Paris assassinations remain unsolved

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Last Sunday was the first anniversary of the killings of two Eelam activists in Paris. Mr. Kandiah Perinpanathan, head of the LTTE's financial section and Mr. Kandiah Gajendran, the editor of the Tamil weekly "Eelamurasu" were gunned down in cold blood by an unknown assailant on a busy Paris sidewalk. To date, the investigations have not yielded any publicly known results.

Mr. Perinpanathan, and Mr. Gajendran were walking along a street in the La Chappelle area of Paris in the evening of 26 October 1996, when a gunman stepped up and gunned them down before disappearing into the crowd.

Unconfirmed reports said that at least 2 other gunmen may have taken part in the assassination.

It is believed that Mr. Perinpanathan who was the head of the LTTE's internationational fund raising operation was the gunmen's main target.

It is also believed that Mr. Gajendran was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, or was simply executed for his support of the Eelam cause. The popular Eelamurusu paper is a strong advocate of the Eelam cause.

When Paris based Tamil activists planned to allow the Tamil expatriate community to pay their last respects to the two victims, the Sri Lankan government put considerable pressure on Western governments to intervene.

The Indian daily, the "Hindu" reported on 9 November 1996 that the Sri Lankan government had called on European governments to stop the LTTE from publicly exhibiting the two bodies as "any such manifestation would constitute an encouragement to terrorism and separatism".

The French government buckled in and allowed only a limited gathering during the funeral.

The French government's investigation into the killings has not revealed any results so far - at least publicly. In addition, Tamil activists have been dissuaded from making inquiries independently.

The two killings came at a time when the LTTE was enjoying military success on the battlefield. Having scored their biggest victory of the war by overrunning the Sri Lankan military complex at Mullaitivu, the Tigers were also beating the Sri Lankan army's Operation 'Sath Jaya' to a standstill.

 

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