Daya Gamage – Asian Tribune Foreign News DeskWashington, DC. 16 October (Asiantribune.com):
The Asian Tribune alerts Sri Lankan authorities, who seem to be in a deep slumber about the rejuvenated activities of the pro-Tamil Tiger (LTTE) elements, their ignorance that the colossal amount of funds collected in the European region are well used to destabilize the Sri Lankan regime, build a pugnacious policy stance against the Sri Lankan regime by the West, influence lawmakers and their policy staff in Western nations, bring law suits against Sri Lankan officials who were involved in the elimination of the LTTE terrorism and finally haul Sri Lanka to international court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and even genocide.
In a 46-page report just released by the Europol the 2011 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report highlights the LTTE’s ‘rejuvenation’ not in the area of actual terrorism but the collection of funds through numerous legal and illegal means.
The question for the Sri Lankan authorities who are yet to evolve a strategy to ‘end the fifteen-minute-fame’ of people like the New York-based LTTE adviser and activist Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran is why should the pro-LTTE elements in the European Union region need to raise funds and for what purpose as singled out by the TE-SAT report of the Europol.
The EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) has been produced by analysts and experts at Europol, drawing on contributions from EU Member States and external partners.
TE-SAT is Europol’s most significant strategic analysis product. It provides law enforcement officials, policymakers and the general public with facts, figures and trends regarding terrorism in the EU. It is a public document produced annually on the basis of information provided and verified by the competent authorities of the EU Member States.
“Although the goals of terrorist and organized crime groups (OCGs) are different, the connections between terrorist and organized criminal activities appear to be growing. Crime is being extensively used to finance terrorist activities. Criminal activities that terrorist groups are involved in, either through affiliation with individual criminals and criminal groups or through their own operations, can include the trafficking of illegal goods and substances such as weapons and drugs, trafficking in human beings, financial fraud, money laundering and extortion.
Separatist terrorist groups such as the PKK/KONGRA-GEL and LTTE are involved in the trafficking of drugs and human beings to raise funds for their terrorism activities”, says the report.
The global activities of the pro-LTTE elements, activists, lobbyists and professionals have been on the rise since the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May 2009 giving a fatal blow to its domestic organizational structure and physically removing the outfit’s top and secondary leaders. Nevertheless, Sri Lanka is yet to formulate a strategy to combat the movement’s global network which has stepped up its activities in a more organized manner which has succeeded to the detriment to Sri Lanka’s body politic.
The raising of funds in the EU nation region is something the Sri Lankan authorities need to give serious focus and Asian Tribune highlight the Europol 2011 report to bring the GSL attention.
To attract Western lawmakers, their immediate professional staff, global rights organization officials and K-Street lobbyists cost enormous amount of funds and energy especially to bring to their attention and notice on a nation like Sri Lanka which is almost obscure in their strategic and diplomatic world.
It is in this scenario that the raising of funds that the Europol 2011 report highlights needs extra focus by this ‘so called obscure nation’ which has no clear foreign policy planks on many issues and yet to understand the perspectives of the Western World toward this South Asian nation which is struggling to raise its head after a brutal 26-year episode of domestic terrorism that had retarded its national development.
The Europol’s 2011 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report give the following data on Financing:
(Begin Quote): All terrorist organizations need logistical support for their activities. The maintenance of a network, the support of cells and the procurement of material items (tools, weapons, communication systems, false identity documents) all cost money. These activities, together with recruitment, training and transport, can be a severe drain on resources. In recent years, an increasing number of Member States have reported on specific instances and methods of financing of terrorism, in all likelihood an indication that more terrorist groups are attempting to increase their resource bases.
In order to acquire the necessary means to fund their illegal activities or establish and further expand their position, terrorist groups tend to resort to various sources of financing which may, in a few cases, include state sponsorship.
