Friday, April 3, 2009


Is it not significant that the political career of Sonia Gandhi advances concomitantly with a series of assassinations and apparently accidental deaths? How did Sanjay's plane nosedive to a crash and yet the fuselage not explode? There was no fuel! Why was there no inquiry conducted? Is it not a fact that Indira Gandhi died because of loss of blood from the wounds and not directly due to a bullet impacting her head or heart? Then is it not strange that Sonia had insisted that the bleeding Indira be driven to Lohia Hospital -- in the opposite direction to AIIMS, which had a contingency protocol set up for precisely such an event? And after reaching Lohia Hospital, did not Sonia change her mind and demand that they all drive to AIIMS thus losing 24 valuable minutes. 1
The same kind of mystery surrounds the sudden deaths of Sonia's other political roadblocks such as Rajesh Pilot, Jitendra Prasad, and Madhavrao Scindia. Such things happened in the dark ages in Italy. Should we allow it India like dumb cattle? 1
Janata Party president Dr Subramanian Swamy has written in 2004 to the President stating that any further delay in the execution of the sentence awarded to four LTTE conspirators in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination would be tantamount to contempt of the Supreme Court. 3
Addressing a press conference at Kochi, Subramanian Swamy, said the Congress president betrayed the memory of her husband by writing to the President seeking commutation of the death sentence awarded to Rajiv Gandhi's assassins. 3
"In the execution of Satwant Singh in the Indira Gandhi assassination and of Dhananjoy Chatterjee recently, there has been no hesitation in carrying out death sentences despite mercy petitions,'' Swamy said adding that the Supreme Court had dismissed the mercy petitions in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case in October 1999. 3
It is now more than five years since the review petition was dismissed and the sentence has neither been commuted by the President nor executed. Stepping up the anti-Sonia Gandhi tirade, Swamy also alleged that the Congress President has amassed assets disproportionate to her known sources of income and was an anti-national who received funds from the KGB. 3
We are well aware of Boforce Scandal in which close relatives of Sonia Gandhi were involved.
We need to know who benefited most by the killing of Rajeev Gandhi. A normal person has the perception that LTTE was behind the killing, but we give our own thought to position of Prabhakaran, LTTE Supremo, it becomes clear that if he was not fool than he must be aware that they shall be biggest loser. There are circumstantial evidence, which suggest that LTTE leadership was not involved in assassination of Rajeev Gandhi.
"Conspiracy, awareness and help to execute are the three basic charges against the accused in this case. The argument of the police was merely based on speculation. When Prabakaran was in Delhi, he told V Gopalaswamy that, through the Indo-Lanka accord, Rajiv Gandhi has stabbed the Tamils in their back. Based on this statement, the case was built around and successfully proceeded speculatively. There was no witness to link anyone directly to the murder. 2
"It was only a guess that, Sivarasan and Prabakaran were together. After the murder, Sivarasan never even attempted to go back to Sri Lanka. But, Ravichandran [Accused No 16 - Sri Lankan national] one month after the murder went to Sri Lanka and returned to India after staying in Sri Lanka for two months. "The police, who investigated the case, should have come up with the real killers. I am of the opinion that someone else should have arranged Sivarasan for this murder. I think those who arranged the murder through him must have summoned him to Bangalore. This is how I foresee his fateful visit to Bangalore. 2
The confession made by Athirai, the 8th accused, points to the connection of Mahataya alias Mahendrarajah Gopalaswamy, the deputy leader of the LTTE in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Justice Wadhwa's observation in page 171 of his verdict about Athirai is of special interest. Justice Wadhwa stated: 2
"Athirai (A-8), a hard core LTTE militant girl, came to India in the last week of April 1991 in an LTTE boat from Sri Lanka. Athirai (A-8) in her confession said that she got specialized training in the LTTE camps. She was assigned the work of gathering intelligence on the operations and movements of Sri Lankan army and other rival organizations like EPRLF, PLOT, etc. Reports she prepared would be handed over by her to Mahathaya, another LTTE leader." 2
Athirai had made her confession on August 29, 1991 (page 46 of the verdict). Here is another "smoking gun" that the then LTTE deputy leader, Mahathaya, was intentionally overlooked by the SIT officials when the charge sheet on Rajiv's assassination was finalized in May 1992. The reason for overlooking Mahataya is mysterious, D R Karthiyean, the SIT chief, should have given an explanation. 2
