The Smuggling Networks & Wherewithal of VVT: A Key Factor in the Rise to Power of the LTTE

Jane Russell and Michael Roberts in Interaction


“Once, while waiting for a CTB bus at Kurumbacciddy Junction in 1974, I saw a blackboard advertising a lecture by the then proto-LTTE which showed speedboats pulling the Jaffna peninsula across the Palk Straits and joining it to Tamil Nadu.”[1]

DEAR JANE, WHEN precisely in 1974?

Yours is an intriguing piece of ethnography … The Tamil New Tigers were a tiny group then[2]…. and the ISSUE IS: who had the vision/imagination to formulate this prospect and/or this propaganda line? KP? Pirapaharan? …………………….. michael

These pictures of fishing trawlers in recent times must serve as an evocation of the high-powered smuggler boats that were active from the 1960s if not earlier …. the argument being one that emphasises (A) navigational skills; (B) Lanka-Indo cross-country networks; (C) criminal bravado and D) the requisite ‘instruments” [boats] for smuggling operations — which, then, became a foundation for the Sea Tiger arms of the LTTE project.

an LTTE speedboat — in the first decade 21st century Sea Tigresses with one of their attack craft

TWO: JANE’S RESPONSES, 3 October 2021

Earlyish in 1974….between February-May perhaps. ……. please see my email sent just now on pivotal role of VVT in LTTE creation….

Jane’s Memo, also on 3 October 2021:

 Thanks for that…..these are further thoughts on the issue: as provoked by your intervention…..

VVT was a key element in the LTTE rise to power. The marriage convention in VVT, I was informed by a local resident, was for VVT-born fishermen/smugglers to marry women from families in coastal villages of Tamil Nadu, particularly those with outlaw credentials.  Thus, children from VVT grew up with dual loyalties: to the Jaffna peninsula and to Tamil Nadu. But also [adhered to] an ‘outlaw’ creed that brooked no authority, but their own.

VVT was (almost) an autonomous centre of power within the Northern Province. When Mao-Tse-Tung died (9th September 1976), I was staying with friends in a broken down walauwwa on the beach in VVT. Within hours, posters of Mao were plastered all over VVT.  I was first surprised that this village of individualistic smuggling-outlaw entrepreneurs would bemoan the demise of the most extreme left-wing revolutionary of the 20th century; and second, I was impressed with the organisational prowess of the local CP-China Wing that enabled such a propaganda-campaign to happen so swiftly. There were posters put up elsewhere in the Peninsula that day, but nowhere as ubiquitous as in VVT.

The values of the LTTE leadership were culled from twin identities of Jaffnese and Tamil Nad coastal villages: and their violent methods from generations of piratical brigandage (cf. British attempts to stop smuggling from South India to the NP in the 1920’s-40’s by closing all northern ports) that had brought such prosperity to VVT. The huge, sophisticated speedboats tied to the VVT jetty in 1976 — far more powerful than anything then employed by the Sri Lankan navy — testified to the success of the smuggling regime. 

It is against this backdrop that the cartoon of speedboats pulling the Peninsula across to Tamil Nadu must be judged.

warm regards, Jane

Michael Roberts: Reflections and Surmises arising from This Corpus of Information

The resistance of the Sri Lankan Tamils to what many in their community considered to be offensive Sinhala discrimination was marked by a proliferation of underground strands (for the most part centred in the Jaffna Peninsula, but also involving networks in Mannar District and the Eastern Province). Amidst occasional cooperation, these militant groups were in competition with each other from the late 1970s to the 1990s. Most of the rebel outfits also had encouragement and support from the government of India and from segments of the population in Tamilnadu.

