Eight Persons including a woman who were under detention for more than three weeks breathed the air of freedom on the eve of the traditional April new year.
These eight persons taken into custody by the Police after a lightning raid on a bakery in Dehiwela some weeks ago.
Twelve persons including the eight released yesterday were taken into custody.Police suspected that the bakery premises was being used as a safehouse in Colombo by a clandestine group attempting to revive the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) in Sri Lanka.
The release has raised hopes about more persons detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act(PTA) being released in due course.
Security personnel tracking the LTTE revival attempts were alarmed by the discovery of an alleged conspiracy to assassinate either President Mahinda Rajapaksa or his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa the secretary of Defence and Urban Development.
It may be recalled that news of the Dehiwela bakery arrests and detention was reported exclusively in the columns of the “Daily Mirror”newspaper and in this blog by this writer.
I had also written earlier that several of those arrested at the Dehiwela bakery were innocent person and were likely to be released in due course.
This is what I wrote on March 31st/April 1st 2014 –
“According to reliable security related sources, the most important breakthrough in the probe into a potential LTTE renaissance was the detection of a conspiracy to execute a major assassination in Colombo. The target seems to have been either President Mahinda Rajapaksa or his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa the Secretary of Defence and Urban Development”.
.”Knowledgeable circles indicate that the proposed safe house in Colombo to be used as a launching pad for the envisaged attack has been identified and raided. This safehouse apparently was a bakery establishment in Dehiwela. Twelve persons connected to the premises were taken into custody. All of them are being held under provisions of the prevention of terrorism act (PTA).Ten are detained at Boosa while two are being intensively interrogated on the second floor at the Police Terrorism Investigation Division (TID)headquarters in Colombo”
“A few of those arrested on the Bakery premises are apparently innocent being totally unaware of the diabolical designs of the others involved as the LTTE generally functions on a need to know basis. It appears that the Colombo connection of the revived LTTE is now de-activated after the mopping up at Dehiwela”.
What was stated by this writer earlier about the possibility of those found innocent being released has now been proven correct to some extent.
It is learnt that the eight persons released were being held at the Boosa Detention Center.They were brought to the Police Terrorism Investigation Division headquarters in Colombo and released.
Some of the released persons were working in Colombo and were using the bakery premises as lodging while staying in Colombo. Some other were working at the bakery itself. A few were students pursuing higher studies in Colombo and also seeking better employment.
Inquiries revealed that none of the eight were involved in the LTTE attempt or had any knowledge of the diabolical motive for which the bakery was to be allegedly used.
Currently of the twelve arrested in Dehwela only four persons are in custody.Two of them are in Colombo and the other two in Boosa.
It is learnt that more persons being detained in connection with the alleged attempt to revive the LTTE in Sri Lanka will be released on a case by case basis in the days to come. It has been found that some of the detained persons are innocent dupes of the alleged conspirators. Some others who were relatives or friends of the main conspirators had been arrested initially on suspicion.
The Police TID were holding 62 persons in Colombo, Boosa,Vavuniya and Jaffna at the time of the pre-new year release of eight persons.
At the same time it is reliably learnt that some of those being detained presently are likely to be charged in courts after inquiries are over.These include a few women also.
TOP TIGER TRIO
Security forces also claim that the top tiger trio planning and coordinating the LTTE revival attempt has been killed in a military operation at Vedivaithakallu in Vavuniya district.
The three persons reportedly killed are Sutharalingam Gajeeban alias Theiveegan,Ponniah Selvanayagam Kajeeban alias Gobi ak.a.Kaasiyan and Navaratnam Navaneethan alias Appan.
Police have announced that the three bodies were buried at the Vijayapura burial grounds in Anuradhapura. A hindu priest from the Kathiresan temple in Anuradhapura performed the last rites according to Hindu tenets. The wife,mother and father in law of Kajeepan alias Gobi were reportedly present at the time.
Earlier the bodies were examined by the Anuradhapura Judicial Medical officer. The inquest was conducted by the Kebbetigollawa Magistrate.
DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org