Mahattaya's possible and sole connection in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was propounded in an article that appeared at first in 'The Independent,' an English daily from Bangaladesh, dated September 19, 1998, under the headline "Who Killed Rajiv Gandhi?" 2
The same article was revised and published in the "Weekend Express," published from Colombo, dated October 17, 1998, with photographs of Chandraswami, the god-man, under the caption: Rajiv murder: A wider conspiracy?" 2
Regarding the confession of Murugan, Justice Wadhwa's in his verdict announced, "Murugan (A-3) when asked by Sivarasan the reasons for the killing of Rajiv Gandhi, he replied that Kasi Anandhan [prosecution witness 242] had met Rajiv Gandhi at Delhi and was told that the meeting was very cordial and if Rajiv Gandhi came to power he would help the LTTE movement. 2
Seven years after the killing of EPRLF leader K Padmanabha and 14 others, the court that tried the case delivered the verdict in which, 15 of the 17 accused, including a former DMK minister and a former home secretary of Tamil Nadu were acquitted. 2
In a judgment delivered on November 8, 1997, the two judges acquitted 15 of the 17 accused on the ground that the prosecution had "not proved beyond any reasonable doubt" the allegations against them. The designated court two judge, Arumuga Perumal Adithan, convicted the other two accused, Chinna Santhan and Anandaraj, for offences under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, or TADA. 2
Among those acquitted were former Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Minister Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan (Presently minister in Manmohan Singh Government), her husband Jagadeesan, former State Home Secretary R Nagarajan, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader V Gopalsamy's brother V Ravichandran and advocate D Veerasekaran. 2
Meanwhile, the Jain Commission reports drew attention to the similarities in the assassinations of Rajiv Gandhi, on May 21, 1991 and EPRLF leader K Padmanabha a few months earlier, on June 19, 1990, in Chennai. Jain pointed out that, the same set of killers were used by LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran and his intelligence chief Pottu Amman (both convicted in absentia) and that, after killing Padmanabha, they had a free run in Tamil Nadu due to the patronage of the then Tamil Nadu Government under M Karunanidhi. 2
Interestingly, SIT chief D R Karthikeyan consistently refused the demand that the SIT should also investigate the Padmanabha murder, saying the focus of the Rajiv assassination investigation would be diluted. 2
Justice Milap Chand Jain's final findings of the conspiracy to assassinate the former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi had adduced evidence of the god-man Nemi Chand Jain, better known as Chandraswami, as having links with CIA and Mossad, and through them with the LTTE. He was among the 21 "suspects," whom the SIT had failed to investigate, the Commissioner complained. Justice Jain, who had reportedly devoted a whole section to Chandraswami, seems convinced that, the latter was involved. He quotes intelligence reports and government communications to add weight to his case. The god-man was constantly conspiring to overthrow Rajiv Gandhi, when he was Prime Minister, and had sworn to "kill" him, the report said. But Justice Jain does point out that, there are gaps to be filled and missing links to be found. Hence the need for a fresh probe. 2
Justice Jain also mentioned of the "close" relations between Rajiv Gandhi's successor, Narasimha Rao, and Chandraswami, and how, Narasimha Rao, as premier, had told a minister that he should not insist that government show the panel all documents on Chandraswami. 2
Justice Jain has linked Chandraswami with the infamous and now defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in which arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi, several terrorist groups, and intelligence outfits like the CIA and Mossad had accounts. The money in it was used for terrorist operations and political assassinations. The report is quoted as saying that $4 million of Mr Kashoggi's money was transferred to the LTTE's accounts. Justice Jain had said this on the basis of a 130-page document prepared by US Senator John Kiri. 2
Justice Jain's interim report created a political storm in India, by bringing down the United Front Government led by I K Gujral in November 1997, when it said that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister at that period of time, M Karunanidhi, and the DMK, the then ruling party in Tamil Nadu, was also part of the conspiracy to kill Rajiv Gandhi. 2
The Congress party clamoured for action against the DMK, which was then part of the Gujral government in New Delhi. Its insistence, led to the fall of the Gujral government and subsequent elections brought a coalition led by the BJP to office. 2
Presently DMK is enjoying the power at Centre with Congress Party. Widow of Rajeev Gandhi has now decided to have good relationship with them.
