|New Tiger Chief “KP” arrested and brought to Sri Lanka
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|Author:||Saman [ Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:33 pm ]|
|Post subject:||New Tiger Chief “KP” arrested and brought to Sri Lanka|
New Tiger Chief “KP” arrested and brought to Sri Lanka
SRI LANKA: ASIA’S NEW ISRAEL?
While it took 15 years (1945-1960) for Mossad operatives of Israel to capture the ‘architect of the Holocaust’, Otto Adolf Eichmann, the Sri Lankan operatives only needed two months to complete their job. The manner in which the Sri Lankan intelligence caught KP and brought him home is sure to make almost all surviving LTTE seniors house-bound for some time. They know that they are not safe anywhere, anymore. Besides creating a fear factor, the operation has also managed to demoralize the spirits of those who were planning a transnational government for Sri Lankan Tamils.
Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias “KP” a.k.a Kumaran Pathmanathan was seized in Malaysia on Wednesday August 5th and brought to Sri Lanka on Thursday August 6th. According to informed sources KP was staying in Kuala Lumpur(KL) , Malaysia when taken into custody.He was being kept in an undisclosed location.
KP, who had been the LTTE’s international relations chief till he claimed the LTTE leadership after the army killed Velupillai Prabhakaran in May, previously functioned as the group’s main arms procurer.
Government sources said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been briefed on the arrest and he had directed relevant authorities to go ahead with investigations.
KP was wanted by Interpol and also by India in connection with the assassination of one-time Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
In September, two years ago, though there were media reports of KP’s arrest in Bangkok, Thailand denied the reports. But, he subsequently reappeared under the name S. Pathmanathan and handled the LTTE’s international political arm.
Over the past several years, Sri Lanka made desperate attempts to track down the terrorist and his chief associates.
In January this year, KP was appointed the LTTE's international relations chief.
As the senior most LTTE member alive, KP assumed leadership of the tigers after Prabhakaran’s demise. This was vehemently opposed by a section of the Diasporic tigers led by Perinbanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan
Pathmanathan a native of Myliddy in Jaffna was born on April 6th 1955. He is an old student of Nadeswara College, Kankesanthurai and Mahajana College ,Thellippalai. Pathmanathan was also an undergraduate at the Jaffna university but did not complete his degree.
A top defence official contacted for comment declined to reveal where KPhad been taken in and how he had been brought to Sri Lanka. "What matters now is that he is in Sri Lanka," the official said, "we took him and delivered him to the governmnet in one piece."
Asked repeatedly at a press briefing in Colomb yesterday where the arrest had been made, Defence Spokesman and Minister of Foreign Employment Promotions and Welfare Keheliya Rambukwella refused to go into specifics. He curtly said KPhad been arrested in a Southeast Asian country.
The Sri Lankan government has indicated its willingness to hand over KP to India in connection with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination and other violations of the Indian law.
Minister Rambukwella said the government would certainly let New Delhi have KP if a request to that effect was made. He said no such request had been made so far.
Sources said KP, now being questioned at an undisclosed location, was spilling the beans on his local financiers who helped the LTTE buy arms and ammunition.
The government, sources said, was banking on KP’s arrest to elicit infomation on the LTTE’s gun running and narcotics operations which pose a threat to the entire region
|Author:||Saman [ Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:36 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Extraordinary rendition of KP|
Extraordinary rendition of KP
Controversy surrounds the circumstances of KP’s arrest. While some news reports state that KP was arrested in Thailand other reports say he was apprehended first in Malaysia and then brought to Colombo via Bangkok. Another report says he was arrested in Singapore. The operation was scrupulously planned and carried out by Sri Lankan sleuths - - which makes it a first in terms of this kind of “rendition’’ of a Sri Lankan criminal and terrorist operating from abroad.
09 Aug 2009
@ Agencies / LL
Sri Lanka’s vanquished Tamil Tiger rebels suffered another major blow with the arrest of their new leader on August 5. Selvarasa Pathmanathan, an internationally-wanted operative, was reportedly arrested in a South-east Asian capital. His arrest, shrouded in mystery, has further tightened the noose around the remaining rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), whose supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was killed in a bloody showdown in north-eastern Sri Lanka in mid-May. Pathmanathan, who claimed the mantle of the LTTE leadership after Prabhakarn’s death, is a prized catch for the Sri Lankan government.
It was a hit-operation that was scrupulously planned and carried out by Sri Lankan sleuths - - which makes it a first in terms of this kind of “rendition’’ of a Sri Lankan criminal and terrorist operating from abroad. While Sri Lankan officials confirmed that the 54-year-old Pathmanathan was flown into Colombo accompanied by intelligence officials, they did not divulge which South-east Asian capital — Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore — that flight began from.
