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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Unfolding mysteries behind "Operation KP"

[caption id="attachment_4183" align="alignright" width="460" caption="Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse fondly embraced by his elder brother Mahinda Rajapakse – Sri Lanka President, just after he survived a suicide bomb attack by the LTTE (File photo)"]Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse fondly embraced by his elder brother Mahinda Rajapakse – Sri Lanka President, just after he survived a suicide bomb attack by the LTTE (File photo)[/caption]

By Hudson Samarasinghe - Chairman, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation

Colombo, 16 August, (Asiantribune.com): A well executed plan of government intelligence agencies led to KP’s arrest – Gotabhaya Rajapakse.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse reiterates that the arrest of KP alias Kumaran Padmanadan is the outcome of a long term plan implemented with commitment. The intelligence and security divisions were aware of the information regarding KP since the beginning.

The Sri Lankan government was focusing attention on dismantling the LTTE on the international level as well, following the killing of the Tiger terrorist leader V.Prabaharan.

Mr Gotabhaya Rajapakse made these comments at a Live discussion “Subarathi” at National Radio (SLBC).

Mr Rajapakse was interviewed by the Chairman of the state radio Hudson Samarasinghe. The interview which was exclusively conducted by the Chairman(state radio) lasted for 40 minutes.

The Defence Secretary further said information has been divulged on the worldwide LTTE network following interrogations with KP. Vital information regarding arms deal and LTTE network has been revealed by KP during this process.

Mr. Rajapakse further said that LTTE was emerging as a powerful organization which could create an impact even on the developed countries in the world.

He further pointed out that the continuous and direct political leadership provided by the President has helped to eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s international relations are at a higher level despite accusations launched by the opposition and numerous groups. Sri Lanka is maintaining the prudent policy of disassociating from the traditional practice of conducting relations only with western countries. Sri Lanka’s dealings with countries beyond the western world, has helped to achieve many victories, Gotabhaaya Rajapaksa said

Here are some of the excerpts of the interview.

Hudson Samarasinghe : Daily , we hear many news. We listen much security news. We also listen about some news on Mr Gotabhaya Rajapakse. some news here and there about a character which is gem of important in the history of Sri Lanka.

During the war against LTTE terrorism, a man who played a major role, deserved to portrait himself as main character in the book of history is none other than Mr Gotabhaya Rajapakse , Defense Secretary of Sri Lanka. We as the state media , thought of bringing out all news connected to Defense Secretary in one line to show a clear picture to the masses on the gallant services of Mr Gotabhaya Rajapakse rendered to the nation. For this purpose we requested Mr Gotabhaya Rajapakse to give us an opportunity for an interview. As a result, we are here now at his residence.

Good Morning , Mr Gotabhaya Rajapakse,

Defense – Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse : Good Morning

Hudson Samarasinghe : First we would like to ask you one important question. Now- a-days, everybody is talking about a character known as “KP”. Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP is one who has been playing a major role in the LTTE international network. I am not going to ask you how you caught KP or the method used to secure him. That is not important for me who is a media personnel. But give us the real picture of this “KP”.

Gotabhaya Rajapakse: Our Intelligence Unit continuously kept a close watch on KP, because KP is the main character who collected funds for LTTE. And especially he is the person who is behind this arms supply for LTTE. The arms which are being detected and captured in Wanni , Mullivaikkal, Puthumathalan and Puthukudiyiruppu - all these LTTE’s ammunition and weapons were brought to Sri Lanka through KP’s network.

KP has been working with LTTE for more than 20 years. But according to the intelligence information, KP was disassociated during the last 2-3 years from the arms supply, but he was assigned with some other task due to some reasons. But again during the first half of this year, LTTE leader appointed KP as the outfit’s international co-ordinator.

It happened on the 15th of January 2009.This was done due to the fact that LTTE could not carry out the arms deal and business successfully. It is important to note that the arms and ammunition which LTTE possess were brought to the organization by KP. After the death of LTTE leader, KP started functioning as the leader of LTTE.

During the last stages of LTTE, the international community and other international organization used KP to discuss the LTTE related matters and the situation in Sri Lanka. After that, KP tried to become the leader of LTTE by uniting all LTTE organizations in the world countries.

According to the intelligence unit, KP had a good response from the LTTE organizations for his call. During this time only, we (Sri Lankan intelligence unit) arrested KP. It is important to note that we arrested a person who was with LTTE from the early days. KP is a person who played a major role in fund raising, arms collection, and drug trafficking and merchant ship transport. It is important that we arrested a person of this nature, so that we could get all information about LTTE’s dealings and transaction.

Our intelligence agents are fortunate enough to capture a person of this caliber, so that through KP, we could get all vital information regarding arms, ammunition, drug and shipping network and break the back borne of these networks. Meanwhile, we also find that there are not only local elements but some external elements also trying to save or protect the organization.

Hudson Samarasinghe : I can still remember that ,when you mentioned to President Mahinda Rajapakse about KP’s arrest, President phoned me personally and said “Hudson I have just worshipped Dala Malikawa and prayed for this 20 million masses in this country. I just got the call from my brother Gotabhaya reporting KP’s arrest. Immediately I thanked the God, as I got an immediate response for my prayers. This 20 million people are like my children”. Tears came from his eyes which showed the love, kind affection and gratitude he has for the masses of this country.

