SLA soldiers, paramilitary cadres round up Valaichenai villages

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 06:39 GMT]
More than 150 Sri Lanka Army soldiers and around 50 paramilitary cadres belonging to three various paramilitary groups, Tuesday morning rounded up five villages in Valaichenai. The paramilitary cadres, brought in SLA vehicles around 5:00 a.m., summoned the people to Pechiyamman temple grounds and held a meeting where key operatives of Karuna Group warned the people against supporting the Liberation Tigers. Cadres from the ENDLF paramilitary group and a key operative of the EPDP group attached to the Sri Lanka Army camp in Valaichenai Harbour also took part in the show-down paramilitary operation, villagers said.

Heavily armed SLA troopers were seen patrolling Kannan Kiramam, Vinayagapuram, Kannakipuram, Pethalai, Puthukudiyiruppu and guarding the Pechiyamman temple site while four key paramilitary operatives, Pratheepan, Jeyanthan, Ajith and Ranjith were addressing the people summoned to the temple grounds. Around 250 persons were summoned at the temple site from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., villagers said.

Johnson Jeyakanthan, known by his nom-de-guerre Pratheepan was one of speakers who came to the site with Markkan, a key paramilitary operative, a resident said.

Jeyakanthan was detained by the Sri Lankan Police in March 2005 following the assasination attempt on Kuveni, the political head of LTTE's Batticaloa-Amparai women wing. He was a member of the LTTE and had defected in 1992 when he was facing disciplinary action for attempting to molest a girl in Valaichenai.

Jeyakanthan, who instructed the people to obey the instructions and be supportive to Karuna's mission said his group demanded "total support" from the villagers. Those of the villagers who fail to yield support to Karuna's mission, will be integrated by "military means," the paramilitary operative has told the gathering.

There were 300 cadres involved in the search operation, Jeyakanthan claimed in his address. He described himself as a political cadre of the TMVP (Tamileelam Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal).

At the end of the meeting he asked the villagers to prepare 150 lunch packs.

Kathirkamathamby Jeyaseelan, another Karuna Group operative from Kannan Kiramam in Valaichenai, also addressed the villagers.

A paramilitary operative who identified himself as "Ranjith master" said he was under arrest in India and was sent to Sri Lanka following a personal request made by Karuna.

"If you have any inquiries, come to our office located in Kovindan street in Batticaloa town," a student caught up in the meeting quoted Ranjith as saying.

Karuna Group was also making arrangements to setup an office in Valaichenai, Ranjith has told the villagers.

The paramilitary cadres were brought to the Sri Lanka Army camp in Valaichenai Harbour Monday night, according to the villagers.

An intelligence operative of the EPDP, Siva, was also seen at the site. Siva operates from the Valaichenai Harbour camp.

Villagers also said there heard gunshots and two grenade explosions around 5:30 a.m. in Vinayagapuram area.

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