Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tamil community pledge proactive measures against LTTE intimidations - Canada

The success of the massive surveillance operation done by the U.S officials in unraveling the huge network of the LTTE has, as at long last exposed the degree to which the LTTE has spread its tentacles all over the globe.

The very dangerously penetrative mode of operation of the LTTE has in many countries caused severe breaches of the internal security operations network, causing alarm and serious consternation. (defence.lk- 26/08/06)

The arrest of the outlawed LTTE group activists in Canada and the United States, the Tamil diasporas have surfaced their grievances. The latest report from the Human Rights Watch reveals the bitter truth of the sufferings brought upon the Tamil people by the phony "Sole Representative". Read the full text of the report below:

"Ninety percent of people, even if they don't support the LTTE, they are scared. The killing doesn't just happen back home in Sri Lanka. It happens in Paris, in Canada. They burned the library, they broke the legs of DBS Jeyaraj. They tried to stop the CTBC radio from organizing. A journalist was killed in Paris. The threat is not only in Sri Lanka. It's everywhere, all over the world".

-Tamil community activist, Toronto, January 2006

Between 1983 and 2002, the armed conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) cost an estimated 60,000 or more lives, and was marked by gross human rights abuses and violations of the laws of war on both sides. The war prompted nearly one-quarter of Sri Lanka's Tamils to leave the country, many fleeing government abuses, creating a Tamil diaspora that now numbers approximately 600,000-800,000 worldwide.

As Sri Lankan Tamils established themselves in Canada, the United Kingdom (U.K.) and other Western countries, the Tamil community became a significant source of financial and political support for the LTTE in its struggle to establish an independent state, "Tamil Eelam," for the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka's North and East. While many members of the Tamil diaspora willingly and actively support the LTTE, others have been subject to intimidation, extortion, and physical violence as the LTTE seeks to suppress criticism of its human rights abuses and to ensure a steady flow of income.

Journalists and activists in the Tamil diaspora who openly criticize the LTTE or are perceived to be anti-LTTE have been subject to severe beatings, death threats, smear campaigns, and fabricated criminal charges. In 2005, the LTTE detained two British Tamils for several weeks in Sri Lanka in order to gain control over a Hindu temple in London. Such incidents have created a culture of fear within the Tamil community, stifling dissent and discouraging individuals from organizing activities that are not sanctioned by the LTTE.

The LTTE has for many years pressured members of the Tamil community to provide financial support for its operations. In late 2005 and early 2006, as armed violence escalated in Sri Lanka's North and East, threatening the four-year-old ceasefire between the government and the LTTE, the LTTE launched a massive fundraising drive in Canada and parts of Europe, pressuring individuals and business owners in the Tamil diaspora to give money for the "final war."

Fundraisers for the LTTE and LTTE-linked organizations went from house to house, and approached businesses and professionals, demanding significant sums of money for their cause. In Canada, families were typically pressed for between Cdn$2,5002 and Cdn$5,000, while some businesses were asked for up to Cdn$100,000. Members of the Tamil community in the U.K., France, Norway, and other European countries were asked for similar amounts.

Individuals who refused were sometimes threatened. Some were told that if they didn't pay the requested sum, they would not be able to return to Sri Lanka to visit family members. Others were warned they would be "dealt with" or "taught a lesson." After refusing to pay over Cdn$20,000, one Toronto business owner said LTTE representatives made threats against his wife and children.

The LTTE and groups linked to it such as the World Tamil Movement repeatedly call and visit Tamil families seeking funds. Some families have received as many as three visits in a single week. Fundraisers may refuse to leave the house without a pledge of money, and have told individuals who claim not to have funds available to borrow the money, to place contributions on their credit cards, or even to re-mortgage their homes.

The LTTE identifies Tamils from the West who return to Sri Lanka to visit family members, and systematically pressures them for funds when they arrive in LTTE-controlled territory in the North of Sri Lanka. The assessed "rate" is often Cdn$1, œ1, or ?1 per day for the length of time they have lived in the West, so individuals who have been abroad for years may be asked for thousands, and told they may not leave until they produce the requested amount. In some cases, the LTTE may confiscate their passports until the money is paid.

Many members of the Tamil diaspora vividly remember government abuses during the war, and willingly contribute funds to the LTTE. They see the Tamil Tigers as a legitimate and important representative of the Tamil people and their interests. They support the LTTE's goal of establishing an independent Tamil state and the use of military means to achieve that objective.

