Jungle Telegraph

5th December 1999
By Alia
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How Bala made it

Anton Balasingham, the Tiger guerrilla ideologue suffered a kidney ailment that prompted his leadership to appeal to the Government to seek "safe passage out of Sri Lanka" for treatment abroad. 

They even released soldiers as "a goodwill gesture." But the Government imposed conditions. Later LTTE boats and ships smuggled him out. 

Relating the story last week from London was none other than Anton Balasingham himself. How this close confidante of LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, made it is reported in the widely accessed Tamilnet website which counts among others the Colombo based diplomats and the local intelligence community as regular visitors. Diplomats sought the "other view" from accounts in the Tamilnet. Like most of the other published newspaper accounts (or open source intelligence), Tamilnet is also widely quoted in periodic "top secret" intelligence reports. 

Tamilnet said Dr Balasingham, "Liberation Tiger Political Adviser," made his first appearance since arrival in the UK, early this year, at the "Heroes Day function" at the London Arena on November 27. This is how Tamilnet described what Dr. Balasingham said: 

"He said that when he fell ill in the Wanni with kidney failure, President Chandrika had been approached by Britain, Norway and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to allow his transport abroad for treatment.

"Even though the LTTE released captured Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers as a sign of goodwill, the government had seized the opportunity to impose conditions on the LTTE," he said. 

"They wanted the LTTE to cease operations in Jaffna, not interfere with local administration and not target the supply ships to the Army there," he said. 

"All these things which, peculiarly enough, had nothing to do with my kidney," he said drawing laughter. 

"Then the LTTE told me not to worry, that they would take care of my transport requirements," he said. "I was brought out by LTTE boat and ship," 

Commenting on the report, one Asian intelligence source said Dr. Balasingham travelled by LTTE ship to an undisclosed port in Bangkok to a "warm reception" and flew from there to London. Who arranged the reception ? That remains a top secret !! 

Hasty attempt

Did a top man in uniform make a hasty attempt to drive a Double Cab, partly battle damaged, out of the Wanni, when the same vehicle had been listed as one lost ? 

Insiders say a young lieutenant and two soldiers manning a check-point north of Vavuniya stopped the vehicle. 

The Military Police have now been called to probe the matter. 

Load of mortars

Intelligence circles are buzzing with reports of an LTTE vessel unloading a shipment of military hardware in the north east coast on the late night of November 14 and the early hours next day. 

They say the cargo contained a load of mortars and medical supplies.

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