Monthly Archives: April 2007
TAMIL NADU CONGRESS COMMITTEE PRESIDENT MEETS KARUNANIDHI TO DEMAND STRICT ACTION AGAINST VAIKO
By Walter Jayawardhana
As an immediate repercussion to the revelation of the Tamil Nadu police that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had killed five fishermen in cold blood suspecting them as spies watching their gun running , Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) President met Chief Minister of the state M. Karunanidhi to demand that all politicians supporting the terrorist group should be arrested.
The meeting between TNCC president M. Krishnasswamy and Karunanidhi took place at the Chief Minister’s residence on Sunday April 29.
“I have demanded that stringent action should be taken against all political parties who support the LTTE,” said Krishnasswamy after the discussions with the Chief Minister.
He said he has specially mentioned about Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) General Secretary Vaiko who is openly supporting the LTTE and sought some action against him and discussed some of his recent utterances.
On March 10 Vaiko met Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh and told him that the Indian Navy was merely watching as spectators while the Sri Lankan Navy was killing Indian citizens. For along period of time Vaiko has been openly supporting the LTTE even after the terrorist group killed the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Once he traveled to Sri Lanka and lived many months in a bunker with LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
After the assassination of the kanyakumari fishermen he did his level best to misdirect the Indian investigations into the killings of the Indian fishermen by blaming the Sri Lanka Navy automatically absolving his political allies.
He even proposed extremely drastic diplomatic measures against Sri Lanka. Vaiko said, ’’While any country in the world will severe its diplomatic ties if its people are subjected to continued attacks by other nation, the Indian government has betrayed the interests of its fishermen by maintaining silence on the recurring attacks by the Lankan Navy.
“(Indian navy) acted as an ideal spectator sitting like a lame duck all these years, failing its duty to protect the Tamil Nadu fishermen, the citizen of India. When Sri Lankan navy opened fire and attacked and killed Tamil Nadu fishermen before the very eyes of the Indian navy, this is my accusation. Therefore the Indian navy should prevent the Sri Lankan navy venturing into our territorial waters and opening fire, in that case Indian navy has got the … duty to prevent them and exercise warning, if necessary all the preventive measures to protect the citizens of the country, it is the duty of the navy. It has failed in this and it should do it,” said V.Gopalswamy (Vaiko), General Secretary of MDMK.”
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British Government issued travel warning to British citizens traveling to Sri Lanka in general and the North and East of the country in particular, in the light of the latest incident in which LTTE used aircrafts ob 29 April to drops bombs in targets in Colombo.
The warning said that little damage was caused by this incident, and a similar raid on 26 March on the military area of Bandaranike International Airport (north of Colombo), caused disruption in Colombo city and at the airport. The warning went on to point out that some airlines are reviewing their flight schedules to Sri Lanka. British Foreign and Commonwealth office urged traveller to check the status of their flights to and from Bandaranike International Airport with their carrier.
The full text of travel warning issued by the British Foreign and Commonwealth office is given below:
“We advise against all travel to the north or east of Sri Lanka. If you are in the north or east, you should leave. For the purpose of this travel advice we consider the north to be all areas north of the A12 road (which runs from Puttalam in the west to Trincomalee in the east) including the Jaffna peninsula; and we consider the east to be the districts of Trincomalee and Batticaloa, as well as coastal areas of Ampara district north of Pottuvil and east of the A25 and A27 roads.
“There are reports of continuing fighting between the Sri Lanka government forces and the Liberation Tigers Eelam (LTTE) throughout the north and east. This has included the use of ground forces, artillery fire, mines, air and naval attacks. Further fighting could occur with little or no warning.
“There is a high threat from terrorism in Sri Lanka and a risk of British nationals becoming indiscriminately caught up in attacks. Terrorist attacks against government and civilian targets have taken place throughout the country, including in areas and on travel routes popular with tourists. Please see the Terrorism section of this travel advice for more details.
“On 29 April 2007 the LTTE used light aircraft to drop bombs on targets in the Colombo area. Although little damage was caused this incident, and a similar raid on 26 March on the military area of Bandaranike International Airport (north of Colombo), caused disruption in Colombo city and at the airport. Some airlines are reviewing their flight schedules to Sri Lanka. Travellers are advised to check the status of their flights to and from Bandaranike International Airport with their carrier.
“There is heightened security, particularly in Colombo and southern Sri Lanka. There have been detentions, particularly of people of Tamil ethnicity. You should ensure that you carry some form of identification with you at all times. If you are a British national and are detained, you should ask the authorities to contact the British High Commission. You are strongly advised to comply with government and security force instructions.
“We strongly recommend that all British nationals who are resident and/or working in Sri Lanka, or visiting for over one month, should register with the British High Commission in Colombo.
“About 90,000 British nationals visit Sri Lanka each year. The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Sri Lanka is replacing lost or stolen passports and ill health.
