LTTE's fundraising, protest marches and military training
Fundraising in several countries have made it possible for the LTTE to acquire weapons and gain sympathy from the international community to continue their war for a separate homeland. Some of these countries have also given military training to the LTTE.
An organizations based in the US calling itself a charity organization was accused of raising funds for the LTTE.
Washington, Feb 12 (IANS) The US has frozen the assets of US-based Tamil Foundation, a charity organisation accused of supporting rebel Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and prohibited Americans from engaging in any transactions with it.
The action was taken by US Treasury Department Wednesday to target “the support network of the Sri Lanka-based designated terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)” by designating the Tamil Foundation under an Executive Order.
“The LTTE, like other terrorist groups, has relied on so-called charities to raise funds and advance its violent aims,” said Adam J. Szubin, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
“We will continue to aggressively target attempts by any terrorist group to hide behind charities, front companies, or name changes to propagate terror against innocents around the world.”
The head of the Tamil Foundation is also president of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) in the US. The TRO was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under a similar Executive Order Nov 15, 2007.
India, Botswana, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Qatar, South Africa and Thailand are some of the non-Western countries that organizations backed by the LTTE operate from.
The LTTE, which opened its first overseas office in London in 1984, has its front organizations now operating from countries that also include India, Botswana, Burma, Cambodia, Denmark, Germany, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Qatar, South Africa, Switzerland and Thailand, to name a few. The Washington Times, on April 7, 2008 reported that the LTTE’s political wing had established its branches in at least 12 countries, including the US. Veerakathy Manivannam aka Castro is the Head of the LTTE’s ‘International Secretariat’, the body which ensures the smooth functioning of the group’s global network.
Another set of organizations that have supported the LTTE are NGO's.
The LTTE has secured the support of several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in these countries through its persistent publicity and propaganda campaigns. Prominent NGOs who have extended support include the Canadian Relief Organization for Peace in Sri Lanka, International Educational Development Inc., the World Council of Churches, the Australian Human Rights Foundation, the International Human Rights Group, the International Federation of Journalists (Pax Romana), the International Peace Bureau, the International Human Rights Law Group and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights.
There are various methods used by the supporters of the LTTE to not only collect the funds they need but also sympathy for the terrorist organization.
These organization collects funds from individuals and business; by managing Hindu Temples principally serving Tamil Diaspora communities; engaging in businesses including the internet, community-based Tamil radio stations and subscription satellite TV, drug pedaling, particularly heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asia, shipping lines, travel agencies, human smuggling; as well as fixed income generation methods, such as the ‘Registration’ of the Tamil Diaspora. According to a May 6, 2007, report, the Armulmihu Hindu temple in Tooting in South London, which reportedly raises nearly £500,000 each year, may have possible links to the LTTE in Sri Lanka.
It's not only funds that are raised for the LTTE in some of these countries but military training is given to.
Reports also indicate that the Tigers receive military training in some of these countries as well. One surprising source of such training was uncovered in August 2007, when the Sri Lankan Government launched an investigation into claims that LTTE cadres received ‘police’ training in the UK after the 2002 cease-fire agreement (CFA). The probe was ordered after revelations by a 29 year old LTTE cadre, Kalimuttu Vinodkumar, who was arrested at a Police roadblock in Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, told interrogators that he was among 12 LTTE cadres sent on a three-month training program to Northern Ireland, shortly after the CFA was signed. The course had been conducted by foreign instructors with the help of Tamil translators.
In countries such as Germany and Britain, Tamils living there have been subjected to harrassment by the LTTE.
"I'm scared," says Krishna as we sit in his modest home in a London suburb.
Dissident Tamils are subjected to death threats and smear campaigns. A Tamil man in Germany was recently beaten nearly to death for simply organising a memorial service for a college principal killed in Sri Lanka several months before.
Many British Tamils believe that the authorities are not taking intimidation and extortion by the Tamil Tigers seriously.
Fundraising for the LTTE is illegal in Britain because the group is listed as a "terrorist organisation" under the Terrorism Act, but it receives little attention from the police. An inspector with the Metropolitan police told Human Rights Watch: "We know that extortion is going on, but this is not a priority for the British government."
His assessment is borne out by Krishna's experience of calling the local police when the LTTE came to demand funds.
"I told them that they are going to ask for money and I won't give it. There may be trouble," he says. But the police informed him, he says, that unless the LTTE make direct threats to his life or safety, they will not send officers to his house.
The British government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of all residents and protect their rights to live and express themselves without fear. A proper response would entail active investigations of violence, intimidation and extortion linked to the Tamil Tigers; prosecutions where warranted; public education campaigns in the Tamil community to publicise relevant laws and avenues of complaint; and systematic efforts to educate the police and other authorities regarding the realities facing British Tamils.
Britain's response - or lack of one - to the fears within the Sri Lankan Tamil community cuts to the heart of what it means to foster a multicultural society. These issues cannot be dismissed as just a Tamil problem. This is a British problem, and it demands a serious response.
Violence during protest marches and vandalism has also been part of the LTTE's strategy to put pressure on the Sri lanka government to stop the war.
A Nehru statue placed outside the India House in London has been beheaded and protesting Sri Lankan Tamils are being blamed for the desecration.
Objects including cans and a stick were thrown as a few hundred protestors were rounded up on Parliament Square, after being cleared away from Westminster Bridge where the rally had disrupted traffic.
Protestors chanted "Shame on British police" and "We want ceasefire," while some lay down on the ground, after brief scuffles between demonstrators and officers calmed down.
OSLO (Reuters) - Pro-Tamil Tiger demonstrators broke into the Sri Lankan embassy during a protest in the Norwegian capital Oslo on Sunday, smashing windows and furniture, said police, but no one was hurt.
The protest, the first of several by Tamil Tiger supporters around the world in recent weeks to turn violent, followed a march by around 100,000 people in London on Saturday to demand a ceasefire between Sri Lankan forces and the rebels.
"They damaged windows and broke some things inside and then disappeared -- we have not caught anyone," police officer Tor Groettum told Reuters.
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