Daily Archives: February 24, 2007
A Sky One TV’s award winning TV documentary video grab posted on YouTube reveals that there are no less than 40 Tamil gangs in London.
Featured on Sky One’s “Ross Kemp On Gangs”. Ross Kemp visits Wembley and Manor Park to find out about increasing tamil violence in London.
The documentary says that these Tamil gangs are a result of Tamil refugee flow to London due to the civil war in Sri Lanka.
By Walter Jayawardhana
FORMER INDONESIAN MILITARY GENERAL ERICK WOTULO PLEADS GUILTY IN THE TAMIL TIGER ARMS SUPPLY CASE
A former Indonesian military General, Erick Wotulo (59) pleaded guilty in the United States Federal court in Baltimore to the charges of money laundering and conspiring to supply sophisticated arms to the proscribed Sri Lankan terrorist group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Wotulo faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist group and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for money laundering. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake scheduled sentencing for May 25.
In this case it was alleged Wotulo and other were conspiring to supply the Sri Lankan terrorist group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam also known as the Tamil Tigers with the state of the art firearms, machine guns and ammunition, surface to air missiles, and night vision goggles to fight the Sri Lankan government.
The alleged conspirators in this case were dealing with a fictitious company set up by the FBI in Maryland about the purchasing of military weapons. Wotulo helped acquire and arranged the proposed delivery to the Tamil Tigers. Wotulo was ensnared in Guam when he went there to transact the business and meet other conspirators and FBI agents posing as arms dealers. He was accused of paying hundreds of thousand dollars of LTTE money to ship high tech weapons restricted by law to the Sri Lankan rebels and Indonesian army.
In a an elaborate sting operation Federal undercover agents put up a Singapore Arms broker in an inner harbor hotel in Baltimore and took him to a camouflaged Police shooting range in the nearby Harford Country to test fire the weapons he was planning to buy.
The 59 year old retired Indonesian General pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and money laundering. Before this two other Indonesians accused in the case have pleaded guilty.
The Acting special agent in charge of the Baltimore office of the Immigration and Custom Enforcement James Denkins said, “This case demonstrates the real threat posed by international arms trafficking and money laundering. Criminals or terrorists can wire funds anywhere in the world in an effort to further their illegal activity, often with no questions asked.”
According to the plea agreement revealed in the courts Wotulo conspired with the others beginning in April last year to supply the weapons to the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka to seek a separate state there.
The prosecutors in the case said that Wotulo helped his associates, to acquire military technology for the Tamil Tigers requesting prices, negotiating purchases and providing details of ocean routes for the transfer of the arms to the Tamil group in Sri Lanka.
According to the prosecution he also contacted the undercover business in Maryland on June 5 last year and said he and his colleagues wanted to buy weapons. Wotulo said that the Chief of the Tamil Tigers requested that he and another co-defendant travel to Baltimore to arrange weapons purchases.
On September 29 Wotulo arrived in Guam to meet everybody to discuss the shipboard loading of the arms and the munitions destined for the Tamil Tigers. It was in Guam where he and the five others were arrested by US agents.
By Walter Jayawardhana
SRI LANKA ARMY OVERRUNS THREE LTTE BASES IN THE KUMBURUPPIDY JUNGLES NEAR PORT CITY OF TRINCOMALEE
On the fifth anniversary of the tattered Ceasefire agreement the Sri Lankan army troops overran three jungle bases of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Kumburipiddi jungles close to the Eastern port city of Trincomalee.
Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said, “The military had to carry out the operation as the terrorists were targeting our camps in the area and risking supply lines,” Issuing a statement to mark the fifth anniversary of the Ceasefire agreement the LTTE said it would resume their war for a separate state.
The Security forces launched their offensive around that time. Samarasinghe said the offensive has made the Tamil Tigers to flee in to the jungles.
Samarasinghe said during the past 72 hours the Sri Lanka Army troops have neutralized three LTTE bases in the Kamburippidy jungles with the help of artillery and mortar attacks. Residents in the area said they heard heavy shelling during last Thursday. The Ministry of Defense said in a statement, “Troops are still continuing their search and clearing operations to provide safety and security for the civilians and troops”.