That the LTTE came to dominate the resistance struggle by the year 1985/86 was due to their ruthless efficiency in stifling the capacity of these contenders by eliminating the leaders: (A) the assault on a TELO camp in the Jaffna Peninsula on 29th April 1985 and the systematic elimination of their personnel in the Peninsula by LTTE fighters led by Kittu which saw the decimation of TELO;[3] (B) the assassination of Uma Maheswaran, leader of  PLOTE on the 16th July 1989;[4] and (C) the elimination of the EPRLF’s Central Committee as they held a meeting in Chennai on the 19th June 1990.[5]

Note that the LTTE commando team that effected the strike on the EPRLF in Chennai is said to have been led by David, a former officer in the merchant seaman’s world. Speculatively, therefore, I underline the vital importance of the seafaring capacities and smuggling networks of the Karaiyar caste networks within the LTTE in the competition to lead the liberation struggle of the SL Tamils. This capacity, in my conjecture, was sharpened by the organizational genius of KP Pathmanathan, a VVT man who was Velupillai Pirapaharan’s best man at his wedding in India, and who then settled down in Thailand as the logistics head of the LTTE international operations.[6]

Pirapaharan’s Wedding Photo in India with young KP on his right

  KP in Tiger territory circa 2001 with Pirapaharan, Anton Balasingham and Sornarajah (head of the LTTE airwing) … circa 2001

The seafaring limitations of the other rebel organisations are indicated by the fact that PLOTE chose Sivaram as their point-man in efforts to send arms to the east from India and the Jaffna Peninsula. Sivaram was from the east, yes. His IQ was of the highest order, yes.[7] But he was from a well-to-do landowning family. Though his knowledge of the jungles was above par, his capacity to locate suitable landing arenas while approaching the coast would have been limited.[8]


  An Unsolicited Comment from Retd Brigadier Sri Mudannayake, 12 October 2021

Dear Dr. Roberts

The connection between VVT, PPD [Point Pedro] and few other northernmost hamlets of the JFN Peninsula with Southern India was phenomenal.  It is not an exaggeration to say that there were Tamils of that region who haven’t been to Southern Sri Lanka, but have been to Southern India many times. Young men went by boat to South India to watch movies. There were no GPS, radios or radar for navigation or communication. They, being excellent boatmen, sailed boats back and forth by instinct. The expertise was handed over from one generation to another.

There was smuggling of people and contraband from India to SL as well. Spices and foreign liquor went from here, and sarees, sarongs, and textiles came back.  It is to control these illicit practices that TAFAII [Task Force Anti Illicit Immigration][9] was created.

The status quo prevailed until the advent of separatism ideology from Tamil politicians of SL.

A NOTE re Captain David and the LTTE’s Maritime Build-Up in the 1980s[10]

Experienced men and those reliable and wedded to the LTTE’s objective were needed to run LTTE ships and to train cadres who would man future shipping lines. There were many merchant navy officers, sailors and engineers from Velvettithurai (Velupillai Prabhakaran’s home town) and other parts of northern and eastern Sri Lanka. Some of them had done training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Nautical Engineering College in Bombay (now Mumbai). On Prabhakaran’s instructions, his Jaffna Commander Kittu sent an emissary to meet Captain David, a merchant Navy officer who was on holiday at his home in Jaffna in February 1984. Captain David was asked to meet Prabhakaran regarding establishment of an LTTE shipping service. He was introduced to Kumaran Pathmanathan alias ‘KP,’ the LTTE’s Chief procurer of arms, communication equipment and other war items.

Captain David met Prabhakaran in Chennai in March 1984. Together with ‘KP,’ they chalked out an elaborate strategy to float maritime companies in Southeast Asia, based mainly in Singapore and Malaysia. ‘Arasu Maritime Private Ltd’ was one of their first ventures. The support of Singapore-based Tamils was enlisted for this purpose. An old Chinese vessel, ‘Sun-Hing,’ was registered in Panama in October 1984. The name of the ship was changed to ‘MV Cholan.’ Meanwhile, several firms were floated to make enquiries about military wares. ‘Captain David and Associates’ was one such firm. The ship ‘MV Cholan’ started its voyage in 1985 with general cargo from Southeast Asia to Vishakhapatnam in India. It also carried powerful boat engines, communication equipment, machine guns, tinned food, packet food, camouflage uniform items, tents and raincoats.” (from SL Guardian 2007).

