Selected Writings by
Sachi Sri Kantha
On Special Agent-in-Charge Leslie Wiser Jr’s Undercover
23 August 2006
The following are my random thoughts on the ‘line by line’
reading and ‘between the lines’ reading of the news release dated Aug.21, 2006,
from the U.S.Department of Justice, under the name of United States Attorney
Rosalynn R.Mauskopf, Eastern District of New York.
It carried the following caption, in big case letters
‘EIGHT DEFENDANTS ARRESTED BY THE FBI AND CHARGED WITH
CONSPIRING TO PROVIDE MATERIAL SUPPORT AND RESOURCES TO A FOREIGN TERRORIST
ORGANIZATION AND RELATED OFFENSES.’
The sub-caption stated, ‘Four defendants are caught in an
undercover sting operation attempting to purchase a large number of
surface-to-air missiles, missile launchers, and hundreds of AK-47 automatic
The named individuals, in this indictment, are as follows:
Sathajhan Sarachandran (also known as ‘Satha’), born 1979
Sahilal Sabaratnam (also known as ‘Sahil’), born 1979 Feb.8.
Thiruthanikan Thanigasalam (also known as ‘Thani’), born 1968 June 11.
Nadarasa Yogarasa (also known as ‘Yoga’), born 1954 Oct.8.
Murugesu Vinayagamoorthy (also known as ‘Dr.Moorthy’ and ‘Vinayagamoorthy
Murugesu’), born 1949 Apr.24.
Nachimuthu Socrates, born 1951 Nov.20.
Vijayshanthar Patpanathan (also known as ‘Chandru’), born 1962 Apr.5.
Thirukumaran Sivasubramaniam, born 1979 June 20.
Leslie G.Wiser Jr., FBI Special Agent-in-Charge, Newark Field
Office, had asserted,
“Today’s arrests of high level Tamil Tiger financiers and
operatives are a clear example of the FBI’s ability to combine long term,
complex intelligence gathering, terrorism prevention, and law enforcement.
This weekend’s operation has severely impaired the Tamil Tigers’ ability to
acquire funding and weapons for their ongoing terror operations in Sri
At least this assertion by FBI Agent Mr.Wiser makes it clear
that LTTE’s specific target is “Sri Lanka”, and not any other states, including
USA. Thus, LTTE differs from some other high profile organizations which are
included in the U.S.State Department’s ‘Foreign Terrorist Organization’ list.
Towards the end of the news release, one sentence also clearly states, “The
charges in the complaints are merely allegations, and the defendants are
presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.” This is a virtue of
the American-style Judiciary system.
But I find it rather difficult to gulp the self-congratulatory pat by Mr.Wiser
about FBI’s meritorious duty of “long term, complex intelligence gathering,
terrorism prevention, and law enforcement.” It is an open secret to Americans
and others that FBI’s past professional record is not so stellar. Without solid
proof, FBI has had the distinction of smearing the names of many talented
individuals (Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr, Chaplin, Muhamad Ali are few such
greats) who are now recognized uniformly as heroes.
I also smell something fishy here. The FBI still hasn’t solved two high profile
disappearance/death cases, which occurred decades ago within the American
territory; that of trade union leader Jimmy Hoffa’s “disappearance” on July 30,
1975 and the real cause of death of movie star Marilyn Monroe on Aug.5, 1962.
But curiously in this Aug.21 news release from Brooklyn, New York, the FBI’s
crystal ball had delivered the verdict that LTTE was responsible for the
assassination of “Sri Lankan government’s peace secretariat,
Check the date again. Kethesh Loganathan was killed on August
12th night in Sri Lanka, and within nine days, how and on what
impeccable forensic evidence (other than the voluble accusations of President
Rajapakse and his chorus singers, appearing in the Sri Lankan state’s media
mouthpieces) did the FBI came to the decision that LTTE was responsible for this
The police sleuths in Colombo are still groping in the dark as per any clues on
the assassins of Loganathan. As of today, I could locate only two skimpy
news reports from Colombo (dated Aug.15th) which provide details on the
investigations relating to Loganathan’s killing. For the record, I provide the
“At around 9pm on Saturday two gunmen had rung the home bell
and as he [Loganathan] was opening the entrance gate he had been shot.
According to police, the gunmen had come in a van and had spoken in both
Sinhala and Tamil. The Police sources also said that before he was shot, the
assailants had repeatedly asked his name. They also had introduced
themselves as CID officers and had asked Mr.Loganathan to open the gate.
‘The shots had been fired at close range,’ police said.” [Susitha Fernando,
‘Post mortem held on Loganathan’s body at Kalubowila Hospital’, Daily
Mirror, Aug.15, 2006].
“Over seven suspects had been questioned in connection with the
assassination of Government Peace Secretariat Deputy and Secretary of the
All Party Representative Committee, Kethesh Loganathan, at his residence on
Saturday evening. Dehiwela police conducted a cordon and search soon after
the incident in Dehiwela. During the search, seven suspects were taken into
custody, police said. The seven suspects were released after proving that
they had no connection to the assassination, sources added. Three teams from
Dehiwela police conducting the investigation. Police told the Daily News due
to security reasons the police are unable to provide further information.”
[Rafik Jalaldeen, ‘Kethesh murder: Seven questioned’, Daily News, Aug.15,
Among those specifically cited as political victims of LTTE in
the news release prepared by the US Department of Justice on Aug.21, are the
following - Rajiv Gandhi (in 1991), Ranasinghe Premadasa (in 1993), Neelan
Tiruchelvam (in 1999), C.V.Goonaratne (in 2000) and Ketheshwaran Loganathan (in
2006). Specific inclusion of Loganathan’s name, and within nine days of his
death, makes one wonder whether this guy has had any kind of mutually attractive
service links to American agencies. Equally interesting is the omission of
another big name Lakshman Kadirgamar in this list.