LTTE Senior Commander Col Ramanan
LTTE Senior Commander Ramanan assassinated -21 May 2006,
A Senior Commander of the Liberation Tigers in the East, Commander Ramanan, the Deputy Head of the LTTE Military wing of the Batticaloa district, was assassinated by a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) sniper at Vavunathivu Forward Defence Line (FDL), 5 km southwest of Batticaloa, 21 May 2006, Sunday around 5:30 p.m., sources in Batticaloa said.
A Sri Lanka Army sniper targetted the Commander while he was inspecting the FDL positions of the Tigers in Vavunathivu, Batticaloa Eelanatham reported Sunday night.
The battle-hardened Commander Ramanan, has served as the Military Intelligence Chief of the LTTE in Batticaloa Amparai districts, and later as the Head of the Military Wing of Maavadymunmari division.
Ramanan is the most high ranking LTTE officials to be assassinated during the Ceasefire.
Kandiah Ulaganathan, alias Ramanan, born in 1966, is from Palukamam, 21 km south of Batticaloa. He was enrolled for training in LTTE in 1986 after completing GCE (A/L) at Palukamam Kandumani Maha Vidyalayam, LTTE sources said.
One of his three brothers has already died in battle. Two of the remaining brothers and a sister, are all serving the liberation struggle at various levels, the sources added.
Ramanan emerged as a talented military leader during the LTTE’s war with the Indian Army. He served in Jeyanthan Brigade, one of the most feared infantry formations of the Liberation Tigers. His contribution was high in the Unceasing Waves operations against the Sri Lanka Army launched Jeyasikurui operation that was routed by the Tigers in Vanni.
He was appointment as Chief of Intelligence Wing in Batticaloa and Amparai districts after Lt. Col. Nizam was killed in a Claymore attack.
Commander Ramanan’s decision to leave the renegade LTTE commander Karuna was a major setback for the renegade’s plans to hold his ground in the east.
He was appointed the Commander of Mavadimunmari division and later as Deputy Head of Batticaloa Amparai Military Wing of the LTTE under Special Commander Col. Bhanu.
Vavunathivu FDL positions of the Tigers have recently come under increasing attack by the SLA troopers.
“Our national leader has deep love for our people and land, and our people, likewise, are committed to Tamil unity and remain loyal to the national leader. The people of Batticaloa-Amparai have shown that no force can destroy Tamil unity now,” said a senior commander of the Liberation Tigers, Mr. Ramanan, speaking at the 16th year death anniversary of Annai (Mother) Poopathy, held Monday at the Navalady memorial for the late Tamil activist mother in Batticaloa town, sources said.
The event was organized by the Mothers’ front. Mr. Senathirajah, the political head of the LTTE for Batticaloa town, presided.
Mr. Ramanan, himself from the Batticaloa-Amparai region who participated in the LTTE’s counterattack on the renegade Karuna group recently, said that the manner in which the crisis against Tamil nationalism in Batticaloa-Amparai was handled, bringing it to a close using new strategies with minimal bloodshed, showed the commitment of the national leadership for Eastern Tamil people and their land.
The senior commander said further that the Batticaloa-Amparai district will be under the direct supervision of the LTTE leader and Tamil Eelam national policies will be followed. “The victory for the Tamil National Alliance under the slogan ‘Tamils are Tigers, Tigers are Tamils,’ has shown to the international community that the LTTE is the sole representative of the Tamils,” said Mr. Ramanan.
“The Tigers want peace,” Mr. Ramanan said. “But in the South, the people are vacillating between war and peace.”
Mr. Senathirajah, the Amparai district political head, Mr. Kuyilinpan, the head of the Batticaloa-Amparai martyrs’ affairs division, Mr. Thamilchelvan Mama, Secretary General of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization, Mr. Prasanna, Dr. Kannan, the Batticaloa Development Committee’s President, Mr. Ganesan, the Secretary, Mr. Thiyagarajah, and Mr. Alphonse Mary Shanmugarajah (Anjaneyar) also spoke at the event.
Peace sacrificed for counter insurgency by Colombo – Col. Jeyam
“The Sri Lankan government and its forces, obsessed with the idea of destroying our movement, has, without realising the strategic advantages of making peace, used various counter insurgency tactics throughout the peace process to kill our cadres,” said Colonel Jeyam, a top commander of the LTTE, addressing crowds gathered in Mullaitivu to pay their respects to Colonel Ramanan, who was assassinated Sunday by a Sri Lanka Army sniper.
Col. Ramanan, Deputy Head of the LTTE Military wing of Batticaloa district was shot dead Sunday whilst inspecting the LTTE Forward Defence Line at Vavunathivu in Batticaloa. After paying their respects, senior LTTE commander and officials delivered speeches paying tribute to Ramanan, saluting his exemplary personal qualities and hailing his accomplishments during his twenty years dedicated service to the Tamil freedom struggle.
“Col. Ramanan was a great inspiration for the fighters in the east of the island. He skilfully liberated our territories from Karuna when he defected to the enemy. Ramanan then went on to build up a strong force there under Commander Bhanu,” Colonel Jeyam said.
“We remember how in 1987 we lost two of our District Commanders, Pulendran and Kumarappa, when the Indians, mediating between the Sri Lankans and us, failed to save the lives of our commanders who were abducted [by the Sri Lanka Navy] in the seas during that peace engagement.”
“That tactic didn’t help the enemy quell our movement. In fact, few believed that we could resist the world’s fourth largest military might. But we did. We did so under the strategic guidance of our leadership and with the support base of our people. Even when we were forced to withdraw from Jaffna, the urban base, and lead the Tamil struggle from the remote jungles of Manal Aru, we achieved the unthinkable this way.”
