SLA denies officer helped Tigers
[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 April 2000, 17:18 GMT]
The SLA today denied a headline story in the Daily Mirror, an English daily published in Colombo, which claimed that a high ranking military officer was being questioned by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police for allegedly supplying sensitive information to the Tigers during the Battle for the Elephant Pass base.
The paper claimed that the officer had helped the LTTE "fire at government troops" by transmitting information to the Tigers "while hiding inside a toilet in the strategic army camp".
The story led to speculation today that the officer in question is a brigadier of the SLA now serving in the north.
The officer considers himself a Sinhala Buddhist but has a Tamil name as his grandfather was Tamil. He was the officer who led the 6 Sri Lanka Light Infantry battalion that linked up with the Elephant Pass camp when it was besieged by the Tigers in 1991.
The SLA refuted the story this evening in a short press release.
"The headline of the English Daily news paper reported today that a senior army officer is being questioned by the CID for giving information regarding Elephant Pass army camp which led to the relocation. This news is totally false. No officer is taken into custody or handed over to CID for questioning. It appears that this rumor has originated from the LTTE to cause dissension within the army" the SLA press release said.
The Daily Mirror, however, quoted military sources as saying that the officer had been having links with the LTTE for some time. The paper said that Special Task Force personnel took the officer into custody on Sunday and handed him over to CID headquarters.
An officer at the SLA headquarters in Colombo pointed out that a Tamil artillery officer at the Mullaithivu army base was similarly accused of providing sensitive information to the Tigers that led to the fall of that garrison in 1996 by a section of the English press in Colombo.
The military court of inquiry that inquired into the fall of the Mullaithivu base cleared the officer of the charge. There are very few Tamils in the SLA.