By Rüdiger Falksohn and Padma Rao
Sri Lankan government believes that its goal of militarily defeating Tamil rebels is finally in sight. But cutting off the rebels’ financial resources is a different matter
THE Sri Lankan flag, with its green-and-orange stripes and yellow image of a lion, fluttered proudly in a brisk ocean wind. President Mahinda Rajapaksa also seemed filled with pride when he stepped up to the microphone to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence on Monday of last week.
“Our security forces are today achieving victories against terrorism unprecedented in history,” he said defiantly, referring to the civil war that has crippled the country for the last 25 years. “Terrorism is receiving an unprecedented defeat.” Despite the military parade that followed Rajapaksa’s address, it was clear, judging by the many ordinary soldiers positioned behind sandbags, rolls of barbed wire and temporary bunkers in the capital Colombo, that the ceremony was only made possible by tight security precautions.
Soldiers and armed security personnel kept a watchful eye on every shop and even every ice cream vendor along the city’s harbour promenade.
Nevertheless, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) insurgents - commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, who are demanding an independent Tamil state and occupy one-third of the country - managed to stage several attacks. At least 13 people were killed when a bomb exploded at a Colombo train station. Almost at the same time as Rajapaksa’s speech, a bus went up in flames 240 kilometres away in the country’s interior, also killing 13 people.
Twenty people died in another bus explosion in Dambulla, the site of a cave temple and a popular tourist destination. The civil war has already claimed the lives of more than 70,000 Sri Lankans, and the cease-fire agreement reached six years ago has long been worth less than the paper it was printed on. After the government formally dissolved the agreement in mid-January, Rajapaksa’s troops resumed their bombardment of the LTTE-occupied north and have reported many successes since then.
They even claim that Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Tamil Tigers, was mortally wounded in one of the attacks.
Resilience: But the Tigers seem unimpressed. In fact, the self-appointed representatives of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority have repeatedly demonstrated, with their attacks and assassinations, that they remain one of the world’s most resilient rebel groups. The LTTE is the only guerrilla organization in the world with its own rudimentary air force, as it demonstrated a year ago in a surprise attack on the headquarters of the Sri Lankan Air Force near the airport in Colombo.
Although the Tigers’ aircraft and bomb technology were substantially outdated, the air attack confirmed what had been just a rumour until then: That the LTTE is more than just a collection of jungle fighters, including many child soldiers, and naval vessels. The Tigers are said to have the second-highest budget of all separatists, outdone only by Colombia’s FARC guerillas, with their sizable cocaine revenues. The British military publication Jane’s Intelligence Review and the humanitarian group Human Rights Watch recently published details of the group’s sources of funding.
According to the report, the Tigers raise up to $300 million a year, or between 80 and 90 percent of their total budget, abroad. Overseas Tamils are expected to donate funds, making private households and businesspeople the group’s principal source of funding. Human Rights Watch describes the Tamils’ fundraising method as “extortion.”
Indeed, poor or financially strapped Tamil families living in London, for instance, are asked to pay a monthly contribution of 40 British pounds apiece, while the Tamils who operate a Hindu temple in Canada are expected to come up with the equivalent of 700,000 euros - as a “contribution to the final war.”
With one in four Tamils living abroad, the number of potential donors runs upwards of 800,000. The largest diaspora is concentrated in Canada (about 250,000 people), followed by India (150,000), Great Britain (110,000), Germany (50,000), Switzerland, France and Australia (30,000 each). LTTE allegedly demands that Tamil expatriates contribute 20 percent of their earnings to the Tigers’ cause, and Tamil cultural organizations are believed to employ money collectors who then funnel the revenues through circuitous routes to “Eelam,” as the Tigers’ realm is known.
Converting dollars into weapons: The collected dollars are often converted into weapons before reaching Sri Lanka. The weapons are shipped to Jaffna, the Tamil stronghold, primarily from southern India. Speedboats take only 45 minutes to cross the 35-kilometer Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. They often arrive loaded with overstock from a global weapons bazaar: Ukrainian explosives, Bulgarian SA-14 short-range missiles, bazookas from Cyprus, grenade launchers from Croatia and guns from Cambodia, Thailand and Burma.
