Government’s goodwill not reciprocated: LTTE fronts ban comes after years of tolerance – Dr. Kohona
Posted on April 5th, 2014

By Manjula Fernando Courtesy The Daily News

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Palitha Kohona said the proscription of 16 organisations under the UN resolution 1373 which called for international cooperation for suppressing terrorism financing, was what required now after years of patient tolerance of the actions of these fronts.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Palitha Kohona

He however opined that the Sri Lankan ban, to be fully effective, it must be mirrored in the countries where these organisations operate freely.

Q. Sri Lankan Government, early this week, took action to proscribe 16 organizations which it identified as fronts of the LTTE involved in terrorism financing overseas, under the UN resolution 1373 which came into being after the US’s 9/11 attack. Why is the resolution 1373 important?

A. Security Council Resolution 1373, adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter required UN Member States to adopt a range of measures to criminalise terrorist fund raising, fund transfers and money laundering, providing support for any terrorist enterprise and take appropriate follow-up legal action. Charter VII resolutions impose mandatory obligations on UN Member States.

This action by the Security Council was, in large measure, a response to the 9/11 attacks on the US. Although terrorism had plagued many countries of the world for decades, including Sri Lanka, it was only after 9/11 that the US really began to marshal its resources and world opinion to counter the global threat posed by terrorism.

Since then countries have, consistent with Security Council Resolution 1373, increasingly used their domestic legal regimes and military/intelligence capabilities to undertake counter terrorism measures.

Q. What would be the long term and short term impacts of this action?

A. It certainly would place a constraint on individuals and entities from associating with and seeking assistance from, including funding, from the entities listed. Hopefully this would discourage Sri Lankans, from continuing their contacts with them. There has been a tendency in recent times to openly court the listed entities, especially in Western countries, where they operate openly. It is also possible that the ban would drive these contacts underground and encourage clandestine contacts.

Q. There were media reports from Geneva that some of these fronts such as the Global Tamil Forum, BTF and TETG were actively campaigning against Sri Lanka in support of the recent resolution led by the US as well as on previous occasions. Don’t you think banning them now is similar to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted?

A. The Sri Lankan ban must be mirrored in the countries where these organisations operate, to be fully effective. We hope that this will be the case.

Q. TNA leader R.Sampanthan publicly criticized this move saying that the Government was making a serious mistake. Your comment?

UN Headquarters in New York

A. The Government had acted with great restraint and compassion towards those who resorted to terrorist violence and their supporters since the defeat of the LTTE in 2009. Close to 12,000 former combatants have. been released after a short rehabilitation programme.

Unfortunately, the goodwill demonstrated by the Government and the people of Sri Lanka was not reciprocated leaving little choice to the Government which had to respond to the demands of the majority of the people. It is no secret that the entities listed in the Gazette notification have been campaigning to realise the separatist goal of the LTTE by using international pressure to supplement their other activities. Reconciliation is a two way street.

If one side exploits the forbearance and the goodwill of the other to advance its own agenda under a different pretext and through barely camouflaged means, one can not expect the kid glove approach to continue. Many expected the resolution to result in hard line positions to be consolidated where compromise had seemed possible earlier. Unfortunately, this has become a reality now.

Q. LTTE and their sympathizers seem to have launched a propaganda war over the listing of these fronts. A news report posted on a website said, the Government was targeting the wife of ex-tiger leader, Sasitharan following the proscription. Is it a new threat that is emerging?

A. Sri Lanka will have to organise itself to counter this threat on a wide front – domestically by marshalling all anti separatist elements of our country as we so successfully did in the final campaign against the terrorist LTTE and internationally by ensuring that the separatist agenda of these listed elements is exposed. It is important to constantly highlight the past terrorist links of the leaders and sympathisers of these listed entities. Many of those espousing human rights causes today were engaged in raising funds for a proscribed terrorist organisation deploying suicide bombers and recruiting child combatants by the thousands, not too long ago.

Q. Some of these fronts have very close links with Western governments as well as members of some Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka including the TNA. Can the government prosecute and jail any member for continuing links with these banned fronts?

A. That appears to be the objective of the listing.

Q. The ban is effective only in Sri Lanka. How can the government stop terrorism financing and fund raising taking place overseas?

