Divisions of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
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Divisions of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam refers to the military, intelligence and overseas divisions the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Most of these divisions were destroyed during the Eelam War IV, and only parts of the intelligence and financing divisions remain overseas.
- 1 Military wing
- 1.1 Charles Anthony brigade
- 1.2 Black Tigers
- 1.3 Sea Tigers
- 1.4 Air Tigers
- 1.5 Imran Pandian regiment
- 1.6 Ratha regiment
- 1.7 Jeyanthan brigade
- 1.8 Kittu artillery brigade
- 1.9 Kutti Sri mortar brigade
- 1.10 Victor anti-tank regiment
- 1.11 Anbarasi regiment
- 1.12 Ponnamman mining unit
- 1.13 Pistol gang
- 1.14 Auxiliary forces
- 2 Womens' wing
- 3 Intelligence wing
- 4 Political wing
- 5 Global network
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Charles Anthony brigade
Charles Anthony Brigade was the first conventional fighting formation created by the LTTE, on 10 April 1991. It has remained the main fighting force throughout the rest of the time of LTTE, and has fought major battles including Operation Jayasikurui, Battle of Mullaitivu, Battle of Kilinochchi, Second Battle of Elephant Pass and LTTE's Unceasing Waves (Oyatha Alaigal) I, II, III and IV. The brigade was named after Charles Lucas Anthony alias Seelan, who had been LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's right hand man during the early stages of LTTE. Kandiah Balasegaran alias Balraj, Amuthab and Gobith have served as its commanders. Charles Anthony brigade had been completely destroyed during the final days of Sri Lankan Civil War.
Black Tigers is the LTTE division that carried out suicide attacks in the South and other parts of the country. It consisted of selected cardres from other regiments. The division was formed in July 1987, with the attack carried out by Vallipuram Vasanthan alias Captain Miller, by driving an explosive laden truck into a Sri Lanka Army camp in Nelliady Madhya Maha Vidyalaya, Jaffna, killing himself and 128 soldiers. It was the first occasion that a Black Tiger blew up himself. LTTE intelligence wing leader Shanmugalingam Sivashankar alias Pottu Amman headed the outfit from its inception to destruction. According to LTTE, between 5 July 1987 and 20 November 2008, 378 black tigers (274 male and 104 female) had carried out suicide attacks.
Black Tiger wing carried out attacks on various high-profile leaders both inside and outside Sri Lanka. It had successfully targeted 3 world leaders, only insurgent group to do so. That includes assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India on 21 May 1991, assassination of Ranasinghe Premadasa, the President of Sri Lanka on 1 May 1993 and failed assassination attempt of Chandrika Kumaratunga, the Sri Lankan President on 18 December 1999, which resulted in the loss of her right eye.
The slain Black Tiger cardres were highly glorified and their families were given the "Maha Viru family" status. Those cardres were given a chance to have his/her last supper with the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, which was considered a rare honour one would get in the LTTE controlled area. This, in turn motivated LTTE cardres to join the Black Tiger wing.
Sea Tigers was the naval wing of LTTE, founded in 1984. Sea Tigers also had a number of small but effective suicide bomber vessels. During its existence, it had sunk at least 29 small inshore patrol boats and one freighter of Sri Lanka Navy. The division was led by Thillaiyampalam Sivanesan alias Soosai, with their main base at Mullaitivu, on the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Sea Tigers' fighting capabilities diminished towards the end of 2008, as Sri Lanka Army captured more of its bases such as Viduthalathivu and Nachchikuda, and Sri Lanka Navy strictly cordoned off the Northern sea.
|Type of Aircraft||Quantity|
|Micro Light Aircraft||2|
|Unmanned aerial vehicles||2|
Air Tigers was the air-wing of LTTE. LTTE is the only terrorist organization of the world, known to had obtained Aircraft. Its existence had been subject to speculation for many years, but was only revealed after the first attack in March 2007. LTTE credits the formation of the Air Tigers wing to Colonel Shankar, alias Vythialingam Sornalingam. On November 27–28, 1998, Tamilnet reported, the LTTE-operated Voice of Tiger radio station had claimed that "Aircraft of the Air Tiger wing of the Liberation Tigers [had] sprinkled flowers over the cemeteries of the slain LTTE cadres in Mulliyawalai," during the annual Heroes Day celebrations. This was not confirmed by the Sri Lanka Air Force but several reports have received that unidentified aircraft had been seen in Mullaitivu sky. In August 11, 2006, quoting unidentified sources in Jaffna, Tamilnet reported that "at least one unidentified aircraft" had flown over the Sri Lankan military base at Palali, firing “rockets” at government forces. However, these aircraft were identified for the first time, only when they carried out an attack on Katunayake Air force base in March 2007. Two Z Lin Z 143 light aircraft had been used for the attack. This was followed by 8 more attacks on military targets. Final one was a suicide air raid targeting Sri Lanka Air Force headquarters in Colombo in February 2009. During the Northern offensive, Sri Lanka Army captured 7 aircraft runways belonged to LTTE.