In the final report, Justice Jain has said only "very few" Tamils in Tamils Nadu had supported the LTTE. But, he said that, the DMK chief, who is also the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi and his Minister, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, should have been questioned. The latter is listed among 21 additional suspects, whom the SIT had failed to investigate. 2
Among the 21 are top LTTE arms procurer K Pathmanathan, (KP), and top leaders Kittu alias Sathasivan Krishnakumar and Baby Subramaniam. The SIT source said that, over the seven years it functioned, the Jain commission had entertained many such amazing theories and used the confusion thus created, to get its term extended from time to time. 2
The Bharatya Janata Party government appointed the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) and asking it to probe the roles of five persons, Karunanidhi, Chandraswami, Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy, former DMK minister Subbulakshmi Jagadeeshan and the LTTE's arms procurer Kumaran Padmanabhan. 2
The MDMA would be headed by an additional director of the Central Bureau of Investigation and would have representatives of the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, Military Intelligence, Air Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and other central agencies. 2
First, the MDMA had sent “27 letters of Rogatories in June 2000 to all over the world capitals to know the funding sources of the banned Sri Lankan militant outfit LTTE found responsible for the assassination as MDMA is supposed to find out who was actually behind this assassination.” But the response for such bureaucratic grandstanding by Indian Poo Bahs was abysmal. By the end of January 2002 [i.e., after 19 months], “Only six of the 27 countries have bothered to acknowledge the legal notices till last month, while others did not even take the cognisance.” 4
Secondly, the RAW representative of the MDMA “died in 1999 and since then no successor has been appointed,” as of February 2002. Could it be that the bigwigs of the notorious spooks office may have thought that the navigating ghost of the dead RAW representative would suffice to represent their agency! 4
Thirdly, by February 2003, the result was: “Though the MDMA is yet to complete the investigation into Rajiv Gandhi’s murder, its staff strength has been reduced because there is hardly any work.” Isn’t this neat? The MDMA, having suffered credibility problems at the international front with officials of the majority of other nations not even responding to the ‘letters of Rogatories’ in its ‘much hyped’ pursuit of the LTTE’s international financial operations, is now being kept like a patient in an intensive care unit, with political tubes hanging from the nose, mouth and throat. I congratulate the unknown officials of those nations who rebuffed the ‘letters of Rogatories’ from Indian Poo Bahs. They would have easily sensed that these ‘bureaucratic’ letters of rogatories were nothing but slick solicitation pleas for foreign jaunts on taxpayers’ money by the Indian officials who were on the verge of their retirement! 4
Fourthly, an irony is that Mr.Vazhapadi Ramamurthi [a loud mouth - bit player in Tamil Nadu politics, who projected himself as the foremost Rajiv Gandhi loyalist] who pleaded with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee ‘not to recommend clemency for any of the four [accused] sentenced to death for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi’ himself departed to meet his Maker, ahead of the four accused whom he was keen on seeing dead. Mr.Vazhapadi Koothapadayachi Ramamurthy suffered a cardiac arrest and died on October 27, 2002; he was aged 62. 4
Fifthly, the Congress Party pulled the rug of I.J.Gujral’s minority government by withdrawing its support in the parliament in 1998, on the issue that the DMK, which was a constituent of Gujral’s Cabinet, was strongly implicated with Rajiv Gandhi assassination by the Jain Commission. Now, in 2004, the same Congress Party is in cahoots with DMK for electoral politics. Similarly, the ever-petulant and unpredictable Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha (of AIDMK) was posturing much on Pirabhakaran’s non-extradition to India with L.K.Advani, the Deputy Prime Minister, in 2000. In 2004, the same Jayalalitha is holding hands with Mr.Advani’s party for political merry-go-round. And Jayalalitha has also been seen shedding public tears for Rajiv Gandhi’s memories – outsmarting the late Indian prime minister’s Italian wife. Sonia Gandhi shouldn’t be surprised that Jeyalalitha, afterall, was an ex-actress who could generate tears at the sound of a clap-board. If Sonia Gandhi is to remain in the centre stage of Indian politics, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if she signs a contract with a pro like Sophia Loren, from her native land, as an acting consultant. 4
