Chronology Of Ltte Terror - Part 8
From the Daily News Archives:
LTTE killing spree
When the euphoria of victory dies down, and
together with it the media hype ceases, when the guns do not rattle and
boom anymore, and the sky, the land and the sea become calm and serene,
when tranquillity reigns through it is natural to live in the present
moment and forget the past.
But one cannot live in the present without a
past. Nor can one envision the future discarding the experience of the
preceding events. Hence the Daily News is serialising the Chronicle of
LTTE Terror taken from our own archives which would remind our readers
how it all began.
An awareness of the chronology of terror
would help us prevent the recurrence of such terror and frustrate any
attempts by misguided elements to repeat history to suit their evil
It was not simple terror. Nor was terror
sporadic. It was all pre-planned, pre-determined, well-calculated
terror. The victims were innocent people. Though it is too many
innumerate we would like to recall the major episodes in the Chronology
More and more families became
distraught with the LTTE kiling innocent civilians
The year 1987 was to mark a new trend in the violence of the country
with the arrival of the Indian Peace Keeping Force of several thousand
Jawans, on the hypothesis that it could prevent the Tamil terrorist
groups mainly the LTTE would voluntarily surrender their arms, agree to
contest elections to elect a Provincial Council for a merged
The entire exercise of devolution of power to a newly created
province merged on the demand of the racist politicians and terrorist
groups was doomed for failure from the day one.
How President J.R.Jayewardene agreed to the proposal of devolution
leapfrogged upon the people of his country was one of the ironies of the
times and clearly proved the political naïvette of a government that was
already divided over the devolution method and the presence of the IPKF.
When the people of Jaffna cheered the surrender of arms to the IPKF
by terrorist groups the euphoria of peace keeping or peace returning to
the north and east however did not last too long. For it was soon known
that the terrorist groups did not hand over all their weapons but had
retained sufficient stocks to be used later.
Therefore when one of the terrorist groups the EPRLF led by
Varatharajah Perumal agreed to contest the election and join the
democratic mainstream of politics the others especially the LTTE led by
Prabhakaran opted not to join the bandwagon and decided that the IPKF
called the kinsfolk on arrival by the Tamil civilians of the north or
east were not kinsfolk but a military force that had to go on the
offensive especially against the LTTE that became hostile.
On October 7, 1987 the LTTE committed a number of acts of violence
against civilians killing the General Manager of the Kankesnturai Cement
Factory General Manager MrJayamanne and engineer by profession and his
deputy Mramini Gajanayake an accountant by profession when they were on
a routine check of the cement plant. These two executives were not
involved in any political activity nor were they hostile to the LTTE but
while the IPKF was trying to keep peace in the north the two both
unarmed were killed in cold blood.
Next the LTTE went on to abduct TV station employees of the Sri Lanka
Rupavahini Corporation, A.M.R.W. Attanayake and engineer, Gamini
Jayantha a technician, Nilantha a lighting assistant and Karunapala the
driver of the SLRC vehicle and all efforts of the IPKF to trace the four
men failed as the LTTE had blocked all the roads.
The LTTE followed it up by killing eight soldiers of the Sri Lanka
Army who had been taken prisoner by the terrorists.
This incident brought condemnation of India, According to reports on
the same day 17 LTTE cadres including some leaders who had arrived at
Velvattiturai coast aboard a trawler fitted with radar and machine guns
and were arrested by the SriLanka Navy among them the Jaffna Leader
Kumarappa and Pulendran the Trincomalee leader.
They were to be flown to Colombo for questioning when they had
swallowed cyanide capsules smuggled into them in their detention and 12
of them had died but five survived.
The killing of eight soldiers by the LTTE the terrorists claimed was
in reprisal for the arrest of the 17 LTTE cadres who arrived in a
trawler fitted with arms and radar but that did not explain any
rationale as the soldiers were unarmed prisoners of the LTTE and the 17
LTTE men on the trawler had carried arms giving the lie to the claim
they were on a fishing mission.
The IPKF, it was being proved was not keeping peace nor did it have
any peace at the time but had to go on the offensive as the LTTE was now
turning its gun sights on it.
Though the Congress leaders of India both Indira and Rajiv as well as
South Indian leaders like M. G. Ramachandran had helped the LTTE
immensely once the terrorist group became strong enough to wage war
against the army as well as all other Tiger terrorist groups Prabhakaran
in a volte face becoming hostile to India when India sought to work for
a political solution instead of helping the terrorists to carve out a
part of the country to form a separate state.
It was in this backdrop the terrorist violence escalated even after
1987 and by the time two years had lapsed after the IPKF had arrived in
the country the LTTE who by then had decimated all other Tamil terrorist
groups was the main fighting force, the tigers.
Varadaraja Perumal the Chief Minister elected in the very first
Provincial Council of the country the northeastern PC was dubbed a
traitor by the LTTE the council did not work as it should as the
devolution of power unit though Jayewardene’s 1978 constitution had gone
to be amended 13 times in less than that number of years to devolve
Yet it was very clear that the LTTE did not want any devolution nor
any mode of democratic governance as its head and its mentors were not
democrats but bloodthirsty terrorists who would not settle for any
As we had already seen amateur political maneuvers by both
Jayewardene had created the background and the excuse for the birth of
the Tamil terrorists groups and his successor R. Premadasa who was even
less qualified or competent went as far as to supply arms and
ammunition, vehicles, cement and funds for the LTTE on the trumped up
excuse that the LTTE should be strengthened to fight the IPKF that he
simply called short of an invading army!