Other members of the Tamil community do not wish to contribute, either because of their personal economic circumstances, or because they do not believe in the LTTE's goals or methods. Some support Tamil political parties that have been decimated or marginalized by the LTTE. However, under intense pressure or outright threats, these individuals may be forced to provide financial support for LTTE operations, including its continuing pattern of child recruitment, political killings, and other human rights abuses that have continued, even during the four-year ceasefire.

The LTTE's dependence on the Tamil diaspora for financial support, and the diaspora's substantial size and influence, give the diaspora unique potential to influence the LTTE's policies and behavior, including its human rights practices. However, that potential has been effectively neutralized by the LTTE's effective use of intimidation and extortion within the community.

The governments of countries that host substantial Tamil populations have a responsibility to protect individuals from these abuses. However, government authorities admit that responding to such activity has not been a high priority, and they have taken little action to respond.

Although fear within the Tamil community has resulted in few individual complaints to the police or other law enforcement, clear patterns of intimidation and extortion should prompt proactive government action, including police investigations, prosecutions, and public outreach to the community to publicize individuals' rights and avenues of complaint.

Human Rights Watch conducted research for this report from October 2005 through February 2006, conducting interviews in person and by telephone with members of the Tamil communities in Toronto, Canada; London, U.K.; Geneva, Switzerland; and Dusseldorf, Germany. The focus of the investigation was on the Tamil communities in Canada and the U.K., as together these two countries host nearly half of the global Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. In both countries, Human

Rights Watch interviewed Tamil business owners, professionals, activists, journalists, and other individuals. Most interviews were conducted in English; some were conducted with Tamil translation.

We also talked with representatives of the London Metropolitan Police, the Toronto Police, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the World Tamil Movement, and independent experts. In February 2006 we submitted questions in writing to the LTTE in Sri Lanka regarding the issues covered in this report, but did not receive a response. In February 2006 we also contacted the British Tamil Association by both telephone and electronic mail with questions related to this report, but did not receive a reply.

Because of the significant security risks for Tamils interviewed for this report, the names of most individuals are kept confidential. Some locations and other identifying details are also withheld or changed in order to protect the identity of those who spoke with Human Rights Watch. Some cases reported to Human Rights Watch have been omitted entirely, because it was not possible to describe the reported incidents without putting the individuals involved at risk.

To the governments of Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries with a significant Tamil diaspora

Take active steps to protect Tamil residents from harassment, threats, extortion and violence linked to the LTTE. Specifically:

Establish a special interagency task force, headed by the police and including other agencies as appropriate, to actively investigate intimidation and extortion in the Tamil community, and initiate prosecutions as warranted;

Initiate a public education campaign in the Tamil community, using Tamil newspapers, radio, and other media, to publicize relevant law related to intimidation, harassment, and fundraising by the LTTE or other groups, and steps that individuals can take if they are subject to such activity;

Establish a special hotline, staffed by Tamil speakers, to receive complaints of intimidation and extortion, and provide information as appropriate to law enforcement authorities;

Initiate meetings with leaders in the Tamil community to discuss patterns of LTTE-related intimidation and extortion, using such meetings to communicate the government's deep concern regarding such activity, its commitment to respond, and steps that are being taken to protect members of the Tamil community; *

Take steps to inform members of the Tamil community that funds raised for the LTTE may indirectly support the commission of war crimes, including the recruitment of children as soldiers;

Urge the LTTE to end all use of violence, threats, intimidation, and harassment against members of the Tamil diaspora.
To the LTTE and organizations linked to the LTTE

Immediately stop all use of violence, threats, intimidation and harassment to solicit funds from the Tamil community, including among the diaspora and from members of diaspora communitieis making return visits to Sri Lanka;

Immediately stop all use of violence, threats, intimidation or harassment against Tamils who express criticism of the LTTE or organize events or activities independently of the LTTE.
To the Tamil diaspora.

When it is possible without undue personal risk, ensure that funds provided to organizations in Sri Lanka are not directly or indirectly benefiting the LTTE so long as the LTTE continues to commit serious human rights abuses.

Seek opportunities to promote human rights within the Tamil community, including dialogue regarding the community's role in improving the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

Courtesy: Human Rights Watch

Friday, August 04, 2006

LTTE kills 10 Muslims in Mutthur,Sri Lanka

At least 10 Muslim civilians were killed and twenty others were injured as the LTTE terrorist (Tamil Tigers) bombarded the Arabic College in Muttur town with heavy Artillery fire at 1.15p.m today (Thursday the 3rd of August) .

This Arabic College is presently functioning as refugee center since the destabilization created by the LTTE in Muttur town. At present large numbers are pouring in to this refugee center due to indiscriminate shelling and firing by the LTTE cadres.

