Thirukural on Espionage – 
ஒற்றும் உரைசான்ற நூலும்,
இவையிரண்டும் தெற்றென்க மன்னவன் கண்.

‘Constant vigilance, constant mistrust, constant mobility are the three golden rules. All three are concerned with security. Various considerations of common sense necessitate wariness towards the civilian population and the maintenance of a certain aloofness. By their very situation civilians are exposed to repression and the constant presence and pressure of the enemy, who will attempt to buy them, corrupt them, or to extort from them by violence what cannot be bought. Not having undergone a process of selection or technical training, as have the guerrilla fighters, the civilians in a given zone of operations are more vulnerable to infiltration or moral corruption by the enemy. ..” Revolution in the Revolution? – Regis Debray, 1967

7 October 2007 RAW recalls Colombo officer suspected of  ‘Chinese Connection’

“Three years after it watched Joint Secretary Rabinder Singh flee the country, allegedly to the US, the country’s premier external intelligence agency, the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), has been forced to bring another of its officers under the scanner. It has issued orders to recall its representative in Sri Lanka for alleged links with a woman foreign national suspected to have a “Chinese Connection.”

9 October 2005 Sri Lanka’s Espionage War & the Receding Peace, Vanniyan

“..It appears that the Sri Lankan state is employing two important methods to restrict the help to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from foreign countries. One of these is to intensify the propaganda activities against Liberation Tigers in Canada and the European countries, two sources which are considered to be providing the highest financial support to them. A special team consisting of Sinhala nationalists has been created for this purpose. The other means is to weaken the Tamils gradually by infiltration –  and to corrupt them culturally…”

1 April 2005 யாழ்ப்பாணத்தில் ‘றோ’வின் கண்கள் – New Delhi’s RAW in Jaffna

“தமிழகத்தில் இருந்து மூட்டைகட்டி வீடு வீடாக துணிகள் விற்பவர்கள் இங்கு களமிறங்கி யுள்ளனர். இவர்கள் தமிழகத்திலிருந்து விமானம் வழியாக கொழும்புக்கும் அங்கிருந்து விமானம் வழியாக யாழ் பாணத்துக்கும் வருகின்றனர். மூட்டைகளை காவியபடி யாழ் பாணத்தின் சகல குச்சொழுங்கைகளுக்கும் சென்று வியாபாரம் செய்கின்றனர். கடைகளைவிட மலிவாகக் கொடுக்கின்றனர். கடனுக்கு கொடுக்கின்றனர். மக்களின் குடும்ப நன்பர்களாக தம்மை வளர்த்துக் கொள்கின்றனர்.

18 August 2004 Tigers dominate decades of Tamil militancy – D.Sivaram

“…A US army officer covering South Asia whom I met in Washington many years ago asked me why the Sri Lanka army is unable to raise paramilitaries in the northeast that are large enough to curtail the spread of the LTTE’s influence in those regions considered key to the counter insurgency campaign against the Tigers. He had in mind paramilitaries like the right wing AUC that controls large areas in Columbia and terrorizes peasants who support FARC, the main Marxist guerrilla organisation fighting the state in that country. The AUC is estimated to be about ten thousand strong. It plays a key role in the Columbian military’s counter insurgency campaign against FARC…The bare fact is that the unitary state of Sri Lanka does not permit the political space necessary for the anti LTTE groups to survive. Deprived of political oxygen they have thus been dying a natural death. No amount of financial and military infusions will help revive them sans the political space which the constitution of Sri Lanka denies them. “

15 June 1998 Tamil Informers & Collaborators –  Nadesan Satyendra

A visitor to the tamilnation website from Malaysia wrote: “I came to understand that some elements among the Tamils act as informers and cooperate fully with the Sinhalese army. How bad is this situation? If it is so, then how is it that nobody has exposed them and their deeds? Is it because the fighters want to show a front of solidarity? I will be thankful for your explanation.”