Imran Pandian regiment
Imran Pandian Regiment was created for the personal security of LTTE supermo, Velupillai Prabhakaran. Viduthalai alias Amuthan alias Gaddafi, Prabhakaran's bodyguard was its leader. All of its members were killed with Prabhakaran in May 2009.
Ratha Regiment has been assigned air defence and intelligence gathering roles within the LTTE. It was relatively a new unit within LTTE, created in 2004. Silambarasan, the commander of Ratha Regement was killed in Battle of Aanandapuram, and his deputy Anbu was captured.
Jeyanthan Brigade consisted of LTTE fighters from Eastern Province. Its fighters had participated in many conventional battles including Battle of Pooneryn, Operation Jayasikurui, Battle of Mullaitivu, Battle of Kilinochchi and Second Battle of Elephant Pass. Brigade was named in the memory of Sampukuddi Pathmanthan alias Jeyanthan. Keerthi, the commander of Jeyanthan Brigade and his deputy, Nagesh were killed in Battle of Aanandapuram.
Kittu artillery brigade
|Type of artillery||Quantity|
|152 mm towed gun-howitzer Type 66||9|
|130 mm towed field gun Type 59-1||12|
|122 mm gun||2|
|107 mm rocket artillery||2|
|Multi-barrel rocket launcher (12-barrel)||1|
|Multi-barrel rocket launcher (6-barrel)||1|
Kutti Sri mortar brigade
The Mortar brigade of LTTE. It had 500+ 82/81 mm Mortar, 150+ 120 mm Mortar and 4 140 mm Mortar weapons in its possession. Gopal, the commander of Kutti Sri Mortar Brigade was killed in Battle of Aanandapuram.
Victor anti-tank regiment
Victor anti-tank regiment was formed in 1995. It had over 350 RPG-7 weapons in its possession. Victor regiment also had a T-55 Main battle tank, captured from Sri Lanka Army in 2001. Army troops re-captured it in west of Putumattalan in April 2009.
Anbarasi regiment was the anti-aircraft regiment of LTTE. It carried out 4 successful surface-to-air missile attacks on Sri Lanka Air Force passenger flights. Attacked aircraft are: 2 Avro aircraft (On 28 & 29 April 1995), 1 Antonov An-32 (On 22 November 1995) and 1 Mil Mi-17 helicopter (On 22 January 1996). All 4 attacks took place at Palaly Air Force base, killing at least 202 servicemen. Anbarasi regiment had at least 5 IGLA 1 missile launchers and 16+ IGLA 1 (SA 16) missiles in its possession.
Ponnamman mining unit
The mining unit of LTTE. Asmi, the commander of Ponnamman mining unit was captured in Battle of Aanandapuram. Based on the Huamnitarion Demining Organizations Reports, The LTTE Mostly Used there Local products of Mines to protect their Forward Defense Lines and Camps. The LTTE Anti Personnel Mines Are: 1. Jony 95 2. Jony 99 3. Rangan 99 4. Pedal Mine 5. Claypot Mine 6. Illavaluthi 1 (ETM 01) 7. Illavaluthi 11(ETM 02) However they were commonly using after the 1999, Jony 99 and Rangan 99 mines for Anti Personnel. The Rangan 99 and Jony 99 Mines are plastic covered Pressure activating mines. both are containing 90 -110 g C4 Explosive. The Illavaluthi Series of Mines are Electric Tilt Mines.
LTTE pistol gang is involved in many hit-and-run operations on government agents, security force members, security forces informants, dissidents etc.
These groups were dubbed as Special Task Forces.
Eela Padai consisted of civilians recruited by LTTE. It had a strength of 5000, who were used as home guards and later, for defensive and offensive purposes. They were on the payroll of LTTE. Members of Eela Padai received a monthly salary of about Rs. 2,500 (USD 25).