To pay for all of this, the Tigers have apparently even turned to the illicit use of credit cards. In Norway, 16 LTTE supporters were put behind bars for credit card fraud last May. Authorities in Singapore and Thailand have raided criminal gangs outfitted with blank credit cards and reading devices designed to crack secret codes at ATMs.
The Tigers are organized centrally and hierarchically. According to Jane’s, the organization’s finances are handled by the Aiyanna Group, which is run by LTTE intelligence chief Potta Amman, and the Office of Overseas Purchases, headed by senior LTTE official Kumaran Pathmanathan (hence the nickname KP Department). Pathmanathan is believed to be in charge of securing financial contributions and allegedly works hand-in-hand with groups like the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC) in the borough of Queens in New York.
The WTCC, for its part, denies any involvement with LTTE, which is listed as a terrorist organization in North America and in the European Union. Many Tamils who fled Sri Lanka in the early 1980s in the wake of pogroms committed by the Singhalese majority, or who have traumatic memories of the violent acts the government has committed in fighting the Tigers, support the LTTE voluntarily. They see the organization as the defender of a just cause.
Those who don’t see it this way receive house visits from money collectors whose repertoire ranges from subtle encouragement to blatant extortion. Anyone who consistently refuses to pay up runs the risk of anything from harassing phone calls to a ransacked apartment, can run into problems when travelling home to Sri Lanka and endangers family members. According to a Tamil who has been at the receiving end of Tiger harassment, “they simply say: we’ll show you. We all know that this can be a matter of life and death.” courtesy spiegel online
Saturday, February 16, 2008
By Rüdiger Falksohn and Padma Rao
Posted by media at 10:26 PM
by Wick. Gankanda, Los Angeles, California, USA
Betrayal of a nation by Tamil Terrorists: almost all Tamils who support the Tamil Terrorists/LTTE got a free education from Sri Lanka. They mislead the west and entered them as asylum seekers when they were in fact economic refugees. Some of them formed criminal gangs as the ones you see in Canada and UK to commit high crimes and fund terrorism. FACT: these individuals used the FREE education they got from Sri Lanka to make a living and finance terror against Sri Lanka! One begins to ask: what will stop these supporters of the Tamil Terrorists/LTTE living in the west from betraying their host countries? No one has ever seen a tiger change its strips!
Ethnic cleansing by Tamil Terrorists:
FACTS: Tamils live and work in peace in ALL parts of Sri Lanka. They own over half of the businesses, run political parties and publish newspapers freely in Sri Lanka. On the other hand, only a Tamil can live in the North or North-East of the island. All other ethnic groups live in fear of death or were systematically murdered by Tamil Terrorists. This is a classic example of ethnic cleansing combined with genocide driven by racism which is a core element of Tamil Terrorist ideology. This is what the Tamil Terrorists are buying with money and false propaganda.