A. We need to seek complementary actions in other countries. It is to be remembered that many countries have already criminalised the activities reflected in SC resolution 1373 and SC Resolution 1267. Legal action has been taken against a range of LTTE sympathisers in countries such as the US, France, Australia, Canada, Italy and Germany.

We should intensify our links with the law enforcement authorities of these countries and exchange information so that they could continue to undertake legal action where terrorist related activity is suspected.

Q. Some argue imposing a blanket ban on all these organizations at once would be counter productive to what the Government hope to achieve. Your comments?

A – It is important to expose the true goals of these entities. The ban, after years of patient tolerance, may be what is required now.

Q. The 32 countries which have banned the LTTE as a terrorist group will follow Sri Lanka’s example?

A. They will need to be convinced that such a ban is consistent with their international obligations, for example under SC Resolution 1373, and their own principals and needs.

3 Responses to “Government’s goodwill not reciprocated: LTTE fronts ban comes after years of tolerance – Dr. Kohona”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    The Congress Party’s Election Manifesto is STILL PANDERING to Tamil Nadu politicians, despite its ally, the DMK, having abandoned the Congress Party in the upcoming elections.

    Just a few days ago, Indian High Commissioner Y. K. Sinha was harping on the “full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond and show concrete movement towards a meaningful devolution of powers”.

    Sri Lanka really needs to KICK India out of INTERFERING in Sri Lanka’s internal matters, and to DRIVE A SPIKE into the heart of this “DEVOLUTION” demand by REPEALING the 13th Amendment and IMPLEMENTING the 6th Amendment to the Constitution without DELAY.

    As long as Sri Lanka CONTINUES to mollycoddle the Tamil Separatists and their India backers, and give them hope that through DEVOLUTION OF POWER under the 13th Amendment they can GAIN through BLACKMAIL in PEACE what they FAILED to WIN by VIOLENCE in WAR, Sri Lanka will FOREVER be pursued by India trying to PLEASE its Tamil constituency.

    This MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE!

    Irrespective of WHICH PARTY comes to power in New Delhi (and it appears that a COALITION led by the BJP will do so), Sri Lanka needs to not only to TELL India, but DECISIVELY KICK India, out of our country. BTW, if a BJP-led coalition comes to power, the AIADMK led by Jayalalitha will most likely be a part of it, and Sri Lanka’s troubles with India could WORSEN!

    One way of getting the MESSAGE ACROSS, is to DO UNTO as DONE UNTO: by inviting Indian Separatists from Kashmir, Assam and elsewhere in India to Sri Lanka for Discussions on their GRIEVANCES, offering to use “Sri Lanka’s GOOD OFFICES” on a CONTINUING BASIS to MEDIATE with the Government of India. After all, just as Sri Lankan Tamils have kinfolk in India, we Sri Lanka Sinhalese have kinfolk ALL over INdia, and we have a STAKE in resolving their OUTSTANDING GRIEVANCES … Don’t we?

    The current approach of accepting one-way INTEFERENCE in Sri Lanka by India MUST END; let us make it a TWO WAY STREET!

    FIRST and FOREMOST, the GOSL must get India out of its involvement in Reconstruction and REhabilitation of the North and East of Sri Lanka. They are just BUILDING a FIFTH COLUMN among the Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka. Limit Indians to ONLY THEIR EMBASSY in Colombo!

    …………………….
    The Indian Elections: What The Congress Party Has To Say About Foreign Policy

    By Alyssa Ayres
    Forbes.com
    April4, 2014

    This post is part of a series on the Indian elections.

    With India’s national elections about to kick off on April 7, politics dominates the media and private conversations alike. Most of the conversation focuses on the poll horse race, at this point heavily favoring the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to win more than 200 of the 543 seats in the lower house of Parliament and form a coalition government. (Click here to learn three things to know about the upcoming elections).

    Foreign policy, however, has been largely invisible throughout this campaign cycle, except for the contributions of the two main regional parties in Tamil Nadu, which have a long-standing and special focus on Sri Lanka. Of the two main national parties, only Congress has released its official manifesto so far, putting its foreign policy platform on view for all. (The BJP appears to be in an internal squabble about its manifesto, which was slated for an April 3 release but now may not come out until next week).