We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. “
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TIGER AIRCRAFT BOMBS AND DAMAGES TWO SMALL PETROLEUM CENTERS IN COLOMBO AND RETURNS
Tiger aircraft bomb Kolonnawa oil installation and Muthurajawela gas facility in midnight attack – One of the aircraft had dropped bombs at a fuel dump in the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) oil installations in Kolonnawa. Another bomb was reported to have fallen at an LPG gas facility in Muthurajawela, triggering off a large fire. -Sunday Times
By Walter Jayawardhana
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam air craft bombed a Shell gas distribution facility in Colombo and destroyed three buildings in the facility and also a petroleum distribution facility at Kolonnawa East of the center of the city.
Shell Lanka Ltd. jointly owned by the petroleum giant and the government of Sri Lanka said in a statement that there had been an explosion in their facilities and three buildings had been damaged. The distribution facility of petroleum at Kolonnawa also had been bombed by the LTTE aircraft.
Fire engines had been called to put out the fires at the two places. As the Katunayaka international Airport was briefly closed an international flight of Sahara Airlines was diverted to Chennai Airport but the airport resumed operations.
Sri Lanka armed forces went on an alert after Air Force radars detected a suspect airplane, the country’s Ministry of Defense sources said. Meanwhile civilians in the city said they saw gunfire being directed at a low flying aircraft in the city.
People in Colombo said they could hear gun fire and they saw flashes above the city as the military went to an alert situation.
A military spokesman said, “We have detected one air craft on the radar.” But the pro-LTTE news websites said the LTTE aircraft successfully bombed their targets and returned to their base.
The Ministry of Defense published a statement dated April 29 saying the military has detected a suspicious air movement. It said, “Sri Lanka Air Force activated its air defence systems in Colombo and Katunayake due to a suspicious air movement around 1:45 a.m today, the Sunday the 29th of April. Sri Lanka Air Force activated its air defence systems in Colombo and Katunayake due to a suspicious air movement around 1:45 a.m today, the Sunday the 29th of April. More information will follow.”
Colombo’s General Hospital said two people who were working at a power station are being treated for gun shot injuries. The city was engulfed in darkness as the power had been cut. Civilians reported gun fire being directed at a low flying aircraft. The power was cut when thousands of people were glued to their TV sets watching the final cricket match between the Australian and Sri Lanka teams for World Cup.
Airport sources at the country’s international Airport said at first, passengers in a civilian plane had been asked to get-off a plane but later they were asked to re-embark. Sri Lanka Air Force base is situated adjacent to the International Airport.
On Thursday April 26 the military performed an alert exercise and temporarily closed the Colombo International Airport adjacent to the Air Force base after air planes were reported coming along the Western coast flying from North to South.
Two days before that the Tamil Tiger airplanes dropped bombs inside and close to Palali military air base killing six military personnel in the North.
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TAMIL NADU ASSEMBLY MEMBERS DEMAND THAT POLITICAL PARTIES SUPPORTING LTTE SHOULD BE BANNED IN THE STATE
By Walter Jayawardhana
After the police announcement that it was the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who gunned down five Indian Tamil fishermen the Tamil Nadu administration of M. Karunanidhi is seriously considering banning the political parties like Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) who have declared open support for the banned terrorist group in India.
Members in the Tamil Nadu State assembly demanded that political parties supporting the LTTE should be banned in the state and their leaders arrested for the support of the outlawed terrorist group.
Political observers said Karunanidhi is taking this opportunity as a face saving measure to avoid serious allegations against his administration by the former Chief Minister and leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam ( AIADMK), Jayalalitha Jeyaram that his administration has let down the law and order situation in Tamil Nadu having a lax security situation allowing the Sri Lankan terrorist group, LTTE to operate freely in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which is the home of more than 60 million Tamils in the world.
India’s Janatha Party leader Subramanian Swami has alleged that Karunanidhi’s daughter herself is a secret supporter of the LTTE and Vaiko’s party, the MDMK could possibly be run with funds supplied by the terrorist group. By banning Vaiko’s party Karunanidhi could also weaken the opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly. In a contrast immediately after the assassination of five Tamil fishermen on March 29 in a statement made on the floor of the house Karunanidhi blamed the deaths of the Kanyakumari fishermen on the Sri Lanka Navy.
On April 28 in the latest statement made on the floor of the Tamil Nadu legislature Karunanidhi said he would consult the Central government in New Delhi before taking a decision to ban political parties who are supporting the LTTE in Tamil Nadu.
Replying to a question by Indian Congress Party member C. Gunasekeran on the floor of the Tamil Nadu State Assembly Karunanidhi said he would officially inform the Central government about the involvement of the LTTE in the killings of the five fisherman and abduction of 12 more Indian citizen fishermen that was revealed after police investigations and seek the advice of the Central government of New Delhi before banning any political parties.
The Indian news agency UNI said: “The state government would also let know the centre, the views expressed by leaders of various political parties in the house, seek their opinion and take a decision on slapping a ban on political parties, which supported the LTTE.
“Mr Gnanasekaran demanded the arrest of Marumalarchi DMK (MDMK) General Secretary Vaiko for offering open support to the LTTE. He said the LTTE has emboldened to kill Indian fishermen because of the support offered to it by political parties in the state and demanded that the government impose a ban on them.”