The operations of Tamil Terrorists/LTTE/Tamil Tigers and their supporters worldwide:
* Mass murder of civilians by suicide bombings
* Using innocent civilians as human shields at hospitals
* Ethnic cleansing of non-Tamils in the North and East of Sri Lanka
* Recruiting children as soldiers
* Fund-raising in the west for terror activities (Jane's Defense Intelligence Review, 2007)
* Attempting to bribe U.S. State Department officials
* Setting up bogus (including Tsunami) charities to evade taxes to fund terror
* Human trafficking and bogus refugee scams
* Arms purchase and arms trafficking
* Export and trade of terror technology
* Credit card fraud
* Money laundering
* Identification fraud
* Counterfeit trade
* Passport fraud
* Assassination of political leaders
* Systematic murder of moderate Tamils
* Sea piracy
* Misleading the global media with false information (BBC, The Economist, Reporters Without
* Misusing radio broadcasting services to fund terror under the guise of journalism (UK, Australia and Canada)
* Using UNICEF/UN aid to fortify terror infrastructure in LTTE-controlled areas
* Purchasing the support of officials in the governments of Canada, UK (British House of Commons) and Norway to 'legitimize' their criminal activities
* Purchasing the support of officials in the United Nations (John Holmes, Alan Rock, Radhika
Coomaraswamy) to work as proxies
* Recruiting money and support hungry organizations such as Amnesty International to divert attention, destroy democracy and spread false propaganda
Further reading and references:
Mass murder of civilians by Tamil Terrorists/LTTE
The Kent and Dollar Farm massacres was one of the
earliest massacres of Sinhalese civilians
carried out by the LTTE during the Sri Lankan Civil
List of terrorist attacks attributed to the LTTE
Chronology of Suicide Bomb Attacks by LTTE Tamil Tiger
Terrorists in Sri Lanka
Jane's Intelligence Review says "Suicide terrorism: a
Suicide Killings - An Overview
Or Google this "suicide bombs LTTE" and you will get
Open letter to Ms Louise Arbour UN Human Rights High
Commissioner by Ben Silva, London on 11- 10
Tamil Terrorist working for the UN's UNICEF deported:
More reports of ethnic cleansing by the Tamil
Tamils in Melbourne, Australia using Tsunami charities
to fund terrorism:
Ross Kemp examines violence, torture, kidnapping,
murder committed by Tamil gangs in London:
Global terrorism funded by bogus organizations setup
by terrorists in the UK:
The British are in fact assisting Al Queda and Taliban
to attack the U.S. and American interests
Jane's Information Group: Feeding the Tiger - how Sri
Lankan insurgents fund their war:
LTTE has strong links with Thai military:
Posted by media at 12:22 AM
Thursday, February 14, 2008
This foreign woman was part of the mission to brain wash and motivate illiterate women to kill hundreds, if not thousands, and kill themselves.
Will the respectable International Community, Human Rights organizations,
and Amnesty International take action, pass a resolution, and try for her
Posted by media at 11:42 PM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Sri Lankan Forces Enters Mullaitivu South. Walioya LTTE leader "Kumaran" critically injured and disabled. More than 475 LTTE terrorists were killed in this operation (February 1st to 13th) says Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.
Posted by media at 10:27 PM
Posted by media at 10:26 PM
Tamil Tigers (LTTE) launched artillery barrages fell at the densely populated Thalladi town this morning (February 12) damaging the Thalladi Church, Mannar, defence sources said.
According to military sources, LTTE mounted artillery shell attacks since 08.35.a.m.
Sri Lanka Army retaliated with heavy gun fire towards identified LTTE artillery positions in the non-liberated areas north of Mannar, security sources said.
Six soldiers who were at the St. Sebastian church premises were killed while another ten received injuries due to this incident.
These soldiers were participating in a community service campaign at the request of the Rev. Father of the St. Sebastian church, security sources further said.
Posted by media at 9:46 AM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is reminding law-enforcement officials of the increased use of female suicide bombers worldwide, and warning that women terrorists might hide explosives in devices “that mimic the look of a pregnant woman.”
The unclassified DHS threat assessment, released Monday and obtained by NBC News, shows photographs of “pregnancy prosthetics,” hollowed-out devices that could hold explosive devices. The report says “female suicide bombers have used devices that make them appear pregnant to hide explosive devices.”
The DHS report states that terrorists are using female bombers more frequently, in part because these attacks generate “more widespread media exposure.” It adds: “Continued use of female suicide bombers-the most recent example being a 3 February 2008 attack at the main railway station in Colombo, Sri Lanka-indicates that terrorists judge this tactic as effective in increasing defenses and thwarting security measures.”
The report, marked “For Official Use Only,” is one of dozens of threat assessments issued jointly throughout the year by DHS and the FBI. The authors are quick to mention that there’s no immediate threat to the U.S.
