US says LTTE network active

The LTTE’s international network of sympathizers and financial support continued to operate throughout 2012, and there were multiple reports of increased LTTE involvement in human smuggling out of refugee camps, a new US report has said.

The US Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 released by the US State Department said that the LTTE used its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funding, and other needed supplies. The group employed charities as fronts to collect and divert funds for their activities

The US Country Reports on Terrorism is submitted in compliance with Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f (the “Act”), which requires the Department of State to provide to Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act. The report was published May 2013.

The US report also said that the Sri Lankan government’s comprehensive and aggressive counterterrorism stance is a direct result of its experience in this nearly three decades-long conflict.

Counterterrorism cooperation and training with the United States in 2012 was limited, however, due to statutory and policy restrictions based on concerns about alleged past human rights abuses committed by Sri Lankan security forces.

“The Sri Lankan government claimed that it continued to uncover abandoned weapons and explosives in areas of the country formerly controlled by the LTTE. Although there were no known LTTE activities in Sri Lanka in 2012, the government asserted that peaceful protests at Jaffna University in November were organized by students trained by overseas LTTE supporters and made several arrests,” the report added.

It also said that the Government remained concerned that the LTTE’s international network of financial support was still functioning and many counterterrorism activities undertaken by the government targeted alleged LTTE finances. Also, the Sri Lankan government maintained a strong military presence in post-conflict areas and voiced concern about the possible re-emergence of pro-LTTE sympathizers. (Colombo Gazette)