Underage paramilitary recruit attests to SLA-Karuna link

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 February 2006, 11:05 GMT]
A 15-year-old boy, recruited by the paramilitary cadres of Karuna Group, later sent on vacation, and who managed to move with his family into the Liberation Tigers held area in Ayithiyamalai, addressed a press meet at Solayaham in LTTE controlled Kokkaddicholai Friday. The underage youth, Arulraj, has revealed details on how he was abducted, transported to Thivuchenai and trained at the training camp of the paramilitary group at Thivuchenai in Welikande. Arularj, who was on leave, managed to escape as his "guardian", an EPDP cadre Rama Ranjan, who accompanied him to Batticaloa from Welikande, was gunned down by unidentified gunmen in mid-January.

Arulraj Senthilnathan (15)
Arulraj Senthilnathan (15)
The 15-year-old Arulraj Senthilnathan, addressing the press at Solayaham from 11:30 a.m. to 01:00 p.m., said he was forcefully recruited 6 months ago by the paramilitary cadres while he was fishing along the Mattikkali river, located near his house in the village of Punnaichcholai on the outskirts of the Batticaloa town.

He was taken to "Palpody" Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp in Batticaloa town and later transported in an armoured vehicle to Polonnaruwa area, Arulraj told the press.

"We were provided training to shoot, and to operate handguns by Markkan and Chooty, who were the responsible for the training," he said.

Arulraj Senthilnathan (15)
Arulraj Senthilnathan (15)
"Later, we were posted to sentry points in and around the training camp," he said adding that there were around 200 Sri Lanka Army troopers providing security to the training camp in an "outer circle".

"15 muslim youths were also among the recruits. There were also persons who were talking Indian accent Tamil, but those were senior cadres who did not communicate much with us," he added.

"There were some nights with quarrels, some nights with celebrations and laughter at the huts of the senior cadres," he said noting there were celebrations at Thivuchenai camp following the slaying of Joseph Pararajasingham MP.

There were around 70 persons at the Thivuchenai camp, he said.

Arulraj also revealed that there were some persons, numbering around 20, who were being held captives at Thivuchenai camp.

An EPDP cadre, Rama Ranjan, accompanied the young Arulraj who managed to win the trust of his masters at the paramilitary training camp at Thivuchenai. He was given a leave to join his family during the Pongal festival. A senior EPDP cadre, Rama Rajan, accompanied him to Batticaloa town.

On Pongal day, the EPDP cadre, Rama Rajan, was gunned down by unknown gunmen in Karuvepankerni in Batticaloa. A few days later the paramilitary group made contact with Arulraj and instructed him to return quickly to Thivuchenai.

Arulraj together with his younger sister, brother and his parents, moved into the LTTE held area a few days ago, he said.


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