LTTE financing and SL’s
The gradual doing
away with the Emergency by the state has been warmly welcomed by
the public but this does not mean that the LTTE menace has been
completely laid to rest. The truth of this proposition is being
underscored by a US State Department Report which points to the
continuing dangers posed to Sri Lanka’s security interests by
LTTE fund-raising operations abroad.
Besides other things, the document titled ‘Country Report on
Terrorism 2010’ states that an LTTE network engaged in
fund-raising for the group ‘continued to collect contributions
from the Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Australia,
where there were reports that some of these contributions were
coerced by locally-based LTTE sympathizers.’
While we are provided a glimpse of the remaining dimensions
of the LTTE problem, and, hopefully, state action would be
speeded-up from now on, to bust the remaining LTTE operations
abroad, the Report should also be used by the state to impress
on the international community the need for continued and
accelerated co-operation world wide to put the LTTE completely
out of action and business. Sections of the West have been
doubly prompt in pointing an accusing finger at Sri Lanka on
what have come to be known as accountability issues, but we
wonder what they have to say about these disclosures of
continued LTTE fund-raising under their very noses. Should not
they be doing more and at a very accelerated pace too, to
neutralize these LTTE underhand operations, if they are in
earnest when they say that they have some humanitarian concerns?
There is ample duplicity here on the part of those sections
of the world community which have been critical of Sri Lanka on
‘accountability’ issues. The main thrust of the Report is that
LTTE fund-raising abroad has been continuing right through 2010,
the year during which criticism of Sri Lanka reached shrill
proportions in some Western quarters in particular. We are also
given to understand that the railway blast in June in Tamil Nadu
could very well have been the handiwork of the LTTE.
We may ask, what is the world community waiting for? It
should be plain to see that the Tigers are continuing to spawn
law and order problems for the West in particular. The
bourgeoning white collar crimes initiated by the LTTE, in the
form of the numerous financial scams, are reason enough for firm
and sustained action against the Tigers by Western states.
Besides, the LTTE extortion rings, which are a source of terror
in Western societies, need to be forever crippled. By meeting
these requirements those international critics of Sri Lanka
could clear themselves somewhat of the charge of being
Janus-faced on the LTTE issue.
Meanwhile, the Lankan state has gone some distance in putting
the record straight on issues arising from the humanitarian
operation in the North, but we suggest that these
awareness-raising efforts be continued to disabuse the minds of
our critics on the factual state of affairs in this country.
Particularly welcome from this point of view is the document
brought out recently by the Defence Ministry titled,
‘Humanitarian Operation Factual Analysis, July 2006-May 2009’.
Exceptional efforts would need to be made to publicize documents
of this nature, particularly abroad.
This document and other awareness-raising tools on the
humanitarian operation, which could expose the baseless nature
of the adverse publicity generated in the West by Channel 4 and
other anti-Lanka sources, should not only be in the hands of our
diplomats abroad but must be vigorously distributed among
foreign governments. What is of particular importance in a
post-conflict context is the continued exertion by the state to
bring normalcy to the North. Resettlement and rehabilitation
efforts are continuing apace and this must be clearly and
unambiguously highlighted. The Tamil citizenry is by no means
out of the mainstream of society and this should receive
‘The result for the civilians, and for Sri Lanka, has been
overwhelmingly positive. Thousands of lives that would have been
lost had terrorism continued and war remained in Sri Lanka, have
been saved.’ This is a happy conclusion the Defence Ministry
report arrives at. We agree fully with this position. But this
message must be spread far and wide.