A top Sri Lankan official has said that the needle of suspicion for last Tuesday’s attack on the country’s cricketers in Lahore was also on the LTTE.
Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona said it was possible that the Tamil Tiger rebels were trying to distract the government’s attention from the ongoing offensives against the guerrillas.
“We have heard that Pakistani authorities are also concerned that an external element may have contributed to the attack on our cricketers in Lahore. We also have this suspicions from the beginning,” Kohona said.
“We will recall that on the first day of the attack itself certain suggestions were made that the LTTE may have had a hand in it. It would be surprising if they had not been behind this,” Kohona told reporters on Sunday.
It may be recalled that the LTTE has distanced itself from the attack on the bus carrying the cricketers in Lahore last week.
LTTE spokesman Thileepan in an interview to Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) last week said that the outfit was in no way involved with the attack the island nation¿s cricket team,which cancelled the visit due to returned home subsequently.
“And he (Thileepan) said the LTTE rejected speculation that it could be linked to the attack in Pakistan on the Sri Lankan cricket team,” the SBS reported.
“We don’t have any connections with those people (Lahore attackers),” LTTE’s spokesman Thileepan said.
Meanwhile,the Sri Lankan Defence website,in an article,mentions about possible links between the LTTE and Lashkar-e-Toiba,which is also one of the suspects of the Lahore bus attack besides being linked to the Mumbai terror attack.
“Of considerable interest is that the current suspicions on LeT,the group blamed by India for the terror attacks on Mumbai,have led to serious considerations on the possibility of an LTTE link in the attack on the Sri Lanka cricketers,” it said
Dating back to 1992,Kittu,a key figure of the LTTE at the time,was known to have been negotiating arms purchases for the LTTE in Peshawar,it said.
“Subsequently,in 1993,Indian intelligence is known to have destroyed at sea the vessel carrying arms for the LTTE,killing Kittu,too,” the article said.
Reports that the terrorists had planned to take the Sri Lankan players hostage,is also being viewed by intelligence sources in South Asian capitals,in the context of the LTTE’s current position of near defeat,and the search for a bargaining tool for its call for a ceasefire.