A NOTE: ABOUT Jane Russell by Michael Roberts

A graduate from Oxford University, Jane Russell came out to Sri Lanka in the early 1970s as a student seeking a doctorate under the supervision of Professor KM  De Silva (a rather unusual quest). She participated actively in the Ceylon Studies Seminar sessions whenever she was at Peradeniya campus and was among those who spoke from the floor when the CSS organised an All-Day discussion on the The Sinhala Tamil Question in Colombo in October 1973. Her dissertation was devoted to the politics of the Donoughmore era –that is, the events leading to the Donoughmore Commission nad, then, the politics of the years 1931-1948. The poliitcal agitation of the Tamil leaders of the 1920s to 1940s, including the agitation of Jaffna Youth League were amjor interests within this broader framework. Hence, Jane spent a fair amount of time in the Jaffna Peninsula working on the documents avaialble in the libraries there and tapping the thoughts of pertinent personnel. Those spells of research –and what was/is effectively oral history — provide the foundations for the highly significant themes that are addressed in this ‘conversation conveyed in this THUPPAHI piece.


Ferdinando, Shamindra 2011 “KP surfaces again,” 7 February 2011,

Bajpaee, Chitiegje 2009 “Uncertainty Rather than Stability Follows Defeat of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers,” 20 August 2009,

Jeyaraj, DBS 2011 KP speaks Out; An Interview with former Tiger Chief,” Vavuniya, NERDO.

Roberts, Michael 2009 The Sinhala Mindset,” December 2009,

Russell, Jane 1982 Communal Politics under the Donoughmore Constitution, 1931-1947, Colombo, Tisara Prakasakayo.

SL Guardian 2007 “Kaarthikeyen on LTTE Shipping Lines,”

Whitaker, Mark 2007 Learning Politics from Sivaram, London, Pluto Press.



[1] This line was a passing remark within an important comment by Jane Russell posted on 19  March 2012 in the Comments on an Editorial Memo entitled THE SINHALA MINDSET by Michael Roberts in his Thuppahi website viz

[2] ”Tamil New Tigers” was the name adopted initially by the small network of Rebels who altered their signature to Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam” in 1975 (see

[3] See Note that the SL government’s writ within the Jaffna Peninsula was weak-to-non-existent in 1984/85 and that Pirapaharan was in India during some s moments in this period so that Kittu was making some of the critical decisions.

[4] Uma Maheswaran was a nom de plume adopted by Kadirgamapillai (Kathirkamar) Nallainathan, a surveyor who received military training in Lebanon and became chairman of the LTTE in the period 1977-80 …when he was an important part of the LTTE in the period 1977-80 before his disagreements with Pirapaharan saw him move out and found a rival resistance group known as PLOTE.  His killing, however, is said to have been a work of factions witihn his declining party. See

[5] See the account of the trial at

[6] KP Pathmanathan married a Thai lady and started a family, but continued to direct the international network of the LTTE. KP was replaced by Castro as international head of the LTTE in early 2003 (and then re-inserted at a dire stage in January 2009). This step on Pirapaharan’s part in 2003 was, arguably, a retrograde move that weakened the LTTE machine. KP was only reinstated on 31 December 2008. See Jeyaraj 2011 for some aspects. In what is an outstanding act of international cooperation KP was arrested by the Malaysian Intelligence/Police services in Kuala Lumpur in mid-2009 and despatched to Sri Lanka in a special Air Lanka flight. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was at the centre of this operation and the gossip I have at the back of my mind indicates that Major Udaya Perera was the key liaison officer in Malaysia.

[7] Apart from the evidence served up by Mark Whitaker (2007), let me stress that I had several conversations with Sivaram in Colombo in the period 1999-2003: once at my sister’s house in Hampden Lane, Wellawatte and twice at the bar (where else!!) at the Savoy Hotel.

[8] As a lad from Galle, I myself am familiar with reefs and skin-diving, but would be quite lost in guiding small boats (or big ones) from the sea.