“DHS and the FBI have no specific, credible intelligence indicating that terrorist organizations intend to utilize female suicide bombers against targets in the Homeland,” they write.
The report ticks off several recent attacks by women bombers in Iraq and Sri Lanka, and the recruitment of female suicide bombers in Chechnya, India, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories and Turkey.
Why the increase in women bombers? “DHS and the FBI assess that female suicide bombers may have an advantage over their male counterparts in accessing targets. The means to conduct a suicide attack vary widely, but a key element in maximizing the lethality of a suicide bombing is the bomber’s ability to get close to the target,” the report states. “Female suicide bombers may carry explosives devices in a backpack, briefcase, or purse, or hidden in an article of clothing worn close to the body, such as a vest, belt, long socks, or jacket.”
Posted by media at 12:53 PM
Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka's president urges every one to unite under ONE umbrella to eradicate terrorism.
Posted by media at 5:45 AM
Tamil civilians domiciled abroad have accused the LTTE of paralysing the government's efforts to grant rights to their colleagues unleashing brutal attacks. They pointed out that all opportunities to achieve peace had been shattered in the face of the LTTE activities.
The Tamil civilians made these references at a celebration organised in France to mark Sri Lanka's 60th Independence Anniversary. The Sri Lanka Embassy organised the event. Sinhala and Tamil Sri Lankans participated. One of them said such a celebration is an encouragement for Sri Lanka--Tamil Friendship. As Sri Lankans, they should work in cordiality. Another pointed out that it was better if all of them could live in unity. Many opportunities are available to achieve peace. But the LTTE deviated from this process. Terrorists cannot enter the democratic framework. The LTTE has clearly displayed it. Their only desire is to wage war. They said their view is that terrorism should be eliminated and a political solution found for the Tamil diaspora.
Posted by media at 5:36 AM
Monday, February 11, 2008
MADHU: The LTTE has reverted to the tactic of taking cover of the ‘No Fire Zone’ in the holy Madhu shrine area as they got a heavy beating in the Vavuniya and Mannar fronts losing a large number of their cadres, Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said yesterday.
The LTTE resorted to this tactic on Saturday afternoon directing 81 mm mortar fire towards the troops in the Mannar sector taking the cover of the Madhu shrine area at 4.47 p.m. and 4.49 p.m.
However, troops refrained from retaliating in honour of their commitment to protect religious places during these confrontations.
This was amidst the LTTE was getting heavy beatings at the hand of the troops in Vavuniya, Mannar, Weli Oya and Jaffna battlefronts on Saturday.
“More than 15 Tiger cadres were killed on Saturday morning as troops were advancing toward Periyapandivirichchan,” Brigadier Nanayakkara added.
The LTTE fired mortar at the troops hours after the heavy losses in Periyapandivirichchan close to Madhu area. Three soldiers were killed and seven were wounded in action during this fierce battle in Periyapandivirichchan which is located some three kilometres south of Madhu shrine.
Tiger cadres operating in Periyapandivirichchan had withdrawn from the area along with their casualties after this fierce battle.
According to military sources the LTTE seems to have been highly disturbed by this situation as the advancing troops are poised to take full control of the Madhu area after they capture Periyapandivirichchan area.
The troops in Mullikulam area also confronted with Tiger cadres in three different incidents killing at least nine Tiger cadres.
Six soldiers also sustained injuries due to LTTE anti-personnel mines LTTE in Mullikulam and Thalayankulam. Meanwhile, heavy fighting erupted in Mannar sector too on Saturday as troops attached to Task Force-1 continued their advance in the Adampan area.
The troops in Muhamalai and Nagarkovil in the Jaffna battle front also killed seven LTTE cadres after confronting them in three separate incidents on Saturday, Brigadier Nanayakkara added.
