Vairamuthu Jayachandra, the captain of the ship MV Ahat, which was intercepted by the Indian navy and led to Colonel Kittu and nine other LTTE cadres committing suicide in 1993, passed away in Valvettithurai this week.
Crowds gathered outside the Jaffna home to pay tribute to the former ship captain. During his time with the LTTE, Jayachandra also had several other roles with the LTTE, including on vessels such as:
Cholan – 2nd officer, October 1984 to September 1986.
Iliyana – Chief Officer, July 1987 to November 1987.
Sea Horse – Captain, November 1987 to March 1988.
Sun Bird – Chief Officer, March 1988 to September 1989.
Yelicia – Chief Officer, September 1988 to September 1989.
Golden Bird – Chief Officer, September 1990 to January 1991.
Ali Joshing – Master January 91 to March 1991.
Tong Nova – Master, March 1991 to July 1991.
Yahata (Ahat) – Master, September 8, 1992 onwards.
Col Kittu had been appointed head of the LTTE’s International Secretariat in London and was on his way home from the UK when his ship was intercepted in 1993.
“The former Jaffna Commander of the LTTE was on his way to meet the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to brief him on the latest peace proposal arranged with the assistance of certain European countries to find a solution to the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka,” said a statement from the LTTE, released after his death.
“Kittu had explained to the navy officials, who surrounded him, but they had rejected his explanation and had taken the LTTE ship by force to the shores. Following this action by the Indian navy Kittu and nine of his comrades committed suicide to prevent themselves from becoming prisoners of the Indian government”.
The ship was also destroyed by the cadres as Jayachandra and other crew members jumped off the vessel.
The nine other cadres who passed away with Col. Kittu were:
Lt.Col. Kuttisiri: Rasaiah Sri Ganesan from Suthumalai, Jaffna
Sea Tiger Captain Jeeva: Nadarajah Mark Jeyarajah from Pashaiyoor, Jaffna
Sea Tiger Captain Gunaseelan: Segan Cruz Michael Jeeva from Maniam Thottam in Jaffna
Major Malaravan (Velan): Suntharalingam Suntharavel from Viyaparimoolai, Point Pedro
Sea Tiger Captain Rosan: Ratnalingam Arunarajah from Nallur, Jaffna
Sea Tiger Captain Nayagam: Sivalingam Seharan from Polikandy in Point Pedro
Sea Tiger Lt. Thuyavan: Mahalingam Jeyalingam from Kandy Road, Jaffna
Sea Tiger Lt. Amuthan: Aloysius Johnson from Navanthurai, Jaffna
Sea Tiger Lt. Nallarasan: Sivagnanasundaram Ramesh from Columbuthurai, Jaffna