Daily Archives: May 1, 2007
THE HINDU NEWSPAPER SAYS BOTH NEW DELHI AND CHENNAI HAVE FAILED TO CONDEMN TERRORISM AGAINST INDIA
By Walter Jayawardhana
India’s influential national daily published from Tamil Nadu in a strongly worded editorial said after fifty days since twelve Indian fisherman have been abducted and 12 fishermen were killed by the Tamil Tigers neither the Indian central government nor the DMK led Tamil Nadu government has condemned the stark act of terrorism.
The newspaper charged even when the air wing of the terrorist group targeted a joint venture partly owned by the Indian government, still the Indian government failed to condemn it.
“The time has come,” said the editorial, “to remind the Congress-led government at the Centre that foreign policy, even when it involves Sri Lanka, must be made in New Delhi – not in Chennai, and certainly not under the influence of pro-LTTE parties.”
The following is the full text of the editorial:
“It is more than 50 days since 12 Indian fishermen were abducted by the Sea Tigers – the naval arm of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Unfortunately, there has been no word of condemnation yet from the Government of India or the Tamil Nadu government. Political parties in Tamil Nadu are the first to condemn the Sri Lankan government for killing, capturing, or intimidating fishermen from the State who cross the international maritime boundary line.
The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly has adopted several resolutions condemning the island nation’s navy. But when the State’s Director General of Police, D. Mukherjee, revealed that the Sea Tigers were directly involved in the firing on Indian fishermen that left five people dead on March 29, and that 12 missing Indian fishermen, including one from Kerala, have been detained by the LTTE from March 4, the reaction was muted. It was left to the Congress and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam to highlight the issue in the Assembly.
The pro-LTTE parties and groups have expectedly maintained a damning silence. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who registered his shock, offered an assurance that the LTTE would be given no room in Tamil Nadu. As though these anti-India extremist acts were not enough, improvised LTTE aircraft bombed oil storage tanks and facilities in Colombo in the early hours of Sunday. The fuel depot of Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited, a joint venture of the Indian Oil Corporation, the Government of Sri Lanka, and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, was targeted. Even this has not been condemned.
“The time has come to remind the Congress-led government at the Centre that foreign policy, even when it involves Sri Lanka, must be made in New Delhi – not in Chennai, and certainly not under the influence of pro-LTTE parties. It has become abundantly clear that the banned terrorist organisation, especially through the Sea Tigers and now a small air wing, has emerged as a security problem for India.
The people of Tamil Nadu – who decidedly do not want a return to the benighted experience of 1983-1991 – expect both the Central and State governments to crack down on all groups and fringe elements that aid and abet, from Indian soil, the activities and cause of the LTTE. India must also equip its neighbour to deal defensively with threats to its vital installations. Without directly getting involved in the military effort in Sri Lanka, India must provide state-of-the-art radars and anti-aircraft guns to the Sri Lankan government to neutralise the threat from the LTTE air force. It is shocking that the LTTE, which took quite a beating in recent months from the Sri Lankan armed forces, has been able to deploy its light aircraft, concealed in the Vanni, on bombing raids thrice in recent weeks without coming under effective attack. In its own national interests, India needs to give up any ambivalence on what needs to be done and get serious about the LTTE threat.”
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TWO LTTE MEN ARE ARRESTED IN AUSTRALIA FOR USING TSUNAMI CHARITY MONEY FOR TERRORIST ACTIVITIES
By Walter Jayawardhana
Austalia’s largest selling newspapers, the Herald Sun and the Age published news reports that that two prominent Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leaders in Australia have been arrested by the Australian Federal police for using Tsunami relief charity money collected for the victims of the devastated Tamil areas for terrorist activities in Sri Lanka.
The federal police told the age more arrests are to come following these and the two Tamils of Sri lankan origin were arrested at the conclusion of two year long investigation after public complaints.
The herald Sun said:- “The men were charged with terror offences after raids this morning on homes and businesses across Melbourne eastern suburbs by Federal and State police.
“A Mt Waverley man, 32, and a Vermont South man, 36, were both charged on three counts of being members of a terror organisation and providing money to a terror group.
“Police will allege the two men are members of the Sri Lankan separatists group Tamil Tigers, and face a maximum of 25 years in jail under the Criminal Code Act 1995.
“Federal police counter terrorism spokesman Frank Prendergast said they would allege the men were supporting the overseas terror group.
“It will be alleged in court that these men are members of an organisation engaging in terror activities overseas, and they have been providing active, material support to that group,’’ Assistant Commission Prendergast said.
“He alleged the men had duped Australians who thought they were donating money to Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, as well as other charities.
“Police would not reveal how much money had been siphoned from charities to the terror group nor what type of material support they had provided to the Tamil Tigers.
“But Assistant Commissioiner Prendergast stressed there was no evidence that the men planned to carry out any terrorist attacks in Australia.
“The Australian Federal Police and Victorian Police joint police counter terrorism team operation raided eight homes and business in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs including Mt Waverley, Vermont South, Burwood East, Dandenong and Glen Waverley.
“Victoria Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said the arrests followed a tip-off from the public.
“We regard these offences as extremely serious,” Deputy Commissioner Walshe said.
