Short Profile of LTTE intelligence head, Pottu

Shanmugaligam Sivashanker, better known as Pottu Amman, head of the LTTE Intelligence Unit (TOSI) and the Black Tigers (Karunku Puligal), is a secretive man, of whom nothing much is known about. Wanted by the Interpol for terrorism, he has been the mystery man of the LTTE. But no more. Sunday Standard is able to unravel the mystery, and expose the LTTE's second in command in words and picture few months ago.

Shanmuganathan Sivasankaran was the head of the "Aiyanna group" - the dreaded intelligence network of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Sivasankaran was popularly called "Pottu Amman". . He joined the LTTE in 1981 and enjoyed enormous power and commanded awesome respect within the elite of the LTTE. He reported directly to Velupillai Prabakaran, the leader of the LTTE.

According to very reliable sources, Pottu Amman, born in the early 40s had joined the LTTE in the early 80s after a long stint abroad. His wife is from Sandiweli, near the Eastern University and they have two children, a girl and a boy.

He is said to have been in charge of the LTTE camps in Tamil Nadu costal area during the early days of the LTTE. In 1985 he was kidnapped by PLOTE cadres in Mahalingapuram, Chennai; and was released in exchange for Kannan, abducted by the LTTE.

Source privy to LTTE inside information told, "Pottu Amman's life was more of a secret than Prabhakan's. He headed all the operations outside the North and East parts and orchestrated many suicide attacks against the country's political leaders and anti LTTE Tamil political party members."

According to defence sources that Pottu Amman is currently living in the Iranamadu area, in the Mullathivu district, near the air strip constructed by the LTTE. He is said to use the A 34 and A 35 road, on the Mankulam – Mulativu road, Pudukuduirippu or Paranthan – Mulative road.

Pottu Amman is one of the few LTTE leaders from the pre-1983 period, when the group had only 32 members. Joining the LTTE in 1982 as a full-timer, Pottu rose from the ranks to become Batticaloa commander, Jaffna commander and intelligence chief. He was in charge of Jaffna for a brief period when the Indian Peace Keeping Force was in Sri Lanka. As intelligence chief, he allegedly masterminded the killing of Rajiv Gandhi, Premadasa, Ranjan Wijeratne, Admiral Clancy Fernando and others. He was also instrumental in uncovering the so-called conspiracy of former deputy leader Mahathiya against Prabakaran.
This close confidant of Prabakaran was later in charge of training the "Chiruththaigal" or Leopards, a commando-type division. One task set for this division was to pursue guerilla activities in the army-controlled Jaffna peninsula. Pottu Amman replaced Tamil Chelvan, whose performance had reportedly disappointed Prabakaran.
Pictured is Pottu Amman with Keerthi, one of his senior members, during a tour of the Eastern area. Keerthi is presently the Eastern area Intelligence head of the LTTE.