The 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
"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 GOSLís 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
Overall Command Structure of Paramilitaries
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 Spokespersonís 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
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-manís
land and the other few hundred metres into the SLAFs area.
Paramilitaries are stationed at the inner checkpoint into the SLAFís
"There have been several attacks on LTTE members
between these two checkpoints. When LTTE members enter the SLAFís 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
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 SLAFís 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 SLAFís 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
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.
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
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
Contact Numbers of Karuna Group