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LTTE's women wing chief arrested

May 29, 2009 20:27 IST

'Thamilini threw away the cyanide'

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The political wing leader of the LTTE women's force, who crossed into the government-held areas from the no-fire zone in northern Sri Lanka in the guise of a civilian, was arrested from a refugee camp.

Subramaniam Shivathai alias Thamilini, who came to the refugee camp with other civilians from Mullaitivu, during the last phase of the military operation was arrested at a welfare village in Vavuniya, a media report said.

Thamilini reportedly threw away her cyanide capsule and revolver before leaving LTTE-held area with other civilians. She had come to the government-controlled region along with the people escaping from Puthumathalan which was a 'No Fire Zone' at the time, and was with her mother and sister when she was arrested by a special team of police on Wednesday, authorities said.

Text: Press Trust of India


Image: Thamilini with a cyanide capsule dangling in her neck. A file picture
Photographs: Reuters/Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi
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Thamilini joined LTTE in 1991

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She told the police that she threw away her cyanide capsule and her pistol and passed off as a displaced person, the news website Asian Tribune said. Thamilini's mother, Subramaniam Gowri Wijayaraja and sister Maheshwari, had also accompanied her.

She joined the LTTE in 1991 and was elevated to the position of the organisation's political head after its leader Nesmia died in a clash with the Sri Lankan Army. Thamilini's another sister, Santhilan, was killed in 1998, during a clash with the security forces in Paranthan, the website said.


Image: Thamilini provides a chair for visitors at her official residence in Kilinochchi. File picture

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The Tigress is caged

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Thamilini and her family members had not been recognised by anyone as they lived alongside the other displaced persons before they were sent to the camp in Vavuniya. Originally Shivathai, she had been a student at Paranthan Hindu College and also studied at the Central College of Kilinochchi.

She joined the LTTE in 1991 and subsequently received battle training in a camp in Nirveli in the region. For some time she was put in charge of a coir mill and a farm in the Kilali area, the paper said.


Image: Thamilini

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LTTE named her Thamilini

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During interrogations she disclosed that she was attached to the office of Thamilchelvam, the political wing leader of the LTTE, who was killed in November 2007 in an air attack in Killinochi. Thamilini was appointed the political head of LTTE Women's Wing, after Nesmia, its previous leader was killed in a clash with the Army in Muhamalai.

With an LTTE registration number 1736, she was given the name Thamilini, by the outfit. She is currently being interrogated by intelligence officers and army investigators, the paper said.


Image: Thamilini

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