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Karthikeyan on LTTE Shipping Lines

Former head of the Special Investigation Team of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case D.R. Karthikeyan, in his latest book Triumph of Truth referred to the emergence of the LTTE shipping lines in the following lines.

“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 Pathmanadan 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 rain coats.”

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