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 Post subject: Colonel Karuna and Sivaram Dharmaratnam of TamilNet
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:02 pm 
LTTE killed journalist Sivaram, Kumar Ponnambalam and Kadirgamar -- Col. Karuna

Reveals in an exclusive to "Asian Tribune"
@ Asian Tribune
Date : 2005-11-25

Colonel Karuna told Asian Tribune: "You people should have asked soon after the news of the death of Sivaram. Though it is late I must make use of this opportunity to clear the suspicions and the rumours alleging that I and my organization have some connections with the murder of Sivaram."

Colombo, 25 November, (Asiaintribune.com): In a startling revelation Colonel Karuna told the "Asian Tribune" that it is Velupillai Prabhakaran, his former commander-in-chief, who had ordered the killing of Sivaram Dharmaratnam, the editor of the pro-LTTE TamilNet in 2002. Sivaram, a former member of the PLOTE -- another Tamil militant group -- was better known by his pen name "Taraki". Dismissing the allegations that he was behind the killing of "Taraki" he asked: “What do I benefit by killing Sivaram? It was I who almost shaped his life and made him take up journalism full time and also introduced him to the Tiger movement. I never found any need to kill him, but I can reveal to you now that it was Prabakaran who wanted him killed and he even ordered me to arrange the killing immediately in 2002.”

Venayagamoorthy Muralitharan , alias Colonel Karuna., the leader of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal and one of the former leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, was asked about his role in the abduction and killing of Sivaram Dharmaratnam on 28 April 2005.

He replied that this question should have been raised soon after his death and not five or six months after the murder of Sivaram. He told Asian Tribune: “You people should have asked soon after the news of the death of Sivaram. Though it is late I must make use of this opportunity to clear the suspicions and the rumours alleging that I and my organization have some connections with the murder of Sivaram.

“We have nothing to do with the murder of Sivaram Dharmaratnam. Tamil-Eela Viduthalai Pulikal was not involved in this murder. There was no necessity for us to get rid of someone who was created by me. The answers to the riddle behind the murders of Sivaram as well as that of Kumar Ponnampalam and Lakshman Kadirgamar have to be searched in Prabakaran’s backyard – Pottu Amman.”

"When I was the special Commander of the Batticalao – Amparai district I received a message, I think somewhere in 1995 or 1996 that one Sivaram wanted to meet me.

"That time my intelligence officers told me that he was in the PLOTE, a trained militant and may be meeting him would be dangerous and advised me to take precautionary measures before meeting him. As I was to an extent bound by the advice given to me I did not ignore it but, nevertheless, decided to meet him.

"That is how I met him. In the very first meeting he appealed for my help and I found him in a very bad plight and decided to help him.

"When I met Prabakaran I told him of my meeting with him and he warned me not to take him into confidence and said that Pottu Amman was not happy about him.

"Subsequently I introduced him to the TamilNet people in Norway. At that time Tamil Net was not that popular and the electronic media was a new concept and they too were looking for someone to edit and write for them. They told me that already Norwegian Foreign Ministry has agreed to fund them.

"This was how I fixed him with the TamilNet. Subsequently when I went to Oslo with the LTTE delegation for talks with the Sri Lankan side, I met and talk to those two owners who run the TamilNet on behalf of the LTTE and requested them to increase his monthly salary and they agreed to pay him Sri Lankan Rupees 300,000.00 (Three hundred thousand)

"In the meantime I was pressured by Prabakaran to dump Sivaram for reason unknown to me. As the pressure increased I called Sivaram and warned him and requested him to lie low.

"I never discussed my political or military agenda with outsiders. Though Sivaram was introduced by me to the LTTE, he was never considered an insider by me or by anyone else in the LTTE hierarchy at that point of time.

"Furthermore, he was not a political strategist or a pundit to discuss any of my political moves. He used to visit my base in Batticoloa. In some of our discussion I did express my ideas freely to him in addition to feeding him with some inside information for him to write. That was all. Our relationship did not go beyond that.

"Furthermore, as Prabakaran has instructed me to dump him, I felt very sorry for him as I knew that if I did not arrange his killing, then somebody else would do it. As expected, it happened. Pottu Amman 's group was responsible for the killing. They have done it with the assistance of the Pathala Lokaam(underworld).

"They even killed Kumar Ponnampalam with the help of the Pathala Lokaya . The chief intelligence operator would direct the killings and Pathala Lokam in Colombo would execute.

"When Kumar Ponnampalam was killed I was with the LTTE and I knew how it was done as it was later narrated to me by Prabakaran himself at one of those usual meetings I use to have with him.

"They have executed the killing of even Lakshman Kadirgamar with the assistance of their connection in the Pathala Lokam in Colombo. Poor Charles Ganankone was just a scapegoat in the political chess game played by Prabakaran and Pottu Amman.

"Pottu Amman has some of the leaders of the Pathala Lokam gang in Colombo on his pay roll and they execute the killings always under the direction of one of the Pottu Amman’s intelligence agents on payment of hefty amounts.

"I have read the news article written by someone from Canada saying that I wanted to kill Sivaram personally with my own two hands . It was also written that I had arranged his abduction and killing. This was not the first time that this writer has allowed his imagination to run wild. Even earlier he wrote that I was in Malaysia with my family after making arrangements with LTTE and Ramesh. Then it was “Asian Tribune” that came to my rescue to publish my statement saying that I am very much in Sri Lanka. Colonel Karuna - "We are very much within Sri Lanka –"

"Sivaram then got hold of the BBC correspondent at that time (this lady, Francis Harrison, is now the BBC Correspondent in Teheran) to contradict the story which appeared the Asian Tribune. Subsequently, we had to contradict the contradiction to confirm the Asian Tribune report.

"After I left the LTTE in March 2004, LTTEers in Kilinochchi were involved in a damage control exercise. Their main ploy was to run a malicious campaign against me. They recruited Sivaram and paid him Rs. 30 lakhs to run the propaganda campaign against me.

"I once telephoned and talked to Sivaram and asked him why he was writing lies against me and he told me that he was ordered to write bad things about me and he said that otherwise his life would be in danger.

"Someone may ask why I am coming up with these details now and not earlier.

"I am not in touch with all the news media personally for security reason and I can divulge confidential details only to a handful of people and one of them is the Editor of Asian Tribune.”

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