Ranganathan, an accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case freed by the Supreme Court in May 1999, has claimed after the release to disclose names of all personalities and financiers involved in the conspiracy. 5 What happen to his interrogation is yet to be known.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's cabinet, which debated for a long time on whether to include Karunanidhi among the persons to be investigated by the MDMA, found enough scope in the interim and final reports of Justice Jain. Subsequently, Vajpayee's government dropped the investigation of the DMK Chief and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, most probably after some sort of secret political understanding. Before concluding the section on the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the "beneficiary" factor has to be analysed. 2
Though it is claimed that the LTTE might have been involved, they seem to have been the biggest losers. They have been isolated in Tamil Nadu and all over in India and many other countries in the world. The supporters and sympathizers of the LTTE are branded as pariahs in Tamil Nadu - as political and social outcasts, thus loosing the power-base they used to enjoy all the years, before the assassination. 2
It was also stated in the Jain Commission report that, further proof had come to the commission about the "rear base" and the facilitation being given to the LTTE cadres during the DMK regime. The report states that, this has been further substantiated by reports of the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) Madras, which was given to the commission after the submission of the interim report. The reports dealing with the period 1989-1991 traces the movement and arrival of arms on the coasts of Tamil Nadu, as well as give proof of the logistical and medical assistance that was readily given to the LTTE cadres. 2
The above excerpts drawn from the Jain Commission Reports clearly indicate that, LTTE was using Tamil Nadu, as its "Rear Base," in its protracted armed conflict with the Government of Sri Lanka. As a result of the killing of Rajiv Gandhi, the LTTE has today lost this base, which remains a serious handicap in its battle. 2
The murder of Rajiv Gandhi has failed to be of beneficial effect, even to the 100,000 and more Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who were then living in more than 121 special refugees camps, scattered almost all over the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu. Also, the refugees who lived in Tamil Nadu without accepting any subsidy from the Indian government, too, have not benefited by the murder. 2
Then who did benefit? The first beneficiary was Jayalalitha, who went from a vivacious sex-bomb in the cinema world, to the Chief Minister ship of Tamil Nadu, at the State Assembly elections, that followed. Jayalalitha was born in Tamil Nadu with a Kannadiga family background. Her mother and aunty, were famous cabaret dancers in the Tamil cine world and both danced to fame, baring partially their voluptuous bodies to satiate their craze-filled fans in Tamil and in the other South Indian language films. Jaylalitha followed her mother's footsteps and was a model, dancer, actresses, a chubby sex-bomb; before entering the political arena of Tamil Nadu. 2
Earlier, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) was founded by the matinee idol M G Ramachandran, the popular cinema actor in South India, around 1972. After breaking away from the DMK, Ramachandran, popularly called MGR, started a new political outfit to challenge the DMK President, M Karunanidhi. He called his party Anna DMK. The parting of MGR from DMK had a serious impact on the ruling DMK. 2
