Is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which ran out of steam in 2009 following the killing of its founder Velupillai Prabhakaran by Sri Lankan armed forces, trying to regroup itself in Australia?
The arrest of four human traffickers while trying to transport six Sri Lankans to the land of Kangaroos through the Prakasam coast earlier this week has led to a suspicion among sleuths that the LTTE may be trying to revive itself after lying low for five years.
These sleuths, including Intelligence Bureau, CBI and Tamil Nadu police, came from Chennai in the wake of the busting of the human trafficking racket.
According to police sources, the illegal emigrants to Australia from Sri Lanka hailed from, among other places, Mullaitivu and Mattakalappu, the erstwhile strongholds of LTTE and are in the age group of 24 to 28 years. The youths with robust physique are without decent jobs. A sense of alienation has crept into their minds and hearts.
This provided a fertile ground for recruitment of disgruntled youths unhappy with the living conditions in the island nation, the informed sources feel, adding, “The purpose of the youth flocking to the faraway Australia may not be merely for the sake of jobs.”
Giving credence to this view, one of the illegal emigrants to Australia through the Prakasam coast laments while talking to The Hindu that, “we are looked down upon as second class citizens in Sri Lanka. There is no chance for us to bag government contracts. We have to satisfy ourselves by executing sub-contracts that too after paying hefty bribes leaving us with little profit margin.”
The probe reveals that the traffickers have used satellite phones with Global Positioning System(GPS) to keep in touch with their counterparts in the high seas and also transported illegally Lankan Tamils to other countries such as Ireland, UK and Canada, the sources say, adding after facing the heat in neighbouring Tamil Nadu as also Puducherry. The human traffickers seem to have shifted their operations to Prakasam coast to transport illegal emigrants from Sri Lanka without hassles after landing in Chennai by air. The probe also revealed that at least 60 illegal emigrants had used the Prakasam coast in the past to reach their favourite destination overseas. Subjecting the Sri Lanka-born kingpin of the racket Shanmugalingam to narco-analysis test will unravel the full details, the police sources said. (The Hindu)