Author Topic: Global action against LTTE  (Read 1493 times)

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Offline sithari

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Global action against LTTE
« on: August 24, 2006, 12:52:51 AM »
EVEN as the discovery of a bomb-laden bicycle in one of the most heavily populated areas in Colombo yesterday proved once more the sheer ruthlessness of the LTTE, evidence emerged that the international community is no longer confining their contempt of the LTTE to mere words.

There have been numerous occasions when the international community issued strong messages of condemnation of LTTE atrocities, but they remained just that - no actual punitive action was taken against the terrorist outfit, apart from the bans imposed by individual countries and blocs such as the European Union.

The post 9/11 environment as well as the LTTE's brazen violations of the 2002 truce have finally spurred the international community to deal firmly with Prabhakaran. The LTTE's sheer disregard for the international community's opinion was further evinced by its abortive attack on the Pakistani High Commissioner. Although this is not the first time that the LTTE has targeted an international figure - they assassinated former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi - the incident renewed calls for more concrete global action.

It is in this context that we should laud the United States, which has never failed to name and shame the LTTE, for bringing charges against eight suspects accused of supporting the Tigers. Having banned the LTTE in 1997, the US law enforcement authorities have kept a close tab on the activities of the organisation on US soil and even across the border in Canada.

Their perseverance has paid off, with the arrest of LTTE suspects who were trying to purchase surface-to-air missiles and assault rifles in Canada from an undercover police agent posing as a weapons dealer. Other charges include providing material support to the LTTE, including fund raising and money laundering through sham charities, and trying to bribe US officials in a bid to remove the LTTE from the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organisations.

These are serious charges indeed. They indicate positively that the LTTE war machine is being well oiled for its campaign of terror. It is no secret that the LTTE is sourcing armaments, including sophisticated missiles, from weapons markets all over the world.

The LTTE's numerous 'humanitarian' and 'cultural' front organisations openly raise funds even in countries where it is banned. It has also been accused of money laundering, drug trafficking and people smuggling, all of which are aimed at fattening its coffers for waging war.

Perhaps the LTTE's most lucrative but least noticeable tactic for fund raising is the relentless extortion of the Tamil diaspora. Those who have families back home are especially targeted, with the veiled threat that 'something' would happen to them if the 'dues' are not paid in time.

A recent Human Rights Watch report urged the law enforcement agencies in these countries to crack down on the LTTE operatives who engage in this grisly practice. Now it is apparent that such steps are being taken in earnest. Other countries which have so far dilly-dallied in acting against the LTTE must consider the developments in the US and crack down on LTTE operations on their soil.

Quite apart from the LTTE's murderous rampage which has not exactly endeared itself to the international community, the Sri Lankan Government's global campaign to expose the Tigers is bearing fruit. The late foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, himself a victim of LTTE bullets, played a pivotal role in this regard.

It was just on Monday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa briefed the Co-Chairs on the current situation and reiterated his Government's commitment to the ceasefire.

He pointed out that the Government will seriously consider any initiative 'incorporating a clear commitment to a comprehensive and verifiable Cessation of Hostilities by the LTTE Leader.' The Government has made it clear that it was still open for a peaceful solution to the North-East issue.

It is also awaiting the LTTE to return to talks on the ceasefire and substantive matters, in spite of all the LTTE has done to sabotage the peace process. The LTTE must seize this opportunity without delay if it is sincere about its avowed claim to liberate the Tamil masses
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