Meanwhile the Norway managed Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission moved out of their office in Vavuniya citing security reasons. Vavuniya is the gatway to the troubled Northern Province where the LTTE has launched a heavy recruitment drive to beef up their troops. On Thursday they announced that that they would resume the war for a separate state.
Since many of their Eastern stronghold have fallen many analysts think they would start the promised war in the Northern front from their stronghold of Kilinochchi and Mulativu.
By Walter Jayawardhana
INFLUENTIAL BANGALORE NEWSPAPER DECAN HERALD SAYS LTTE NETWORK IN INDIA SHOULD BE NIPPED IN THE BUD NOW
In an editorial entitled “The LTTE network must be destroyed immediately, ”the Bangalore based influential South Indian newspaper Decan Herald in the strongest terms said, the group “cannot be allowed to set up shop here again. Its network should be nipped in the bud now.”
The editorial said by allowing them in India in the past it waged war in Sri Lanka and carried out terrorist attacks on the soil of India.
Pointing out that this is of concern not only for Sri Lanka but also for India the Herald said reports in recent months pointed to possible links of Indian insurgent groups and Tamil Tigers.
The editorial strongly argued that selling medicine and fuel to the LTTE could be profitable for some of the Tamil Nadu locals but they must be made to understand that it is undermining the security of the country. The following is the full text of the editorial:
“There has been a worrying spurt in trafficking of weapons and explosives by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) through India ’s territorial waters. Last week, Indian Coast Guard officials intercepted a boat off the Tamil Nadu coast. The boat was carrying a suicide bomb vest, a rifle, ammunition, grenades and chemicals. Subsequent investigations revealed that the boat was lined with hundreds of kg of explosives. The boat is believed to have been on a suicide mission in Sri Lanka , when it apparently strayed into Indian waters. Over the past week at least three other boats carrying metallic bars, rings and firing pins have been seized off the Tamil Nadu coast. Some weeks ago, police intercepted trucks carrying around a huge quantity of ball bearings purchased by the LTTE. Obviously, the consignments of arms and explosives are going towards fuelling the LTTE’s war effort. And with the fighting in Sri Lanka growing in ferocity, this flow of weapons is likely to increase.
“This is an issue of concern not only for Sri Lanka but also for India . The boat that was seized last week had enough explosives to destroy a port, prompting Coast Guard officials to destroy it to avoid any untoward incident. Reports in recent months have pointed to possible links between the LTTE and Indian insurgent groups. Maoist groups are said to have procured rocket launchers and shells from the Tigers.
“The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have stepped up surveillance along the Tamil Nadu coast to prevent infiltration by the Tigers. Patrol craft and aerial surveillance has been increased to this end. The government must rope in the fishing community as well as locals living along the coast in its efforts to prevent infiltration and trafficking of weapons. Selling medicine and petrol to the Tigers and helping in transport of arms is a hugely profitable business but locals should be made aware that this is illegal and undermining the security of the country. The LTTE established a solid network in Tamil Nadu in the 1980s, which helped it to secure supplies and sanctuary here. This enabled it to wage war in Sri Lanka and carry out terrorist attacks on Indian soil. It cannot be allowed to set up shop here again. Its network should be nipped in the bud now.”
By Walter Jayawardhana
SHAKEN BY ACCUSATIONS KARUNANIDHI SAYS ACTION WOULD BE TAKEN AGAINST ALL HAVING NEXUS WITH TAMIL TIGERS
Obviously reacting to strong criticism against him that he was supplying camouflaged support to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) in providing a safe haven for their arms procurements the Chief minister of Tamil Nadu Muthuvel Karunanidhi said action would be taken against all including political leaders for having a nexus with Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka.
Karunanidhi’s own daughter, Kanimozhi, whom he has publicly anointed as his literary successor has been accused of providing a safe cover for the Tamil Tigers to operate in Tamil Nadu by opposition politicians. Opposition politicians have even said that for the sake of India’s law and order situation Karunanidhi’s government should be dissolved by the center under the Indian constitution.
