B. Muralidhar Reddy

Charles behind massacres: Colombo

Ambush facilitated by tip-off

COLOMBO: Chief of the “Liberation Tigers Military Intelligence”, self-styled Col. Charles (Shanmuganathan Ravishankar), was killed on Saturday evening in a “random claymore attack” by the Sri Lanka Army’s Deep Penetration Unit in Pallamadu in Mannar, the pro-LTTE TamilNet said in a report.

The web site said that Col. Charles, who has been in charge of internal intelligence within the ranks of the LTTE ground forces and led an external operations corps as well as a regular combat force that has been deployed in Mannar district, was killed together with three LTTE “lieutenants” in the ambush while they were riding in a van between Iluppaikkadavai and Pallamadu at 3:10 p.m.

It said Col. Charles was on a mission to inspect his regular forces in Mannar.

“Col. Charles, who joined the LTTE as a full-time member in December 1985 was taken into its Intelligence Wing following his military performance in Jaffna district and later in Vanni during the LTTE-India war. He served in a key position in LTTE Intelligence Wing between 1991 and 2004, also as the head of LTTE Intelligence in Batticaloa-Amparai district between 1997 and 2000. He has commanded a number of key military operations”, TamilNet said.

Confirming the news, the Sri Lanka Defence Ministry said that Charles was deputy to Pottu Amman, the chief of the LTTE’s intelligence wing.

The Ministry said that the army unit had ambushed a vehicle carrying Charles and his companions. “The attack was carried out with accurate ground information received from LTTE-dominated Wanni region”, it said.

The Ministry described Charles as the “man behind many massacres”.

Rajapaksa aide quits

Jayantha Dhanapala, Senior Adviser to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned from his post. Though he has not made public the reasons for his resignation, it is believed that Mr. Dhanapala was not happy over the decision of the Rajapaksa regime to withdraw from the 2002 Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) with the LTTE.

“Mr. Dhanapala is fully conscious of the loopholes in the CFA as well as the fact that it has become irrelevant in recent months. Yet, at the same time, he is of the view that abrogation of CFA would further escalate tensions and violence”, an aide close to Mr. Dhanpala told The Hindu.

Mr. Dhanapala, a veteran diplomat, was appointed as senior adviser by Mr. Rajapaksa a few days after he was sworn in President.

Mr. Dhanapalahad served as Senior Adviser in an honorary capacity.