More common are voluntary or coercive contributions from domestic or Diaspora communities. Internet and mobile telecommunication platforms are used to send video clips to potential donors on their mobile phones, followed by requests for financial support. Money for terrorist activities can be generated from legal investments and legitimate businesses. Alternatively, terrorists resort to criminal acts, such as kidnapping and extortion, fraud, armed robbery, counterfeiting operations, and trafficking drugs and human beings. Terrorist groups in the Sahel region, in particular, rely heavily on kidnappings for ransom. This is facilitated by the transfer of money which is now, thanks to global telecommunication, easy, quick, and not restricted by borders. Of note are developments in money transfer via mobile phones. (End Quote)
The Europol report further says:
(Begin Quote) The main source of income for separatist terrorist groups in Europe is extortion. It is estimated that, in the first semester of 2010 alone, ETA collected 3.1 million Euros from businessmen from the Basque region and Navarra. Some extortion letters demanded up to 400 000 Euros. The PKK/KONGRA-GEL and LTTE also collect money from their members, using labels like ‘donations’ and ‘membership fees’, but are in fact extortion and illegal taxation. In addition to organized extortion campaigns, there are indications that the PKK/KONGRA-GEL and the LTTE are actively involved in money laundering, illicit drugs and human trafficking, as well as illegal immigration inside and outside the EU. In March 2010, a simultaneous and joint operation against the PKK/KONGRA-GEL was carried out in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Turkey. (End Quote)
The immediate objective of the remnants of the LTTE is to haul Sri Lanka before an international court for alleged human rights violations, violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and crimes against humanity. But the long term target, as Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran is currently involved in, is the bifurcation of Sri Lanka into a separate independent state for the minority Tamil.
The law suites, lobbying of Western lawmakers and their (most important) immediate professional staff and other who have influence in policymaking are strategic devises the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora in the EU and US are using.
This network carried a Four Part report based on the July 2010 US Supreme Court ruling on material support to foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) connecting the dots to the professional behavior of the pro-LTTE activist Sri Lanka-born and now a US citizen New York attorney Rudrakumaran for the perusal of the GSL.
The use of communication by the separatists the Europol report gives some insights, and Asian Tribune is no stranger to the understanding of the pro-LTTE operation regarding this area.
This is what the report said:
(Begin Quote) The internet is currently a crucial facilitating factor for both terrorists and extremists. The internet has reached a firmly established position in the array of instruments used for radicalization and self-radicalization, propaganda, incitement and recruitment. The use of social mediabroadens exposure and increases the speed of communication, enabling terrorist and extremist networks, individuals and associates to share information quickly. Internet videos explaining a movement’s ideology and tactics allow groups to transmit important information to followers without having to travel across borders.
Another method of communication used by separatist terrorist groups is the posting of messages through teletext via a television network.
They use these methods to try and reduce the risk of their communications being intercepted.
Although terrorist and extremist propaganda on the internet is a powerful tool for the mobilization and radicalization of vulnerable individuals, the internet and social media alone might not initiate terrorist or extremist activities. Social media tools allow all kinds of groups to lower the cost of participation, organization, recruitment and training; they also allow members of terrorist groups to communicate easily among themselves and often in a relatively secure way.
Despite net-based communication technology, face-to-face contact and real world interaction remain important. (End Quote)
The report notes, “Separatist groups use international propaganda and their own media (TV and radio stations). Member States report that separatist organizations, such as the LTTE, ETA and the PKK/KONGRA-GEL, spread their ideas at cultural gatherings, during demonstrations and sporting events, and through television channels, such as the Tamil Television Network and ROJ TV.”
The Europol the 2011 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report, a 46-page document mostly dealing with terrorism of other movements in the EU region, did not fail to shed a significant light to the activities of the pro-LTTE elements in the nations of the European Union. These activities are well connected to the operation in the United States. In the U.S., the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora who has a close rapport with its counterpart in Europe, the activities are centered in the State Department, the US Congress and civil rights organizations.
For the well-connected and organized network needs enormous amount of funds.
If those funds are not needed for the LTTE operation in Sri Lanka to what purpose do those funds require? The Europol 2011 report has given some glimpses for Sri Lanka to get some answers, with the correct answers to come out of the deep slumber they are in today, to formulate a strategy and have a target to end the ‘Fifteen-minute-of Fame’ of the pro-Tamil Tiger global operatives and their cohorts.
Asian Tribune –