"Was the so-called Thai trawler actually gun-running for the pirate fleet?"
Read about Thailand's "dirty" secrets,other than its sex industry.
The "game is afoot" ,as Holmes would say! Jealous of the IN's instant popularity and kudos received from various maritime organisations and countries worldwide,especially those affected by piracy,and stung by the criticism levelled against the huge impotent 150 ship western armada,headed by the USN for doing nothing to stem the pirate pandemic in the Arabian Sea,the first salvo to try and denigrate India and the IN are being fired by certain vested powers using their Thai allies.Let's take a close look at Thailand,a country well known for harbouring wanted criminals of the worst kind and letting them go when "caught" for a sum!
The attempt being made now is that the IN sank a poor trawler full of innocent Thai fishermen by mistake.These lies are deliberately being spread by certain vested powers using their Thai lackeys to denigrate the IN.As R.Adm.Raja Menon wrote,the glorious 150 ship western armada under the US's Africa Command supposedly "controls" these parts of entire Indian Ocean region,but has no place for the dominant navy and nation of the region India in it! Why the f**k then do we exercise with it? As the good admiral has said,that if India and Pak could both work together successfully in UN peacekeeping in Africa under the UN flag without any problems, perhaps the time has come for India,Pakistan,Sri Lanka,etc., and the Subcontinental nations to develop their own security architecture and maritime force,when all we have to protect us is the farce of the western armada who value "pirate human rights" above the victims rights and the impotence of the UN.
1.First,the IN has refuted the allegations splendidly,point by point.INS Tabar was threatened and attacked when warned and in self defence the mother ship was sunk.Does the USN now allow any vessel to challenge it and fire upon it in similar fashion after the experience of the USS Cole which was almost sunk in Yemen? The USN is after the Cole fiasco building dozens of so-called "littoral warfare" frigates to counter just such threats.The vessel sunk was seen with armed men aboard on deck,who had RPGs and MGs who fired at the Tabar.
2.The most illuminating fact pointed out by the IN are the pictures of the huge explosion that followed the Tabar's counterfire.Unless there was large quantities of explosives and ammo aboard,this could not have happened.Have you ever heard of a trawler's "exploding fish"? Some fishy trawler indeed! OK,let's assume that it was inded a Thai fishing trawler,but innocent,no.From the evidence it was most likely that the trawler had been itself a victim of piracy and had been commandeered by the pirates.As the IN spokeman said,have you ever heard of shipbuilders building vessels especially for pirates?!
I however have a theory about this as my post's title suggests. I am going to illustrate below the Nelsonian eye that the corrupt Thai establishment turns toward international crime and terrorists (their own ex-PM ,Thak-"sin",ex-English Premier league football club owner,was just dumped out of Britain),the Thais have for decades been silent partners in international gun running ,allowing all kinds and manner of deadly species to use Thailand as a safe haven for their nefarious purposes.
Was the Thai trawler actually gun-running for the pirate fleet? It could very well have been filled with weapons and ammo meant for the pirate fleet,who were about to transport the guns and ammo quietly at sea,as the port of Eyl is now under intense surveillance and scrutiny by satellites,etc.of the world's major powers and navies.The same technique has been used for decades by the LTTE,whose merchantmen incidentally were using Thai ports to load their arms purchased from S-East Asia in transporting and offloading their arms and material to the LTTE's Sea Tiger smaller baots off the Sri Lankan coast.Here is the clincher.As the foll. report indicates,the LTTE's chief global arms procurer "K.P.",was "caught" in Thailand,arrested and then suddenly disappeared after paying the corrupt Thai military and establishment their fee just as the pirates demand ransom money from the shipowners to free the vessel and their crews!
Therefore,the "innocent fishing trawler' is a fishy story and the most one can say in defence of the unscrupulous Thais is that this is an attempt at an insurance scam after the gun-runner was caught and destroyed!
