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Monday, January 16, 2012 - 4.15 GMT

Gota pulls no punches on the 'Diaspora' threat
(By Lucien Rajakarunanayake)

 

The postage stamp fraud of the pro-LTTE expatriates in the West has straddled the Atlantic with Canada too discovering that 'Diaspora Tamils' there have resorted to this method of spreading pro-separatist terrorist propaganda via the national postal service.

What was exposed in France and caused much embarrassment to the French authorities has caused similar problems for Canada Post too. Both countries have announced that they will be more vigilant about attempts to abuse their postal service for the purposes of the LTTE.

Far reaching as this pro-LTTE postage stamp fraud is, it is only the serrated edge of much wider operations by the expatriate Tamil groups in the West to who form the rump of the LTTE's global establishment, as best described by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in his probing analysis of 'Future Challenges to National Security in Sri Lanka', in the lecture earlier this week, organized by Sri Lanka Foundation Institute and Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited.

The Defence Secretary was very clear on the possibility of the re-emergence of the LTTE in Sri Lanka, as LTTE sympathizers abroad are still struggling to achieve the LTTE's separatist ideology in the country. He explained that although the LTTE's military defeat in May 2009... eliminated the primary obstacle to Sri Lanka's future prospects and brought back a long overdue sense of peace and stability to our people, it is vital that we do not take any of this for granted. Sri Lanka still has enemies, and they are still at work to bring back disharmony and conflict to our nation, he said.

Human rights violations

While the pro-LTTE lobbyists in the human rights fraternity and sections of the Western media seek to hide all the human rights violations, brutality and outright savagery of the LTTE in its terrorist operations until the very last days of its effort to establish a separate Eelam in a part of Sri Lanka, Mr. Rajapaksa made it clear that the first threat to consider today is the on-going activities of LTTE linked organizations outside Sri Lanka. Despite the military defeat of the LTTE and the elimination of its top leadership two and a half years ago, the rump of the LTTE's global establishment is still active, described as ex-LTTE cadres, pro-LTTE activists and LTTE sympathizers still operating in various guises through various groups in many countries around the world.

The Defence Secretary dwelt at length on key areas of importance on future challenges to national security which he identified as: the reorganization of the LTTE in the international arena; the possible re-emergence of terrorism within Sri Lanka; the efforts by some to take Sri Lanka's internal issues before international bodies; the challenges posed by the regional geopolitical situation; and the possibility of creating instability within Sri Lanka through indirect means.

He explained that national security remained a critical issue, despite Sri Lanka being one of the most stable and secure countries in the Asian region, showing that the defeat of the LTTE militarily lifted the veil of fear that hung over daily life and impacted each and every Sri Lankan for a generation and eliminated the primary obstacle to Sri Lanka's future prospects, bringing back a long overdue sense of peace and stability to the people. However, it was vital that we do not take any of this for granted. "Sri Lanka still has enemies, and they are still at work to bring back disharmony and conflict to our nation," he said.

National security

In a detailed analysis of what took place in the ranks of the LTTE after the death of Prabhakaran and the rout of the group militarily in Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa showed the emergence of breakaway factions and particularly one - the KP faction - that sought to achieve the LTTE's goals through democratic means, and the other - Nediyawan faction - that was committed to achieving their objectives only by following the violent ideology of Prabhakaran.

The Defence Secretary placed before his audience the several organizations that are now ranged against Sri Lanka, posing a clear threat to national security. He began with the so-called 'Government in Exile' led by Rudrakumaran, which has styled itself as the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), and through this means seeks to present itself as a liberation movement, taking a leaf from several important and genuine liberation movements in the world, that has similar 'governments in exile'. Its strategy is to lobby foreign governments to support its campaign for a separate state in Sri Lanka, as the LTTE and Prabhakaran wanted, and for that purpose to encourage the resumption of direct struggles within Sri Lanka.

