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 Post subject: Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:17 pm 
Eastern Provincial Council Chief Minister
Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan

Pillayan joined the LTTE as a child soldier in April 1, 1990 at the age of sixteen, at the time while he was schooling. It is indeed a meteoric rise for Pillayan. Till the rift surfaced in the Karuna faction, Pillayan was an unknown entity. Former Diyawadana Nilame Niranjan Wijeratne says that Pillayan was directly involved in the bombing of the holy shrine of the world Buddhist community Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy on January 25, 1998, killing 13 devotees and injuring over 25 persons.

@ Source LBN /25May2008

Eastern Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Pillayan) was elected as Chairman of the executive committee of the Chief Ministers Conference recently during the 24th Chief Ministers’ Forum held in Passara, Badulla.

It is surely a great leap forward for Sivaneshathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, the first Chief Minister of the de-merged Eastern Province.
Not long ago, he languished in the wilderness. In March 2007, his first pictures appeared in the newspapers. But, then he was playing second fiddle to Vinayagamoorthi Muralidaran alias Karuna. In that first photograph, he appeared carrying a T56 firearm and a belt of magazines hung around his chest while a cellular phone was dangling across. He was seated close to Karuna looking almost like the shadow of his master.

Sivaneshathurai Chandrakanthan was born on August 18, 1975 at Pethalai, Kalkuda, in the Batticaloa District. His father is Arumugam Sivaneshathurai (62) and mother is Sinnavan Kamala (56) of the same village. Both of them are living. He has three brothers and three sisters. Suresh Kumar, Suganthan and Akila Kumar are his brothers. Sugandhi, Chandrakanthi, and Meena Lakshmie are his sisters.

He received his primary education at Vipulanantha Vidyalaya, Pethalai. From Grade 6 till the GCE Ordinary Level he attended Hindu College, Valachchenai. He was a good cricketer, swimmer and volleyball player during his school days.

On April 04, 1990, he joined the LTTE as a child soldier. He was just 15 years old and was was schooling. Simultaneously, with his entry to the LTTE, he had to give up his birth name and took on Pillayan as his nom de guerre, as was conventional with LTTE cadres.


At the time when Sivaneshathurai Chandrakanthan was baptized as Pillayan in the LTTE, Karuna Amman was his district leader and commanded the Batticaloa and Ampara armed wing of the LTTE. According to the official procedure of the organization, Karuna was designated as a Colonel. He was noted as a cruel leader.

During the Premadasa regime, it was Karuna who ordered to line up and shoot to death 600 Sinhala police officers of the Batticaloa police who surrendered to the LTTE on June 10, 1990. Karuna Amman raised an LTTE battalion in Batticaloa named ‘Jayanandan’ to be on par with the Charles Anthony Battalion of the LTTE in the North.

In March 2004, Karuna declared war against Prabhakaran and defected from the organization taking with him 5000 LTTE cadres in the Eastern Province. He camped on the southern bank of the “Verugal Aru” which is the boundary line between Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

Karuna-Prabhakaran split in early 2004 occurred over the use or misuse of money. The LTTE's financel department and its intelligence chief (Pottu Amman) had alleged misappropriation of funds by Karuna, who was then the Batticaloa and Amparai district commander.


They asked the Supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, to take action against Karuna. Prabhkaran summoned Karuna to the Wanni for a discussion. But Karuna chose not to go because he knew what awaited him.

Instead, he split, declared war against Prabhakaran and defected from the organization taking with him 5000 LTTE cadres.

On April 10th 2004, 175 Karuna cadres, including female cadres, were massacred in Verukal in an attack by the LTTE to prevent the separation.
This fatal attack against the defectors forced them to retreat to the Meenagam Camp in Thoppigala where, ultimately, Karuna Amman disbanded his battalion enabling the cadres to return to their respective homes. Karuna Amman left the island and in his absence Pillayan looked after the remaining defectors.

After some time, Karuna Amman returned to the East and consolidated his cadres. He formed a political party called “Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) by opening party offices both in Batticaloa and Colombo. With the formation of the TMVP, Karuna made Pillayan the deputy leader of the party and the leader of the party’s armed wing.

At the begining TMVP had only around 30 cadres. 5 to 10 carders were very confident and trust among them by Karuna. In the beginning he lost his trusted 6 cadres in a shooting incident in Colombo Kottawa in 2004. They were senior and experienced and earlier in the LTTE.