Ramachandran, a calculating personality, he chose his characters carefully in films, always depicting himself as a hero, the friend of the poor and the down-trodden. 2
MGR gradually dominated Tamil Nadu politics and arranged his party in an organized manner. He and M Kalyanasundaram of the Indian Communist Party, made allegations against the DMK, of commission and omission by the DMK government (then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was behind them). Subsequently, the DMK Government was dismissed on the grounds of corruption and a Commission of Enquiry (Sarkaria Commission) constituted to look into the charges. 2
MGR's active participation in politics, even prevented Cong (O) leader Kamaraj Nadar from coming back to power. After the lifting of the internal emergency, the MGR with the CPI, as an alliance partner, wrested power in Tamil Nadu. The MGR-Indira combination worked out well and bagged all parliament seats, leaving a lone seat to the DMK. 2
Though MGR was the uncrowned king of the party, he was not able to control it and keep it intact. Groupism in AIADMK was a known story, everywhere with different dimensions. MGR inducted his film heroin, one of his live-in-partners, J Jayalalitha, into his party and made her a Rajya Sabha (Upper House) member and propaganda secretary of the party. He brought her from oblivion to politics by providing her a position in the AIADMK, and he made use of her in the party campaign. MGR was known for his sudden decisions and ideas and also for his penchant for beautiful young cine-actresses. 2
When Jayalalitha bade farewell to films in the late 1970s, (or rather, was compelled to quit), people in Tamil Nadu thought that it was the end of the vivacious actress and that they had seen the last of their chubby heroine. But, she was back with a 'bang' within five years, looking delectable in party-colour saris, cooing to babies in villages, listening responsively to petitioners at the party office of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), a shining mascot for the then ageing chief minister M G Ramachandran. 2
After MGR's death she was humiliated by members of the departed leader's family, who saw her as a threat. Even during the official funeral ceremony, Jayalalitha tried to climb up on the gun-carriage, which carried the coffin. She was immediately forcefully pulled down by other party members. After MGR's sudden death, the party was divided, with one group under his wife Janaki and the other under Jayalalitha - the live in lover - sinnaveedu, as it is popularly called in Tamil. But the group's in-fighting resulted in the party's popular two-leaf symbol being frozen by the Election Commission. The defeat of both factions and DMK's re-emergence in the 1989 state elections made them once again unite. The frozen symbol was restored to the united AIADMK under Jayalalitha's leadership and the party re-emerged victorious, just after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, giving it a massive majority and leaving the DMK with one seat for its party's president, M Karunanidhi. 2
Jayalalitha, as an opposition leader in 1989, was tenacious and vitriolic in giving a fight to Muthuvel Karunanidhi and the DMK government. She insulted and assaulted on the floor of the State Assembly, when she crossed to the Treasury bench and tried to grab the official version of the budget speech whilst being read by Karunanidhi, who was also the Minister of Finance. In the melee that ensued, her sari was torn and her hair dishevelled. Contumelious Jayalaitha, though disgraced and shaken, pointed to her matted hair and torn clothes and vowed that, she would enter the Tamil Nadu assembly, only if Karunanidhi was ousted from power. 2
This is how she managed to fulfil after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Therefore, it is openly evident that, Jayalalitha, who spared no opportunity in imposing her feminine power by forcing even ministers of her party to genuflect at her feet, was the one who benefited the most from the death of Gandhi. The other visible beneficiary was Narasimha Rao, who was suddenly made the Prime Minister of India after Rajiv Gandhi's demise. 2 The last person who benefited most was Smt. Sonia Gandhi. Her position in Indian Politics has become like Queen mother. She is now enjoying power more than Prime Minister of India.