Obviously before such campaigns of opponents become stronger Karunanidhi said, “Strict instructions had been issued not to show any lenience to those who are in nexus with the LTTE and try to supply arms to them” The LTTE is a banned terrorist group in India and is accused of assassinating the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu at a time when Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister of the state. Following the assassination, as a fall out his government was dissolved by the center.
Karunanidhi in a statement said that his party DMK’s sympathy for Sri Lankan Tamils should not be taken as an approval to smuggle arms to the LTTE. But strangely appeals for the Sri Lankan Tamils from him have always come when the LTTE was attacked.
The Chief minister said, “There is a difference between political parties’ appeal to the Centre on saving the lives of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka being killed by the Sri Lankan army and making the state a distribution point for arms and ammunition to the LTTE”.
Obviously appeasing the Central government in New Delhi, Chief Minister Karunanidhi said, “None can even dream that the state (Tamil Nadu government) will intervene in the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, ignoring the steps taken by the Centre in the interests of the country and its security”.
By investigations both by the Sri Lankan Security forces and many Indian law enforcement agencies it has been found that Tamil Nadu where 60 million Tamils live has now become the main supply route for the insurgents of the LTTE not only for arms and ammunition but also for fuel and food for their military activities.
India’s Janata Party President Subramaniayan Swami in a statement said, “The security forces have reported in the media today that the LTTE killer squads and their weapons-carrying boats are “hibernating” in the back waters of the Tamil Nadu coastline. This confirms my charge that the UPA’s DMK-led Tamil Nadu Government has allowed a free run of the State to the LTTE much as it was in 1989-91 before the Chandrasekhar Government (in which I was a Minister) dismissed the State Government under Article 356 of the Constitution, and restored law and order. “This revelation of hibernation also confirms the statement of Defence Minister A.K. Antony that what has been discovered in Tamil Nadu regarding LTTE presence, is “just tip of the iceberg.
“The problem is the DMK is a camouflaged LTTE political front in Tamil Nadu, unlike the MDMK and PMK which are open supporters of the LTTE. All these parties are UPA partners. The CM, Mr. Karunanidhi’s daughter, Kanimozhi who he had only yesterday had anointed as his “literary successor”, has been a formal member of the LTTE in Malaysia and Singapore for several years before she returned to India.
“Hence, Tamil Nadu cannot be safeguarded, and India’s national integrity cannot be protected, unless the DMK government is dismissed by the Centre. The Karunanidhi government is a threat to the basic structure of the Indian Constitution, and hence eligible for the application of Article 356 of the Constitution”.
By Walter Jayawardhana
NAVY DISCOVERS ONE CRAFT SUNK OFF KALPITIYA WAS FIXED WITH ANTI-AIRCRFT GUN WHEN FROGMEN SALVAGE BOTH BOATS
The Navy spokesman said when Navy frogmen salvaged one of the LTTE crafts that was destroyed in the shallow waters off Kalpitiya by the Navy it was found the craft was fixed with 14.5 anti air craft gun. In addition it was also fixed with a powerful machine gun.
The frogmen who were engaged in the salvaging of the two sea crafts had definitely identified them as LTTE Sea Tiger craft ,Commander D.K.P. Dassanayaka said.
He said at the time of the sinking there were 9 Sea Tigers on both crafts. There were six on one craft and there were three on the other craft. Commander Dassanayaka said they could find out only two bodies since even the crafts have been taken away by the strong currents of the rough seas from the places they sank after the confrontation.
The two bodies found were stuck inside one of the crafts, he said. Otherwise even those bodies would have been taken away by the strong currents and lost.
Dassanayaka said the two bodies were clearly identified as bodies of Sea Tigers due to the cyanide capsules hanging from their necks.
He said the two sea going crafts were definitely not Fishing trawlers and one was a Dingy and the other was a LTTE destroyer.
One craft was entirely engulfed in fire as soon as it was attacked indicating it was carrying high explosives. Both crafts are believed to have come from the Tamil Nadu shores.
Sri Lankan intelligence sources say these boats constantly sail between the narrow Palk Straits between the two countries and the Bay of Mannar obviously gun running.
The Opposition leaders in India have alleged that the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Muthuvel Karunanidhi is providing a camouflaged support for the LTTE to obtain their weapons from or through India.