New Voice of
Tigers with govt. approval
last month granted approval to the LTTE to clear six tons of equipment
to set up a modern Voice of Tigers (VoT) radio broadcasting station.
Representatives of the LTTE cleared the container load of cargo
from the Colombo Port on November 26 on their leader Velupillai
The next day,
an armed Police team led by an inspector escorted the sealed container
load from Colombo to Omanthai. Army personnel at the check-point
had wanted to examine the container when the inspector had objected.
He had produced a letter from Defence Secretary Austin Fernando.
Thereafter the trailer carrying the container was permitted to cross
over to LTTE held Omanthai entry point to Wanni at 11.30 pm on November
27 - Maveerar's Day commemorated by the organisation.
The Sunday Times
learns that the equipment arrived in Colombo consigned to the Norwegian
Embassy, which in turn, had gifted it to the LTTE. Thereafter, the
government had granted clearance with a duty waiver. The Norwegian
Embassy avoided repeated calls from The Sunday Times while the Sri
Lanka Customs declined to comment.
highly placed Customs sources, a team of Security Forces communications
experts, backed by representatives from the Sri Lanka Broadcasting
Corporation had studied the technical specifications. They were
of the view that the equipment would enable the LTTE to only broadcast
on the FM frequency to a limited area though other technical sources
told The Sunday Times their transmissions could be heavily enhanced
through boosters to reach areas outside Sri Lanka.
A high ranking
government official had asked Customs to allow security authorities
to examine the equipment at the Colombo port and seal it before
it was transported to the Wanni.
told The Sunday Times the cleared equipment included FM transmitter,
backup transmitter, MPX Clipper Generator, FM Antennas, headphone,
patch panel, loudspeaker, microphone, microphone holder, MD recorder,
CD player, cables, antenna cables and RDS audio. The LTTE had originally
planned to clear the equipment early to enable their leader, Velupillai
Prabhakaran, to make his annual "Maveerar Week" (Heroes
Week) address through the new Voice of Tigers radio station. However,
procedural formalities had entailed delays.
In a separate
report, our Trincomalee Correspondent Sinniah Gurunathan states
the LTTE is making preparations to expand the reach of the Voice
of Tigers radio to Southern India and Singapore. He quoted LTTE's
Arts and Cultural Section head, Puthuvai Ratnathurai, as saying
that VoT expansion plans for this purpose were ready. The new VoT
broadcasting station is to be located in the Wanni. According to
Ratnathurai, its programmes are to reach out to entire Sri Lanka.