The Jain Commission further observed that the LTTE's principal arms producer, Kumaran Pathmanathan, alias "KP", a cousin of Prabhakaran, held accounts with the Bank Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a Pakistani international bank, now defunct, as did Adnan Khashoggi, and even the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)!. 6
Accordingly, the commission concluded that Saudi arms dealer Khashoggi to be a key player in the supply of arms to the LTTE. This might have led the commission to speculate on the LTTE's connection with Chandraswami, Adnan Khashoggi, the CIA and Mossad. The Jain Commission speculated on the possible CIA-Mossad linkages in the assassination. 6
Yasser Arafat, of the Palestinian Authority, conveyed to Muchckund Dubey, the former Indian Foreign Secretary in June 1991, "If one was looking for a link, it was the CIA-Mossad-LTTE link." 6
The linkage, Arafat pointed out, turned into a serious subject for speculation. It further remarked about the communication monitored by N V Vishan, Joint Director, Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau of Tamil Nadu, who informed his high-ups of a communication from Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) to Prabhakaran, dated July 12, 1990, about what a CIA official had told one of his contacts, "He knew what was required by us and it should be done in such a way that was helpful to both." Three weeks later, according to the report, Prabhakaran asked KP for surface to air missiles (SAMs) and related firing equipment. Through this report, the commission established a CIA-LTTE linkage, but what is unclear is the (real) connection with the assassination. Also the missing link of the Chandraswami-Premadasa-Mahattaya's connection, about which the commission failed to establish conclusively. 6
In the case of Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, before concentrating on several outside agencies and terrorists' organizations, the Indian government failed to go into several related issues. The important question is "Why did the successive governments that came to power fail to go into the Sri Lankan debacle, a national shame, where 1,555 IPKF personnel were killed, 2,987 injured and expended more than Indian Rs. 1850 crores? 6
Also, a few more supplementary questions arose: Why does the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) continue to harbour and provide protection at Jaipur, Rajasthan, to Varatharaja Perumal, the former chief minister of North-East Provincial Council and spend millions of Indian rupees on his safety and upkeep? 6
The Action Taken Report, tabled by the Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) government, and the appointment of the MDMA, provided a different perspective to the already accepted theory of blaming the LTTE for the assassination. 6
While the probe might shift further a field, our analysis still canters on the LTTE. Therefore, it is appropriate to go into the organization of the LTTE and its functional capacity, during two different periods - before and after Rajiv Gandhi's murder. To come to terms with the situation that prevailed herewith we undertake a full analysis. 6
Our key player in this probe is Gopalaswamy Mahendrajah, or the one popularly known as Mahattaya, who joined the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1978, along with Kittu alias Sathasivam Krishnakumar. Prabhakaran inducted Mahattaya as the Vanni region commander and Kittu to command the Jaffna region. From the very beginning, Mahattaya clashed with Kittu. On the night of March 31, 1987, unidentified assailants fired and lobbed a powerful grenade on the motorcar carrying Kittu, in Jaffna. Kittu sustained injuries - his right leg was severed while receiving shrapnel wounds. 6
After the incidents, Major Aruna, alias Selvaswamy Selvakumar of the LTTE, went berserk. He fired his M-16 at the innocent captives from the rival Tamil militant groups at Kandan Karunai prison, which housed nearly 65 prisoners. All but three fell to Aruna's madness. The LTTE high command did not approve of the carnage. When Aruna died at the battlefront, they decided not to include his name in the martyrs' list. 6
But, the LTTE learned in 1994 that the maiming of Kittu was an inside job and the attack was carried out on Mahattaya's order, by his right hand confidante Visu. Meanwhile, the LTEE had already included Visu's name in the martyrs' list after he was gunned down, along with two others, on July 13, 1989, after the assassination of A Amirthalingham, the Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), and S Yogeswaran, an ex-member of parliament from Jaffna. To this day, Visu's name remains on the list. 6
Prabhakaran appointed Mahattaya as the leader of the Makkal Munnani, (Peoples Front), a political organization of the LTTE. Earlier, in 1988, during the military campaign against the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF), Prabhakaran also appointed him as the deputy leader. During the campaign against the Indian forces, the LTTE withdrew from Jaffna, hid themselves in the sprawling Vanni region, Mahattaya was at Putur-Vannivilankulam, Prabhakaran at Alampil. The leader and the deputy had been unable to meet in person since late 1990s due to the intensity of the India offensive. 6
