Claymore mine killed PLOTE leaders

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 September 1999, 19:47 GMT]
(Adds photos)Police investigators confirmed this evening that the blast which killed the Deputy Leader of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), N.Manikkadasan, was a claymore device fixed inside the ceiling of the group's office in Vavuniya Town.

Initial reports of the blast claimed that the blast was caused by a suicide bomber on the basis of a defaced body found at the scene with a leg missing.

manikkadasan-guards.jpg
Photo dated 29 January 1998 shows N. Manikkadasan (C), the military wing leader of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) flanked by bodyguards during a local council election campaign in Jaffna.(EPA photo-AFP files)
Police determined later in the afternoon that the body was that of Murukesu Kunaratnam alias Vino, a PLOTE cadre who was the vice chairman of the Porathivu Pradeshiya Sabha in the Batticaloa district. He was from Chettipalayam, 18 km. south of Batticaloa.

The PLOTE's military wing leader for the Vavuniya district, Tharmalingam Thevarajah, 31, of Puliyankulam was also killed in today's explosion. Tharmalingam Thevarajah took part in the unsuccessful PLOTE backed attempt to overthrow the government of the Maldives in 1988.

Nagalingam Manikkam Dasan was married to Shyamala from Vavuniya and had three children. He was born on January 14, 1959.

lucky-camp_3_020999.jpg
'Lucky House', the office cum camp of the PLOTE in Vavuniya. Photo:TamilNet
The 1977 Sri Lankan Police riot at the St. Patrick's College carnival in Jaffna was the trigger for a pogrom against the Tamils that year, and it began when Manikkadasan assaulted some policemen who had teased school girls there, said ex-militant sources.

In 1978 Manikadasan joined a pro Eelam militant group led by 'Paranthan Rajan' (the leader of the ENDLF currently based in India) and was jailed later on in the year for putting up anti TULF posters in Jaffna.

lucky-camp_2_020999.jpg
Arrows on photos show where Manikkadasan stood when the blast occurred and the site where the claymore was believed to have been placed. Photo:TamilNet
After being released from prison in 1980 Manikkadasan joined PLOTE and took part in various operations including the shooting of Sri Lankan policemen at Naachimaar temple in Jaffna that preceded the infamous arson attack on the Jaffna library in 1981.

Manikkadasan also participated in an attack on the Aanaikottai police station in 1982 and the robbery of the Kilinochchi state bank later on that year.

He was arrested following the robbery of the Kilinochchi bank but escaped and went with other militants to India in 1983 and then went to Lebanon in the same year for military training.

The third most senior in PLOTE until 1987, Manikadasan quickly rose to power after the LTTE killed most of the second rung leaders and became especially prominent after the death of Uma Maheswaran in 1990.

lucky-camp_1_020999.jpgSince 1991 he has been closely associated with the Sri Lankan Army's efforts to control Vavuniya.

Manikkadasan became the de facto leader of PLOTE last year following an internal power struggle in which two senior members of the organisation were killed.


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