US report on terrorism points a finger at the West -Part 1
Posted on August 8th, 2010

H. L. D. Mahindapala

In its latest Country Report on  Terrorism, 2009, (August 5, 2010), the US State Department pin-points the international network of Tamil Tigers (LTTE)  operating as usual even after they were defeated on My 18, 2009. The report highlights four main aspects of the current Tamil Tiger activities: 1) in spite of losing the war and the serious blow to it by the capture of Selvarajah Pathmanathan (aka KP), the LTTE’s principal financier and arms supplier, ” the LTTE’s international network of financial support have survived largely intact” 2) this network continues to collect contributions from the Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Australia 3) some of these contributions were coerced by locally-based LTTE sympathizers and 4) the LTTE also used Tamil charitable organizations as fronts for fundraising.

 All this is common knowledge to the Sri Lankan government, Tamil and non-Tamil expatriates who have been involved in Tiger manipulated events abroad, and to the international intelligence communities monitoring terrorist activities. However, what is significant is that the US has identified these activities which have serious consequences to Sri Lankan peace, stability and democracy, not to mention the global war on terrorism which continues to dominate the international agenda.

 This report puts North America, Europe and Australia on the spot. Now that the US State Department has officially identified the criminal activities in the named  foreign bases three things follow: 1) it is no longer possible for the NGOs, Tiger-sponsored spokespersons in Western parliaments and the media to turn a blind eye, or to dismiss the bogus charity fronts of the Tigers and coercive tactics of Tiger agents to raise funds abroad as scare-mongering by the Sri Lankan government  2) it is mandatory for the countries named in the Country Report to stop these criminal activities going on in their own backyard which has been the fertile seed bed for the violations of human rights in Sri Lanka and 3) in pursuant to the UN Security Council resolutions on terrorism it is also mandatory for Ban Ki-Moon, the UN  Secretary General, who has appointed an advisory panel on Sri Lanka’s conduct in the war against terrorism, to appoint an advisory panel on the activities of the LTTE based in North America, Europe and Australia “”…” the three main bases which continue to finance  the banned LTTE in violation of  Resolution 1373 and other related resolutions.

 Fund raising abroad has been the standard practice of the Tamil Tiger terrorists to wage their war in Sri Lanka. It is the money raised in the three named Western bases that fired the bullets and bombs that led to the deaths of innocent civilians and violations of human rights. Furthermore, raising funds for terrorism is also against international law as defined in UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and other related resolutions. The latest State Department report on Sri Lankan terrorism is as much an indictment of the Tigers as the named Western democracies where the Tiger fund-collectors operate under the very noses of Western authorities.

 If the Western moralists and pundits who dictate applicable standards on human rights took half as much time and energy to crack down heavily on the criminal activities of the agents of terrorism operating in their domains there would have been no necessity for democracies like Sri Lanka to wage counter-terrorist wars which are bound to cause civilian casualties. The irony is that Western democracies are quick to cut aid to Sri Lanka on grounds of violating human rights while allowing the Tamil Tiger terrorists to raise funds on their soil knowing that it would lead to violations of human rights. It is true that the West has banned the Tamil Tigers and curtailed fund-raising activities. But the State Department report says that fund raising continues, even now, either with some Tiger agents coercing Tamil expatriates to contribute or through bogus charity fronts. Since the terrorist war in Sri Lanka was fuelled by the funds collected in the three Western bases they should be held responsible primarily for all the violations of human rights.

 The latest report of the State Department is a serious indictment of the conduct of the three Western nations handling of the Tamil Tiger terrorist activities that violate their own laws and international obligations. When this report states categorically that the LTTE network collects funds from the Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Australia through coercion and bogus charity funds it means that the West too is implicated, directly or indirectly, as a financier of terrorism. It can no longer pretend to be the moral authority which can point the finger at Sri Lanka for violating human right from a distance. The West too must accept blame as a conniving partner in the financing of terrorism that leads to the violations of human rights in conflict zones. They are quick to raise human rights issues in democracies fighting ruthless terrorists while they have scant regard for their moral and legal responsibilities to eliminate terrorist activities in their soil that destabilize other nations.

 Rightly or wrongly, the West holds Sri Lanka responsible for violations of human rights that occurs on its soil. By the same token, Sri Lanka too has a right to hold the West morally and legally responsible for the fund raising bases established in Western jurisdictions because the Tamil Tigers could not have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity if the Tamils in the diaspora did not fund the terrorist war. .

 According to the Jane’s Weekly the Tamil Tigers collect $200 — $300 million annually from these Western bases. It is this funding that enabled the Tamil Tigers to purchase arms (mostly manufactured in the West) through underground arms dealers of the West. Clearly, this confirms that the Tigers waged their war against the democratically elected state of Sri Lanka with Western funds, Western arms and ammunition and Western arms dealers operating in the West-based black market. Supposing the Sri Lankan government afforded the same facilities to the Talibans how would the Western government react? Will they exonerate the Sri Lankan government from blame or will they come marching in to put an end to it?

 The report also states that LTTE used Tamil charitable organizations as fronts for fundraising. Some of these charitable organizations are funded partly or fully by the Western states, or private foundations, or welfare organizations like the Church. Over the years the pro-Tiger diaspora has fine tuned the art of milking Western states and other welfare organizations to fill their war chest.  For instance, in Australia Tiger fronts have infiltrated the Australian Council for Oversea Aid (ACFOA) and despite protests exposing the presence of Tiger fronts this state-funded organization has refused to throw them out.

 In short, the Tamil Tiger war would not have lasted this long or caused so much of death and destruction if the Western bases were not freely available for the agents of Tamil Tigers to raise funds. Cutting aid to Sri Lanka and knowingly letting the Tamil Tiger agents to raise funds (as admitted by the State Department report) are two contradictory policies that favour the Tamil Tiger terrorists. Nor is it the way to protect human rights. David Milliband, Bernard Kouchner, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton who beat their chest complaining about the violations of human rights must first examine their failure to eliminate the Western sources which provide the resources to the Tamil  Tigers to purchase weapons of destruction that lead inevitably to the violations of human rights. When they leave open spaces for terrorists to use their bases for raising funds to wage terrorist wars in Sri Lanka and other conflict zones what right have they to blame Sri Lanka which had fought to put an end to the violations of human rights committed by the Tamil Tigers who were prvided with weapons of destruction by funds raised in Western bases? On what moral authority can the West blame Sri Lanka for violating human rights when they had provided the finances “”…” knowingly through coercion and bogus charity fronts, says the State Department “”…” to violate human rights with impunity?

 Sri Lanka has been the victim of the scheming manipulations of the Tamil diaspora that exploited the liberal political space and financial loopholes of the West to fund the fascist regime of the Tamil Tigers. The US State Department’s latest report proves that the West is fully aware of what’s going on within their jurisdictions.  They can claim that they have taken stringent measures to confront the agents of Tamil Tigers. But the West which also commends Sri Lanka for ending war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Tamil Tigers by dismantling their military capabilities and bases, continues to blame Sri Lanka for not taking adequate measures to limit “the collateral damage” (a military terminology of the West) entailed in any war.

 Predictably, the West takes the moral high ground by pretending Pontius Pilates with no blood on their hands. They refuse to accept responsibility for renting their domains for the Tamil Tigers to raise funds, either through coercion or bogus charity funds. So why should Sri Lanka accept responsibility for the violations of human rights committed by the funds raised in the West? Each time the West point a finger at Sri Lanka of violating human rights the West must recognize that four other fingers point in their direction for contributing to prolong of the futile war in Sri Lanka.

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