Posted by media at 10:58 PM
US: The US Treasury Department’s recent clampdown on the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) accusing it of raising funds on behalf of the designated terrorist group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has once again thrown the spotlight on the shadowy ‘LTTE lobby’ whose access to powerful US lawmakers helped to legitimise this and other Tiger fronts allowing them to operate without let or hindrance for almost a decade, according to the US based Sri Lankan Express.
Investigations show that TRO operatives and individuals whose addresses or phone numbers are linked to the TRO, regularly made contributions to the campaign funds of the very legislators who have actively promoted the separatist cause and been harshly critical of Sri Lanka’s war on the Tigers.
“TRO passed off its operations as charitable, when in fact it was raising money for a designated terrorist group responsible for heinous acts of terrorism,” said Adam J. Szubin, Director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), explaining the action taken November 15 to freeze the US held assets of the TRO.
The Treasury said the TRO has raised funds on behalf of the LTTE through a network of “individual representatives” and that it was the preferred conduit of funds from the US to the LTTE.
Since the TRO ‘hung its shingles’ in the US, almost 10 years ago, these individual representatives, many of them successful Tamil professionals, have been the LTTE’s foot soldiers, active in several states, raising funds while establishing and developing political contacts.
As reported by the Associated Press some time ago, the Chicago Tribune had faxed three pages from a federal indictment involving money laundering to a US Congressman’s office which indicated that the trips of two unidentified individuals to Sri Lanka in 2005 were paid with $13,150 laundered through a US bank.
The source of those funds - whether they were raised for ‘charity’ or extorted from the Tamil diaspora - is not known.
But the Congressman revealed to the media that over the years, campaign donations totalling around $5000 had trickled into his campaign fund from Sri Lankan Tamils in the US, some of it may well have been from the TRO’s individual representatives. While the US Treasury has not named them, a clue to the identity of some of these ‘individual representatives’ has been provided by the TRO itself.
Within hours of the tsunami hitting the shores of Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004, a list of phone numbers was provided by the TRO and published on TamilNet, the pro-LTTE website, as its contacts for collecting donations.
With a few exceptions, where unlisted, the numbers were traced to Tamils, one a prominent attorney practising in California who was also a mover in the establishment of the TRO office in Reseda. A campaign contribution of $250 went to another Congressman from one of the individuals traced and a contribution of $500 went from another to yet another Congressman.
The depth and extent of the nexus between US politicians and the LTTE lobby have yet to be unravelled but the evidence points to culpability way beyond the nod US legislators are reputed for giving the Tigers.
A proper investigation into LTTE fund raising will have to factor in the complicity of US lawmakers, especially those who themselves have been recipients of funds made via individual TRO/LTTE operatives.
Posted by media at 10:01 PM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
The Clinton campaign team has returned the funds contributed by the American Tamils for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.
Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona who was in Washington on an official tour told Sunday Island that he was advised by Shapiro, senior adviser to Hillary Clinton, that the funds raised by Ram Rajan, former TRO organizer, for the Hillary campaign under the banner "American Tamils for Hillary" have been returned.
Dr. Kohona was invited by the conveners of the Annual Prayer breakfast,Senators John Enel and Ken Salazar whom he had met last year on a visit to Capitol Hill. There were over 160 countries represented at the Breakfast hosted by President Bush. Among them were the Prime Minister of Bosnia and the Vice President of Croatia. Most countries were represented by parliamentarians.
The Sri Lankan contingent included Ministers Susil Premajayantha and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Dr Jayalath Jayawardena and Mr and Mrs Zarook Marikkar. Large delegations were present from Germany, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and many African countries.
Dr Kohona further said that he received assurances from his interlocutors that the US willcontinue cooperating with Sri Lanka in its struggle with terrorism. "The presence of a large number of Senators and Congressmen at the breakfast meant that opportunities were created for valuable networking among US legislators", Kohona said.
Kohona also made use of the visit to make a series of calls at the State Department, Capitol Hill and the Pentagon. He met departing Assistant Secretary of State Nick Burns as well. Kohona acknowledged that these days foreign
by Sujeeva Nivunhella in London
Posted by media at 3:35 AM