The recent chance arrest of an LTTE cadre at a police roadblock in Trincomalee has revealed the existence of a previously unknown British link.
The 29-year-old suspect Kalimuttu Vinodkumar had been among 12 LTTE cadres sent on a three-month training programme Northern Ireland shortly after the Norwegian arranged CFA came into operation in February 2002. The course had been conducted by foreign instructors with the help of Tamil translators.
The Norwegians are believed to have arranged the visit with the knowledge of the then UNP-led UNF government. The British Government proscribed the LTTE in March 2001. The LTTE undertook a series of overseas visits to promote its cause during the first years of the CFA.
An authoritative official said that Vinodkumar had a genuine passport. `It wasn`t a clandestine visit to Northern Ireland,` he asserted.
He expressed the belief that the LTTE group was to be the nucleus of an expanded law enforcement arm (Tamileelam police) deployed in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
After their return from the UK, they had trained the newly recruited cadres in the Vanni region before new stations had been assigned for them. Vinodkumar had been in charge of LTTE `police` deployed at Sampur before the SLA regained the area last September. He had claimed that he quit the organisation after their defeat at Sampur where the LTTE had established several `police` stations in the East during the UNF administration.
The police roadblock manned by Trincomalee Harbour Police had detained the suspect along with another person. The official said that they were employed by a mobile phone dealer based at Anandakulam.
Police acknowledged that they had no evidence to implicate Vinodkumar`s associate in LTTE activity. The suspect had joined the LTTE when he was in Grade Six in a government school situated in the Jaffna peninsula.
The controversial decision to take a Batticaloa-based LTTE cadre onboard HMS Chatham deployed off the East coast shortly after tsuanmi highlighted the British attitude towards the LTTE.