Indian High Commission denies The Island report


The Indian High Commission (IHC) in Colombo has denied a news item in yesterday’s issue of The Island, ‘Tigers return from India on a destabilisation mission – SL Intelligence; Three arrested, others at large’.

The IHC says, "The suggestion contained in the news item regarding the training of terrorists at three secret camps in Tamil Nadu, India is entirely erroneous and baseless. 

Relevant agencies of the two countries have ongoing cooperation and no such information has been brought to the notice of the Government of India."

Editor’s Note:

Our news item was based on information revealed by three LTTE members now in custody over the killing of an EPDP activist. They are still being interrogated as we have reported.

We stand by our story.

Before rushing to deny our news item, the IHC should have checked with the Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities whether our news item was correct or not. The fact that ‘no such information has been brought to the notice of the Government of India’ does not mean that our news item is ‘erroneous and baseless’.

We are not the only newspaper to have reported on clandestine LTTE camps in Tamil Nadu. On Feb. 13, 2011, The Hindu newspaper said, quoting highly placed intelligence sources, that the LTTE members had arrived in Tamil Nadu to retrain and rearm. It said: "Highly placed intelligence sources confirmed to The Hindu on Saturday that the Ministry of Home Affairs had sent alert messages that some LTTE cadre had arrived in Tamil Nadu and were engaged in a training programme at an "unknown location." They were in the process of procuring weapons and explosive substances to execute their plan."

India never admitted that the LTTE was being trained on its soil even while the Indira Gandhi government was sheltering, training, arming and financing the Tigers in Tamil Nadu. Although veteran journalists like Shekhar Gupta published many articles exposing the LTTE training facilities in India with telling pictures thereof, New Delhi kept on denying that it was training Sri Lankan terrorists.

Therefore, we argue, India’s denials are not to be taken seriously!

Incidentally, much has been written about the collaboration between the Tamil Nadu intelligence agencies and the LTTE. N. Manoharan says in an article titled, National Security Decision Making Structure in India Lessons from the IPKF involvement in Sri Lanka, in the Journal of Defence Studies (Vol. 3 No. 4, Oct. 2009): "The Tamil Nadu police and its ‘Q’ branch did not pursue the LTTE at appropriate time even when the IPKF gave leads. The wounded LTTE cadres got treated at hospitals in Tamil Nadu and went back to fight the Indian forces in Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu government turned a blind eye to the continued flow of arms and money from the state to the Tigers. The LTTE radio stations were also operating from Tamil Nadu coast which the state did not cooperate to close down. The Tigers enjoyed financial and political patronage and when arrested they were released by orders from local political bosses. On its part, the LTTE knew of the divisions among Indian organisations and cunningly played to further deepen the divide. Since there was no proper sharing of information between the various actors involved, the LTTE played its card effectively."

Need we say more?

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