Amidst a simmering political debate over LTTE assets seized by the government following the collapse of the LTTE in May, the Sri Lanka Navy brought three LTTE ships to the Sri Lankan waters.
Well informed sources told The Island that the government had taken custody of the vessels following negotiations with foreign officials subsequent to information provided by the new LTTEleader KP, who had been in charge of the LTTE arms procurement network.
The Island in its December 2 issue exclusively reported a move to take over ships belonging to the LTTE.
Authoritative sources said that the three ships were believed to be among the LTTE fleet that was targeted by the SLN during September 2006 October 2007 period. The SLN destroyed eight vessels in four separate operations on the high seas.
The UNP-JVP combine has accused President Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa of secretly taking over LTTE assets for their personal use, a charge denied by the government. The Defence Secretary recently told The Island that nothing could be as ridiculous as this allegation. `They are seeking political capital out of a purely intelligence issue,` he said.
In the run-up to the forthcoming presidential election, the seized LTTE wealth has become a hot topic.