Case of LTTE’s Arms Smugglers–In–Chief: Curiouser & Curiouser – Lanka Guardian

September 16, 2007 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Has a similar thing happened in the case of KP? Have the Americans whisked him out of Thailand without his being formally arrested in order to question him on the LTTE’s links with Al Qaeda and pro-Al Qaeda jihadi organisations such as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) of Pakistan and Abu Sayyaf of the Philippines?

In its official web site, the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry announced on September 11,2007, that the Thai authorities arrested at Bangkok on September 10,2007, the LTTE’s chief arms procurer, Shanmugan Kumaran Tharmalingam, also known as Kumaran Pathmanathan or “KP”.

However, Mr.Piyira Khempon, a spokesman of the Thai Foreign Ministry ,was quoted as saying that the Government was not aware of any such arrest.

Dismissing the report, Thai police spokesman Lt General Narong Yangyern was quoted as saying that a thorough check showed that the last time Thai police arrested any LTTE member was in 2003 and he was extradited on August 15, 2007 to Sri Lanka. In a report datelined Colombo, the “Asia Tribune”, an online newspaper, claimed that KP had obtained Thai citizenship and was married to a Thai woman.

The denial by the Thai Police of the ” arrest” of K.P. did not mean that they had not informally picked up a person with a Thai passport, believed to be identical with KP, for questioning. It is known that the police forces in South and South-East Asia generally avoid formally arresting a terrorist suspect before investigation is complete because a formal arrest means he has to be produced before a court within a certain period of time.

The majority of Al Qaeda suspects informally picked up by the Pakistani intelligence and handed over to the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were never formally arrested and hence there are no records with the Pakistan Police regarding their arrest.

The relatives of these persons have filed habeas corpus petitions before the Pakistan Supreme Court.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has denied that they were “arrested” and any knowledge of their whereabouts. Some of them are alleged to be in the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba.

In September,2003, the Thai Police informally picked up Hambali, the then operational chief of Indonesia’s Jemmah Islamiyah, at Ayuthya and handed him over to the FBI, which flew him out to Diego Garcia for questioning. He was then reportedly shifted to Guantanamo Bay.

The Thai Police have not so far officially admitted his arrest. The Americans did not confirm for a long time that he was in their custody. They did not allow the Indonesians to join in his interrogation. They did not hand him over to the Indonesian Police.

Has a similar thing happened in the case of KP? Have the Americans whisked him out of Thailand without his being formally arrested in order to question him on the LTTE’s links with Al Qaeda and pro-Al Qaeda jihadi organisations such as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) of Pakistan and Abu Sayyaf of the Philippines?

In the last two years, two operations of the LTTE to procure and smuggle arms and ammunition, including surface-to-air missiles, from the US have been neutralised by the FBI, which would be interested in questioning KP about them.

KP is of interest not only to India and Sri Lanka, but also to the US.(B.Raman/the writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai)

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: