“One of them gives training on VIP assassinations”

Camps exist in Tamil Nadu where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadre are being trained, Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said in Parliament on Wednesday.

The Daily Mirror online quoted the Prime Minister as saying that there are three such LTTE secret training centres. In one of the camps, cadres are given exclusive training on VIP assassinations.

According to the Sri Lankan news agency Lankapuvath , Mr. Jayaratne said the LTTE is forming itself in three groups led by three individuals. Opening the debate on the extension of State of Emergency on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said: “The first among them is U.S-based V. Rudrakumaran, second, Norway-based Tediyawan and the third is Vinayagam, who fled to India. Their main aim is to create violence in Sri Lanka again.”

He added that there was a conspiracy to kill Indian leaders and create a civil war in Sri Lanka. The intelligence unit had received news of the three camps being operated in Tamil Nadu.

“In one of these camps, the LTTE cadres are trained specifically to murder political leaders. Pugalandra Master is the one behind this campaign,” he said. This group was involved in the attack on the Maha Bodhi office in Chennai recently, the news agency quoted Mr. Jayaratne as saying.

According to a Sri Lankan official, the intelligence agency had indicated the existence of camps on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, with one at Pichumalai village. Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe questioned the Prime Minister's contention and asked if the government had taken up the issue with the Indian leaders in their interactions. Mr. Jayaratne and his Cabinet colleagues did not answer.

Parliament extended the Emergency by a month with a majority of 75 votes. The Opposition United National Party, the Democratic National Alliance and the Tamil National Alliance voted against the motion.