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 Post subject: LTTE gun runners to be deported
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:19 am 
LTTE gun runners to be deported

@ The Nation / 16JULY2006

A CID team will take wing to Bangkok shortly to take charge of three LTTE activists involved in gun running operations in South East Asia and released from jail recently after serving a three year sentence, Foreign Ministry sources said.

The suspects were re-arrested by the Thai authorities when they attempted to cross the Thai border and enter Malaysia on forged documents. The three suspects to be deported from Thailand are Thavarajah Sasikaran of Nedunkerny, Vavuniya; Aseerwatham Sathyapawan of Manipay, Jaffna and Sujith Gunapala of Thalayadi, Jaffna.

The three suspects were earlier arrested in Ranong, Bangkok in 2003 by Thai police in connection with LTTE gun running operations. Investigations had revealed that the leader of the operation Sasikaran had established a wide network spanning from Thailand to Cambodia from where he had procured weapons and ammunition for the LTTE.

The arms were then smuggled to the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka by LTTE trawlers and small ships navigating through the Andaman Islands.
One of the suspects, Sujith Gunapala whose father is Sinhalese and mother a Tamil had been a Sea Tiger cadre engaged in LTTE arms smuggling operations for a long time. He had also transported boxes containing parts of a light aircraft somewhere in 1997, according to sources.

They were first arrested in 2003 at a time when the Thai authorities were cracking down on illegal arms transportation through their country.

Several Thai government officials and military men were arrested and tried in this connection. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera too had recently referred to LTTE arms procurements in Cambodia.


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