Razeek killed in blast
[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 May 1999, 09:29 GMT]
P.Ganeshmoorthy, also known as Razeek, leader of the military wing of the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and one of his assistants, Chandran Jeyakumar were killed in a bomb explosion at about 1.05 p.m. today. A civilian, Ali Mohamed Thahir of Eravur was also killed, along with the attacker.
The explosion, which was triggered in a garage on the Batticaloa-Trincomalee road, close to a depot of the Ceylon Transport Board also injured 4 Razeek group cadres and 5 civilians.
The garage and ten motorcycles in it were badly damaged said eyewitnesses.
The Razeek group, which took its name from P.Ganeshmoorthy's nom de guerre, is the military wing of the EPRLF. It assists the Sri Lanka Army in counter-insurgency operations against the Liberation Tigers in the eastern province.
The TamilNet correspondent spoke to eyewitnesses who were among the first people to reach the scene soon after the incident.
According to them, Ganeshmoorthy had gone to the Ivon garage between 12 noon and 1 p.m., with his assistant Chandran Jeyakumar to discuss the sale of a motorcycle to Ali Mohamed Thahir of Eravur.
Whilst the three were discussing the sale, suddenly a person riding a bicycle crashed against Ganeshmoorthy. An explosion followed, the eyewitnesses said.
"When I visited the scene soon after the incident, I saw Razeek dead with several injuries. The person on the bicycle was also killed," one eyewitness told TamilNet.
Ex-militant sources in Batticaloa said that Razeek's death is a major blow to the Sri Lankan Army in their operations against Tigers.
Military sources in Batticaloa told TamilNet they were "shocked" by the attack.
The Razeek group operates under the supervision of the local intelligence unit of the Sri Lankan military and draw salaries as full time soldiers of the SLA. It numbers an estimated 250 cadres.
Razeek had put his men through the SLA's infantry training program and the group, particularly under his leadership, was considered a valued asset to the SLA's anti-LTTE operations.
Razeek had led a death squad during the Indian Peace Keeping Force's operations in Sri Lanka, and is said to have boasted of killing at least ten people personally.
Meanwhile, sources close to Mr.Annamalai Varatharajaperumal, former chief minister of the defunct north east provincial council said that Razeek's death is a severe setback for the political activities of the former EPRLF leader who has returned to the island after a ten-year self exile.
The sources said that Varatharajaperumal had been intending to reestablish himself as the EPRLF political leader, with the assistance of Razeek, who is said to have been close to him.