[9] “It was created to control illicit immigration. Not so much to control smuggling of goodies” – Email Note from Retd. Brig. Sri Mudannayake..

[10] This invaluable reference was sent to me by Siri Hewa of Sydney (an IT whiz-kid and a wine connoisseur).


Filed under accountability, anton balasingham, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, insurrections, island economy, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, performance, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, transport and communications, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

12 responses to “The Smuggling Networks & Wherewithal of VVT: A Key Factor in the Rise to Power of the LTTE

  1. Amare

    The article admits of Smugglers and their families with ties to Tamil Nadu violating the sovereignty of Sri Lanka .Complaining of discrimination by Sinhalese of Sri Lanka !

  2. As a biographer of Prabhakaran, will you permit me to reproduce some description I had provided in my 2005 book ‘Pirabhakaran Phenomenon’ (Lively COMET Imprint, Gifu Cty, Japan), to counter this pejorative moniker of Valvettiturai as a smuggler’s haven? If you are not aware, my native place is nearby Point Pedro.

    I quote from pp. 386-387, in my book.

    “Valveddithurai (VVT), the hometown of Pirabhakaran, has a reputation as the ‘smuggler capital’ of Sri Lanka. When one thinks about it in-depth, one fact becomes clar. The pejorative moniker to VVT is recent (post-independent period) currency, following the demarcation of Ceylon as an independent nation. Before February 1948, the island Ceylon was a part of British empire encompassing the current Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma) and Malaya. Palk Strait and Bay of Bengal were not considered as separating boundaries of different countries. In the colonial era of Portuguese, Dutch and the British, Tamils living in the northern part of the island had their own flag and they wouldn’t have bothered about the dictates originating from Kotte or Kandy rulers. Thus, the legitimate life-style of generations of Tamil mariners who lived at VVT for a millennium or more was not thought of as ‘smuggling’. The pejorative moniker was more or less a creation of the Sri Lankan bureaucrats belonging to the Customs Department.

    To emphasize my point, I provide two descriptions about VVT which appeared in the pre-1948 period.


    “…In the evening we drove along the shore of Valvettitorre, a village about three miles to the west of Point Pedro, containing a much larger population, and one equally industrious and enterprising. There was a vessel of considerable tonnage on the stocks, the Tamil shipbuilders of this little place being amongst the most successful in Ceylon….


    “Casie Chetty, in his ‘History of Jaffna’ says, ‘There can be no doubt, the commercial intercourse of the Greeks and the Romans with Ceylon was confined to the Northern and North Western parts.’ The people of the Coramandel Coast had, from time immemorial, intimate commercial intercourse with the parts of North Ceylon. Many came and settled down at these ports, carrying on a brisk trade, and forming connections with families of the same caste as themselves, as is still the case at Point Pedro and Velvettythurai.”

    • The British colonial government closed all the Northern Ports from 1924 onwards in order to stop smuggling which had become rampant. While this meant that the colonial authorities forewent customs duties they might have collected by keeping the ports open, it also saved a great deal of money as they did not have to furnish custom’s cutters staffed by armed officers to police the smuggling traffic. Closing the ports was the cheapest option and they chose it. However, it did not stop clandestine smuggling .
      Opening the northern ports became a key demand of the Northern Province State Councillors in the Donoughmore State Council from 1936 onwards. As soon as Independence was declared, the UNP made opening the northern ports one of the concessions/carrots offered to the Jaffnese electorate to get them to accept the Soulbury Constitution and partake in the post-independence political process.

      Also, is is not a sociological fact that many VVT sailors marry into families living on the Tamil Nadu coast and have done so for generations in order to facilitate the smuggling traffic?

