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 Post Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:10 pm 
Two decades of 'suicide' terror: Untold suffering for Lanka

The LTTE marked the 20th anniversary of the first suicide mission. The pertinent question that has to be raised today is whether the Tiger outfit has any fair reason or background to celebrate the event so proudly in the present context as all these Tiger cadres, initially innocent Tamils have sacrificed their lives for nothing.


@ CDN Friday, 6 July 2007
By Ranil Wijepala

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam marked the 20th anniversary of the first suicide mission carried out by 'captain' Miller targeting troops engaged in the 'Operation Liberation' or the famous Vadamarachchi operation in 1987 on a low key confining their celebrations to Kilinochchi.

The LTTE usually proudly celebrates this event as the entire world is haunted by suicide missions carried out by various organisations, most probably initiated and spread to the whole world by the Tigers through the wide media publicity for their Black Tiger squadrons.

But the pertinent question that has to be raised today is whether the Tiger outfit has any fair reason or background to celebrate the event so proudly in the present context as all these Tiger cadres, initially innocent Tamils have sacrificed their lives for nothing.

We should respect the human beings irrespective of their religious and ethnic differences, but is there any justifiable reason to respect a man who kills himself causing the deaths of hundreds of people and depriving the world of their most beloved characters?

There are reasons to respect Hasalaka Gamini who sacrificed his life to avert a major disaster when an explosive laden vehicle reached the Elephant Pass military complex in 1991 and Corporal Yakandawala who sacrificed his life to save the valuable life of Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka.

There is something they could be happy about if they lived today, but is there anything remaining for even the family members of these Black Tigers to be happy about their sacrifices? There is nothing remaining for them to be happy about apart from the suffering they had to undergo at the hand of the LTTE leader Prabhakaran in the name of liberation.

The headless body of the LTTE suicide bomber who targeted a convoy of vehicles carrying Sri Lanka's defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse

Can the LTTE itself be happy about the suicide mission carried out by Dhanu, in Sri Perumpudur in Madras in 1991 to assassinate Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi which LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham admitted as a historical mistake done by the LTTE.

The LTTE still repents this 'historical mistake' and experience the consequences of losing their most powerful supporter in the cause of their non-ending struggle for the illusory Tamil homeland preying on thousands of Tamils for it.

After all, is there any reason for 'Raj' the suicide cadre who triggered off the suicide belt wrapped around his belly assassinating Tamil intellectual Dr. Neelan Thiruchelvam in Colombo, to be happy about his mission? They made the same type of attempt to take the life of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar but had to change their strategy to use a sniper to carry out this mission.

The most unfortunate thing is that many media organisations worldwide proudly talked about these and wrote many articles about the 'heroic' acts of these Black Tigers when they celebrated the event in a big way in 2003.

But they were not aware that they were abetting terrorism throughout the world by saying that the Black Tiger cadres are driven by loyalty to achieve their missions. The untold story behind their mission is that they made use of the young people who had lost all hopes in their life to accomplish their suicide missions after brainwashing them to shape their minds for these missions.

This column had highlighted how Thuraisamy Menaka a Tamil girl from Thalaiadi, Point Pedro after being raped by his own father was sent to the LTTE organisation by her relatives once the LTTE demanded one member from each family for the organisation. She later joined the suicide squadron of the LTTE.

They brainwash these suicide cadres isolating them in cells without exposing them to the world. They were exposed only when they were sent to take their target and at times they were unaware of the mission they are entrusted with until they were taken to the target by someone.

But the Tiger outfit changed the pattern of using their Black Tigers in the recent past establishing them outside the North East giving different identities to these cadres and employing them in different jobs.

Therefore, many of these cadres were exposed to the world, and many of them abandoned their missions in the face of search and clear operations carried out by the Security Forces and the Police in Colombo and suburban areas.

Many of the disappearances were reported in Colombo and were highlighted in the media putting the blame on the Government under these circumstances.

These Tamil civilians resided in Colombo after changing their identity and posing themselves as relatives of the Tamils living in Colombo.

As very rightly pointed out by Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella the LTTE created a drama out of these disappearances to prove the world that the Security Forces were directly responsible for these disappearances.

However, the Security Forces and the Police, despite the criticism levelled against them had to carry out their duty to crack down on terror activities of the LTTE in Colombo and could avert many disasters that may have taken place in Colombo.

Though, the Government came under severe criticism by the Western World over the measures taken to counter terror acts of the LTTE in Colombo, the same measures had to be adopted in the major cities in UK when they experienced a suicide attack in Glasgow Airport.

Although the suicide mission caused only property damage (apart from the loss of the bombers' lives) the entire world community was shocked over the incident and the UK authorities are taking all pre-emptive measures to secure their people from future suicide missions.

The task entrusted to them too is to protect the majority people from a handful number of destructive elements that can disrupt the smooth functioning of the society as in the case of Sri Lanka.

Though the task of these suicide cadres differs from one to the other, the destruction caused to human life and the public property is always the same wherever it happens.

At the same time the UK administration should be commended for the effective measures taken to nab LTTE gang leaders thus preventing them from using UK soil to reach their terror acts.

Therefore, they should have a good understanding about the measures taken by the defence authorities to secure civilian life against any terror attacks in Colombo as allowing such incidents would be a severe blow to the global fight against terrorism initiated by the United States.

The efforts taken by the Security Forces have brought positive results in preventing such attacks specially with the detection of two explosives laden trucks in Kotawehera, in Nikaweratiya on June 01 and almost one month later in Trincomalee on June 29.

Many of the Tiger plans have been foiled by the Security Forces due to their constant search operations carried out in Colombo specially targeting Colombo lodges as Tigers have taken refuge in these lodges.

The wide media campaign carried out by the LTTE to expose the eviction of Tamils living in lodges as "ethnic cleansing" was the most sexiest term they could use to get the sympathy of the world community.

However, investigations conducted by the Police gave enough proof on how they used these lodges for their operations as in the case where Police detected powerful claymore mine detected in Obeysekerapaura, Rajagiriya.

Investigations have also revealed that Tiger networks in Colombo has been severely disconnected as not only Security Forces and the Police but also the civilians are on constant vigilance over suspicious people in Colombo and the suburbs.

These constant search operations have also helped the Police to act smoothly on the complaints on killings and abductions taking place in many parts of the country.

As Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella revealed to the media on Wednesday, Police have been able to arrest 16 suspects in connection with ransom and abduction cases. The CID has arrested one ex-Air Force officer, one serving airman, four Police officers and ten others connected to ransom cases.

The CID has been acting fast taking the situation under control which was blown out of proportion by parties with vested interests, according to Minister Rambukwella.

The identification of the two suspected involved in the killing of two Red Cross workers is also commendable as it would help create confidence among the international community.

However, there is another alarming situation behind the arrest of security officials and the Police officers in connection with abductions and ransom cases as many Security Officials who had official connections with these suspects had been subjected to questioning.

Some have expressed fears that this would lead to a situation similar to the Millennium City case where the names of a large number of intelligence operatives were exposed to the LTTE through the investigation carried out after the raid on the safe house.

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