US-Tamil Separatist Nexus More Sinister than It Seems
Posted on April 29th, 2011

Dilrook Kannangara

Common misfortune makes strange bedfellows. Faced with defeat after defeat, USA is looking for avenues to maintain and strengthen its global dominance. After the defeat in Vietnam in the 1970s, US officials fancied terrorist groups. It experimented with a few, Mujahideen being the most prominent. Mujahid terrorists were supplied with all sorts of weapons to attack the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. In order to provide the terrorist a transit place, a safe haven and an escape route, pro-US Pakistan was turned into a Mujahideen platform. Unfortunately Pakistan has still not recovered.

 

Things went very well for USA until the Soviet troops were withdrawn. Claiming victory, Islamic terror groups debated the form of governance. The dominant group, calling itself Taliban, insisted strict Islamic law. USA swiftly stopped all help to Afghan terrorists. However, Taliban grew from strength to strength and eventually captured almost the entirety of Afghanistan. US strategists realized the mistake but it was far too late.

 

However, the mistake, as they identified, was not financing a terrorist outfit, but financing the wrong outfit. USA continues to finance terror outfits and resistance movements around the world. LTTE with its strong links to the sections of the church and its strong anti-Islamic stance became a highly suitable candidate for US clandestine interests by the early 1990s. It was seen as a force that can be manipulated to keep India under check from its south and disrupt any Chinese power projections westwards. USA was willing to forgive the LTTE’s crimes including killing Rajiv Gandhi, a pro-western leader.

 

President Premadasa followed a strong pro-Chinese stand in the military front and politically. China became Sri Lanka’s biggest weapons supplier during this time. Chinese political leaders were invited to political meetings of President Premadasa. In turn China supported Premadasa’s populist campaigns including the free school uniform campaign. US-Lanka political relations reached a low during this time. Elimination of President Premadasa allegedly by the LTTE once again allowed US defence and political interests to dominate the island. Pro-US, western educated President Kumaratunga, appeased the Americans. During her rule, more weapons purchases were made from Ukraine and Israel than China. By then Ukraine was a pro-US nation aspiring to be part of NATO. Although there were large military offensives, it was obvious that the LTTE would not be eliminated. By late 1990s, US strategic interests in the region were challenged and the need to save and manipulate the LTTE became crucial.

 

How USA artfully saved the LTTE

USA made several attempts to save the LTTE. Whenever LTTE carried out terrorist attacks, Americans harped on the need to offer political solutions while refusing to talk to terrorists themselves.

 

Saving Tigers from the global war on terror

Following the 9/11 debacle, US allies were readying to attack Afghanistan. UN resolutions were passed in support of a global anti-terror campaign. There was no way LTTE could be saved from this global campaign. So it seemed. USA supported Ranil at the 2001 election who was willing to talk peace with the LTTE. Soon after becoming Prime Minister, he signed a ceasefire agreement with the LTTE with the mediation of Norway, a NATO member. LTTE was saved from the global war on terror!

 

However, the ceasefire held only on paper. Whenever parties came close to war, USA, while fighting two wars, would strongly discourage Sri Lanka from going to war.

 

Saving Tigers from the aftermath of the tsunami

The 2004 tsunami hit hardest two rebel territories – Aceh in Indonesia and the North-east of Sri Lanka. Aceh suffered tremendous devastation that Aceh rebels fighting for a separate nation were weakened to the extent of surrender. They unconditionally surrendered to Indonesia troops. USA feared this might be the same fate of the LTTE. Given the extent of destruction and loss in LTTE controlled areas including the near total wipe out of LTTE Sea Tiger bases, US fears were well founded. Sri Lanka could have launched an offensive immediately after the tsunami with the help of the navy and the air force further crippling the LTTE. If there was any moment when the LTTE was at its weakest, it was immediately after the tsunami. Sri Lanka quickly blocked all foreign and local aid to LTTE controlled areas. No Lankan or foreign ships or planes were allowed to assist the LTTE with relief work. Making use of the opportunity Sri Lanka intensified the propaganda war claiming the deaths of LTTE’s number one and two in a possible attempt to force them to come out in the open amidst the chaos. Karuna group was very active during this time. Having all its bases inland, mostly in eastern jungles, Karuan group managed to save all their military assets and cadres. Revenge was clearly on the cards. Sensing a repetition of Aceh, US ships set sail to Sri Lanka. However, President Kumaratunga insisted that USA scaled down its involvement possibly following pressure from her then coalition partner – the JVP.

 

Ultimately USA sent only one battle ship but was sufficient to prevent any escalation of violence at this crucial stage that would have wiped out the LTTE. Tamil Tigers were saved again.

