After the death of Thileepan, Sri Lankan navy arrested 17 senior LTTE cadres, including 2 senior commanders Pulendran and Kumarappa off Point Pedro coast. They were brought to the Palaly Army Camp and detained. Pirabaharan registered a very strong protest against this unlawful and high-handed action of the Sri Lankan government when there was a cease-fire and a general amnesty in force. He urged Indian as well as the Sri Lankan governments to release the LTTE cadres immediately.
In the meantime, the hawkish Minister for National Security Lalith Athulathmudali was insisting that all the arrested LTTE cadres to be brought to Colombo to face charges. He threatned to resign his cabinet portfolio if his demand t was not complied with by President Jayawardena.
On account of India’s betrayal, 12 out of the 17 liberation fighters committed suicide by swallowing cyanide. Pirabaharan issued a soul -stirring and strongly worded statement to the people of Tamil Eelam. He asked:
“If the Indian government would have demanded the Sri Lankan President Jayawardene to release all those men who were arrested , then these unwarranted deaths would not have taken place. In this respect India has totally failed to honour its commitment, exercise its authority and fulfill its moral responsibility to protect the lives of the liberation fighters and the Tamil people. If India has forsaken this great moral responsibility, then there is no meaning in the Indian Peace Keeping force lingering in Tamil Eelam. Now we have to question their motive for remaining in our soil. Are they staying here to protect President Jayawardene, the Sinhalese Army and treacherous Tamil groups and help them to exterminate the liberation fighters of LTTE? It is an unpardonable crime indeed that instead of protecting our fighters and leaders, India was handing over them to the Sinhalese Army. By this treacherous act. the IPKF has committed an unpardonable crime against the people of Tamil Eelam. Under these circumstances we have decided not to abide by the cease-fire agreement!”