Release of remaining hardcore Tigers poses serious threat – Gota

‘UPFA govt. freed over 16,000 LTTE cadres’



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operative involved in plot to kill SF among those to be freed


By Shamindra Ferdinando


Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has alleged that among those LTTE cadres expected to be released soon by the government are two hard core undercover operatives responsible for executing all major attacks in Colombo and its suburbs.


Rajapaksa said one of them was known as Morris, the kingpin of LTTE terror project in Colombo. Morris had masterminded the abortive assassination bid on then Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka on the afternoon of April 25, 2006, he added. The other operative has been identified as Giri.


Addressing a gathering at the Sunethradevi pirivena, Pepiliyana, Rajapaksa said that Morris had personally taken the woman suicide cadre tasked with assassinating Fonseka on the pillion of a motorcycle into the Army headquarters.


Former Defence Secretary yesterday told The Island that those who had been pushing for a general amnesty for all LTTE cadres in custody weren’t even aware of the circumstances leading to their detention. When it was pointed out that during his tenure as the Defence Secretary, he had released over 16,000 LTTE combatants and suspects, Rajapaksa said out of them about 12,000 had been taken in during the closing stages of the eelam war IV. Almost all of them had been released after rehabilitation, he added. In addition to those, there had been approximately 5,000 in state custody; they were gradually released in batches. Fewer than 300 remained in custody at the time of the last presidential election in January this year, Rajapaksa said. Those who remained behind bars were the hardcore ones whose release could pose a severe security threat, the former Defence Secretary stressed.


Acknowledging that over 16,000 LTTE combatants and support personnel had been released since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009 to January 1, 2015, Rajapaksa emphasised that the previous government held the remaining 300 due to the high level of threat they posed.


Rajapaksa said that some of those in custody had been in touch with LTTE intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman.


Asked whether released hard core cadres could pose a threat, Rajapaksa said that during a study conducted some of the hard core LTTE cadres had reiterated their commitment to original tasks given to them by the LTTE. Rajapaksa said that such LTTEers could influence thousands of rehabilitated cadres. "Don’t forget among the rehabilitated could be even suicide cadres and those who had served specialised branches such as the intelligence and explosives experts."


Rajapaksa said that intelligence services had worked very hard to arrest top LTTE operatives assigned for missions in Colombo.


Parliament was recently told the impossibility of granting a general amnesty to all categories of terrorists, including the likes of Morris and Giri.


The former Defence Secretary urged the government to take notice of the plight of Western governments due to sharp decrease in security measures. Recent incidents in France, the US and the UK as well as the targeting of a Russian passenger aircraft highlighted the growing danger of extremism, Rajapaksa said. Although, the LTTE’s conventional military capability had been eliminated hardcore cadres, once released, could reorganise the outfit, Rajapaksa said.


They would first pose a threat to Tamil politicians now clamouring for the release of assassins sent by Prabhakaran, Rajapaksa said. Tamil politicians, in their haste to gain some temporary political mileage had forgotten the situation they had earlier faced, the one-time frontline combat officer said.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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