Colombo, July 8: Sri Lanka is likely to re-list some foreign organizations and individuals as “terrorist” under UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution No: 1373 following intelligence reports that a group of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres, including some rehabilitated ones, could be planning to stage suicide attacks on the lines of the “Black Tigers”, a Sri Lankan expert on terrorism close to the government said.
The Lankan media said on Wednesday quoting the police, that four persons were arrested on information that there had been a plan to commemorate “Black Tiger Day’ on July 5 this year with a suicide blast. Last Saturday, a bomb prematurely exploded in a house in Iyakkachchi in Kilinochchi. One of the injured is reportedly a rehabilitated LTTE cadre. He reportedly succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.
Black Tiger Day is commemorated by the acolytes of the LTTE every year on July 5 to honor the LTTE’s first suicide bomber Vallipuram Vasanthan alias Capt. Miller, who drove an explosives-laden truck into an Lankan army camp in Nelliyadi in Jaffna district in July 5, 1967, killing anywhere between dozens of soldiers.
On April 1, 2014, the Sri Lankan government headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced that it was banning sixteen organizations and four individuals under UNSC 1373, to freeze their funds, resources and assets. In addition,
As per a press release issued by the then Minister of External Affair, G.L.Peries, the Foreign Terrorist Organizations that were banned for alleged involvement with terrorism were: the LTTE; Tamil Rehabilitation Organization; Tamil Coordinating Committee; British Tamil Forum; World Tamil Movement; Canadian Tamil Congress; Australian Tamil Congress; Global Tamil Forum; National Council of Canadian Tamils; Tamil National Council; Tamil Youth Organization; World Tamil Coordinating Committee; Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam; Tamil Eelam Peoples’ Assembly; World Tamil Relief Fund; and Headquarters Group.
The foreign individuals listed were: Perinbanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyabvan ; Rev.Fr.S.J.Emmanuel; Visuvanathan Ruthirakumaran, and Sekarampillai Vinayakamooorthy alias Vinayagam. A further 424 individuals had also been listed as terrorists and banned.
In March 19, 2015 an AFP report said that the government announced plans to remove 16 groups and hundreds of Tamils from a list of “foreign terrorists” as part of an ethnic reconciliation process. The then Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, told parliament that the Rajapaksa regime had banned them “ to build up hysteria about an LTTE regrouping.” He further said that “reviewing this list of individuals and entities is an important exercise at this juncture when the government of President Sirisena is seriously committed to expediting the reconciliation process.” Samaraweera also said that some of the 400-odd individuals list were long since dead and gone.
According to the terrorism expert quoted earlier, the “Good Governance” regime dismantled the security apparatus set up after the war to keep an eye on the ex-cadres of the LTTE both in Lanka and overseas. “With the result, there have been at least a dozen attempts at terrorism since the end of the war in May 2009,” the expert said.
“While the LTTE’s military structure in Sri Lanka was destroyed by the Lankan forces, its shipping, commercial and political networks are still active in various parts of the world. In fact, Black Tigers Day is observed without let or hindrance in Tamil Nadu, UK, Canada, Europe and Australia.”
This year, the Black Tigers‘ Day was observed in Sydney Australia with a New South Wales MP, Hugh McDermott, as the Chief Guest. According to a report in Tamil Guardian of July 6, : “Photos of 346 Black Tigers were displayed and the event ceremony was initiated by ex-LTTE cadre, Salkillai and his brother and ex-Sea Tigers training teacher, Vetharasa Dinesh, who both lit up the memorial flame.”
“The Australian Aboriginal flag, the Australian flag and the Tamil Eelam national flag, were hoisted by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam Australian representative and member, Perinbarasa Mukunthan, New South Wales MP, Hugh McDermott and Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam Australian representative and member Kalirasa Naventhira, respectively.”
In his speech Australian MP Mc.Dermott said: “As you know I was attacked by the Sri Lankan government for supporting Tamils. I want to thank the Tamil community for rallying behind me. Not only here in Australia but all throughout the world. This fight is just the beginning. We will have recognition of the genocide and the systematic discrimination of Tamils. This fight has a long way to go, the current government is full of war criminals. I stand with you. May god bless everybody who gave a sacrifice that are not here today.”
Meanwhile in Sri Lanka, with the election fever increasing, seoratist Tamil nationalism has come to the fore with politicians and aspiring candidates vying to identify themselves with the LTTE and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran who tried to establish an independent Tamil Eelam by force of arms. The former Chief Minister CV.Wigneswaran who is a key figure in the campaign in the Tamil-majority North Sri Lanka openly stated that Prabhakaran was his “younger brother” and would always be.
The terrorism expert quoted above added that apart from banning the existing pro-LTTE organizations and individuals, the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government should re-establish the security system in the North and East, which were dismantled by the previous regime.
“The armed forces should be brought close to the people by getting them involved in agriculture, construction and other grass roots level development activities,” he said. (The article originally appeared in Daily Express)
(The featured image at the top shows New South Wales MP, Hugh McDermott at the Black Tigers Day event in Sydney: Photo: Tamil Guardian)