Released prisoners not LTTE members

[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 April 2001, 18:30 GMT]
A senior member of a Tamil paramilitary group working with the Sri Lanka army said Sunday that at least four among the ten purported 'Liberation Tigers' released by Colombo as a good will measure are actually persons closely associated with the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF). "None of them are members of the Liberation Tigers. They were arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of the Police in September last year because of they are relatives and acquaintances of Jeganahtan Pathmanathan, a senior member of the TELO's Mannar branch who was arrested earlier for allegedly aiding an ex-LTTE member. Jeganathan is still in prison with his wife and two small children. There was no grounds for a case against the others", he said.

Relatives in Mannar said that they had no indication until Sunday that the four have been released so far. The four persons that the Sri Lankan government claims to be Liberation Tigers are: 1. Rosario Arunthavathevi Raja, 26, 2. Ahilan Dalina Habeeb Mohammad, 30 3. Joseph Vincent Sureshkumar, 25 4. Mohammad Rafeek Paseela, 19

Rosario Arunthavathevi Raja, 26, a widow, was arrested by the TID on 9 November 2000. She was an attendant at the Mannar Base hospital. Her husband Ramu Raja was important member of EPRLF in Mannar. Her father worked as a labourer at the office of the Assistant Superintendent of Police in Mannar.

Ahilan Dalina Habeeb Mohammed, 30, also a widow, arrested same day by the TID. She too was an attendant at Mannar base hospital. Her husband was a member of the TELO and worked as an informant of the Sri Lanka Army in Colombo and Vavuniya. He was shot dead in Vavuniya by unidentified gunmen suspected to members of the Liberation Tigers in 1998. Dalina was living with her mother Agnes Habeeb Mohammed in Sinnakadai in Mannar town at the time of her arrest.

Mohammed Rafeek Paseela, 19, is a resident of Karambai Palavi in the district of Puttalam. Her family was displaced from Uppukkulam in Mannar town to Palavi in Puttalam. Paseela is the granddaughter of Dalina's aunt (the sister of Agnes Habeeb). Paseela was arrested by the TID on 26 September 2000.

Joseph Vincent Sureshkumar, 25, of Periyathambanai in the district of Vavuniya is a relative of Dalina. He had come to Mannar town from his village to make arrangements to go abroad. His village lies in the SLA controlled part of the Vavuniya district. Sureshkumar was arrested on 9 September by the TID.

The arrests were made following the detention of Jeganathan Pathmanathan, 38, of the TELO and his wife Nageswary who is Dalina's sister.

Pathmanathan was arrested and detained by the TID on 2 September 2000 for allegedly aiding an ex-member of the Liberation Tigers identified as Anton Morino to find means in Colombo for going abroad in 1997.

Morino and Pathmanathan had stayed in a lodge in Wellawatte, a predominantly Tamil suburb of Colombo when they had gone to the capital in 1997.

Rosalina had travelled to Colombo with Sureshkumar and Dalina early last year to stay briefly with her niece who had been admitted to the Colombo general hospital with a serious ailment. (The child died later). During this visit the three had stayed in the same lodge in Wellawatte where Pathmanathan had been in 1997 with the Morino.

Paseela had also stayed in the same lodge when she had visited Colombo last year.

Legal sources familiar with the arrests said that Paseela, Rosalina, Dalina and Sureshkumar were arrested by the TID to basically investigate whether their travels to Colombo and stay at the particular lodge in Wellawatte was connected to the association between Pathmanathan and Morino.

Pathmanathan and his wife Nageswary are still jailed in the Kalutara prison. Their two children, Janarthan, 6, and Thanujan, 2, are also imprisoned along with them.

 

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