Surrendered cadres expose SLA complicity with Karuna group

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 November 2005, 12:15 GMT]
Two underage youths, Suresh Kandasamy (16) and Babu Selvam (15), and another foreign returnee Shanmugam Sarwarajah (21), recruited with promise of financial incentives by paramilitary Karuna Group surrendered to the Liberation Tigers and talked to media Monday evening at Solaiyaham Conference Centre in the LTTE controlled area of the Batticaloa district. The cadres said they were under continuous monitoring by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and decided to surrender when they were sent on missions to attack LTTE posts.

Under-age paramilitary recruits
(L-R) Suresh Kandasamy (16), Babu Selvam (15) and Shanmugam Sarwarajah
Suresh and Selvam from the Tamil village of Karapola in the Polannaruwa district, were kidnapped by Karuna Group cadres in August of 2005. Suresh said, he was kept inside a bunker for six days by a key operative of the Karuna Group, Jim Kelly Thatha, at the Sri Lanka Army camp (SLA) located in Kakachiaveddai. Suresh was promised Rs 6000 a month to work for the group.

Suresh said he was given training on operating guns at the SLA camp and was engaged in missions against the Tigers. A few days ago, Suresh surrended to the LTTE when he was sent with a pistol to gundown a person at Mandoor bridge, he said.

Selvam kidnapped by the paramilitary cadres riding in a Dolphin van was taken to a paramilitary camp in Thivuchenai, Welikanda, located close to an SLA base. He said the paramilitary cadres were also involved in robberies in Oddamavadi area in Valaichenai. He was also given 6000 rupees as salary. Selvam said he knew of at least seven Tamil youths who were brought to the camp and were killed there.

Shanmugam Sarwarajah (21) from Kokkaddicholai said Karuna operative Markkan convinced him to return from Qatar and join their group. According to Sarwarajah, there were at least 65 persons in the paramilitary camp in Thivuchenai where he was given training. He was also recruited for payment.

Sarwarajah said that after a month of training he was taken to Chenaipuram SLA base in Welikanda in a Buffel APC vehicle and introduced to Capt. Kumarasinghe, the head of the base. The paramilitary group received supplies, instructions and was under complete supervision of the SLA, he added.

The press conference arranged by the LTTE at Solaiayakam,15 kilometres southwest of Batticaloa town, began at 3:30 pm. and ended at 5:00 pm.

 

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