Grama Padai aka Rural Force was an auxiliary force of LTTE, used to assist it in meeting logistics requirements as well as for carrying out defensive operations. It also had a strength of about 5000.
Thunai Padai was a Support Force of LTTE.
LTTE's women's wing had consisted of two brigades. They engaged in military offensives as well as administrative tasks.
One of the two women's military brigades of LTTE. Named after the first woman killed on behalf of LTTE, during operations against the Indian Peace Keeping Force, Malathi. Its commander Vithusha, and her deputy Kamalini were killed during Battle of Aanandapuram in April 2009.
This is the other women's military brigade of LTTE. Named after Sothiya, commander of the first women's unit formed in 1989. She died of meningitis in 1990. Its commander Durga, and her deputy Mohana were killed during Battle of Aanandapuram.
Tiger Organization Security Intelligence Service
Tiger Organization Security Intelligence Service aka TOSIS, formed in December 1983, was the intelligence service of LTTE. It was run by Pottu Amman. Kapil Amman served as its deputy leader. TOSIS had been instrumental in all of the attacks of LTTE, especially the Black Tiger suicide attacks. TOSIS had played a crucial role in identifying Gopalaswamy Mahendraraja alias Mahattaya had been leaking secrets to India's Research and Analysis Wing. The responsibility of administering the LTTE's intelligence wing was entrusted to Pottu Amman in mid 1988 by Prabhakran. Before that, it was run by a person called Vasanthan, who left the organization in 1987. Most of its cardres were killed in May 2009. Present status in unknown.
LTTE's military intelligence was separate from TOSIS and was headed by Shanmuganathan Ravishankar alias Charles. He was killed in a Sri Lankan Army Deep Penetration Unit claymore attack in Pallemadu, Mannar in January 2008.
LTTE had a separate political wing for civil administrative matters. S. P. Thamilselvan headed this wing until his death in November 2007. After that, Balasingham Nadesan, whom initially was Constable of Sri Lanka Police, headed the wing until his death on 18 May 2009. Political wing had a wide range of departments under its control. Prior to the end of the conflict, it functioned almost like a separate state. However, negotiation with the Sri Lankan government was carried out at almost all the time by Anton Balasingham, who was LTTE's theoretician and chief negotiator, with the inclusion of the head of the political wing, during peace talks. But crucial decisions were taken almost entirely by Balasingham and LTTE leader Prabhakaran.
Tamil Eelam Economic Development Organisation
Tamil Eelam Economic Development Organisation (TEEDOR) oversaw all development and civil activities in the LTTE controlled area. Its areas of concern include education, transport, administrative service, health service, banking, forest conservation, fisheries, industries, revenue collection, tax collection, public utilities, agriculture, irrigation, environment, road development and construction. Its headquarters was situated in Kilinochchi. V. Balakumaran, a one-time senior leader of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS), had been its head.
International peace secretariat
The LTTE Peace secretariat, created after the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement, conducted foreign relations on behalf of the organization, issued statements and handled the relations with media. Seevaratnam Prabaharan alias Pulidevan was the Director of it. In June 2008, news emerged that Pulidevan had been put into house arrest for alleged charges of treachery against the outfit. In a similar move, LTTE put Gopalaswamy Mahendraraja alias Mahattaya, into house arrest and subsequently executed under the charges of leaking secrets to India's Research and Analysis Wing. Mahattaya was the head of People's Front of Liberation Tigers, the Tamil Tigers' political party. However it fell out with the LTTE.
LTTE created its own police force in 1992. Balasingham Nadesan was its head throughout its existence, although he was promoted as the head of political wing in November 2008. As police chief, Nadesan oversaw the building of new police stations in the East following the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement. LTTE Police Headquarters was situated in Kilinochchi town.
LTTE controlled a separate court system, which looked into civil and criminal cases inside the LTTE controlled area. Main court was situated in the Kilinochchi town.
"Bank of Tamil Eelam" was LTTE's official bank, which governed under its political wing. It was established in 1994. LTTE controlled 11 branches of this bank throughout the Vanni region. It had even provided loan and credit facilities to the people of north and east Sri Lanka. The bank suspended its activities on 2 January 2009 after Sri Lanka Army captured Kilinochchi, the administrative capital of LTTE controlled region.
