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Government Gazette

Tiger embrace killed Janaka Perera

The 3rd lead of [TamilNet, Monday, 06 October 2008, 03:58 GMT] gives all the necessary clues - motives, the Tiger technology etc. - used to assassinate Opposition Leader of the United National Party in North Central Province , Maj. Gen (retd.) Janaka Perera and his wife, Wajira, a former Sri Lanka Army officer.

The first clue in TamilNet clearly points to the usual Tiger technology: “An attacker, strapped with hidden explosives, embraced the former commander killing himself and several others.”

BBC correspondent, Chris Morris, based in Delhi , too confirmed this. Suicide bombing is a methodology used to make sure that victim is targeted accurately.

In this case, according TamilNet the suicide bomber embraced Janaka and blew himself up killing nearly 22 civilians attending the political function organized by the UNP to open its Anuradhapura Head Office.

Black Tigers

These human bombs are produced only by the Tamil Tigers. The hand-picked hard core of Black Tigers is trained in this art of targeting their victims. This is the identical technology used to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi.

In his case a woman Black Tiger got close to Rajiv Gandhi on the pretext of garlanding him and detonated the bomb strapped to her body. In the case of Janaka the Tamil suicide bomber, dressed in a green shirt, embraced him before activating the bomb attached to the body, eliminating any doubts about the origins of the assassin.

Second clue - the motive: TamilNet states: “During Eelam War III, Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera played a major role in Jaffna and in Ma’nalaa’ru (Weli Oya)....... More than 600 Tamils were forcefully disappeared during his tenure as Overall Commander of the Sri Lankan forces in Jaffna ....... A Tamil village, Ma’nki’ndi-malai in Ma’nalaa’ru region, was renamed Janakapura, after the SLA evicted Tamils from their village in 1984 and established Sinhala colonies there. Maj. Gen. (ret) Perera (then a brigadier) was posted for two years in Janakapura as the commander of the SLA ‘s Special Forces with a key camp at Janakapura.”

This is a cryptic way of saying that this is the man who killed 600 Tamils and who turned Tamil villages into Sinhalese villages and we (Tigers) got him. It is basically a message to the Tamil diaspora to spread the word against Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera to cover-up accusations and condemnations coming from the international community.

It is the same line that was broadcast by the Tamil diaspora in Australia when he was appointed High Commissioner.

Another motive: The Tigers also never forgave anyone who had beaten them or were a threat to them. Rajiv Gandhi, President Ranasinghe Premadasa, Lalith Athulathmudali, Gamini Dissanayake were all threats to Velupillai Prabhakaran’s political power. They also were instrumental in defeating and/or thwarting the politico-military ambitions of Prabhakaran.

He always bided his time and took them one by one when his victims exposed themselves in public - the time when they were most vulnerable. There is also a discernible pattern in the killings: This is not the first time an Army officer was targeted by the Tigers.

The first high-ranking officer assassinated by the Tigers was Lt.Gen. Lucky Algama, the general who led the offensive against the Tigers and cleared the East. The Tigers never forgave him for humiliating them in the East. They waited for the weakest moment which is when he appear in public.

It came after Lucky joined the UNP. He was waiting for his leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to attend the election meeting. He too was aspiring to the high office of the Minister of Defence under Ranil Wickremesinghe’s regime.

Janaka’s aspiration

Wickremesinghe was very late in coming. The Tiger suicide bomber came in time to get close to him and blow him up. Janaka’s retirement career too went down the same track. He too joined the UNP and was aspiring to be the Defence Minister, if not the leader of the UNP. He too was targeted when appeared in public to open the UNP headquarters in Anuradhapura.

Inter Press Service (IPS) report from Colombo highlighted that the suicide bomber has come dressed as a UNP supporter and mixed with the civilians before embracing Janaka Perera. Lucky also came from a family of UNPers. So did Janaka. And after he joined the UNP the Tigers knew the time would come when he would expose himself.

