Terrorist-criminal-political nexus in Tamil Nadu growing – Prof. Rohan Gunaratna
Posted on February 24th, 2013

By Manjula Fernando

International counter terrorism expert based in Singapore, Prof. Rohan Gunaratna warns that there is a well concerted campaign in Tamil Nadu, launched by the LTTE, to make Tamil people rise up against Sri Lanka and this is a development that Sri Lanka should be concerned about.

In an interview with the Sunday Observer he said, “The terrorist-criminal-political nexus (in Tamil Nadu) is growing….” and went on to caution the Government that the LTTE misinformation and disinformation campaign was sure to spill over from Tamil Nadu to other south Indian States unless the Government took immediate steps to counter their malicious moves.

He claimed that the LTTE support base which was lying low after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was once again being effectively revived by the LTTE.

The excerpts of the interview:

Q:Following a leaked confidential Indian government document it came to light a few days ago how the LTTE orchestrated a campaign of appeals, including from the EU to delay the hanging of the Rajiv Gandhi killers. Media reported that Rashtrapati Bhavan was bombarded with clemency pleas originating from France, Germany, Denmark, South Africa, UK and from its own MPs. In fact the campaign has been successful todate. Isn’t this a good eye opener for the international community?

A: The LTTE political network in India is deep. The terrorist-criminal-political nexus is growing as some Tamil Nadu politicians are susceptible to LTTE funding, business (film industry) and fanaticism. After the Rajiv Gandhi assassination by the LTTE, once again its supporters, Vijayakanth, Gopalasamy, Karunanidhi, Nedumaran and Seeman are re-emerging.

The LTTE orchestrated the attack on the Sri Lankan pilgrims and also the protests when President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited India. The LTTE misinformation and disinformation will spread from Tamil Nadu to other south Indian States unless the Sri Lankan Government takes immediate steps to counter that.

With the LTTE politicising Indian Tamils to hate Sri Lanka the Ministry of Information in Colombo should counter the propaganda in Tamil Nadu in their own language. The Ministry of External Affairs in Colombo should invite Tamil Nadu politicians including Jayalalitha to visit Sri Lanka’s north.

Q:Sri Lanka is bracing for a tough time at the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva, with a US sponsored procedural-resolution and an adverse report by High Commissioner Navi Pillai ready to be tabled. Your comments?

A:Geneva is not an exercise in Human Rights. It is an exercise in politics. Sri Lanka is a resilient nation that has withstood such challenges. Amidst international pressure generated by LTTE lobbying, Sri Lanka defeated one of the most ruthless groups.

Thereafter amidst pressure to withdraw, its security forces, Sri Lanka maintained its presence to ensure the continued stability of the North and the East. The US led European coalitions could neither defeat terror nor restore stability either in Iraq or Afghanistan. Today, both countries are suffering and they even threaten their neighbours. In contrast Sri Lanka is building a vibrant infrastructure and restoring livelihood.

In comparison to countries facing similar situations, Sri Lanka performed exceptionally well as its focus was to advance national interests and neither be deterred by threats nor influenced by regional or superpower politics.

Q:What is your take on the strength of LTTE propaganda and their support base in Geneva?

A:The LTTE that waged terror died with Prabhakaran but the support network that enabled violence re-branded itself as champions of human rights. The LTTE overseas network has begun to degrade with the majority of Tamils considering LTTE dissent leaders a waste of time and resources.

However the failure of the Government to engage the West created opportunities for a reinvented LTTE to access human rights lobby groups in foreign Governments, at the UN and in NGOs. Today in three-piece suits, LTTE ideologues, propagandists and activists discuss human rights issues.

The latest trend is for the LTTE to reach out to West-funded, anti-Sri Lankan government NGOs, human rights activists, journalists and co-opt them for Geneva.

LTTE fronts and sympathetic groups fund the LTTE proxy, the TNA. Canadian and British politicians driven by LTTE orchestrated votes and funds issue pro LTTE statements. This is a serious threat for Sri Lanka to fight its case and convince the international community.

Q: What is the way forward for Sri Lanka in your opinion?

