COLOMBO: Piliyandala blast suspect was an expert in bus bombing makes several other daring revelations
I pressed the button on the remote control device, when I was near the clock tower. I saw the bus being blown up and bodies of passengers strewn on the road. People who were walking on the road close by too, had fallen down on the road.
Modus operandi of LTTE
1.Gather intelligence on security situation
2.Look for a safe house
3.Send operative to safe house
4.Transport bomb to secret location from which operative can retrieve it
5.Order from Kilinochchi notifying target.
This shocking confession had been made to Piliyandala police, by a suspected terrorist, identified as, Sityanadan Anandan Sudhakaran alias, Appan, alias Wasanthan. They planned to explode eight bombs, in Colombo and suburbs, two had exploded already. If Wasanthan has not been apprehended by the Police, the other six bombs would have been blown up too. Meanwhile, the Army and Police are searching other operators, as well.
Wasanthan, is five and a half feet tall, thin, short hair and is soft spoken. The LTTE had named him as, Wasanthan number I 2212.He hails from Kilinochchi.
The bomb, killed 25 innocent people, including children and a Buddhist monk and injured around 70 people.
The same day, the key suspect and two other suspects were arrested by the Piliyandala police, on information, provided by a trishaw driver.
This bomb explosion was not the first, carried out by the suspect. He claimed that, his target was to explode eight bombs in buses, of which two (the one in Mt. Lavinia and the other in Piliyandala) had already been carried out.
He is also responsible for the claymore mine which exploded in Kebitigollewa, targeting a civilian bus, where more than 30 innocent civilians, were killed and many others injured.
He claimed that, he was also responsible for the claymore explosions of the Army bus, near Hotel Nippon, the bombing of the Army bus near Belekkade, Ratmalana and the one close to St. John`s fish market, the parcel bomb at the `No Limit` garment shop at Nugegoda, which killed more than 15 innocent civilians and injured many more and also the bus bomb, at Mt. Lavinia.
The person who was responsible for these blasts, is said to be Lawrence David Prakash, according to information, in his national identity card. His actual name is, Sityanadan Anandan Sudhakaran. The LTTE has given him the code name, Wasanthan number I 2212.
Wasanthan`s brother is Vijendran Sinniah, a senior member in the LTTE intelligence wing. Sinniah, is said to be close to LTTE intelligence wing head Pottu Amman. Sinniah, accompanied by his boss Pottu Amman, had met LTTE leader Prabhakaran.
Wasanthan`s arrival in Colombo
Wasanthan had arrived in Colombo from Kilinochchi, in the first week of May 2002 and stayed in lodges, at Wellawatte. Wasanthan can speak Sinhala fluently.
When the Army and Police conducted cordon and search operations in that area, he shifted to a place, in a Colombo suburb.
While staying in Colombo, he communicated with his brother, who is in Kilinochchi and also Pottu Amman, to update them, of the events in the South.
During that period, none of the Tamil people, who arrived in Colombo, were registered in their respective police areas, as the Defence Ministry had ordered all Army and Police units, not to conduct cordon and search operations, as a result of the Ceasefire Agreement, signed in February 2002.
This provided an excellent opportunity for the LTTE, to smuggle explosives, weapons and ammunition.
Thus, LTTE intelligence and military cadres infiltrated Colombo.
Sinniah, who was employed at a garment factory, as a labourer, was also attached to the LTTE Intelligence wing. He is from Vavuniya. Wasanthan received instructions from Kilinochchi, to meet Sinniah, to carry out the task.
Ranasinghe Arachilage Buddhika, too works with Sinniah, in the same garment factory. His native place is Madampe, in Ratnapura.
Safe house at Jaltara
Sinniah informed Buddhika, that a business friend of his (Wasanthan) wanted a place to stay. Buddhika agreed to provide lodging to Wasanthan. Buddhika was boarded in a house owned by Mrs. Asoka Jayawardena, at Jalathara in Piliyandala. Buddhika persuaded his boarding mistress and made arrangements, for Wasanthan to stay there.
Buddhika had introduced Wasanthan and Sinniah, to his boarding mistress and Rs. 125,000 was paid, as key money. Wasanthan agreed to pay Rs. 25,000 monthly, as rent. Mrs. Jayawardena was not concerned, as to, who her tenants were. Although, she knew that, they were two young Tamils, she did not inform the police. If she had acted in a responsible manner, she would have saved the lives of many innocent civilians. When Wasanthan came to stay at the Jalathara house, on May 10, 2008, he realised that, Buddhika was in financial need. Wasanthan had voluntarily offered Rs, 50,000, to Buddhika, who was very happy to accept it. Wasanthan built up a good relationship, with his boarding mistress and her husband.
