‘Jailed Karuna associate in SLA psy-ops’ - LTTE

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 July 2004, 07:18 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers in Batticaloa Sunday charged that the Sri Lanka army intelligence was providing telephone facilities to an associate of renegade commander Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan (Karuna) who is in prison in the eastern town for possessing weapons illegally. “We have clear proof now that ‘Satchi Master’ is giving phone interviews from his cell in the Batticaloa jail to a Tamil weekly and a radio station which are backed by Sri Lanka military intelligence," a senior LTTE official in the eastern district said Sunday.

"Satchi Master is giving these phone interviews and statements under the name Maran," the LTTE official said.

“As almost all his associates have abandoned ‘Karuna’, his backers in the Sri Lanka military intelligence have had no other option but to masquerade a prisoner as the new spokesman for the renegade," he said.

“Sri Lanka army intelligence is compelling Batticaloa jail officials to provide telephone facilities to ‘Satchi Master’ for giving live interviews to the radio station which is being run with the full backing of the Sri Lanka army’s Directorate of Military Intelligence and the Directorate of Psychological Operations," he added.

Meanwhile, Col. Ramesh, LTTE’s special commander for the Batticaloa-Amparai District, said: “We are carefully monitoring and studying these developments. It would be prudent on the part of the Sri Lankan military not to mistake our patience and judicious approach for inaction."

The Tigers sacked ‘Satchi Master’ (Mr. Kanapathipillai Mahendran) from their military in the Amparai district in 2002, accusing him of embezzling funds entrusted to him for purchasing supplies for their camps in the Kanjikudichcha Aaru jungles.

Soon after declaring that he was separating from the LTTE, the renegade regional leader ‘Karuna’ recalled ‘Satchi Master’ and made him military commander for the Amparai District.

Police in Kattankudy, five kilometres south of Batticaloa arrested ‘Satchi Master’ and four of his men while travelling in a van with weapons and grenades in March.

Police sources in Batticaloa said that Satchi Master’s vehicle was apprehended in Batticaloa town the same day but was released after an officer from the local unit of the Sri Lanka army intelligence intervened and secured their release.

But Kattankudy Police had sought a written request from the SLA intelligence when it intervened again to seek the release of ‘Satchi Master’ and his colleagues later that day.

The four were remanded when they were produced in Batticaloa courts on 31 March 2004. As there is no bail for the illegal possession of dangerous weapons, their remand continues to be extended.

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