A:First the government should continue to build a harmonious relationship between Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims and secondly re-engage the West. Sri Lankans tend to withdraw when the mind of the other is poisoned. Then the tendency of Colombo is to disengage foreign governments when the foreign governments are influenced by misinformation and disinformation.

The strategy should be to engage and address issues that can be resolved. As Sri Lanka is misperceived as an ally of China, Colombo should inform the West and India, that the relationship with China is economic and not military. Otherwise, Sri Lanka will be trapped in a new “ƒ”¹…”cold war’. Sri Lanka should be mindful of the changing geostrategic and geopolitical realities and not antagonise India.

4 Responses to “Terrorist-criminal-political nexus in Tamil Nadu growing – Prof. Rohan Gunaratna”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    The bigger picture is that the Christian West is out to balkanise India. The attempt at Eelam in Sri Lanka was the stepping stone to break out Tamil Nadu. Now that their first attempt did not succeed, they are using the same LTTE “terrorist technology” to destabilise Tamil Nadu and break it away from the Union of India. The politicians in Tamil Nadu are well disposed towards the remnants of LTTE and their tactics. The reason Hillary Clinton flew straight to Tamil Nadu should have cautioned India as to what is in store for in the near future. With a former Italian barmaid as the virtual Head of State, India has no pride left to be a great nation. It has abdicated its pride, history and identity. Soon it will be a union of breakaway regions killing each other!

    This is the summary of what the learned professor is trying to say or did not say with a lot of high flaunting english. Just as they are busy breaking up Pakistan, they too are busy balkanising India! The West want to destroy the rest of the world before they themselves will implode!

  2. Voice123 Says:

    “With a former Italian barmaid as the virtual Head of State, India has no pride left to be a great nation. It has abdicated its pride, history and identity. Soon it will be a union of breakaway regions killing each other!”

    – Then Indians are getting what they deserve for being silly enough to put this Sonia woman at the top!

  3. Dilrook Says:

    [Quote] As Sri Lanka is misperceived as an ally of China, Colombo should inform the West and India, that the relationship with China is economic and not military. Otherwise, Sri Lanka will be trapped in a new ‘cold war’. Sri Lanka should be mindful of the changing geostrategic and geopolitical realities and not antagonise India.
    [Unquote]

    Is it a misperception? China and Sri Lanka are natural allies.

    The West and India know better that the relationship with China is purely economic and not military. What USA and India want from Sri Lanka is to become their hitman by helping them choke Chinese shipping interests. Either way Sri Lanka will be trapped in this round of Cold War as well. If we join the US-India camp, the China-Pakistan-Russia camp will destabilise us.

    Already China has replaced USA in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    “Re-engaging the west” as Rohan says is a good move but at the same time we must keep engaging the east as well. Otherwise we will end up like Pakistan (used up and dumped). Now Pakistan seems to have realized the mistake and re-engages with China (not just USA) as never before.

    Although Singapore has many lessons for Sri Lanka, needless to say certain Singaporean interests go against Sri Lankan interests. Over 60% of Singaporean exports are to various Chinese territories and it closely follows Chinese policy on language and never antogonises China. Chinese shipping investments in Sri Lanka when operational will have a huge impact on Singapore. It is in their interests to ensure no one comes closer to Chinese shipping interests than them.

  4. Voice123 Says:

    “Although Singapore has many lessons for Sri Lanka, needless to say certain Singaporean interests go against Sri Lankan interests. … Chinese shipping investments in Sri Lanka when operational will have a huge impact on Singapore. It is in their interests to ensure no one comes closer to Chinese shipping interests than them.”

    – True. In the early days of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore saw Sri Lanka not just as an example of development and multicultural harmony, but also as a potential rival entrepot state, due to Sri Lanka’s natural crossroads of international aviation and shipping. Many years later, after the separatist war was in full swing, one could not help but note the glee of Singapore’s public advertisements about which countries Singaporeans should not follow (Sri Lanka and Uganda were some of them) as well as the barely disguised glee of Singaporeans comparing their country’s internationally renowned multiracial economic success to our country’s ethnic disharmony and economic stagnation.

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