Wasanthan had confided in Buddhika and asked for his help, to accomplish the deadly mission. Buddhika realised that, if he worked together with Wasanthan, he would be rewarded, financially.
Buddhika did not worry about civilian lives, as he had received Rs. 50,000 initially and knew, he would get more funds, from Wasanthan.
During his stay at Jalthara, Wasanthan had bought a television set, food and clothes for Buddhika, which he accepted. Meanwhile, during his stay at Jalthara, he had contacted his brother and Pottu Amman, several times.
He had a habit of watching television and was very interested in watching news, from the battlefront.
Wasanthan had visited the North several times and met the LTTE leadership, with whom he had discussed
Plans, as to how he should target civilians and military personnel.
Meanwhile, Sinniah had carried out some surveys, in Piliyandala and had received information that Piliyandala bus stand , the surroundings as well as, the passengers` parcels are not checked by police.
The Colombo South DIG had clearly instructed Piliyandala Police, to conduct cordon and search operations in and around Piliyandala and to deploy policemen to check parcels belonging to passengers at the public bus stand. But unfortunately, it is alleged that the Piliyandala police OIC did not carry out his superior`s orders.
On April 15 morning, Wasanthan had received a telephone call from one of his contacts that, a parcel containing a bomb was kept hidden in a bush, behind the public bus stand.
Wasanthan then went in a trishaw, with Sinniah, to Piliyandala town around 7.15 a.m., and told his previous caller that, he had arrived at the location, and the caller instructed him, to retrieve the parcel containing the bomb. At that time, there were people near the bush, so both of them went to have a cup of tea. At around 8.10 a.m., there were not many people there, so Wasanthan and Sinniah went to the location and retrieved the bomb.
The bomb was in a black bag. Both of them got into a three-wheeler and proceeded to the house, at Jalthara .
Meanwhile, on April 25, the Army liberated the sacred Madhu shrine area by attacking the LTTE terrorists, who had been there, for nine years. The soldiers of the 8th Sri Lanka Light Infantry reached the shrine as the terrorists experienced a retreat unable to stall the Army advance. Thus, Wasanthan, got immediate orders from Kilinochchi, to explode the bomb, as retaliation.
Preparation for the brutal mission
Meanwhile, on April 25 afternoon, Wasanthan is had received a telephone call that, Prabhakaran wanted a civilian bus targeted. Then Buddhika, Wasanthan alias Appan, and Sinniah had gone to Piliyandala town.
Buddhika and Sinniah went to the bus stand and looked around and reported the situation to Wasanthan. The original target was a Colombo-bound bus, but they realised that, there were not enough passengers in it, as their intention was to kill a large number of civilians, and injure many.
Buddhika and Sinniah then went to the clock tower area, at Piliyandala, while Wasanthan armed with the deadly bomb, roamed around the bus stand.
He saw that, there were many passengers, waiting for the Kahapola-bound bus.
Wasanthan too joined the waiting passengers and got into the bus and sat on a seat, four rows behind the driver`s seat and kept the bomb, in the luggage rack. When the bus started moving from the bus stand and was leaving the bus stand, Wasanthan got down from the bus and went near the clock tower.
He joined Buddhika and Sinniah. Wasanthan then pulled a remote control device from his pocket and pressed its button. The bomb exploded instantly.
Three of them got into a trishaw and told the driver that, they wanted to proceed to Jalathara.
When they reached Deniya in Piliyandala, Wasanthan who was seated on the left, threw the remote control device, which the driver saw.
When the three-wheeler reached the Jalathara safe house, Wasanthan got down and paid Rs. 500, for the hire. The driver was surprised and said the hire cost only Rs. 150. But Wasanthan said never mind you can keep the balance, which aroused the suspicions of the trishaw driver, for two reasons the extra money he paid and also because he saw the remote control device being thrown by Wasanthan.
Thus, the trishaw driver went back to Deniya and saw the remote control device there, and then informed about the incident to a Police Inspector, attached to the Police Transport Division.
Meanwhile, after accomplishing their mission, Wasanthan and the others, went to their room, switched on the television and watched the gory scenes in the newscasts.
The police inspector who received the information had reported it, to Piliyandala Police. The Police Crime Division officers had ...