Arrest of Mahattaya 6
On May 3, 1989, LTTE representatives were airlifted from a jungle hide-out in Mullaithievu for talks with Ranasinghe Premadasa, the then Sri Lanka President. Later, Mahattaya took charge of the LTTE team on the orders of its leader. Mahattaya's stay in Colombo provided the opportunity for RAW operatives to establish contact with him. 6
S Chandrasekeran, alias Chandran, the additional secretary of the cabinet secretariat and the high-powered officer in charge of the RAW operations in Sri Lanka, met Mahattaya secretly in Colombo. 6
On the orders of Mahattaya, a hit-squad under Visu's command arrived in Colombo for clandestine operations. Simultaneously, on the orders of the Tiger supremo, another commando group left Alampil for Colombo, with orders to weed out anti-LTTE elements in Colombo. While the negotiations with the government were on, Mahattaya ordered Visu to execute the LTTE-imposed death sentence of February 1987 on Amrithalingham. 6
After the murder of Amrithalingham, Pottu Amman, alias Shanmugalingham Sivasankaran, smelt foul play and he began to monitor closely the activities of Mahattaya. The intelligence unit, Aiyyana Group, broke into and monitored the powerful two-way radio communication emerging from Mahattaya's base. On the information provided by the intelligence unit, Prabhakaran relieved Mahattaya of the leadership of the Makkal Munnani, and from the deputy leadership. Prabhakaran sent him on a special assignment to the Eastern province. After General Denzil Kobbekaduwa and others died in a land mine blast on August 8, 1992, the military balance began to tilt in the LTTE's favour. Prabhakaran recalled Mahattaya, gave him an inactive position, looking after the refugees' welfare and injured LTTE cadres. He was also allowed to retain his 75-strong bodyguard unit. 6
Gradually, events began to work against Mahattaya, Baby Subramaniam, one of the founding leaders of the LTTE, became deputy leader. 6
Pottu Amman and his group sustained serious injuries, but narrowly escaped death, when an unidentified assailant lobbed a bomb into the vehicle in which they were travelling, near Kopay. The situation worsened when the LTTE became more suspicious of Mahattaya. They found out that he had betrayed Kittu to the Indian and Sri Lankan intelligence agencies, leading to Kittu's death by suicide, in the Palk Straits, in January 1993. 6
Thereafter, the LTTE high command urgently assembled a high-powered hit-squad, including all their leading commanders, namely Sornam, the leader of the elite Tiger commando group, Balraj Charles Anthony's Regiment, Thamil Selavan alias Dinesh, the Commander of the Jaffna Region. So or Soosai, the commander of the Sea Tigers, and others. 6
Pottu Amman, the intelligence chief, led the quickly assembled hit squad. The special squad launched its operation to arrest Mahattaya on March 31, 1993 before dawn and overpowered without resistance the sentries and entered the bases at Kondavil and Kokuvil. 6
When the squad entered the domestic quarters, Mahattaya was inside the toilet. As he emerged, Sornam told him, "Annan [elder brother] wants you. Come with us," Unsuspecting, Mahattaya told him, "You better go, I will follow you." Sornam reiterated, "No, you have to come now. Annan wants you immediately." Mahattaya, agitated a little, said, "I told you to go, I will come." 6
Sensing the mood inside the living room, Pottu Amman, who stood outside the main entrance, entered the room along with the other commanders and said, "No, you must come at once." When Mahattaya saw Pottu Amman and the others he sensed the seriousness and told his wife without losing his equanimity, "Do not worry, whatever decision Annan takes, it will always be the right one," and followed them. They took him to an intelligence unit base at Chavakachceri for interrogation. 6
Unveiling the covert operations
At the time of Mahattaya's arrest his trusted lieutenant, K D Suresh, was away at Putur-Vannivilankulam to convey Mahattaya's orders to their accomplice, planted as one of Prabhakaran's guards. 6
The regular LTTE cadres arrested Suresh and other fugitives and turned them over to the intelligence unit. A week before the arrest of Mahattaya, the LTTE's intelligence unit spotted in the Jaffna city a handicapped ex-LTTE cadre, called Engineer, alias Manickavasagam Mahendrajah. One of his legs had been severed during the Jaffna Fort military campaign. 6
The LTTE discharged him and he went to Chennai by boat to obtain prosthesis. Pottu Amman ordered his men to watch Engineer's activities. They arrested him on the third day, while he was returning from Mahattaya's base at Koandvil, and took him in for questioning. 6
At the interrogation, it became evident of the ploy to de-stabilize the LTTE. According to Engineer, he was arrested on suspicions in connection with Rajiv Gandhi's assassination while he was living in Chennai. The RAW agents, who had a full dossier on him, spotted him and initiated confidential discussions. Subsequently, they sent Engineer, via Colombo, with a message for Mahattaya. They instructed Mahattaya to dump Prabhakaran and to be ready to assume the leadership of a North-East autonomous region. After the meeting with Engineer, Mahattaya dispatched Suresh with instructions to arrange the assassination of Prabhakaran. 6