”Police would allege that the men actively raised funds with the knowledge some of the money would go towards “operational activity” by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.
“Properties in the Sydney suburbs of Toongabbie and Paramatta were also raided as part of the investigation.
“The investigation follows Australian Federal Police raids in 2005 in which documents and computers were seized at several Melbourne properties but so far it is unclear if today’s arrests are linked to those earlier warrants.
“Assistant Commissioner Prendergast did confirm the raids were the result of an investigation launched in January 2005 and showed a high degree of cooperation between Federal and State authorities.
“He also stressed the value of public information in tracking down possible terror suspects.
“The Tamil Tiger group operates in Sri Lanka and is seeking a separate state there.”
Meanwhile the Age newspaper said:- Police are refusing to rule out further arrests after apprehending two Melbourne men accused of raising money for a terrorist organisation via a tsunami relief charity.
Officers have charged a Mount Waverley man, 32, and a Vermont South man, 36,with three offences relating to being a member of a terrorist organisation and making funds available to a terrorist organisation. They are expected to face court this afternoon.
The arrests followed raids today across Melbourne and in Sydney as part of a two-year joint investigation by the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police into claims charity groups were raising funds for Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam — or Tamil Tigers.
Police conducted 10 raids on premises in Melbourne’s east — at Vermont, Glen Waverley, Mount Waverley, Dandenong, East Burwood — and in the Sydney suburbs of Toongabbie and Parramatta.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said the men were accused of running tsunami relief appeal to raise funds for the Tamil Tigers, allegedly duping people out of a substantial amount of money.
He said police would allege the men actively raised funds with the knowledge some of the money would be diverted to the Tamil Tigers to conduct operations in Sri Lanka.
If found guilty, the men face a maximum of 25 years in jail.
AFP National Counter Terrorism Manager Frank Prendergast said there was no evidence the men were planning terrorism activities in Australia.
“It will be alleged in court that these men are members of an organisation engaging in terrorist activity overseas and they have been providing active, material support to that group,’’ he said.
He refused to rule out making further arrests following today’s raids.Commissioner Prendergast said the investigation began in January 2005 after police received information from the public.
The Tamil Tigers have been waging a bloody secessionist campaign against the Sri Lankan government since the 1970s.
Since 1983, there has been an on-off civil war between the Tamil Tigers and the government, which it’s estimated has killed around 64,000 people and displaced 1 million. The origins of the current violence go back to the island’s independence from Britain in 1948.
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SRI LANKA REMAINS DEFENSELESS AND HELP LESS AGAINST MID NIGHT AIR RAIDS BY TINY AIRCRAFT OF THE LTTE
Sunday’s Tamil attack was yet another embarrassment to President Mahinda Rajapakse’s dysfunctional government….Colombo’s politicians did the rest. Saturday’s press carried bitter attacks from the opposition United National Party, whose government had signed the 2002 ceasefire with the LTTE now in tatters under Rajapakse, that the president had abandoned the country, likening Rajapakse to Nero fiddling while Rome burned. The Tigers attacked a day later and, doubtless, will do so again and again, until this government is laughed out of office. says Fortune’s Eric Ellis.
By Walter Jayawardhana
Sri Lankan security forces remained a sitting duck helpless to do anything drastic against the tiny propeller driven Zlin Z 142 air craft which come from the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi and engage in night time bombing sorties and fly back unharmed while the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) military spokesman Rasiah Ilantheriyan vowed to continue with their mid night air raids.
The tiny Czechoslovakian made civilians planes owned by the LTTE converted to drop home made bombs although made big headlines in contrast to the minimal damage they could do did more economic harm to Sri Lanka in the form of dropping share market values and cancelled international flights that would bring in the tourists, an important factor in Sri Lanka’’s economy.
Regardless of promises to hit the tiny aircraft back, Sri Lanka Airforce jets are unable to retaliate back and the anti-aircraft guns have not been able to bring them down despite of prior warnings that they enemy planes were coming, due to so far undeclared reasons.
After many weeks since the first strike right into the Katunayaka Air Force base Sri Lanka security forces, up to the last strike on tiny oil installations in Colombo, despite promises, has not been able to do anything about them, compelling partners of the government like the JHU issuing statements demanding immediate action.
Jane’s Defense Weekly correspondent Iqbal Athas said, “”Although the LTTE’s acquisitions appear primitive, they have clearly demonstrated through their last four sorties the helplessness of the government to protect its own airspace.” Athas further said, “The air force still doesn’t appear prepared to meet with the air threat from the LTTE.”
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong flag carrier, Cathay Pacific, has indefinitely suspended its flight to Colombo, for the second time and Emirates suspended its flights for two days, until the situation is further studied.
Singapore Air Lines said, it suspended all its night flights until further notice. The airline said, “”A new daylight-hours schedule will commence from May 1 subject to ongoing review,” in a statement.
According to the new schedules SQ466 will depart Singapore at 10:25 am and arrive in Colombo at 11:35 am.
SQ467 will leave Colombo at 12:50 pm and arrive in Singapore at 7:20 pm, the national the air line said.
SIA will waive all cancellation and amendment fees for customers whose tickets were issued before April 30 for travel between that day and May 31.
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