 

Sparing Tigers from US’s own laws

LTTE lost most of its sea assets from Velvetithurai to Thirukkovil. Immediately before the tsunami, LTTE yielded complete control of these seas not allowing Sri Lanka navy to patrol. SLMM (Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission) personnel used to travel onboard navy ships to dissuade LTTE from attacking!

 

Large LTTE military bases that were coming up around Trincomalee which caused the tense situation immediately before the tsunami were all washed to the sea. Massive LTTE bases in Mulaitivu, Vaharai, Chalai, etc. were all devastated. Many small ports LTTE used to land weapons were destroyed and the government was not going to repair them. LTTE badly needed material, expertise and financial resources to rebuild. Help came from a very unlikely source! The international community led by USA instructed the government of Sri Lanka to come up with a mechanism to share tsunami aid with the LTTE promised by the international community. Why could not they have given the aid direct to the LTTE? US and a few others had banned the LTTE as a terrorist organisation by then. It was illegal in their law to directly provide financial and other assistance. Given the war on terror on full swing, it was unthinkable. So these nations wanted Sri Lanka to receive the money and give it to the LTTE under an agreed mechanism. This way USA and other donors would not be committing an offence while the LTTE could rebuild. They commended the PTOMS mechanism of aid sharing but the Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka rejected it as it clearly violated the Constitution.

 

It seemed LTTE’s fate was sealed. But once again it was bailed out. This time by hundreds of NGOs.

 

“ƒ”¹…”String of Pearls’, a US created myth

In 2005 following the agreement with China to build a port in Hambantota, US agencies came up with a fascinating myth called “ƒ”¹…”String of Pearls’. According to it, China was surrounding India with a string of ports around India.

 

The need for disrupters was felt badly by US agencies. LTTE was surely considered one prime candidate. USA played a key role at the 2005 election supporting the pro-western candidate. Although LTTE called for a boycott of the election, the government closure of Vanni borders stopped more Vanni voters from voting. The 2004 election was held in LTTE controlled Vanni for the first and last time where it was severely manipulated by the LTTE.

 

The winner was called a “ƒ”¹…”hawk’ by western media while fully supporting the hawks of the west fighting two wars at the same time.

 

Total US arms embargo on Sri Lanka and absurd allegations of child soldiers

War intensified in 2006 and by 2007 it was clear Sri Lanka was following a strategic approach to war with the likelihood of a total wipe out of the LTTE on the cards. USA moved swiftly. It blamed Sri Lanka for using child soldiers and imposed a total weapons embargo. This was a total fabrication of the truth but was a mere excuse to stop supplying weapons. LTTE splinter outfit – the Karuna group – denied any use of child soldiers.

 

Encouraged by the US’s hardline policy towards Sri Lanka, LTTE front organisations collected money and bought weapons for the Tigers. However, USA and other western nations had to clamp them down. It was done for own safety. If Americans and Canadians started to buy Eastern European weapons and transferred them to foreign terrorist groups that would endanger US interests. Soon these channels would grow into supporting Islamic terrorists as well. That was the only reason for punishing the wrongdoers.

 

However, the very same LTTE organisations later formed into many other organisations like TAG (Tamils Against Genocide). They hired US academics, a former deputy attorney general, few politicians and even funded presidential election candidates! Nothing happened.

 

USA desperately tried to save the LTTE in 2009

Desperation was the word to describe US moves to save the LTTE during the last stages of the war. Sri Lankan leaders were threatened with war crimes if the LTTE terrorists were not spared. According to Wikileaks documents quoting US cables, US officials held many rounds of talks with Indian authorities in an attempt to stop the killing of LTTE terrorists. However, Sri Lankans pushed on until peace.

 

Severely aggrieved by this action, US officials went loco. Hilary Clinton claimed Sri Lanka used rape as a weapon of war which was an absurd and untruthful claim. She probably had information to prove otherwise but was playing her part in persecuting Sri Lanka for wiping out the LTTE which could have become the next Mujahideen sans Islamic extremism.

 

The panel of the UN Secretary General was appointed after US insistence. It was USA that first welcomed the panel as if it was a pleasant surprise. Once the panel came up with its biased report of lies, it was once again USA that first welcomed it.

 

Even without a new Mujahideen, USA have plenty of geopolitical interests in the region. That is why it is pressing hard for separatism. This move must be defeated.

 

Way forward

Maintaining good relations with USA with loads of caution is still beneficial despite all these adversities. Balancing geopolitical influence of various superpowers is the way forward. Capabilities of US agents must be destroyed within the island. These include western supported NGOs, various religious groups connected to the west, local branches/associates of TAG, BTF, etc.,

 

US interference in elections must be countered by obtaining participation of other superpowers by tying their geopolitical interests to nationalist political parties.