The opening of the UNP office in Anuradhapura was the ideal place where the UNPers opened the doors to all and sundry - including the suicide bomber - to join in the celebrations. The Tigers eliminated both because if anyone of them succeeded politically they would have posed a threat to Prabhakaran. This was also Prabhakaran’s calculation in eliminating Rajiv Gandhi on the election trail in South India.

They also assassinated President Premadasa when he was an open target, walking almost unguarded at a May Day rally. Gamini Dissanayake and Lalith Athulathmudali too were assassinated when they were campaigning in elections. It is also noteworthy that at both functions where Lucky and Janaka were assassinated the Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, was missing.

These two distinguished army officers were not only a threat to Prabhakaran but also Wickremesinghe. It is well-known that Wickremesinghe is scared of losing his leadership to his cadres and equally scared of losing his life to the Tiger cadres.

UNP leadership

The Tigers had eliminated the brilliant leadership of the UNP. They had attempted to assassinate anyone who was a threat to them, including Chandrika Kumaratunga. The only one they have spared is Wickremesinghe.

Not surprisingly, two UNP spokespersons are now trying to divert attention to the Government. UNP secretary-general Tissa Attanayake told the media: “The Government was very aware of the threat, in fact a senior police officer had personally informed him (Perera) of it. The Government has been conducting search operations, including in Anuradhapura , several days before the assassination. How can it explain the presence of a suicide cadre?”

Knowledgeable political sources dismiss Attanayake’s question as childish and lacking in intelligence that is required for the secretary-generalship of the leading opposition.

He is asking: “How can it explain the presence of a suicide cadre?” at a public function conducted by the UNP.

Life under threat

It was a UNP function and it was their responsibility to manage the security inside their premises. The checking of the invitees should have been done by the UNP security men.

If as stated by Attanayake the Police had warned about the threat the UNPers should have taken the elementary precaution of protecting their Leader of the Opposition in Anuradhapura knowing that his life was under threat.

Besides, his question is puerile considering the fact that the cream of the UNP leadership was eliminated by the Tigers. How can Attanayake explain “the presence of a suicide cadre” that killed President Premadasa, Lalith Athulathmudali, Gamini Dissanayake, and Lakshman Kadirgamar who were some of the most guarded political leaders ?

He knows that the entire leadership worth talking of in the UNP was killed by Tiger suicide bombers. How does he explain that? How does he explain the suicide bomber that nearly took the life of Chandrika Kumaratunga when she was President ?

IPS also reported: “Senior UNP member John Amaratunga told the media that it was still not clear as to who carried out the attack. “It appears as if someone who wanted to stop his progress as a politician was behind this.”

If after witnessing the serial killing of he UNP leadership by the Tamil Tigers Amaratunga still can’t see clearly as to which political organisation specialises in producing human bombs to kill their opponents and if he is still in the dark as to who would want to stop Janaka’s progress politically then he must either change his lenses or retire into the home for aged.

Both Attanayake and Amaratunga are doing a great disservice to the memory of all the UNP leaders and now to Janaka Perera if they pursue this cheap political trick of trying to blame the Government.

On the other hand, if they are correct then they should commend the Government for producing the most deadly tool that could be used against the Tiger leadership.

Both have also forgotten that the Government did offer protection to Janaka Perera who refused the seven officers assigned for his protection.

Janaka said he could find his own protection. If so it was the responsibility of the UNP to provide him protection. Trying to politicize this issue is the most demeaning act of the UNP leadership. Don’t be surprised if today (October 8) the UNP mouthpiece, The Morning Leader, too comes out spewing similar garbage.

Wickremesinghe always indulged in cheap politics, trying to score points on distorted propaganda. It’s time that the UNP realised the threat to posed to the nation and, most of all to the UNP - it is the party that has been hit hardest by the Tigers - joined hands with the Government to eliminate this menace once and for all.


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