De-listing LTTE Tamil Terrorists could pose risk to Sri Lanka’ – Dr. Rohan Gunaratne
(Courtesy of Daily News)
There have been seven plots by the LTTE Tamil terrorists in Sri Lanka to conduct terrorist attacks since its military defeat in 2009, terrorism expert Dr. Rohan Gunaratne said.
He said de-listing the LTTE Tamil terrorists will prompt LTTE remnants to revive the terrorist organisation by enlisting Tamil youth to join terrorism. Dr. Gunaratne pointed out that despite winning the war in 2009, the LTTE still continues to pose a threat to peace and security in Sri Lanka.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily News, he said that by operating in Europe and North America through fronts and sympathetic organisations, the LTTE radicalises recruits and raises funds for Tamil youth to engage in violence.
He noted that if the LTTE is not contained or isolated overseas by host countries, the pace of LTTE activity will increase. “Eventually, the LTTE will call for the de-listing of their organisation in the UK, Canada, US, India and other countries. With the LTTE re-organising its activities overseas, it will rebuild its capabilities both abroad and in Sri Lanka. Therefore, it is necessary for the current Sri Lankan government to review the activities of LTTE fronts and re-list them under UNSC Resolution 1373,” Dr. Gunaratne said.
Much of Sri Lanka’s fight to cripple the LTTE network supporting a return to terrorism in Sri Lanka will be in Europe, he said, adding that in 2006, the European Council placed the LTTE on the EU list relating to frozen funds of terrorist organisations and has maintained them on that list ever since, referring to the decisions of Indian authorities. The LTTE contested their maintenance on the list in the European Court. They submitted that their confrontation with the Government of Sri Lanka was an “armed conflict” within the meaning of international law, subject only to international humanitarian law and not to anti-terrorist legislation.
“Since its defeat in Sri Lanka in May 2009, the LTTE’s “brain” is in Europe and is building both the international and Sri Lankan agenda. The LTTE seeks legitimacy in the West despite its past of ethnic cleansing that is reminiscent of the Nazis and its preponderant use of suicide terrorism that has now become a global challenge,” Dr. Gunaratne said.
He noted that the Wickremesinghe government’s strategy of appeasement of the separatists did not help to contain the threat. “The de-listing of the LTTE fronts and sympathetic groups has created the environment and a bridge for the flow of propaganda and funds from overseas to Sri Lanka,” he said, adding that unless Europe and the UK act responsibly, the present threat will grow in the immediate (one to two years) and mid-term (two to five years), reversing peace and stability in Sri Lanka, especially enjoyed by Tamils since May 2009.