 

Attached photos show Vaiko making a vital link between the LTTE leadership and the US leadership. It may be only symbolic, but it shows that both parties realize the need to work together. Photo courtesy: Defence.lk and Sankathi.com.

2 Responses to “US-Tamil Separatist Nexus More Sinister than It Seems”

  1. ranjit Says:

    Very well explained the sinister motives of US towards our country by DILROOK. Yes we have to act with caution because we are fighting against the devil as Hugo Chavez said once. We need to have a strong coaliation of friendly countries to counter all the unfair allegations by the western stooges of the L.T.T.E. We have to keep watch on western agents within and outside and be tough with them to keep our homeland safe Like Gota did during the war sending back all the NGO’s from North and East. Our President has to do a balancing act without angering the devil and his co partners in the west and also India who is not our friend actually and be more frindly and close to Russia and China who are our friends for so many years. Also we need to have new friends who will understand and respect our sovereignty. As we have peace all around maybe we can lure more tourists from Latin America and African countries to see the beauty and learn our culture. We need good relations with all the countries around the world and should take the middle path in every issue without making enemies as per our Buddhist teachings.

  2. Cerberus Says:

    Dilrook,
    Great article which shows the different forces which played over the LTTE war during the many years. However, you have left out some of the other crucial players who were very powerful and had major interests in de-stabilizing Sri Lanka.

    Catholic Church – From the beginning as outlined in the note by H.L.D. Mahindapala in the Lanka Web, the Church has been interested in converting the Tamil Dalits from India who had migrated (mostly as indentured labor or illegally), to Sri Lanka, who formed the bulk of the Jaffna LTTE movement. Pope John II had declared that his harvest will be in India. What better way to South India than through Sri Lanka ?. This is why so many Churches were built in the Mannar area in anticipation of conversions. When the LTTE emerged from the Wanni, there were 33 Catholic priests among them. What were they doing there? Did the GoSL ever investigate?
    Bishop Reyappu Joseph was openly supporting the LTTE. About 600 children were forcibly handed over to the LTTE by Rev Pathinar in the North. ( See http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2009/04/catholic-church-ally-of-tamil-tiger.html ). This is just one of the crimes committed by the Catholic Church against Sri Lanka. The worst aspect is that the Cardinal in Sri Lanka and the Southern Catholics kept quiet about it while all this was going on. It is like what happened in Germany when the Nazis were killing the Jews. GoSL should investigate the role played by the Church and hold them accountable. See also article by H. L. D. Mahindapala http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2010/02/16/sri-lankan-bishops-go-bananas/ .
    Then there is the 1983 Riots during which amazingly no Christian Tamils got killed. How did that come about and almost who died, (300 to 400 people), were Hindu Tamils with a few Sinhala Buddhists.Why did JR deport the Papal Nuncio who was in the country at the time?

    U.K – I think it was more U.K. than USA that was really driving the Western anti-GoSL role in the Sri Lanka war with the LTTE. The Tamil diaspora in U.K and Europe were able to convince their parliamentarians that GoSL was the ‘bad guy’ even though LTTE were committing so many atrocities in the South whilst killing many Tamils in the North & East if they did not join the LTTE. Tamil leaders & ordinary Tamils were killed by the LTTE way before the 1983 Riots. Foreign sources all ‘conveniently’ forget that the Tamil homeland is only 12 miles away in Tamil Nadu and that there is no need for another homeland just 12 miles away and joined in the separatist aspirations of the LTTE !

    NGOs and Norway – Over the 30 years a lot of money was funneled through the NGOs to the LTTE. The aid which was given to the LTTE for the Tsunami, and the 16 million Kroner which was given by the Norwegian Government to the LTTE so that they could be a “more equal partner at the negotiating table”, was funneled through Ranil Wickremasinghe during the 4 years he was in power as PM with his predominant Catholic Cabinet. Also include ‘aid’ such as the FM station, the dismantled light air planes and other equipment which went through as Norwegian diplomatic containers without the customs having any chance to even open them etc. To date there is very little to show for all the money that was poured in to the North and the East by all these Western powers. It was all mostly used by LTTE to buy shiploads of armaments which formed a floating armory around Sri Lanka, later demolished by the SL Navy.

    Ranil W – He & President Premadasa played a major role in uplifting the LTTE by putting our armed forces into barracks, cutting the funding for the armed forces and giving the LTTE full run of the country while the army was limited to the South only. During the weakened state of the LTTE if he and Chandrika had any balls they could have finished off the LTTE. Instead he was listening to the Western masters and the Catholic Church and did his level best to build up the LTTE from the blow they received in the Tsunami. The GoSL should investigate his role in the whole LTTE fiasco in addition to the Catholic Church. This all well known everyone but the tale has to be retold lest we forget. He is now strutting around full of righteous indignation.

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