Sivaram killing: Details surface
Two ex-PLOTE members arrested
By Asif Fuard
The two suspects who are former PLOTE members arrested in Maharagama on Monday in connection with the killing of TamilNet Editor Dharmaretnam Sivaram have been remanded till June 28 as more details of the assassination were unearthed.

The suspects were produced before the Kaduwela Magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratnam when the case was taken up last Tuesday. The Magistrate ordered the Colombo Crimes Division, which is carrying out the investigation, to have an identification parade where the witnesses could identify the suspects.

Police investigations reveal that there was a person in the Bambalapitiya Restaurant where Sivaram was last seen before he was abducted, who had given the tip-off to the killers. Police investigations reveal that the main reason for the killers to keep open Sivaram’s cellular phone for more than a week, was to track down who his regular callers were.

The Police made a vital breakthrough in its investigation by locating Sivaram’s mobile phone SIM card. A vehicle also has been taken into custody from the residence where the PLOTE members were arrested. The Police were making efforts to locate Sivaram’s mobile phone, which was ringing for days after he was kidnapped. By using technological advances in telecommunication they managed to locate Sivaram’s Dialogue GSM SIM card, but were unable to find his mobile phone.

The two suspects who were believed to be PLOTE members were at a rented house in Maharagama at the time the Police raided the place. The police investigation revealed the Indian manufactured vehicle, which was found at the house in Maharagama was owned by PLOTE leader D. Sidharthan. It was also revealed that the vehicle the police found was Sidharthan’s official vehicle, which he used during the time he was a Member of Parliament.
Colombo Crimes Division Director SSP Sarath Lugoda told The Sunday Times “We have come to a very crucial point in the investigation by locating Sivaram’s cellular phone SIM card”.

“We have questioned over a hundred people regarding Sivaram’s killing. We had to release some of the suspects due to insufficient evidence. We have a few more key suspects to be taken but who are evading arrest,” he said.
“We have detained a few ex-PLOTE members who might be connected to this since Sivaram was a former PLOTE member”, he said.

The Sunday Times learns that one of the members arrested was an ex-PLOTE militant who went by the code name Peter. He was also involved in the 1988 military coup to overthrow the Maldivian Government controlled by President Abdul Gayoom.

Arumugam Sriskandaraja alias Peter from Akaraipattu joined the PLOTE military wing in 1984. Under the leadership of the founder of PLOTE Uma Maheswaran, Peter received his training in India at the PLOTE base in Mandipalam in Madras.
After the Indo-Lanka pact was signed in 1987 the PLOTE members who returned to Sri Lanka established military bases at Mullikulam, Kunjikulam and Seththikulam which are in the Mannar district.

During that time the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was sent to Sri Lanka to control the mounting tension between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE. The IPKF which was operating in the North and East of the country took control of the PLOTE political office that was based in Vavuniya by detaining 25 of its members.

Peter, 42, suffering from the scars of war after he was injured during his times as a rebel, remains a suspect in the killing of ex-general secretary of PLOTE Sivaram.

Top  Back to News  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.