Karuna stayed with SLA in Colombo - Nilavini
[TamilNet, Monday, 21 June 2004, 16:42 GMT]
A senior associate of the renegade LTTE commander Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan (Karuna) said Monday that she and other associates of Karuna stayed in a house provided and protected by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in a suburb of Colombo. Ms. Nilavini (Charlie), formerly the commander of the LTTE womens' fighting formations in the Batticaloa-Amparai district who rejoined the tigers on Friday 18 June spoke to the press Monday about the renegade LTTE commander's activities with the SLA since he fled Batticaloa on 11 April.
Three of her female colleagues who returned to the LTTE on Friday were also present at the press meet in the LTTE conference centre Solayakam, about 18 km southwest of Batticaloa.
She said that a high ranking official regularly visited Karuna for discussions at the SLA safehouse in Colombo. According to Nilavini, UNP national list MP, Mr. Ali Zahir Moulana Seyed took Karuna and his associates personally in his own vehicle to Colombo when the renegade commander fled Batticaloa.
''We were first put up at the Colombo Hilton Hotel for 3 days. Thereafter we (including Karuna) stayed in a safehouse somewhere in Colombo for 7-8 days. Later, we were moved to another house by the SLA intelligence from which we could see the Apollo Hospital.'' said Nilavini.
''Varathan was also with us'', she added.
The Apollo Hospital is situated in the Colombo suburb of Narehenpita. The SLA has a camp in this area.
Nilavini said on 13th June Karuna had told them that he was going abroad with his family and left the safehouse the same day in a SLA vehicle.
She said that following Karuna's departure she made a call to a relative in Batticaloa and escaped to the East with his help.
She said her escape was possible because SLA security at the safehouse was lax after the renegade commander's departure.