Two of them had escaped capture in March
Sri Lankan armed forces on Friday shot dead three men who allegedly tried to revive the rebel Tiger movement in the country’s Northern Province.
According to military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya, in the early hours of Friday three armed suspects who attempted to escape the area confronted the troops in the cordon. All three were killed in the clash that followed, he said.Two of the dead were identified as Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias Thevihan and Selvanayagam Kajeepan alias Gobi, who had escaped last month after reportedly opening fire at a police officer.
Police had launched a massive search operation then, even announcing a million (LKR) to anyone giving information leading to his arrest.
The third man is yet to be identified but is believed to be Navaratnam Navaneethan alias Appan, according to army officials. The military’s operation in the jungles of Nedunkerni, in Vavuniya was based on information from the police Terrorist Investigation Department (TID), which was looking for the three men believed to be remnants of the Tamil Tigers.
Sri Lanka’s Defence establishment has — over the last few months — expressed concerns over possible regrouping of the LTTE, five years after its armed forces defeated them. To prevent such an eventuality, Sri Lankan police arrested 60 persons, largely from the island’s Tamil-speaking north, over the last two months.
Fears of an LTTE revival came at a time when the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted a U.S.-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, calling for an international probe into its alleged war crimes and rights abuse.
Around the same time, the Sri Lankan military raised surveillance in its Northern Province, where residents have been raising concerns about heavy militarisation post-war.
According to U.N. estimates, at least 100,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict that spanned over three decades.