It was a surprise to everyone when President Premadasa announced
while attending a function at Chitta Vivekaramaya temple Battaramulla
that he was asking India to take back the IPKF but not a great surprise
to analysts who had known that Premadasa had befriended the LTTE though
he was to pay for it with his life much later.
By that time the IPKF had lost more than 1200 men killed in jungles
while more than 3000 were maimed. But more importantly the LTTE was
nearly defeated when Premadasa asked the IPKF to leave the country.
neither Jayewardene, nor Premadasa were conscious that they were playing
for time – and perhaps money – with the volatile situation in the
country while hundreds of civilians were being killed by the terrorists.
It was in that background that one had to review the political upheavals
and the blunders that made thousands of people of all the ethnic groups
pay with their lives.
The judgment of history may be slow but history will one day condemn
not only the bloodthirsty Prabhakaran who perished killing his own
people to the last moment without swallowing the cyanide capsule that
his young cadres were asked to swallow if captured.
That judgment will name him a coward but also condemn all those
political and other knaves who had allowed the LTTE to grow when they
could have nipped it in the bud.
Soldier hostages, Lanka Cement chiefs, police,
brutally killed for mass suicide by LTTE cadres :
Murderous revenge by Tigers in Jaffna
Eight soldiers held prisoner in Jaffna by the LTTE for the past
several months were brutally murdered and their bodies dumped near the
Jaffna bus stand early yesterday morning, in an apparent reaction to the
cyanide suicides of a dozen LTTE cadres the previous day.
In what observers regarded as a clear attempt by the tigers to
sabotage the peace accord also went on a killing spree, murdering two
policemen at Velvattiturai and burning their bodies and also brutally
murdering two senior officials of Lanka Cement, the Cement Corporation’s
subsidiary at Kankasanthurai.
This was followed up by an attack yesterday morning on a road block
at Vavuniya, when a policeman was killed.
Military sources said the previous evening an army vehicle driving
from Point Pedro to Velvettiturai had been fired up and four soldiers
were physically injured. They had been flown to Sri Jayawardenapura for
The soldiers the LTTE murdered had been taken prisoners at the Pannai
causeway on March 23 and during the attack on the Jaffna
telecommunication building on June 6 negotiations had been on to obtain
their release via a prisoner’s swap.
The Lanka Cement officials, Mr. N D J S Jayamanna (50), the Company’s
General Manager, and Mr. Gamini Gajanayaka (30), the Deputy General
Manager had been gunned down at the Kankasanthurai factory, as they
routinely inspected the production facility. Mr. Jayamanna was a
mechanical engineer, who had served the Cement Corporation at its
Puttalam factory, as its Works Manager before moving to Lanka Cement at
Kankasanthurai. His deputy Mr. Gajanayaka was a qualified accountant.
The seventeen tigers arrested last Saturday by the Sri Lanka Navy of
the Velvattiturai coast aboard a radar equipped trawler fitted with a
machine gun were taken to Pallali bay where they had been in custody
according to Police. A Colombo dateline AFP reports said that they had
been allowed visitors.
Authoritative official sources said that the 17, including Kumar Appa,
the LTTE’s Jaffna Commander and Pulendran, the Trincomalee leader were
to be flown to Colombo when they had followed the cyanide capsules which
had apparently been smuggled to them. Twelve died in the mass suicide
while five survived.
These sources said the authorities in Colombo had been pressing that
these men be quickly flown down and an aircraft had been set for them.
But the LTTE had been pushing the IPKF to hold them in Jaffna and
release them. They had claimed they were unarmed and on a fishing
Indian Peace Keeping Force could not
stop LTTE terror against civilians. (Pic. courtesy: Blood
splattered path of the LTTE)
Twelve of those who swallowed the cyanide died, while five lives were
saved. In New Delhi, India said she “deeply regretted the incident”
while discussions were on to secure their release.
The Indian spokesman said that Delhi also regretted that Colombo
government’s decision to fly them from Jaffna to Colombo while these
discussions were proceeding.
The LTTE said in Madras that the 17 arrested had written to
Prabakaran saying they were prepared for self-annihilation saying they
were prepared for self-annihilation in the eventuality of their being
transported to Colombo.
Meanwhile, according to unconfirmed reports reaching Colombo last
night, a Jaffna resident had said that the bodies of the two Lanka
Cement officials had been handed over to the General Hospital, Jaffna
and that this was conveyed to the Army camp at Jaffna Fort. In Jaffna
the Tigers were reported to be preparing to launch a satyagraha
campaign. They are reported to have threatened the public to join their
campaign at gunpoint.
Armed terrorists were also reported to be going about in vans,
tractors and buses. They exploded bombs to frighten those who were not
joining their satyagraha campaign.
TOMORROW - Tigers kill 22 IPKF 15