SRI LANKAN AMBASSADOR IN U.S. SAYS SRI LANKANS WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY TERRORIST SUPPORTERS

January 29, 2011 at 12:53 am

LTTE front organizations will eventually be exposed and brought to justice and cannot intimidate the President or the people of Sri Lanka

Recently foreign supporters of the LTTE terrorist group that fought and lost a conflict against the Sri Lankan people have accused Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, of committing war crimes as commander in chief of Sri Lanka’s armed forces.

Today LTTE supporters outside of Sri Lanka continue to accuse the government of human rights violations, according to Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States. Today those groups continue to raise funds for violent terrorist activities.  Swiss federal police recently arrested 10 alleged LTTE supporters who police say were threatening Sri Lankan Tamils into providing money to the LTTE.

A number of LTTE support groups have put the word “Tamil” in their names, hoping to attract attention and avert suspicion, Ambassador Wickramasuriya said. But he noted that the LTTE has been banned in the U.S. and a number of other countries.  He said that the LTTE was responsible for the murder of thousands of civilians and assassinated numerous heads of state including Sri Lanka’s President Ranasinghe Premadasa, India’s Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lanka’s Tamil Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.

“It is clear what these groups are doing, and they have already drawn attention from law enforcement in countries where the LTTE is banned,” Ambassador Wickramasuriya said. “The LTTE has tried before to raise money by using groups that pose as humanitarian organizations, and they have been caught. Those attempting to do this now must cease or face prosecution.”
He said that front organizations have been discovered in the past and were brought to justice.

“Let me be clear when I say that a majority of Sri Lankans living in the U.S.- Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese alike- are grateful to our President Mahinda Rajapaksa for liberating 300,000 citizen from terrorist captivity and uniting our island,” the Ambassador said.  A very small group of the Sri Lankan diaspora is made up of supporters of the LTTE terrorist group.  For the past ten or fifteen years this small minority has been very vocal in spreading propaganda against the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Ambassador pointed out, “The LTTE, an organization that was once described by the FBI as the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world, received a majority of its funding from outside of Sri Lanka.  Over the past several years the Government of Sri Lanka worked very closely with the U.S. Department of Justice to identify the sources of this terrorist funding.  A few years ago the U.S. Department of Justice found numerous so-called charity organizations were in fact fronts for the LTTE.”

In 2007 the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (T.R.O)was proscribed as a foreign terrorist organization after the U.S. Justice Department found that donations collected for purportedly charitable purposes were actually being spent on further militarizing the LTTE terrorists.  The U.S. Treasury Department issued a press release in 2007 noting that the “T.R.O. passed off its operations as charitable, when in fact it was raising money for a designated terrorist group responsible for heinous acts of terrorism.”  The Tamil Foundation was also proscribed as a front organization.

“What we are seeing now is that the same individuals or relatives of these individuals that were part of these proscribed LTTE front organizations have started new groups.  These so-called advocacy organizations have the same membership and directors as the proscribed organizations.  They continue to spread propaganda against the Government and carry out publicity stunts like this baseless law suit.”  Ambassador Wickramasuriya noted that the Government of Sri Lanka continues to work closely with the U.S. Department of Justice and other agencies in identifying LTTE front organizations.

He remarked, “The future is bright for Sri Lanka.  The unbelievable economic Renaissance and tourism boom that our nation is experiencing exemplifies the international confidence in the nation.  The President is not intimidated by these distortions, nor are the people of Sri Lanka.  We have endured the one of the worst terrorist groups in the world and have emerged a united and victorious nation.”

Today, most of the 300,000 people who were held by the LTTE have been resettled in their homes. Government programs are underway to rebuild communities and lives. The government has established a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to examine the conflict and aid in healing the wounds of war.  The Government of Sri Lanka is thankful for the support that the U.S. Government has given the Commission.

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