International groups

The talk covered the activities of many other groups that have emerged to carry the torch of the LTTE, prominent among them being the British Tamils Forum (BTF) that later became the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), led by a cassock clad preacher of hatred and terror in the form of Fr. Emmanuel once hailed by Prabhakaran as "a freedom fighter who has given leadership to a movement committed to setting up the homeland to Tamil Eelam". There was the note of necessary caution about the operations of the GTF because Father Emmanuel has been engaged in a propaganda campaign against Sri Lanka for many years, targeting Tamil expatriates, foreign governments and international organizations. Under his guidance, the GTF has successfully won over a number of politicians from various political parties in European countries as well as the United States, Australia, Canada and India to support the separatist cause. In addition, the GTF and the BTF have courted officials within international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union and various non-governmental organizations to obtain their support, Rajapaksa explained. He also drew attention to the Nediyawan's group, known as The Tamil Eelam People's Assembly or the Tamil National Council that has been working with other international groups to promote the separatist cause in many parts of the world. This group has control over most of the assets of the LTTE's international organization, and also at present controls the more than 350 Tamil schools that function in Europe supposedly for the promotion of Tamil language and culture. In reality, these schools' aim to inculcate separatist sentiments and hatred towards the Sinhalese amongst second and third generation Tamils living abroad.

The Defence Secretary explained that the on-going indoctrination of the students in these schools is a matter of grave concern, affecting a significant number of children all over Europe. These LTTE-linked Tamil schools have a student population of approximately 6,500 in Germany, 5,800 in Switzerland, 5,000 in France and nearly 2,000 more in the rest of Europe.

While these are large numbers, it was revealing to learn that a proportion of the school fees charged from these students is directed into the coffers of LTTE-linked organizations. So is the income generated from events organized by these schools. There was a clear note of warning when he explained that during the war, these schools functioned as a selection ground for future terrorists. "In certain schools, the administration made arrangements for batches of students to undergo military training in the Vanni. Some of these students fought against the Security Forces during the Humanitarian Operation. Others returned to their countries and continue to work towards the separatist objective from outside Sri Lanka", Rajapaksa explained.
Brighter future

The speaker was as blunt as he could be and pulled no punches when it was necessary to expose the efforts of so-called peace-makers at the final stages of the battle to defeat the LTTE, and the new champions of accountability by Sri Lanka for having successfully defeated the world's most ruthless terrorist organization. The text of his speech is necessary reading for those who wish to obtain a much clearer view of the actualities in Sri Lanka in the post-conflict period, and the dangers it faces from the many forces ranged against it abroad, whose strategy of attempting to destabilize Sri Lanka, and possibly bring it back to the tragedy of armed conflict, is also well organized to cover up all the inhumanity and brutality of the LTTE that is being wholly ignored by the human rights fraternity, whether it is the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and so many other Western pundits who are ready to turn a blind eye to all the terror of the LTTE. Similarly, it is must reading for those who seek to counter the charges by these hardly veiled apologists for the LTTE.

The danger faced was clearly seen in the necessity for Sri Lanka not to attend the 100th anniversary celebrations of the African National Congress, due to the presence there of the TGTE as an invitee.

The South Africans with memories their past struggles against apartheid may have been misled by the label of a 'Government in Exile', but a little more study would have told them the truth about these groups masquerading as 'liberators'. Some study would also have shown them how much the government and people of Sri Lanka supported the anti-apartheid struggle of the African people, through all the years of brutality by the apartheid regime. But this is the reality of the dangers from the pro-LTTTE lobbyists, as so well shown by the speaker.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's concluding words summed up well the situation for Sri Lanka today. "We must face reality and guard against all eventualities. It is of vital importance for all of us to protect the peace that has been regained after so long and at such cost. We must stand firm and not allow anyone to drive this country back to the state it was in during the past 30 years. As a nation, Sri Lanka has had more than its fair share of suffering. We must all work together to put the past behind us, and work towards a brighter future for this nation and all her people. That will be the best defence against those who seek to oppose us. Let us all work together to make this better future a reality."

 

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Last modified: January 16, 2012.

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