We have heard about Nazi – torture cells and Mozart organization. We have heard about CIA (Central Intelligence Agencies of America) and Federal Bureau of Intelligence. We as a small country achieved something which CIA or other world’s leading intelligence agencies could not accomplish. Our country’s intelligence services have become very strong. How did this happen?

Gotabhaya Rajapakse : Many people contributed to this success. It is important to make a note that when we do something we are always cautious and vigilant. This is not achieved in a day or two. This is a long term process. We slowly but steadily progressed to achieve the target. In the past, successive Sri Lankan governments made a serious mistake of having diplomatic ties with only some countries in the west. They never thought of having diplomatic ties with the countries which our country needed for our assistance.

When President Mahinda Rajapakse (my brother) campaigned in the presidential election during 2005, the opposition parties made various criticisms and statements saying that Mr Mahinda Rajapakse does not know how to administer the country, how to develop diplomatic ties with western countries , he does not know anything about economy and many more allegations. But President Mahinda Rajapakse turned the table within a short period of time and showed clearly demonstrated to the opposition and the world countries how to build diplomatic ties with countries and build the economy of the country.

Briefly, president showed it to the world within the last 4 years, that he is the best in ruling the country, developing diplomatic ties, building the economy and in every aspect of development. I also wanted to point out that the previous governments specially the foreign affairs department, - have they really develop diplomatic ties for the local requirement ? Or they just followed the traditional method of having restricting their relationship to certain countries such as America, Britain, Canada and so on.

Taking the history into account, we drew a plan of having diplomatic ties with the countries which are important to eradicate the terrorism in Sri Lanka. In that context, we found that the previous governments have completely forgotten about the South East Asian countries.

Correcting that mistake, we took steps to strengthen the diplomatic ties with the South East Asian countries. President Mahinda Rajapakse has focused in this area since he took over the office. Accordingly, he built up a good relationship with India, Pakistan, China, Russia , Indonesia , Malaysia , Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Myanmar. President has developed a good relationship with these countries. The main reason is to capture KP and his LTTE network.

Because, the military intelligence has continuously pointed out that KP , LTTE and other related organizations actively function in these countries. The LTTE used to do their money transactions, drug trafficking, human trafficking and arms dealing in these countries. They have their merchant and war ships in the waters of these countries.

Therefore we understood that the importance of putting a full stop to this situation. So we acted wisely to build a good relationship with these countries, so that we could get rid of this LTTE menace from these countries. President, since he took over the office, he even sent the prime Minister to these countries to develop ties.

Many agreements have been signed between the state military agencies of these countries. We appointed some special officers also to certain post in these countries. Officers attached to state military and intelligence services were appointed on a special assignment.

We have been slowly but steadily working closely with these officers to find the movements of KP from inception. Can you remember about 2 years ago, there was news from Thailand saying that KP was arrested? That news was given more publicity and as a result many countries got involved and finally the particular news vanished without any progress. But we did this in more spectacular manner keeping everything secret. As a result we succeeded in this venture.

Hudson Samarasinghe : Yes, I can remember you telling me on the day when KP was arrested , you advised me not to spread more details on KP’s arrest.

Gotabhaya Rajapakse : Yes, this time we kept many things secret. So that we were able to do many things perfectly. Even the international network which helped us, expects some element of secrecy, when handling these matters. We have not done these things overnight or within a shor period of t time. We have started planning this long time ago, and effectively designed an agenda, appointed some officers and carried out thismMajor operation successfully.

Hudson Samarasinghe : I can remember the Indian leading news paper “The Hindu” carried a news article under the name of “Operation KP”. In that article the author has made an in depth analysis of the situation. The author actually praised you (Defense Secretary – Sri Lanka ) for carrying out this task in a more spectacular manner.

The Hindu article also commended your ( Mr Gotabhaya Rajapalse ) efforts and commitment in successfully concluding this operation. Recently, President Mahinda Rajapakse in an interview with an Indian News TV channel. He said that LTTE leader would have had a dream of becoming an emperor in the south east region. President said so, by looking at the amount of arms captured in the Mullivaikal and the suburban areas .

During last stage of war , wen I went to Puthumathalan and Puthukkudiyiruppu I saw some shops having names such as “Cholan Food Store” “Cheran Tea Kade” and so on. Even KP had his merchant vessel under the name of “Chola MV”. What is your opinion?

Gotabaya Rajapakse : I also see that there is a point. Looking at the movements and activities of LTTE for the last 2 decades, we can see that LTTE had a pretty larger vision. Also looking at the vital information divulged by KP showed that it looks like LTTE is not only a threat to Sri Lanka but to the whole world. When looking at the LTTE’s arms dealing network , shipping network and other business activities, it showed how far they have spearheaded the whole process. It is good that we put a full stop to this organization here; otherwise it would have been major threat to the whole world.

- Asian Tribune -

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