Thursday night's news came as a surprise not only to those in the upper echelons of the Government but also to most in the security establishment. Those who telephoned each other were to come up with a stock answer - I just heard about it but do not know any details.
In September 2007, Pathmanathan was arrested in Thailand, according to well-placed sources, but was subsequently released due to diplomatic bungling by Colombo.
That his luck ran out in South-east Asia is no surprise since this region has been his turf to build an underground LTTE network since the early 1990s.
The end of a long conflict in Cambodia led to its emergence as a major arms bazaar, attracting the likes of Pathamanathan. “During that period in the early 1990s, the LTTE bought its weapons in Cambodia, while Thailand’s role was the transit point,” says Anthony Davis, an Asian security analyst for IHS Janes, a London-based global information provider on defence and national security issues. Malaysia has been important to the LTTE because of its large Tamil diaspora, while “Singapore was where a lot of money transactions took place,” Davis told IPS.
In the past, the region’s governments and the local media have confirmed the presence of the LTTE’s network, ranging from money laundering to weapons trade. In November 2006, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen revealed that arms purchased in his country were being smuggled out to help the Tigers. Years ago, Thailand was in the spotlight after reports emerged that the Tigers were using the country’s Andaman coast to boost its tactical strength against Sri Lankan troops. The Sea Tigers, the naval wing of the LTTE, allegedly received military training from Norwegian ex-special forces to mount underwater demolition strikes among other things.
According to Lloyd’s List, the London-based shipping publication, the Tigers had moved its operations to Thailand’s southern coast after being forced to end operations in Burma, another South-east Asian country, in 1996. Presiding over this widespread network was Pathmanathan, who Davis describes as an “internationally sophisticated operative skilled as a banker, arms smuggler and [who is] well versed in intelligence.” “He brought together a rare convergence of skills,” adds Davis. “He was a class of his own even at an international level.” It was these skills that enabled Pathmanathan, a native of Jaffna peninsular, to take on many aliases and hold over 10 passports to dodge being arrested by governments that wanted him and Interpol, too.
A website, tamilsydney.com quoted a news website saying Pathmanathan was arrested in Kuala Lumpur. This is what the report said;
"Head of Department of International Relations, LTTE , Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP has been arrested in Malaysia and transported to Sri Lanka, said a Tamil news website. Mr. Pathmanathan was strongly advocating politico-democratic path to achieve Sri Lankan Tamil's political aspirations." "The Tamil website says he had been abducted when he went to "Tune Hotel' in a place called 'Majid India' in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday afternoon. He had gone there to meet the brother and son of B. Nadesan, the Political Head of LTTE. "When he was with them in their room in the hotel, Mr. Pathmanathan has received a call to his mobile phone around 2 pm. He had excused himself and had gone out to attend the call in private. "People close to Pathmanathan realised his abduction only when they came to know that he has not returned to the hotel room after attending the phone call. "According to information available he had been abducted by Sri Lanka Intelligence Unit with the support of either Malaysian Military or Intelligence Unit. At the same time, Tamil circles feel the blessings and support of another important country's intelligence unit in Mr. Pathmanathan's abduction. "Yesterday Sri Lankan Military informed that Mr. Pathmanathan was arrested in Thailand. Tamil circles feel that this was to divert the involvement of Malaysians and another country in the abduction."
The ‘KP Department’ that he set up also operated a fleet of ships and had a presence in other lucrative spots that were magnets for gunrunners, such as Afghanistan, Eritrea and Ukraine. At its peak, some security experts say, the ‘KP Department’ contributed substantially to the LTTE’s annual earnings which ranged between 200 and 300 million U.S. dollars. Earlier this year, as the LTTE faced defeat, Pathmanathan was assigned a political role by the cornered Prabhakaran. He was asked to head the international affairs department of the rebels.
Pathmanathan, who is married to a Thai national from the city of Chiang Mai, pursued his new mission from Malaysia. It was in the latter country that he had a secret rendezvous with a Norwegian diplomat and also talked to a ranking United Nations official to secure relief measures for the cornered Tiger leadership in north-eastern Sri Lanka. After Prabhakaran’s death, which effectively brought to an end the ethnic conflict, Pathmanathan declared that he was the new leader of the LTTE. To cement his new profile, he became more public. He gave a television interview to a British broadcaster and becoming more vocal on websites advocating the Tamil cause. “He exposed himself after years of living an underground life,” says an Asian intelligence expert who has been monitoring the LTTE for years. “He was done in by all this new publicity.” -- (IPS)
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