At the investigation it became clear that Suresh, who arrived at Puthur-Vannivilakulam, could not establish contact with their hit man to convey Mahattaya's urgent order. 6
After the arrest of Mahattaya, President Ranasinghe Premadasa was killed on May 1, 1993 by an LTTE suicide bomber. The murder sparked off much speculation about Premadasa's link to Rajiv Gandhi's assassination conspiracy. 6
Unfortunately, Premadasa's link with Mahattaya and Chandraswami did not surface. C Rajadurai, a former Minister and High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Malaysia, was alleged to be the go-between between Premadasa and Chandraswami. But this aspect still remains shrouded in a thick veil of secrecy. 6
In the meantime, the LTTE cadres in prison at Vellore, Tamil Nadu, staged a dramatic escape. The LTTE dispatched two speedboats to bring back 14 escapees safely, and gave them a rousing heroes' welcome. Meanwhile, the LTTE office in Jaffna received a letter regarding the jail break scam staged by the RAW, delivered by someone who returned from India, after visiting his son, who was arrested and detained at the Vellore prison. 6
On receipt of the letter, the intelligence unit alerted the leadership. Within a few days they arrested those 14 masqueraded as heroes. At the inquiry it became clear that RAW operatives regularly visited them and held lengthy discussions and finally they agreed to work for the RAW. 6
According to RAW's instructions, the 14 escapees were to free Mahattaya and also arrange the assassination of Prabhakaran. It came to light that one Susilan, a confidante of Mahattaya, was the one who planned to assassinate Prabhakaran. Susilan, after his arrest, admitted that he was instructed to shoot down Prabhakaran. 6
After a long and protracted investigation, the LTTE court-marshalled Mahattaya, condemned him to die, but the execution was delayed. In the later part of 1996 they took him around a few bases in the Vanni area and showed him to their cadres to prove that he was alive. Recently, a journal in Sri Lanka came out with the news that the LTTE had executed Mahattaya and handed over the body to his wife for cremation. This news item needs further confirmation. (But according to Adele Balasingham, in her The Will to Freedom, "Mahathaya [Mahendrarajah] the ill fated deputy leader of the LTTE, who was executed for treason in 1994 …" - page 60) 6
Inconclusive myth
For all practical purposes, the LTTE high command had decided against publicizing Mahattaya's investigation report, thus keeping many intriguing issues in suspense. The LTTE categorically denied its involvement in the murder of Rajiv Gandhi. One opinion prevailing is that there was no need for the militants to deny the murder if they genuinely plotted and killed Rajiv Gandhi and in case they committed the murder, they would have declared it publicly and provided reasons to justify their killing, or else at least put up posters within Jaffna for local consumption to hail their heroic performance. Normally, the LTTE annually included in its martyrs' list those heroes who had died in acts of bravery and heroism while accomplishing their missions. 6
Those accused in Rajiv Gandhi's murder, but who before being arrested committed suicide, including the human bomb Dhanu, were not included in the martyrs' list. Why? Furthermore, why have they not disclosed the role Mahattaya played in the murder? Are they shielding anyone, at the cost of their complacency by acquiescing the blame? Are they trying to cover up anyone by keeping the investigating report classified? 6
The above details show the power struggle within the LTTE during the pre-and post IPKF period. From 1988 to the end of 1991, Mahattaya operated independently in his capacity as the deputy leader and he made use of the Tiger cadres for his operations. Cadres followed the chain of command and unwittingly carried out those orders. A way open to the Indian government was to appoint an international commission with wide terms of reference. Then there may be opportunity for the commission to visit Sri Lanka, meet the LTTE leaders in their own turf and record their statements and thus convincingly probe into the lingering allegations about the LTTE's connections in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination conspiracy. 6
Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi was quoted one fine Thursday saying that neither she nor her son or daughter would like hanging of any of the four convicted for assassination of her husband and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. 6This kind of statement of Congress President puts her acts in doubt. In the light of above it can be said that much more required to be done in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
To see all articles of writer visit

No comments:

Post a Comment