Speaking today at the 14th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference currently underway in Malaysia, Rajapaksa said that the LTTE network continues to sustain an international propaganda campaign against Sri Lanka through front organisations that have now put on a democratic face.
He also said that some nations seem to have chosen to turn a blind eye to these front organisations and their activities because they claim to support political activism or humanitarian relief. At the same time, the network’s operatives, most of whom are trained terrorists, remain involved in various illegal activities, and are constantly seeking ways to revive terrorist activities in Sri Lanka.
“In addition to the direct threat to sovereign states posed by the existence of a non-state actor’s global network, there are less obvious security considerations also to be borne in mind. The likelihood that the resources of one non-state actor can be used by other groups for different purposes should not be taken lightly. Furthermore, non-state actors have shown a capacity to learn and emulate one another’s tactics,” Rajapaksa warned.
He said that a key part of the LTTE’s modus operandi during the war was to mobilise support for itself by heightening ethnic and communal feeling in expatriate Tamil populations all over the world, a considerable number of whom are of Sri Lankan origin. Extremist elements within the diaspora were mobilised by LTTE operatives and front organisations in more than thirty countries around the world to help fund terrorist activities in Sri Lanka.
The Defence Secretary said that the scale of funds mobilised is estimated to have been between 50 to 75 million US dollars on an annual basis from 1993 to 2002, and 200 million US dollars per annum from 2002 to 2008. He noted that fundamental to the fundraising effort was a carefully orchestrated propaganda campaign that gave wrong information to expatriates and the international community about what was happening in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)