TamilWeek Mar 5, 2006
The Tiger report on paramilitaries

By Vimukthi Yapa

T
he LTTE last week submitted a lengthy document to the government at the
Geneva peace talks which contained evidence compiled by the organisation on
paramilitaries.

At the conclusion of the talks, the two sides released a joint statement that said
"The Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE are committed to taking measures
to ensure that there will be no intimidation, acts of violence, abductions or
killings.

"The LTTE is committed to taking all necessary measures to ensure that there
would be no acts of violence against the security forces and police. The
Government of Sri Lanka is committed to taking all necessary measures in
accordance with the Ceasefire Agreement to ensure that no armed group or
person other than government security forces would carry arms or conduct
armed operations."

Couched in diplomatic jargon, the statement is a clear commitment by the
government to disarm para-militaries in accordance with Article 1.8 of the
Ceasefire.

And more importantly what the SLMM needs to look after. The document is
titled "Sri Lanka Armed Forces and Paramilitaries," and details LTTE
allegations of armed Tamil groups working in government held areas.

It said that the existence of paramilitaries was evident as early as January
2003, four months into peace talks. The Tigers allege that activity rose to
alarming levels in 2005. "The existence of the paramilitaries and the GOSL’s
awareness of its existence are not hotly debated anymore. What remains to be
proved is that the SL armed forces is a partner in crime with these
paramilitaries," the Tiger document handed over to the government delegation
said.
Overall Command Structure of Paramilitaries
Claim dismissed

However, the armed forces have rejected the claim. When members of the
Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation went missing in Welikanda the army said that
it launched its own investigation to ascertain whether paramilitary groups
operated in the areas. The Military Spokesperson’s office said that it had not
recovered any evidence to suggest there were paramilitaries in the area. The
MOD said that it had searched some of the villages that have been mentioned
as areas where the paramilitaries frequent and found no evidence.

"In the north-east, LTTE having emerged as the leader of the armed struggle
has set up the de facto state at the time of the signing of the CFA in February
2002. Those forces that were fighting the LTTE have always courted the other
armed groups as one of their arsenal in their fight against LTTE. Both the
Indian government during the presence of Indian military in the north east and
later the GOSL have supported and raised the other groups in the north east
for the sole reason of having a force within the Tamil community to fight LTTE,"
the Tigers said.
Commenting on arguments that paramilitaries, specifically the Karuna faction
came into existence after the CFA and would not fall within its purview, the
LTTE said that according to the CFA, the armed forces should not allow armed
paramilitaries to operate in areas under their control.

The LTTE quotes press reports in The Sunday Leader (March 20, 2005) where
details of the presence of Karuna loyalists at Thiruchchenai were detailed.

It also quotes The Sunday Times Defence Correspondent, Iqbal Athas
(December 25, 2005) which highlighted a letter written by outgoing SLMM Head
Hagrup Haukland to the Government Peace Secretariat, that confirmed the
presence of Karuna loyalists at Thiruchchenai. The letter said that SLMM
monitors had visited Thiruchchenai and armed persons there had admitted that
there were loyalists of Karuna on March 30, 2005.

The LTTE report also reproduced photographs released by the Karuna faction
to websites where members of the group were seen in conversation with the
former SLMM station head in Batticaloa, Steen Joregensen. All this however
has been public knowledge well before the LTTE handed over its dossier to the
government delegation.

The LTTE lists its own set of evidence, from incidents, phone numbers, to
charts, personnel details and other details including bank accounts held by the
Karuna group.

"On the strip of road that leads from the SLAF controlled area to LTTE
managed area of Vakarai, there are two checkpoints. One is exactly at the exit
point just before the no-man’s land and the other few hundred metres into the
SLAFs area. Paramilitaries are stationed at the inner checkpoint into the
SLAF’s area.
"There have been several attacks on LTTE members between these two
checkpoints. When LTTE members enter the SLAF’s area the SLAF personnel
at the entry point will inform the paramilitaries at the inner checkpoint who will
come forward and attack unarmed LTTE members between the two
checkpoints.

"LTTE members have seen paramilitaries in SLAF uniform checking the IDs.
These paramilitaries in SLAF uniform have even threatened the LTTE
members for still being in the movement," one such incident related in the LTTE
document said. The document also gave two bank accounts that it said were
used by the Karuna group to deposit extorted money.
The LTTE also blamed the EPDP saying it was responsible for violence in
Jaffna.

"During the 6-8 weeks of terror in Jaffna in December 2005-January 2006
period civilians in Jaffna have seen men in civilian clothes coming out of the
Nelliady EPDP camp to join SLAF’s patrol moving from the Nelliady SLAF camp.
This corroborates with the statements of many families of victims who reported
this to NESOHR. These families told NESOHR that the perpetrators were
paramilitaries and the SLAF’s working in collusion."

The LTTE has listed the paramilitaries working with armed forces as the Karuna
group, EPDP, PLOTE and EPRLF Varathan group. It has listed names of
cadres and who they report to be within the security forces.
The Tigers have also listed another group that they say is the Muslim Jihad
group, active in Trincomalee. The weapons for this organisation is brought from
Colombo in vehicles belonging to cabinet ministers, "it is alleged. "Training and
weapons for the Jihad group are provided by the Sri Lankan military
intelligence wing personnel, members of the Jihad group are mostly those who
left the Sri Lanka military intelligence wing or those who ran away from the Sri
Lanka military intelligence wing.
"The mode of action of the Jihad group is that each area is under a head.
These heads operate with the policy that other Jihad heads of other areas must
not interfere in their area. Thus they all work independently with the Sri Lanka
military intelligence wing."

Details

In their report, the LTTE also provides maps of para-military camps and their
close proximity to the armed forces camps.
Produced elsewhere on this page are also the charts in the LTTE report with
details of the handlers of the paramilitary cadres.
The LTTE expects the government to disarm the para-military groups identified
before the next round of talks in April, while the security forces denying the
charges in the report is a clear indication nothing will change on the ground, be
the charges true or false.

Contact Numbers of Karuna Group
Courtesy: [Sunday Leader]