In May 2007, the pro-government militant TMVP led by commander Karuna splited, with Karuna and his deputy, Pillaiyan, falling out also over money and the command structure.

The conflict between Karuna Ammaan and his deputy Pillayan worsened following allegations that Pillayan supporters tipped-off British Police of Ammaan's whereabouts. Pillayan returned to Batticaloa and Ampara within days after Ammaan's arrest, and took control of the Batticaloa Govindan Road Karuna Office which was under Thileepan. Thileepan, who returned from a Middle Eastern country in 2006 is related to Ammaan was under Pillayan's custody at that time.

Thileepan and also Krishnan, who joined Karuna Group from London, have been widely accused of engineering the split in the Karuna Group. Pillayan had a larger following numbering close to 900 cadres which includes prominent leaders like Thuyavan, Devilkanth, Markan, Jeyam, Seelan, Sasi, Sitha Master, Pradeep Master and Ajith. Ammaan only had around 400 cadres including Mangalan Master, Riyaseelan, Bharathi, Thileepan, Veera, Ranjan, Jeeventhiran and Sinnathambi. The latter was injured in a grenade attack in Navaladi, Batticaloa.

The clashes stemmed from a tussle for financial control and turf-war that erupted after Pillayan facilitated safe residence for Karuna's family in the United Kingdom and handed over the reigns of the organization to Karuna in 2006. Pillayan is widely accredited for his battlefield skills and for reorganizing the Karuna Group after Ammaan's departure in 2004.

Repeated attempts to reconcile the factional dispute between Pillayan and Karuna failed following allegations that Karuna continued to misuse TMVP funds and placed some of his enemies under house arrest as the support base for Pillayan continued to grow.

Some analysts argue that the split was engineered by the Sri Lankan military itself to make the management of the paramilitary group easier and to curb any political ambitions Karuna may have had.

When Pillian was a member in the LTTE, he took part in almost all the important battles that took place in the East. And in the North he was very much engaged in challenging the `Jayasikuru' military operation.

LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran entrusted ruthless assignments with the eastern cardres as they are known for their fierceness. That may be the reason that Prabhakaran used eastern Tigers to kill 31 Buddhists monks in Aranthalawa. Realizing their lust for blood, Prabhakaran also assigned the eastern military wing to carry out the attack on the Dalada Maligawa.

Pillayan was directly involved in attacking the holy shrine of the world Buddhist community Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy on January 25, 1998, killing 13 devotees and injuring over 25 persons.

The lorry carrying the explosives had come through Raja Veediya on that fatal day passing the main entrance onto the president’s pavilion and breaking through the iron railing road block opposite the Vishnu Devale and driven towards the Dalada Maligawa entrance where it detonated. After seeing a lorry coming towards the Maligawa, the army sentries had fired at it, but Pillayan’s colleagues got to their target.

The truck bomb exploded opposite the Temple shaking the entire building and damaging the entrance and the roof. Fortunately, the inner chamber where the tooth relic was placed survived intact. But glass panes of buildings within a radius of more than five kilometres in the city was damaged in the blast.

Former Diyawadana Nilame Niranjan Wijeratne says that Pillayan was directly involved in the outrage.

However, Pillayan denied that he had had a hand in the 1998 LTTE attack on the Dalada Maligawa. Pillayan, who was a member of the LTTE at the time, had dismissed the allegations saying he hoped history would not repeat itself and strain relations between the country’s Buddhists and Hindus. Pillayan said the LTTE intelligence unit masterminded the operation and that it was a regrettable incident.

The militant group turned political party, Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP), contested the first-ever election held on May 10 2008 in alliance with the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) securing 20 of the 37 seats.

It is indeed a meteoric rise for the former militant turned politician, Pillayan. The revolt against the LTTE in 2004 was led by ‘Col’ Karuna, commander of the Tigers in the East. He continued to lead the party till his leadership was challenged by Mr. Pillayan in mid-2007.

Till the rift surfaced in the rebel faction, Mr. Pillayan was an unknown entity. The situation turned so unfavourable to ‘Col’ Karuna that he fled to London apparently using a forged diplomatic passport. He was arrested there and sentenced to jail.

Ironically, Pillayan visited Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy and got blessings from Mahanayake theros of Malwatta and Asgiriya chapters of the Siyam Maha Nikaya in May 2008. Invoking blessings, Asgiriya Mahanayake Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha thero commended Pillian for joining democratic process leaving the arms behind.

Pillian expressed regret after visiting the museum where the photographs of the attack were displayed, journalists said.

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