After the initial round of extra-judicial killings of some senior Tigers in the weeks around circa 18/19th May 2009,[i] the GSL forces continued with the process of weeding Tigers from the mass of civilians who had fled their corralled situation as sandbags and propaganda tools for the LTTE cause—a process that had commenced from late 2009 as some Tamils managed to flee from the Vanni Pocket. Those deemed Tiger were located in secure detention centres and/or prisons (whereas the camps at Manik Farm had only single stranded barbed wire and leaked like the proverbial sieve.
With the aid of the International Office of Migration and other INGOS as well as some local agencies (private and official) the Government proceed with a programme of “rehabilitation” for the Tiger prisoners. These personnel were initial categorised as A, B, C and D with the first category being discerned (guessed at?) as hardcore.
Overt time they were released gradually –sometimes at media events; while pro-government reporters presented individual success stories and Rukie Fernando and other anti-government agencies presented stories distress or tales of persecution by CID surveillance and intimidation of some of these ex-Tigers. Some ex-tigers are known to have been among those who chose to board trawlers seeking Valhalla in Australia.
One of the initial problems with this line of government policy was its bureaucratic rigidity and thus idiocy. Having graded the Tigers initially, the grade system was abandoned when they were released. So all tigers seem to have been treated alike—namely with some suspicion. Such bureaucratic blanketing is, clearly, a form of bungling.
As far as I know (I’m subject to correction), no deep-rooted ethnographic survey has been carried out on the progress of those released as “rehabilitated” (a blanket term).
The recent arrest of Stanly Kennedy [see below] is one illustration of the state’s failure in rehabilitation. It is not necessarily a typical instance of course. In fact, apart from his name, Kennedy seems to have been a peculiar character with bi-lingual skills apart from abilities in the use of firearms and hit-operations.
One should not narrow one’s focus on the LTTE and elements from the Karuna defection corps. It is likely that several soldiers and sailors with military skills – especially those who deserted during Eelam wars II and III – moved into the criminal ‘fraternity.’
Michael Roberts (A): “Turning Tiger Personnel into Lankan Citizens?” 31 October 2011, http://thuppahis.com/2011/10/31/turning-tiger-personnel-into-lankan-citizens/
Michael Roberts (B): “The War in Sri Lanka and Post-War Propaganda,” 18 November 2014, http://thuppahis.com/2014/11/18/the-war-in-sri-lanka-and-propaganda-debates/
Michael Roberts [C ]: “Cartographic & Photographic Illustrations in support of the Memorandum Analysing the War in Sri Lanka and Its Propaganda Debates,” 18 November 2014 http://thuppahis.com/2014/11/18/cartographic-photographic-illustrations-in-support-of-the-memorandum-analysing-the-war-in-sri-lanka-and-propaganda-debates/
Thangavelu, Velupillai 2013 “LTTE Cadres Who Surrendered To The Army: Where Are They?” Colombo Telegraph, 18 August 2013, http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/ltte-cadres-who-surrendered-to-the-army-where-are-they/.
Weiss, Gordon 2012 “New Evidence — The Death of Colonel Ramesh,” 21 March 2012, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/newevidencethe-death-of-colonel-ramesh-warning-disturbing-images/
[White Flag] 2014 5 years On: The White Flag Incident, http://white-flags.org/
NEWS ITEM in DAILY NEWS, 19 April 2016: “Former LTTE carder arrested”
Intelligence Officers attached to the Special Task Force (STF) of the police have arrested an individual and recovered a foreign manufactured 9mm pistol and a magazine with eight ammunitions. The arrest was made in the Galle police division following a tip off they received. They have also found three hand-phones in the possession of the suspect. During the preliminary investigations the STF intelligence officers have found that this suspect is wanted by the police in connection with four murders.
The suspect has been identified as a prominent underworld figure, Stanly Kennedy, known as ‘Kennedy’, a 29-year-old resident of Colombo 13. Initial investigations have revealed that the suspect had undergone military training under the LTTE and been in the Charles Anthony brigade of the LTTE for five years when the LTTE was active. After surrendering to the government security forces, the suspect had been rehabilitated and released. He had then joined a prominent underworld group in south led by Kosgoda Suji. He was handed over to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) and TID is conducting further investigations.
[i] See Weiss 2012; Thangavelu 2013; White Flag 2014 and Roberts B and Roberts C.