      During the UF government of Mrs Bandaranaike, Colombo ladies frequently went to Jaffna to buy Kanchipuram silk sarees etc for upcoming weddings: these sarees had been smuggled into the NP from S. India. Jaffna was also the only place you could buy bottles and tins of Indian nescafe. I was living in the NP during some of this time and the smuggler in the village where I stayed had the only 3 storey house there. He had a watch tower at the top from which his look-out could spot police and customs vehicles on nearby roads. His driver was a large and amiable Sinhalese Buddhist or Catholic from Matara who was on the run from the law or enemies of some description in the Southern Province. He was also a top-notch getaway driver…Jaffna Tamils were notoriously rotten drivers…

  3. Kumar David

    A very interesting recap with more details of a somewhat
    well known, general, history

  4. chandre DW

    Regarding comment by Satchi Sri Kantha and others:

    It is indeed true that in earlier times there was less direct control of the coastline activities across the Palk Straits. Even in the Mediterranean region, or along European rivers this was true, as we can see from the history of Geneva where local lords held up boats and pirated them unless they paid dues.

    Smugglers and pirates were those who did not pay the taxes levied by local lords who were themselves required to pay tribute to their suzerains. The region was rife with such smugglers and pirates ….. So the region was a smuggler’s haven. The quotes from Tennent or Rasanayagam do not dispute or support the issue, but establish the prosperity of these places. A further quote from Captain Percival’s account of the North during 1800-1820 can be adduced to conclude that the smugglers were not just Tamils, but also included Muslims and Chetties.

    Tamils became predominant as Muslims were driven out from time to time during various purges, including the one during Sankili’s time, recorded even in the Yalpana Vaipava Malai, (1736 CE), page 33 of Britto’s edition. Percival says that there were as many Muslims in Jaffna Penninsula as Tamils during the time Ceylon became part of the British Empire.

    When the Portuguese opened the sea lanes by controlling the Arab and other pirates, many ships passed through this region. Chetti traders from Tamilnadu built schooners similar to the Portuguese ships and operated them using sailors from this area, and from Pt. Pedro. The Chetti traders then became part of the establishment, running secondary banking enterprise in Colombo, Galle, Jaffna etc and abandoned smuggling to the locals and South-Indians.

    In earlier times, rulers living in Kandy or Madurai exercised their power by requiring that local lords gave them periodic දැකුම් “Daekum” or “கப்பம் kappam in recognition of subordination of the inferior local lord to his suzerain.

    The importance of this type of trading is seen not only from the Pali Chronicles, but also from the inscriptions. In fact, Parakramabahu’s inscription at the Uruthota (Kayts) harbour has Tamil text as well, giving instructions to those coming from South Indian shores.

    More recently, not only Tamil rebels, but even Marxist rebels have used VVT. In 1942, April 7 leftist leaders Philip Gonawardana, NM Perera, Colvin R de Silva escaped to India in a ‘Vallam” from VVT to escape the British.

    Chandre Dharmawardana

    ADDENDUM: Captain Robert Percival: An account of the Island of Ceylon, published 1803 (or 1810?) page 48 2nd paragraph. Note too that a writer named Bodin (who seemed to be a Muslim) used to quote from Percival’s book and give passages in his comments in Colombo Telegraph, stating that that there were as many Moors as Hindus in Jaffna Peninsula when he was there in THE 1800s and provided a detailed account of the North to the British Government.”

  5. I appreciate the additional details provided by Chandre Dharmawardana. In my view, he has to clarify the prevailing relationship and intimacy between smugglers and pirates AND the suzerains, if he could find evidence. What if smugglers and the suzerains are the same? A situation like Hambantota and the Rajapaksa clan!

    Chandre’s mention of Geneva in the first paragraph also reminds me that, it is my view that when Marco Polo made his return journey from China, his ‘ship’ or ‘Vallam’ (In the lingo of Chandre) landed in Point Pedro, which had a better harbor in the late 13th century.

  6. Correspondent maliandjane’s first sentence ‘The British colonial government closed all the Northern ports from 1924 onwards in order to stop smuggling which had become rampant’ is far too simplistic.

    When did white colonial masters showed such a kind of altruism? There was a main political reason for it. They wanted to nip in bud any other Tamil Nadu based shipping companies which could have sprouted, finding inspiration from V.O. Chidamparam Pillai’s (1872-1936) Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company.