A day before the controversy the Commissioner of Police in India’s Tamil Nadu said that the murder of five Indian fishermen which had been blamed on the Sri Lankan Navy by many political parties in Tamil Nadu had been actually committed by gun men of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Police Commissioner D.G.P. Mukherjee said six LTTE cadres arrested April 11 have admitted the Sri Lankan terrorist group had killed those fishermen and 12 more Indian fishermen had been abducted by them and are in their custody.
They have said that the LTTE marine wing, Sea Tiger members shot and killed them thinking the Indian fishermen were spying on their gun running activities.
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ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE GIVEN ANOTHER YEAR TO SORT OUT LTTE FRONT ORGANIZATION’S IMPLICATING DOCUMENTS
By Walter Jayawardhana
Stewart Bell of Toronto’s National Post reported that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was given another year by the courts to sort out more than one thousand pieces of evidence they have gathered at the offices of the World Tamil Movement(WTM), a highly active front organization of the outlawed foreign terrorist organization of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police informed the courts on April 24 that they would need another year to sort out documents of which they said 796 documents have been found to be containing a “plethora of evidence” about the alleged fund raising activities for the terrorist group by the World Tamil Movement. The remaining 233 items to be sorted out are complex financial documents, Sergeant McDonald, who filed court affidavits said. Stewart Bell further reported that among the material seized were found, Tamil Tigers flags, manuals on missile guidance systems, books encouraging suicide bombings and paperwork they claim is evidence of terrorist fundraising.
When the supportive Liberal government fell following an election in Canada and a Conservative government came into power the WTM was found to be moving out their documents in boxes from their offices. The report said it was then the RCMP obtained a court warrant and moved into seize the documents.
Following is the full report filed by Stewart Bell: – A year after the RCMP raided a Canadian non-profit organization suspected of financing arms purchases for the Tamil Tigers terrorist group, investigators are still sorting through the boxes of materials they hauled away in a moving truck. Although police have not commented on their investigation into the World Tamil Movement (WTM), an RCMP affidavit filed this week says officers are working full-time to translate and analyze more than 1,000 exhibits.
“The RCMP investigation into the fundraising activities of the World Tamil Movement is a long-term, sophisticated investigation requiring a great deal of time and resources,” wrote team leader Sergeant John Macdonald.
“The investigative team is making progress, however, more time is required to properly assess those things seized,” wrote Sgt. Macdonald, a member of the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.
A “plethora” of new evidence has already been found among the 796 items examined to date, Sgt. Macdonald wrote. The remaining 233 items are “for the most part complex financial documents each requiring in-depth review.”
At a court hearing on Tuesday, the RCMP was given another year to examine the boxes of documents, cancelled cheques, Tamil Tigers paraphernalia and other materials they seized during last year’s searches in Toronto.
The RCMP probe, called Project OSALUKI, is one of several underway in the United States, Britain and France that are attempting to unravel the financial and procurement networks of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE.
“This organization is suspected of collecting funds in Canada that I believe are used to finance terrorist activities in Sri Lanka,” Sgt. Macdonald wrote in the affidavit. “The LTTE operates in Canada through a front organization known as the World Tamil Movement.”
The Tigers, a guerrilla group fighting for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil minority, have been condemned internationally for tactics that include suicide bombings, political assassinations, ethnic cleansing and recruitment of children.
Counterterrorism officials have long claimed that the Tigers finance their warfare partly with money collected in Canada, which is home to several hundred thousand ethnic Tamils, one of the largest populations of Tamils outside Sri Lanka in the world.
The RCMP investigation began in July, 2002, but took on new urgency after the Conservatives added the LTTE to Canada’s list of outlawed terrorist organizations on April 8, 2006. Within days, surveillance teams spotted WTM members removing boxes from the group’s offices in Montreal and Toronto. Police obtained search warrants and moved in.
Inside the WTM offices, police found Tamil Tigers flags, manuals on missile guidance systems, books encouraging suicide bombings and paperwork they claim is evidence of terrorist fundraising.
Also seized were “comprehensive lists” of ethnic Tamils living in Canada that showed the amount of money each had donated. Lists of business donors and cancelled cheques to the WTM were found as well, many of them in excess of $10,000.
The investigators also found evidence the WTM had collected taxes for the Tigers, produced propaganda materials and “specifically promotes and commemorates the activities of LTTE operatives, including suicide bombers.”
The RCMP says there are reasonable grounds to believe the WTM has violated three of Canada’s terror-financing laws by collecting money knowing it would be used by a terrorist group and terrorist activity. No charges have been laid.
Following the raids, the Canadian Tamil Congress complained that Tamils were being “slandered and portrayed in a negative light in the media.” But other Canadian Tamils openly applauded the police action.
In an unrelated probe last August, the RCMP and FBI arrested several Canadians and Americans for allegedly trying to buy missiles for the Tigers. Among those charged were former University of Waterloo students and a former communications director for the Canadian Tamil Congress. The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers entered into a ceasefire in 2002 but it has since collapsed.
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