How Thailand protects and harbours international terrorists.
Who is KP - Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingham aka Kumaran Pathmanathan (49) (KP) He is a key LTTE leader in charge of weapons smuggling and believed to live in Thailand and Cambodia. He is one of Interpol most wanted terrorists. Wanted for participation in terrorism and the murder of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. But No more. KP the man behind of an International Weapons net work of the LTTE has been arrested few hours ago by Interpol official in Bangkok on Today Evening. According to Lanka Guardian sources in Bangkok, ‘Sri Lankan authorities may decide to extradite him. They will want to interrogate him. Meanwhile a top level LTTE member who is an Intelligence officer in the LTTE has been identified this situation as a big heart attack in the LTTE and their net work. ‘Pathmanadan, who also had a number of aliases, has recently been the subject of a manhunt that stretched to Johannesburg, Rangoon, Singapore and Bangkok. Police said they believed he had bank accounts in London, Frankfurt Denmark, Athens and Australia and has over 200 passports for his use. KP is one of the best friends of Prabakaran the LTTE supremo also his wife Madiwadini. According to Tamil Political Sources, “Madhivadhani was accompanied by Kumaran, the head of the LTTE's international committee, who handled the procurement of arms for the LTTE. K Pathmanababha, alias KP, alias T S Kumaran, a Prabakaran confidant, headed the shadowy international financial wing of the LTTE. The reclusive KP, is the head of the international arms procurement for the LTTE (Full report in The Guardian).
LTTE and Phuket - The LTTE has been present in Phuket since the late 80’s. In 1990, port authorities at Penang impounded the Sunbird, a LTTE commercial vessel, and seized diving and communication equipment and some ammunition. The Sunbird has called regularly in Phuket. When a LTTE base in Myanmar was closed in 1996 after protests from Colombo, the Thailand Andemans seaports became still more important. According to SLA Brigadier Sunil Tennakoon the LTTE has been active in Phuket and costal waters along the Indian Ocean since 1996. In December 1993 merchant vessel Yahata left Phuket with a large consignment of weapons destined for Sri Lanka. Krishnakumar “Kittu” Sathasivam, a close associate of LTTE supremo Vellupillai Prabhakaran, led the operation and when the Indian Navy intercepted the ship, Kittu blew it up and drowning along with several of his crew members. Lloyds list reported on March 26 2000 that the Tamil Tigers were operating a base on a island near Phuket and set up a shipping base in Thailand to smuggle arms and drugs after being forced out of Burma (Full report in http://www.svik.org/thai.htm
Excerpt:International Institute of Peace and Conflict Studieshttp://www.ipcs.org/nmt_militaryIndex2. ... icle&mod=b
The sea is the main route for illegal arms coming from various countries. The land borders also provide alternative routes. The LTTE gun trade route passes through the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. Arms originating from Cambodia are loaded onto small fishing trawlers in the the southern Thai port of Ranong. These vessels then transfer the consignment to larger vessels for for onward passage to Sri Lanka. Small boats to Cox Bazar transport a part of the consignment. Several vessels engaged in gun running have been captured in the region. In 1996, the Bangladesh authorities seized 600 rifles from a fishing trawler originating in Thailand. In 1997, the Royal Thai Navy seized an arms shipment for the People?s Liberation Army (Manipur) following a chase in the Andaman Sea off the port of Ranong. http://www.spur.asn.au/ThaiNews_1.htm
`Tigers set up base in Thai island'
BANGKOK, JUNE 3: Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have made Thailand a hub of their southeast Asian gun-running and fund-raising activities, sources close to Thai military intelligence said.
The source told AFP the LTTE had been operating a sizeable base on a Thai island 15 kilometers from the southwest coast tourist resort of Phuket.
Following Thai newspaper reports relating to the existence of the base in mid-May, Thai police engaged in a cover-up to prevent details of the Tigers' presence being revealed, the source said.