    With freedom drums pounding sounding in the Tamil Nadu since Gandhi’s visit to Chennai in 1920, Britishers wanted to retain the monopoly of their British Indian Steam Navigation Company, set up in 1856.

  7. Vel Vet Thurai people are like the Sicilians in Italy. Feared and respected by all Indian colonists in Ceylon, be they are in Colombo, Jaffna, Malay Nadu or any other part. That is the main reason why India choose Parabakaran to lead the Indian terrorist arm LTTE. The other reason, he was a Malayali.

  8. Hi Michael,

    Very interesting article. My question is what is the root cause of smuggling in the North which has prevailed for so long in Ceylon/Sri Lanka. The threat it poses to our National Security and our economy is immense. Why has the governments failed to arrest or put a stop to this serious threat to date.

    First a bit of history from Sergei De Silva’s article on ‘An evolving Army and its role through time’.

    Task Force Anti-Illicit Immigration [TaFII]

    The first internal security operation of the CA [Ceylon Army] was not under emergency duty, but in a coast watching and interception role. This was in support of Royal Ceylon Navy coastal patrols and police operations against an influx of illegal South Indian immigrants brought in by smugglers from Ceylon and India, as affirmed by Lieutenant Colonel H.W.G. Wijeyekoon: “The checking of illicit immigration from South India was the national problem which set off this operation. Illicit immigration had assumed alarmingly large proportions and the Police service had neither the numbers nor the organization to cope with the initial task of detecting the landings. The army was therefore called out in aid of the Civil Power and undertook to detect landings along a 72 mile stretch of coastline starting at Palagamunai, nine miles north of Mannar, right round the island of Mannar, and terminating at Achchankulam, twelve miles south of Mannar. The bulk of the illicit landings were taking place in this area. The army also undertook to watch the coast by the mouth of the Kal Aru just north of the Wilpattu Game Sanctuary.”

    Starting in 1952, ‘Operation Monty’ was expanded and renamed as Task Force Anti-Illicit Immigration (TaFII) in 1963. It also transpired to be the CA’s longest single operational deployment lasting 21 years. The CA’s contribution, referred to as ‘Army Force M’, initially incorporated a full strength infantry battalion and auxiliaries stationed on the Mannar district seaboard. With the proliferation of indigenous separatist groups after 1972, the primary role of TaFII expanded to a counter-insurgency operational outfit until it was disbanded in 1981.

    Now for a short anecdote on the reasons for smuggling in the North. I was Officer Commanding the KKS [Kankasanthurai] detachment of around 100 soldiers and a small Naval sub-unit during 1985-86 period. My main responsibility was the security of the detachment, the adjoining harbour, the KKS Cement factory and surrounding areas. We were seriously handicapped due to the ongoing peace talks and regular cease-fires between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil militants that restricted troop movements into the surrounding areas. They were all released after the inquiry and a fine by the Customs.

    We had 6 suspected smugglers including a elderly woman in our custody who had been apprehended by the Navy and was being interrogated by the military intelligence regarding their involvement in terrorist activities. The coxswain an elderly fisherman from VVT was the main suspect because he ferried the others to Tamil Nadu and on their return and was apprehended with contraband.

    When I casually chatted to him through another suspect teacher who translated my Sinhalese, I was able to gather that he had 3 daughters who had to be found a dowry to be given in marriage. Probably it was 2-3 sovereigns per daughter. This was a requirement in their caste based Karaiyar society. He then informed me that if he did this risky operation 6-8 times an year he could find the dowry for his daughters and survive for an year rather than indulging in fishing. This is the main reason why the VVT fishermen and the smugglers work together to meet their requirements of earning a fast buck.

    In the process the Tamil militants used Tamil Nadu as a base for their clandestine activities between Tamil Nadu and Northern Sri Lanka including smuggling of cadres, contraband, arms, ammunition, and logistics. Today it has developed into uncontrolled illegal fishing and other marine resources, smuggling of contraband, movement of drug lords and criminals and the pollution of the Northern coastal areas. It has denied our fishermen their livelihoods and led to many a conflict with the Tamil Nadu fishermen. It is therefore the number one National Security and Economic threat to Sri Lanka. All governments since independence have failed to address the problem and arrest the situation.

