The popular MP was on his way to Irrakandy when gunmen sprayed his vehicle with automatic fire as it passed Uppaveli.
Indian trained terrorist turned MP killed
The LTTE assassinated Vanni District PLOTE MP Shanmuganathan alias Wasanthan (36) by triggering a claymore mine blast at Rambaikulam, Vavuniya. His three-year-old son too died in the blast. Wasanthan wasn’t an ordinary MP. He had been among the first batches of Indian trained cadres who led attacks against Sri Lankan forces. The one-time PLOTE commander had been in IPKF custody for about a year.
The assassination of Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam (National List MP) on July 29, 1999, Jaffna District MP A. Nadarajah on November 2, 1999, C. V. Gunaratne on June 8, 2000, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar (National List MP) on August 12, 2005, Batticaloa District MP A. Chandraneru on May 9, 2005, Joseph Pararajasingham on December 25, 2005 and Nadarajah Raviraj on November 10, 2006 highlighted the growing danger parliamentarians faced.
Charismatic politician Tiruchelvam died near the Rosmead Place-Kynsey Road junction in a suicide attack carried out by a male LTTE cadre.
Tigers zero in on Ratwatte
The recent revelation that former SLFP heavyweight Anuruddha Ratwatte was under LTTE surveillance highlighted the enemy’s mentality.
The LTTE is believed to be targeting former Deputy Minister of Defence Anuruddha Ratwatte who led the Riviresa campaign which brought the Jaffna peninsula under government control in late 1995-early ’96.
Naval troops, deployed at Ussimukkanthural in Mannar on Wednesday have recovered what a military official identified as a satellite image of Ratwatte’s residence at Aniwatte in Kandy.
The recovery of the map has alerted the government to a possible threat on the former minister.
Thinamirasu editor killed
The assassination of EPDP MP Arjunarajah Nadarajah who edited the widely read Thinamurasu on November 2, 1999 near Wellawatte Railway Station highlighted the complexity of the situation. Despite the paper being funded by the EPDP, Nadarajah took an overtly pro-LTTE stance on critical issues and this may have led to friction
The December 1999 attempt on President Chandrika Kumaratunga caused injuries to several politicians. Ministers G.L. Peiris and Alavi Moulana were among the parliamentarians who received injuries.
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Prominent Tamil Leaders Assassinated by the LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists in Sri Lanka
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What is really happening in Sri Lanka today is that a ‘blood thirsty racist’ group led by some misled Tamils called LTTE is terrorizing against the Govt of Sri Lanka and its people irrespective of their ethnicity with an intention of carving out a separate state. There is no conflict as such between Sinhalese and Tamil communities in Sri Lanka. In fact, the majority of the Tamil community lives in peace and harmony among the Sinhalese population through out the country apart from the Northern part of Sri Lanka. The entire Sinhalese and the Muslims population who lived in the Northern area for centuries were either killed or chased away completely by the LTTE Tamil Tiger terrorists. At the moment, not a single Sinhalese or Muslim is living in Jaffna, but, many thousands of Tamils are living in Colombo.
Caution : The images shown in this web page exposing the atrocities of the LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists may be found disturbing by some people. Proceed at your own caution.
The United States' top intelligence agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) says that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is the most dangerous and deadly extremist organization in the world. The official website of FBI in its tops story said that LTTE is far more dangerous terrorists outfit than al Queda, Hezbullah or even HAMAS. http://www.fbi.gov/page2/jan08/tamil_tigers011008.html
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