New Site coming up at

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pakistan behind Explosives smuggling to Sri lanka through Tuticorin

The Indian and local media has highlighted attempts to smuggle in to
Sri Lanka via Palk Straits from India arms, explosives and accessories
to be used with explosives. There have also been incidents frequently
reported of attempts by the LTTE to smuggle arms into the north and
east of Sri Lanka.

The Hindu reported in September 2006 to a "major arms haul in A.P "
written by Suresh Krishnamoorthy with a photograph by K.Ramesh Babu of
Rocket launchers and empty shells seized from a transport company in
Mahabubnagar, Andhra Pradesh. The consignment consisted of 42 rocket
launches, 1000 empty shells and 35 improvised land mines to be used on
"police stations "according to the Police Chief Swaranjit Singh. The
arms haul included two tons of spares to rig 16 rocket launchers, 600
shells, high tensile springs used to propel explosives from shells,
fins that could be attached to shells...". It is significant that some
"rigs" for rocket launchers, hidden by the LTTE were recovered in the
Jaffna peninsula recently by Sri Lankan troops.

In Kozhikode, Kerala, the Hindu reported in an article titled "
Kozhikode coast turning into a hub of arms smuggling" dated 15.7.2006
that the Director General of the Coast Guard, Suresh Mehta has said
the area is fast becoming a center for "arms and narcotics smuggling".
It may be too early to draw conclusions whether the LTTE attempts to
smuggle "warlike material" has any links to these attempts as
investigations are still proceeding.

There was another report titled " 724 kg RDX seized, steps taken to
prevent smuggling of arms". The explosives amounting to about 724 kg
of High Explosive RDX type was seized by the Indian Security Forces
and the Indian police in different parts of the country. In 2005 about
1021 kgs were seized but there was no indication that it was smuggled
via Indian Airports.

The report also referred to action taken by the Government in New
Delhi to prevent arms been smuggled "across borders".

The latest reports in the Indian and local media refer to 400,000 non
- electrical detonators which were detected in Tamil Nadu. There were
also reports that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had ordered an
investigation on Saturday "after police detained a vehicle carrying a
large quantity of non -electrical detonators". An "official" on
condition of anonymity had stated the "Indian media described the
consignment as explosives which were shipped from Tuticorin to the SLN
(Sri Lanka Navy). This was a part of their strategy to conceal
clandestine LTTE operations in Tamil Nadu". The Indian police had
prevented "an attempt to move a consignment of gelex boosters to the
LTTE" The detection was made by the Manamadurai police and from Andhra

Pradesh. There is speculation that "Chennai is being used as a transit
point to move contraband across the Indo- Lanka maritime boundary".
However the Sri Lankan mission in Chennai had clarified that the order
for the 400,000 non electrical detonators had been placed last year
and had contacted the government "even before " the Chief Minister
ordered the probe". The report also states the Chief minister had
"ordered the probe after Union External Minister Pranab Mukerjee and
Defence Minister A.K.Anthony denied that the government allowed the
export of explosives to Sri Lanka".

According to media reports the SLN placed the order which as to be
"issued through the Commercial Explosives and Firearms Unit for
commercial purposes".

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Navy has "intercepted several vessels in the
Gulf of Mannar " in the year 2006 and there was an instance when the
Navy seized an Indian trawler with 60,000 electrical detonators
"destined for the LTTE".

An Associated Press report published on 16.11.2006 quoting the Sri
Lankan government spokesman states, "We now have credible evidence
(that) fishing trawlers registered in India are being used by the
Tiger's " and that the government has formally asked India to " take
steps to stop the alleged arms smuggling".


No comments: