Was trawler sunk for non-payment of "kappan"?
Hard on the heels of the
Navy sinking a Tiger guerrilla cargo vessel with military hardware
comes the news of an incident involving a fishing trawler in the
Two fishing trawlers - Fu-Yung Yu 225 and Fu-Yung Yu 226 - were
in the deep seas off Mullaitivu pre-dawn last Thursday when they
were reportedly surrounded by a flotilla of Sea Tiger boats.
RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) to disable the first trawler. When
it began to sink, the crew shifted to lifeboats. Sea Tigers flashed
torchlights to identify them and opened fire with assault rifles.
Seventeen crew members, all Chinese barring two Sri Lankans, are
feared dead. The second trawler rescued 11 crewmembers including
one Sri Lankan. Later they radioed and a Naval craft picked them
up. They were brought to the Eastern Naval Area Headquarters in
Trincomalee. Two of the crewmembers were said to be in a critical
condition and were flown to Colombo in a helicopter.
The two trawlers
are said to belong to a Board of Investment (BoI) approved company.
The crewmembers are from the People's Republic of China and their
Embassy in Colombo has reacted with concern over the incident.
have arisen over the incident. Some wonder whether Sea Tigers attacked
the trawler assuming it was a Naval craft. Others say it was a Sea
Tiger retaliatory attack on a merchant ship in the area to express
their protest against the Navy sinking of their cargo vessel.
A few State
agencies are probing the matter. At least one agency, Alia has learnt,
is looking into a rather unusual aspect. Those are reports that
the Sea Tiger action was because they were not paid "kappan"
or simply "taxes" as the Tigers would call it
a dispute about this matter has been in the air for sometime. It
is no secret that big time business interests operating in the Jaffna
peninsula or its environs have to pay substantial amounts of money
as "taxes" to obtain Tiger guerrilla approval and protection.
of the investigation is assuming greater significance since the
owners of local backer of this joint venture effort, if not officially,
in an unofficial capacity, is said to be the wife of a leading UNF
politico. Was that why they stood their ground not to pay "kappan"
Whatever it is , the LTTE has sparked off an international controversy.
It owes an explanation.
Hello!!! Snoopers are back again
After a silence of well over an year, snoopers are back again listening
in on who says what to whom. The operation, insiders say, began
on Thursday March 13.
One top source characterized the latest operation as purely an effort
to identify those who were "all out to wreck the peace process
and thus endanger national security interests." A whole host
of them including politicians, trade unionists, political activists,
"suspected" media personnel are among those in the list,
according to insiders. The watch on media or "wild asses,"
as they are identified, is more for their "sources." over
reports that are embarrasing. No different to the practice of the
People’s Alliance when in power.
one finds it difficult to blame UNF leaders who declared upon coming
to power that they would not resort to this "heavily practiced
art by the previous Government" both on grounds of transparency
and to prevent intrusions into the privacy of the public. However,
as one of them explained, the intelligence inputs they received
were "woefully inadequate to keep close tabs on what is going
Hence top level
Sri Lanka Telecom officials were approached to put right technical
defects before the latest operation commenced on land based communications.
Interesting enough, after being voted to power, the People's Alliance
Government declared in 1994, it would do away with snooping. It
did not take more than six months before the help of Telecom engineers
were sought to connect junction cables for the re-commencement of
operations. But this time, there was more work to do than just connecting
junction cables !!
will not retire after all
Plans by Tiger Guerrilla Chief Peace Negotiator, Anton Balasingham,
to go into "retirement" after the impending donor meeting
in Japan , have been dashed.
He told a public meeting in the Wanni before departure for the latest
round of peace talks in Hakone that he had told his leader, Velupillai
Prabhakaran, that he was tired and wanted to call it quits.
had reminded him that retirement for Tiger guerrillas come only
after their death. So Mr. Balasingham will continue to give his
outsider served as officer for 3 years
Itis incredible but true. An outsider served as a Captain in the
Sri Lanka Army for three long years. The discovery has sent shock
waves down the Army leadership.
The man in question, reportedly from the Gajaba Regiment, has been
visiting Army Headquarters frequently on various chores.
How did he enlist
into the Army? How did he succeed in inveigling everyone for three
long years? The man was first handed over to the CCMP (Corps Ceylon
Military Police) who in turn have handed him over to the Police
for further investigations. The outcome is being anxiously awaited.
Needless to say concerns will heighten if evidence is uncovered
that the man has been a plant by one group of the other.
bank seeks foreign investors
The "Bank of Tamileelam," whose main offices in Kilinochchi
was declared open by LTTE Chief Negotiator, Anton Balasingham, last
week, is wooing Tamil expatriates to invest in what it calls "Thayaka
Oil" (or Light of Homeland). To attract hard currency from
the Tamil diaspora abroad, this "Bank" is offering what
it calls "high interest rates." Non Resident Fixed Deposits
are said to carry an interest of 11 per cent on maturity for 24
months whilst it is ten per cent for an year.
The 24 month
interest rate for Resident Fixed Deposits is set at ten per cent
whilst for a year it has been fixed at nine per cent. A note circulated
to Tamil diaspora abroad says they could phone + 941 (0) 21-222
3967 to obtain information. The "bank's" slogan to attract
investment is "to your prosperity and the economic development
of Thamil Homeland."
Did a member of the Sri Lanka delegation to the Hakone peace talks
telephone Colombo to ask the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM)
to move in immediately after reports reached Japan that a fishing
trawler had been sunk by Sea Tigers?
Both security and political circles are buzzing with reports of
this move after claims that the caller wanted to ensure that an
eye was kept on the Navy.