Voice of Tigers
Pulikalin Kural aka Voice of Tigers, LTTE's Radio station was established in 1990, in Jaffna. LTTE leader's Mahavir day speech speech was usually broadcast on Voice of Tigers on 27 November in each year. Its main broadcasting station was attcked by Sri Lanka Air Force on 27 November 2007, while the speech was being broadcast. LTTE claims that it was one of the 23 times SLAF has targeted the station.
LTTE sports division was headed by 'Papa'. He was arrested in May 2009 and now working for the State intelligence services.
Out of the LTTE's divisions, details about its global network are scarcely known. Prominent tasks conducted by this global network include propaganda, fund raising, arms procurement and shipping.At the height of its power, LTTE had 42 offices all over the world. The global network of LTTE is functional in 4 major areas. Departments within the global network include,
Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP was LTTE's chief arms dealer and international head from its rise to prominence in 1983 to signing the Norwegian brokered ceasefire agreement in 2002. KP travelled to various black markets using 23+ alieses and 200+ passports. His continuous shipments of arms fuelled the Eelam War I, II and III. Major acievements of KP branch include purchasing and shipping 60 tonnes of explosives (50 tonnes of TNT and 10 tonnes of RDX) from Rubezone Chemical plant in Ukraine in 1994, providing a forged Bangladeshi Ministry of Defense end-user certificate, and theft of 32,400 rounds of 81 mm mortar ammunition purchased from Tanzania destined for the Sri Lanka Army. In 2002, after the signing of peace deal, some elements within LTTE, allegedly Castro and Thamilselvan brought forward various charges against KP, including corruption, inefficiency, sexual impropriety etc. Since then, KP was steadily marginalised and in 2003, he went into "voluntary" retirement. But in 2008, after a series of military debacles in North and the East, LTTE supermo Prabhakaran requested him to return to the LTTE. KP accepted the request and in January 2009, he was appointed the head of newly created "International relations department". But his appointment did not stop the tide against LTTE, which was defeated in May 2009. In August 2009, a Sri Lankan military intelligence unit, with the collaboration of local authorities, captured Pathmanathan in the Tune Hotel, Downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Since 2002, after sidelining KP branch, LTTE relied heavily on International secretariat headed by Veerakathy Manivannam alias Castro for arms shipments and other foreign activities. Castro was based in Kilinochchi, but he had a branch network controlled by him in the foreign countries. Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan, who acts as the LTTE leader in Norway was appointed by him. Castro died in Sri Lanka Army's final offensive in Vellamullivaikkal, Mullaitivu.
Ponniah Anandaraja alias Aiyannah led the LTTE's Aiyannah group, which is responsible for LTTE's connection with North Korean government. Aiyannah, a member of World Tamil Coordinating Committee of USA and later, the accountant of LTTE, had worked at the North Korean embassy in Bangkok since late 1997. Jane's Intelligence Review states that Aiyannah Group functioned as the "group’s [LTTE's] intelligence and operations body, likely to be responsible for monitoring and ensuring the organization’s financial support and revenue streams." Most of the LTTE's weapons shipments came from North Korea, since 1997.
LTTE's global network operated several TV channels in Europe and Australia, named "Tharisanam TV", "Tamil Television Network" (TTN), "Makkal TV" and "Euro TV" as a major propaganda arm. Tharisanm was broadcasting its programmes in connection with companies in France, Israel and Hong Kong. It had used French and Israeli satellites named Globecast and Satlink, for the broadcasting purposes. In 2008, Israel took steps to ban Tharisanam. Makkal TV was aired with the help of the pro-LTTE political party Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in Chennai. France ceased the broadcasting of Tamil Television Network (TTN) in May 2007. Euro TV also was banned by Italy in May 2008.
LTTE launched the London based International Broadcasting Corporation, IBC Tamil radio station in 1997. IBC had urged Tamils in the United Kingdom to support pro-LTTE fundraising events organized by White Pigeon and other LTTE front associations.
There has been a wide array of pro-LTTE publications, both digital and print, controlled by the LTTE global network. Most notable websites include TamilNet, Paris based Sankathi and Germany based Pathivu. Paris, London, Canada and Australia based Eelamurazu is one of its many printed media.
- Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
- Tamil Tigress - an autobiographical story of a former child soldier of the LTTE women's wing
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- Secrets of their success
- Suicide bombers feared and revered
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- Other people's wars: A Review of Overseas Terrorism in Canada, John Thompson, The Mackenzie Institute.
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