The matter you raise is an important one. Over the past two decades, it is true that some Tamils have acted as informers and have collaborated with the Sinhala army.  Of course, this is something that has happened in other occupied countries as well. During Hitler’s occupation of Norway (in World War II) a Norwegian called Quisling collaborated with the Nazis – his name has now become a part of the English vocabulary to describe a traitor. In the case of France, we had the Vichy ‘government’. These agents of the alien ruler, on the one hand, dispensed favours to sections of the populace and on the other hand, helped to identify and eliminate those who resisted alien rule. In Sri Lanka, the Sinhala authorities have recruited, from time to time, Tamils to achieve similar objectives. .. more


7 December 2000 What is really wrong with Sri Lanka counter insurgency methods?  – D.Sivaram

“Western counter insurgency methods have succeeded in putting down or effectively containing the armed struggles for social emancipation or for carving out separate states in the majority of the countries which adopted them under the tutelage of the Americans and the British. This is a fact that more often than not is buried by the third world’s persistent fascination with the success stories of Vietnam and Cuba. The American and British governments have spent vast resources to study and constantly improve on their common and specific counter insurgency methods unlike the Cubans or the Vietnamese whose cash strapped economies would brook no such luxuries…  The LTTE’s aim, obviously, is to stymie and subvert the army’s intelligence system. The TELO was one of the best resources the army has had in developing its local counter insurgency resources in the north and east. Now the group is black listed by the army for allegedly having close links with the Tigers and for taking up their cause as the only legitimate politcal course for the Tamil people. The EPRLF and the EROS have floundered – the former crumbled and imploded due to factional squabbles and the latter was absorbed by the Tigers, the remnant is neither fish nor fowl. One of the basic principles of counter insurgency is to have many para-military and vigilante groups drawn from the target population for intelligence gathering, psy-ops and most importantly for creating an alternative political space and for helping the state to reduce its military presence and hence expenditure.
But in the Eelam war para-military groups are being turned by the Tigers into another insidious front for the army’s growing counter insurgency burden… “

1995 Special Forces -The Changing Face of Warfare –  Mark Lloyd

“..First rate HUMINT can often only be obtained from within an organisation either by infiltrating an agent into one of its cells or by turning an existing member. Turning is best achieved by targeting a participant whose heart is not in it or who is suffering from obvious family pressures. Initial meetings with the target may only be conducted by highly trained operators, and for obvious reasons must take place in the utmost secrecy. The `need to know’ principle, whereby only those within the intelligence network who actively require details of the agent are given them, must be imposed rigidly; even if, as occasionally happens in Northern Ireland. this creates a rift between two departments.

There is nothing more demoralising to hard-core terrorists than the fear of internal betrayal. They will try to stifle this by ruthless exemplary punishments. Occasionally this increases the desire of the waverers to escape from their nightmare. As sympathisers are detected and terrorists arrested, they become increasingly susceptible to turning in the hope of withdrawing themselves and their families from further violence. This leads to further arrests, and ultimately to the disintegration of terrorist support among the local populace, as it becomes clear that their cause is lost.

This policy worked with excellent results against the Mau Mau in Kenya and against the communist terrorists in Malaya, and to a lesser extent against various other guerrilla organisations in South America. However it met with far less success with the Freds in Northern Ireland, and has since led to a series of highly embarrassing ‘supergrass’ trials in which the evidence of turned (and well paid) informers has been brought into disrepute…” more

15 October 1987 Sex for secrets – An Indian Official is caught in the Leaking Act – Salamat Ali, Far Eastern Economic Review

“..For the second time in three years, the Indian intelligence community has been rocked by a spy scandal. A senior official in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) – the country’s external intelligence agency – has confessed that he passed on sensitive security information to a foreign power. Although the foreign power has not been officially identified, 47 year-old K.V.Unnikrishnan, a deputy inspector-general of police on secondment to RAW, had allegedly leaked secrets of India’s dealings with Sri Lankan Tamil insurgents to a US agent.”


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