Ramnad steps up anti-Tiger vigil
Tamil Nadu’s coastal districts under investigators’
INDIA: Indian authorities have intensified investigations into LTTE
operations in the coastal district of Ramnad, which overlooks Mannar,
just across the Palk Strait.
The biggest number of detections of explosives and war material
destined for the LTTE has been made from Ramnad.
Since the start of 2007 until now, Indian authorities have seized
unusually large volumes of ball bearings that are used as shrapnel,
aluminium bars, both ordinary and electronic detonators, boat building
equipment, walkie-talkies, batteries and petroleum products, a IANS
Also found hidden or abandoned have been chemicals including
sulphuric acid, high-speed outboard engines for boats, cycle spares,
tires for cycles and motorcycles, power generators, and surgical
equipment including medicines.
The seizures also include beedis - the poor man’s cigarette, now a
prized commodity in Sri Lanka’s North. Some of the seizures run into
tonnes. The detonators have been found in thousands.
The quantity of chemicals totals hundreds of litres. Arrests of
couriers have been few in relation to the materials seized. Both Sri
Lankan and Indian Tamils have been involved, some for the larger cause
and some purely for money.
Some of the seized goods were found buried or in safe houses. Others
were simply abandoned when the police came too close to catching the
Security agencies from the Central and Tamil Nadu Governments are
regularly confiscating from the coastal belt ammunition and dual use
goods that officials say are destined for the LTTE.
“The fact that such large quantities are being seized is a sign that
much larger quantities are being sought - an indicator of what the LTTE
is looking for from the nearest land source in view of the damage
suffered by its shipping lines,” A IANS report said.
Experts say the LTTE is using stuff smuggled from Tamil Nadu to
prepare mines - one of the most lethal weapons in the conflict.
The LTTE uses the lure of its Tamil nationalist ideology and money to
procure what it wants from Tamil Nadu, a state it knows well and one
separated from Sri Lanka by a narrow strip of sea.
For anything and everything seized, it is safe to conclude that much
more must be getting through to Sri Lanka.
According to Indian officials, the LTTE has also tried to build a
huge vessel in Kerala and tried to procure mortars from Tamil Nadu.
As the war escalates, the Tigers’ dependence on Tamil Nadu is only
expected to rise.