  9. VVT was not the main place for smuggling. It was KKS. We must remember there was a large population of Sinhalese in Jaffna before 1958. They were seasonal fisher folks from the South, bakers, carpenters, furniture makers, masons, and other trades people, then there were government employees and employees in places like KKS cement factory and Buddhist monks in Jaffna and Naga Deepa. The guestimate is at least 10.000 people were killed. That was the start of the genocide of Sinhalese followed by Indian terrorist arms JVP and LTTE.

    The forefathers of Socialism in Ceylon were from Jaffna and Tamil Nadu led by the likes of Handy family. N Mm, Philip, S A W were lap dogs of Indian colonists, the direct sponsors being Captans and Gnanams to name a few. They were the dealers who sold the smuggled goods and drugs elsewhere in the country. Today they are dollar billionaires. Phillip’s sister Katherina was married to an Indian socialist colonist and was settled in India. The trade unionists Shanmugadasan and Bala Tampoe were Indian colonists and no wonder Mao’s posters appeared all over Jaffna. Things are the same today, teachers being led by Noel Mudalige (Kumar Gunaratnam) and Joseph Stalin.

    Smuggling is a two-way trade, ships or boats do not run one way empty. Some goods that went to India were Huntley Garments, Ceylon Cigarettes and foreign Cigarettes, Liquor, Citizen watches not Seiko. Duty free goods falls off from duty free shops. ships and from foreign diplomats; not just from smugglers. What came back were drugs, opium and ganja used to destroy the Natives of the country.
    Corrupt local officials were involved in smuggling. Once good customs, police and immigration officers were involved in overseeing the operations, but they could not catch any smugglers as they have changed the landing ports. Later it was found the Government Agent has informed the smugglers of the coming raids. It was a part of the protocol to inform the GA. He retired and settled in the West and became a supporter of LTTE and JVP.
    “The huge, sophisticated speedboats tied to the VVT jetty in 1976 — far more powerful than anything then employed by the Sri Lankan navy — testified to the success of the smuggling regime.” (main article). The real story behind these boats testify to the facts who were behind the genocide of Sinhalese and terrorists in Ceylon. An aid project branded Cey-Nor (Ceylon-Norway) was involved in the development of boat building and fishing in the Island. Why on earth did Norway get involved? This was before North Sea Oil. Those days Norway was good at communication equipment, India was a major buyer of military ware from Nordic countries. Remember the Balfour affair? Solheim was a Socialist in Norway; and India and Indians are major manipulator of Socialists in the West. So, you can see who tied the boats to the VVT Jetty. On a personal note, our secondary school science and math teacher was from VVT. When I met him in mid-seventies, he was teaching how to use modern fishing gear to kids in Jaffna under the Cey-Nor. Then there are allegations that Bodhu Bala Sena was financed by Norway to create trouble between Buddhists and Muslims. I know one senior layman of this outfit was a former senior employee of Cey-Nor. These boats and skills gained were used before and after 1983 massacre of unarmed officers to transport refugees to India seeking asylum in the West.
    Yes, Tamils went to watch films in South India specially when MGR was in them. The popular port was Mannar. Tamils from Plantations did join them. But women, Jaffna Tamils and Plantation Tamils went in different boats according to a friend of mine from Mannar.

    • Well, good folk it looks as if JOHN SMITH is a dinky-die SINHALAYAA in the age-range 60-75 –one armed with a witha poisonous pen. We clearly cannot take ALL his allegations at face value ….. AND …. I have not censored his rantings because the discerning readers will hopefully separaate the WHEAT from th chaff. That is to say, there may well be some useful gen amidst his scatter-gun shootings. ….. AND this type of commentary marks the dangerous realms fostered by modern media channels [including Thuppahi].

      • John Smith correctly notes that KKS, being another centre of speedboat ownership, was also another likely place for smuggling activities besides VVT.

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