The Tamil Tigers in their pursuit to dive away the Muslims from the Muttur area are at present deliberately firing Mortar and the artillery fire at largely populated Muslim areas in Muttur.

Nazim who is 11 years old was rescued by the security forces when the LTTE shelled the Muslim villages in Muttur. Nazim is presently undergoing treatments at government hospital Trincomalee.

However, despite the sinister moves of the Tamil tigers to subtly rid the entire area of Muslim civilians gradually, the combined effort the tri services, Police and the Special Task Force personnel will however see an end to such abominable action.

In this backdrop the LTTE is trying to evict the Muslim civilians from the area. It is indeed noteworthy that not only the Muslim civilians but also the Tamil civilians are rallying around the security forces very enthusiastically boosting their morale.

It is no wander the disintegrated support of the civilians received by the LTTE has roused discomfort and disruption and harm to the innocent Muslim civilians.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

LTTE will soon give up, says KPS Gill

Meenakshi Iyer

New Delhi, July 26, 2006

Extolling the Sri Lankan government for its efforts to control the present crisis in the island nation, India's super cop and counter-terror expert, KPS Gill, says that the LTTE will soon give up its fight.

"With international pressure mounting and the European Union banning the group, the Tigers will soon have to bow down," Gill, who is credited with flushing out terrorism from Punjab, told HindustanTimes.Com.

"You cannot support terror in any part of the world and that has been realised globally," he said.

A surge in violence since the end of 2005 has inflamed the situation in Sri Lanka.

The government blames the rebels for mine attacks on its forces, attacks in the sea, and the killing of innocent civilians.

But the Tigers deny the charge and accuse the military of abuses against civilians.

Ever since the abortive suicide bomber attack on Army Chief Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka, killings by both sides have increased threatening to take beautiful Serendib back to war again.

Gill suggests strong action against terror.

"Terror has to be dealt with firmly. The war against terror has to be sustained and fought every minute of the day."

After the withdrawal of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in March 1990, Gill was invited to Sri Lanka to advise the government on V V I P security. During his visit in 2000, the counter-terror expert met the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who was very impressed with the top cop's anti-militancy work in Punjab.

On the constant allegation that the Sri Lankan security forces were committing excesses on civilians and killing them wantonly, Gill said: "It is one of the techniques of terror to spread such stories about the security forces. This is done to affect the opinion of the general masses and the LTTE did this very successfully."

In an earlier interview to HindustanTimes.com, Gill had stressed that the IPKF experience was not a sour one.

Had the peacekeepers stayed on for six more months, the situation would have returned to normal in Sri Lanka, he said.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"Child Soldiering"- The most abominable crime of the day

Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Permanent Representative to the United Nations denounced the Child soldering as the most abominable crime in the present world.

He made this special comment at the United Nations Security Council yesterday (Monday the 24th July), as the Council met in New York to hold an open debate on children and armed conflict.

The Ambassador explained that it was the responsibility of each State and, indeed, the entire international community to protect and promote the welfare of children and ensure they did not fall victim to abuse in any way. The fate of innocent children caught in armed conflict was one of the most serious concerns facing the international community, and recruitment or forced conscription of children by armed groups stood as one of the most abominable crimes of the day.

He also pointed out that States, which had the responsibility to protect children whether in times of peace or conflict, had their human rights records reviewed periodically by international organizations and monitoring bodies. It was not, therefore, necessary for the Council's working group to focus on non-State actors and those who were not bound by, nor had any respect for, international treaties and norms. That would help ensure that States were not burdened with multiple reporting responsibilities, and that non-State actors would be brought under a punitive regime.

Revealing the tragic circumstances faced by the Tamil children living in war toned areas in Sri Lanka, he said that, for the past 20 years, detestable crimes had been committed by the Tamil Tigers against young children, particularly Tamil children, living in the north and east. It was no secrete that the situation had scarcely improved -- a fact well-documented by UNICEF, which had taken the lead in bringing the sad situation to the public's attention -- as many of those children were still being forcibly conscripted for battle against the Sri Lankan army and civilians. He said that some had even been "programmed" to be suicide bombers. As an affected country, Sri Lanka would urge the international community to take swift and decisive action to end the impunity enjoyed by non-State actors who continued to abuse children. "Let us not fail in our responsibility to ensure a safe and secure world for our children," he said.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Radhika Coomaraswamy , Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict revealed that Tens of thousands of girls were subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence. Abduction of children was becoming more systematic and widespread. Since 2003, more than 14 million had been forcibly displaced within and outside their home countries, and between 8,000 and 10,000 had been killed or maimed each year by landmines.

Best Pay Per Click Program with Minimum Payout Threshold