    Chief of India’s ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi holds her party’s manifesto for the April/May general election in New Delhi on March 26, 2014 (Adnan Abidi/Courtesy Reuters).

    Chief of India’s ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi holds her party’s manifesto for the April/May general election in New Delhi on March 26, 2014 (Adnan Abidi/Courtesy Reuters).

    The Congress Party manifesto provides some important insights into how the party views India’s role in the world, and indeed how the party views India itself. For Congress, foreign policy comes at the very end of its 50-page platform document, and occupies less than two pages. The most striking aspect for an American reader is the absence of any specific reference to the United States—not one mention.

    While the document prioritizes India’s role as a “critical bridge between the developed world and developing world,” and refers by name to China, Brazil, South Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Sri Lanka, there’s not a hint of any specific interest in furthering ties with the United States beyond doing so as part of “building peaceful, stable and mutually beneficial relations with all major powers” as prioritized at the top of the foreign policy platform.

    What the platform does emphasize at the very top, however, are the party’s commitments to contribute to global challenges like “climate change and sustainable development, non-proliferation, international trade and cross-border terrorism.” Its second and third priorities focus on support for an Indian seat on the UN Security Council, and in combating global terrorism.

    At that point the document turns to describing India’s unique role in the world—using the “critical bridge” language, but additionally highlighting the “cumulative heritage of Non-Aligned Movement” (NAM) and pledges to “continue to support the goodwill nurtured for decades amongst socialist countries.” These elements come as something of a surprise given that they have no counterpart language in the platform situating India as a rising power, or more fully describing India’s interests and partnerships with the United States, European Union, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia or other powers with which India has strong ties. Given anticipation around the world for an India rising to global power, it’s worth noting that the Congress worldview appears focused on India as a “bridge” more than India as a “power.”

    Within the region, as one might expect, the platform pledges to strengthen SAARC, resolve border differences with China, improve relations with Pakistan while “calibrating” according to Pakistani action in tackling terror and affirms support for Afghanistan’s peace process. The section on Sri Lanka is relatively detailed in comparison to other countries, committing to press for “full equality” for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority as well as a credible inquiry into allegations of excesses at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009.

    Although not included in the section on foreign policy, the Congress manifesto contains substantial attention to trade and economics, including a commitment to get back to eight percent growth, and a road map for the next half decade. The platform promises to promote “greater integration with the global economy” and encourage foreign direct investment.

    The manifesto also pledges to “ensure that India has a globally competitive business and investment-friendly environment.” It specifically calls to improve India’s rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index from its current 134 to 75 within five years. These are welcome words for foreign investors and governments supportive of enhancing trade and investment ties. They also serve as an acknowledgement that recent years—in a Congress-led government—have dampened perceptions of India.

    Outside observers will be watching to see how the foreign policy discussion in India evolves further during the coming weeks, especially after the BJP releases its manifesto. In an effort to focus on foreign policy positions in the Indian elections, Mumbai’s Gateway House convened a panel discussion April 1 (watch the video here) which featured representatives of the BJP, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party. I was delighted to participate as a discussant with some thoughts on what Americans have in mind as they await the outcome in India. As the April 1 panel proceeded, it appeared as if the three parties represented had similar positions on trade, UN Security Council, China and other issues—so the coming weeks and more fully articulated statements from all the parties on their foreign policy positions will be helpful.

    For now, the Congress Party’s platform puts into writing an approach to the region consistent with its years in government. It’s the framing of India’s role in the world, however, that officially presents some ideas that sit less comfortably alongside the notion of India as a rising global power.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Following GOSL, UK bans 3 terrorist groups

    “The British government has added three groups to its list of proscribed organisations.

    MPs approved without a vote a government motion adding Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, Al Murabitun and Ansar al Sharia to the groups banned under the Terrorism Act 2000.

    Explaining the decision to the House on 2 April 2014, Home Office Minister James Brokenshire outlined offences believed to have been perpetrated by the groups, in view of which “proscription is a tough but necessary power”.”

    – bbc

  3. Nanda Says:

    Shall we give full recognition to there three groups ?

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