“We have shaken hands with the enemy on four different occasions in a bid to resolve the conflict peacefully. During this latest internationally assisted four-year peace engagement, our representatives have gone around and shook hands with many diplomats in Europe.”
“The whole world has had the opportunity to come here during the peace process, if they truly wanted to understand our situation. Can we expect those who failed to understand our political plight during the last four years of peaceful engagement to ever be able to understand it? What do you think?” asked Colonel Jeyam.
“I can see the people of Tamil Eelam getting ready for the war. We know where we should stand –on the power of our people’s support, the guidance of our leader, on the sacrifices we have made for freedom in our own territory, be it Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mannar, Manal Aru, Batticaloa or Amparai.”
“Nobody can defeat us now when the Tamil people have resolved to decide our own destiny,” Colonel Jeyam further said.
“Two different but complimentary tactics have been adopted by the successive Sinhala regimes to quell the Tamil freedom struggle led by the LTTE. The peace process is the soft side of this strategy while the hard one is the systematic killings of our able commanders and talented Tamil activists.”
“But our enemies are wrong in assuming that they can weaken us. Experience shows that both the struggle and the LTTE grow in strength and power after each assassination and each peace process.”
“Ramanan’s loss is of course irreparable. But he has dedicated his very life as a stepping stone in the direction of victory which we will taste soon,” said Col. Jeyam.
The event in Vanni paying homage to Colonel Ramanan was held at Puthukudiruppu Sri Subramaniam Maha Vidyalayam Wednesday around 10.30 a.m. headed by the President of Mullaitivu District People Consortium, Mr. Vethavanam.
Thamilarasan, Col. Ramanan’s brother and Odduchuddan Regional Head of the LTTE, lit the lamp before the late officer’s portrait while another brother, Parathan, an LTTE cadre, garlanded it.
Colonel Ramesh lit the flame of sacrifice at the event and garlanded Col. Ramanan’s portrait. He was joined by Colonel Jeyam, senior LTTE member Mr. K. V. Balakumaran, Peace Secretariat Director, Mr. S. Pulidevan, Mr. Illanthirayan (Marshall) of the Peace Secretariat, Mr. Seeralan, Deputy Head of the political wing in Batticaloa District and Mr. S. Selvanayagam, the principal of the Maha Vidyalam.
Mr. Illanthirayan, former head of the LTTE Political Wing in Batticaloa, following Col. Jeyam, hailed the personal qualities of Col. Ramanan.
“Martyr Ramanan, knew every one in the southern Tamil Eelam and everyone there knew him. He was a master in translating our movement’s leader’s political and military strategies into skilful techniques in practice,” Mr. Illanthirayan said.
“It was Colonel Ramanan who surmounted the efforts by the traitor Karuna to split the LTTE through the wedge of regionalism. Though he is no more with us, the techniques and tactics Colonel Ramanan developed will be with us in our struggle to achieve our desired goal,” said Mr. Ilanthirayan.
Colonel Ramesh said: “Ramanan’s feats in the fields of war and intelligence cannot be covered in a short speech. He comes from a family which has been in the forefront of resistance to Sri Lanka armed forces. He has nine siblings, out of which two brothers and a sister are members of LTTE.”
“All his feats in the struggle are not known because the victories he reaped and the way in which he achieved them cannot be openly revealed now.”
“He was a great source of strength and a talented fighter in southern Tamil Eelam and he was killed precisely for these incredible qualities,” said Col. Ramesh.
Mr. K. V. Balakumaran said, “We already owe a great deal to the people of southern Tamil Eelam. I had admired Col. Ramanan for his wonderful personality which had two distinct sides. One was filled with spontaneous love and the other replete with military skill and intelligence. People possessing this unique blend of qualities rarely live long. Usually they die young. We have an exemplary model in Ramanan to be emulated in pursuing our liberation struggle.”
The remains of Col. Ramanan, the Deputy Head of the LTTE Military wing, assassinated by a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) sniper at Vavunativu Forward Defence Line (FDL) Sunday the 21st May 2006 was buried with military honour at the Thandiyady Martyrs Resting Home Wednesday evening around 6.00 p.m, attended by several leading citizens, LTTE cadres and residents of Amparai and Batticaloa districts, sources in Batticaloa said.
Black flags were flown along streets, and shops, schools, offices and other institutions in Batticaloa Amparai districts were closed as the districts residents paid respects to the senior Commander Ramanan, a native Pallukamam in Batticaloa, sources said.
Late Ramanan’s remains was first kept Sunday at Thenaham in Karadiyanaru for people to pay their last respects and later at Kokkadicholai Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalayam. It was then taken to Pallukamam Kandumani Maha Vidyalayam through Mahiladitivu, his wife’s birth village.
From Palukamam it was then taken Wednesday to Vellaveli and kept at Kalaimahal Vidyalayam and later taken through Perativu to Thandiyady Maha Vidyalayam around 3.00 p.m, where residents paid homage.
After ceremonial offering flowers, the remains was brought to Thandiyady Martyrs Resting Home where it was buried around 6.00 p.m with military honours, LTTE sources said.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Mr. P. Ariyanenthiran, LTTE Batticaloa district Commander Col. Banu, Batticaloa Political Head Thayamohan, Women Political Head Kuveni, Commander Piraba, Chief of Head Office Amuthan, Head of Rajan College Keethan, LTTE Division Commanders, Combatants and several hundred people participated in the final rites.
Thayamohan presided at the event where Col. Banu, Kuveni, Amuthan, Keethan and P. Ariyanenthiran M. P. spoke praising the contribution of Col.Ramanan to Tamil eelam struggle.
A hartal condemning Col. Ramanan’s assassination was observed in Kalvanchchikudi from Tuesday and there was no traffic to Kalmunai, sources said.