Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers)
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or Tamil Tigers
Sought a separate Tamil state in northern Sri Lanka called “Tamil Eelam” or “Tamil Homeland”.
The LTTE headquarters was located in the Tamil town of Kilinochchi.
Pioneered the use of suicide bomber belts and vests.
LTTE forces wore tiger stripe camouflage uniforms.
Many LTTE members wore a vial of cyanide around their necks in which they were to consume before they were captured.
From 1983-1987 India initially supported the various Tamil militant groups and set up training camps in India. Trained by the Indian intelligence branch called the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
Indian sent a peace keeping force to Sri Lanka in 1987, which the LTTE fought against.
The Sri Lankan government allegedly sent the LTTE money, weaponry, and equipment to subversively fight against the Indian peacekeepers and their proxy Tamil National Army.
The Indian peacekeepers left after the request of the Sri Lankan government in 1990.
Responsible for assassinating two world leaders. Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993.
Strategic Elephant Pass located at the entrance to the Jaffna Peninsula
Tamil Tiger forces were overran by Sri Lankan military forces and virtually massacred in 2009. Many Tamil civilians were also killed during and after the fighting.
LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed in May 2009.
Charles Anthony Brigade- Conventional fighting brigade
Jeyanthan Brigade- Conventional fighting brigade
Kittu artillery brigade equipped with Type 66 towed 152mm guns, Type 59-1 towed 130mm guns, 122mm guns, 122mm and 107mm multiple rocket launchers.
Kutti Sri mortar brigade equipped with 81/82mm mortars, 120mm mortars and a few 140mm mortars.
Victor anti-tank regiment with RPG-7 rocket launchers
Anbarasi regiment- Anti-aircraft attack unit equipped with SA-16 (9K38 Igla-1) surface-to-air missiles. Shot down four Sri Lankan Air Force aircraft killing over 202 personnel.
Ponnamman mining unit?
Some infantry units traveled using bicycles
Tiger Organization Security Intelligence Service (TOSIS)
Black Tigers- Special unit responsible for suicide attacks.
Air Tigers- Air Wing of the LTTE.
Zlin 143 trainer aircraft modified to carry improvised bombs.
Sea Tigers- Naval Wing of the LTTE.
Explosive packed speed boats
Motorcycle scout unit
Malathi Brigade- All female unit of the LTTE.
Sothiya Brigade- All female unit of the LTTE.
Police forces. Many police were female.
Military intelligence unit
Militia forces called the Eela Padai
Grama Padai and Thunai Padai were civilian logistical support units.
Propaganda, fund raising, arms procurement, and shipping
Voice of Tigers (Pulikalin Kural) radio station
Bank of Eelam
The KP branch, named after Kumaran Pathmanathan (real name Selvarasa Pathmanathan), was an international arms smuggling ring responsible for arms shipments from 1983 to 2002.
Purchased and shipped 60 tons of explosives (50 tons of TNT and 10 tons of RDX) from the Rubezone Chemical plant in the Ukraine in 1994 using a forged Bangladeshi Ministry of Defense end-user certificate.
The KP branch also stole 32,400 81mm mortar rounds the Sri Lankan government purchased from Tanzania. Being aware of the purchase of 35,000 mortar bombs, the LTTE made a bid to the manufacturer through a numbered company and arranged a vessel of their own to pick up the load. Once the bombs were loaded into the ship, the LTTE changed the name and registration of their ship. The vessel was taken to Tiger-held territory in Sri Lanka's north instead of transporting it to its intended destination
After the entire leadership of the LTTE was killed in 2009, Pathmanathan assumed the leadership role. Pathmanathan was arrested in Malaysia on August 5, 2009, along with several other Tamil activists.
Initial arms sources came from the Indian intelligence branch RAW until Indian support for the LTTE was withdrawn.
Weapons smuggled on board cargo ships owned by the LTTE. Black market arms sources in Singapore, Myanmar, Lebanon, Malaysia, Cyprus, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia.
Captured T-55 tank
Captured 152mm artillery
Pasalin 2000- Improvised self propelled artillery.
SA-16 shoulder fired surface-to-air missiles
RPG-7 (or Chinese Type 69?)
DShK heavy machine guns
PK machine guns
RPD macine guns
AK-47/AKM assault rifles (or Chinese Type 56and Type 81 ?)
Improvised hand grenades
Improvised sea mines
Improvised land mines (anti-personnel, anti-vehicle, and claymore type)
Unfinished midget submarine captured in 2009.
Large 10' tall rocket/bombs found in jungle in . The rockets could carry 200 kg of explosives each. Fired from a launcher.
Rumors circulated that the LTTE were attempting to buy nuclear weapons on the black market.