Thai government officials have denied the existence of the base, although Army Chief General Surayud Chulanont has told reporters the military has known of Tiger operations in southern Thailand for some time.
The Bangkok Post reported that an Army intelligence unit had photographed Tamil rebels transferring weapons to the island on May 25.
In response to the Post report, Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai told reporters that the Phuket area "may be the smuggling route ... But there is no Tamil base in Thailand."
Phuket Governor Charnchai Sunthornmat had previously dismissed reports of the Tigers' presence near Phuket as being the "suspicions of a foreign news agency".
Sources told AFP the alleged base near Phuket was just the tip of the Tiger iceberg in Thailand, with the LTTE funding activities and arms smuggling also taking place in Bangkok and in waters just off the Thai coast.
Earlier this year, shipping news publication Lloyd's List reported the Tigers had shifted southeast Asia operations from Myanmar to Thailand after diplomatic pressure on the Yangon junta in 1996 had enforced the move.
The Nation daily reported today that Thai police suspected a shipyard near Phuket of producing speedboats for the Tigers.
Daily News : 5 June 2000
Tigers raising funds in Phuket
The Straits Times of Singapore, in a Bangkok datelined report in its June 02 edition, says that LTTE supporters are believed to have set up front companies in Phuket into raise funds with the intention of buying arms to support their war efforts at home.
The report, under portfolio of South East Asia and quoting a Bangkok-based analyst, said that Sri Lankan Tamil businessmen have over the past year, set up fisheries, finance and shipping companies on a the Southern Thai island as a cover for their activities.
The Strait Times report which has been filed by its Thailand correspondent Edward Tang, said:" supporters of the Sri Lankan Tamil rebels are believed to have set up front companies in Phuket into raise funds with the intention of buying arms to support their war efforts at home, sources have said.
According to a Bangkok-based analyst, Sri Lankan Tamil businessmen have over the past year, set up fisheries, finance and shipping companies in the Southern Thai island as a cover for their activities.
The businessmen are sympathizers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which has been waging a war of
independence against the Sri Lankan authorities.
A Phuket based journalist said some of the companies even owned merchant ships which allegedly transported weapons purchased from the regions to rebel-held areas, such as Mullaitivu, a coastal city of Sri Lanka.
It is the shortest route from Thailand. The distance between Phuket and Mullaitivu is about 2200 kilometres, he said.
The Thai Government said it was aware of the rebel presence in Phuket and was monitoring their activities closely.
Army Commander Satrayad Chulanoni was reported by the Bangkok Post this week as having said that the rebels have moved their operations from Myanmar to Phuket.
He denied allegations of the Thai military's involvements in the arms shipments to the LTTE.
The Army wants to reiterate that we have not supported and don't want to see the illegal trade of war weapons in our country.
In January, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar had alleged that the Tamil rebels were using Phuket and coastal areas along the Andaman sea bases to funnel weapons and ammunition home.
The Thai Government had rejected the claims then, but had since acknowledged that smugglers operating off the course could have resulted in arms being shipped to the rebels.
However, it added that the smugglers could be foreigners abetted by Thais who might not be aware of their involvement in the arms insurgency in Sri Lanka.
It also maintain that Phuket was not the LTTE's operating base, although it could have been used as a transit point.
The Thai and the Sri Lankan authorities, are reporting to be sharing intelligence and cooperating on other fronts to prevent other weapons from reaching the Tamil guerillas.
Aside from the small arms, the LTTE is believed to be shopping for fuel and anti-aircraft missiles.
Lloyd's List, a London based shipping publication, reported recently that the LTTE has bought weapons from North Korea, Myanmar, Cambodia and as well as from arms dealers in Europe and the Middle East.
The rebels ships had also carried consignments of heroin to be sold to other countries to help fund their activities, he said.
According to the Lloyds List, the LTTE owns its ships which were deployed for arms smuggling as well as commercial freight operations, the report added.