Colombo: The possibility of the Tamil Tigers regrouping again has been "thwarted completely" with the arrest of their new leader Kumaran Pathmanathan, Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said in remarks published on Sunday.
According to Rajapaksa, Pathmanathan, better known as KP, was arrested in an Asian country and flown to Colombo on the night of August 06.
"The arrest of the LTTE mastermind KP has thwarted completely the possibilities of LTTE raising its ugly head again," Rajapaksa was quoted as saying by the state-run Sunday Observer.
KP took over the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after the military crushed it militarily in May and killed its founder leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
According to Rajapaksa, the arrest of KP was a result of hard work done for nearly two months with the help of several countries. "Every detail was carefully monitored to take this 'prize catch'.
"Pathmanathan was busy re-establishing the LTTE. He even went to the extent of forming a 'transnational' government. However, the timely and the prompt action (has shattered) all his plans," Rajapaksa said.
He also hailed several countries for their help in the arrest of KP, who for years presided over a covert network from foreign countries that kept the LTTE supplied with arms and ammunition.
"It is vital at this juncture to protect the details and other information relating to countries and the officials who played their part in nabbing Pathmanathan," Rajapaksa said.
The defence secretary said the LTTE, considered one of the deadliest terrorist outfits, has now been rooted out not only in Sri Lanka but also globally following the arrest of KP.
"The outside forces which helped the LTTE against the sovereignty of Sri Lanka will now learn a bitter lesson with the arrest of Pathmanathan," he added.
In January 2009, KP was named head of the LTTE's international relations department.
First Published: Sunday, August 09, 2009, 14:03