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Australia must shed muddled stance on Tamil Tigers

26 June 2013 03:58 am - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Dr GL Peiris would be scratching his head this week after departing from Canberra, where he called on the Gillard government to ban fronts of the terrorist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from operating on Australian soil.

The Australian stance on censuring the LTTE is, to say the least, contradictory. This became clear in 2009, when enraged LTTE supporters staged demonstrations all over the world in an attempt to dilute the hard-fought victory of government forces over the terrorist guerilla force after a miserable 30-year civil war.

In Australia, as elsewhere, the snarling tiger on the red and gold LTTE flag with the defiantly violent symbol of crossed rifles was captured on television as Tiger lobbyists shouted and gestured for the cameras.

In Sydney, the terrorists' flag was waved openly for days, against the backdrop of the Australian prime minister's official residence. How, people wondered, could Canberra countenance having its highest institutions associated with terrorism?

How did this square up with the fact that Australia banned fund-raising by the LTTE on grounds that such funds were used for terrorist purposes?

The answer came in an Alice-in-Wonderland explanation from the Attorney-General's Department's National Security - Law and Order Division.

It was a criminal offence in Australia, it said, to use or deal in assets owned or controlled by the LTTE or to provide assets to the LTTE, directly or indirectly, because the LTTE was listed under the Charter of the United Nations Act as a terrorist organisation for asset-freezing purposes, and Australia, as a UN member state, had an obligation to abide by the consequences of that listing.

So the Tigers couldn't raise money in Australia because it would certainly be used for terrorism. But the LTTE was not listed as a terrorist organisation under Australia's own Criminal Code.

Under s.102.1 of the Australian Criminal Code, a terrorist organisation is defined as an organisation that is directly or indirectly engaged in preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act, or an organisation specified as being terrorist by the Criminal Code Regulations.

Even if an organisation has not been listed as being terrorist, a court in Australia could find it to be so if it was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that an organisation was directly or indirectly engaged in these activities.

So the security, intelligence or law enforcement authorities of Australia could determine that the LTTE was a terrorist organisation, and if they didn't, the matter could also be proved through the courts by a successful prosecutor.

As the Australian authorities have decided not to label the LTTE a terrorist outfit it can freely advertise its extremist presence in this country.

How an organisation that assassinated two world leaders, carried out suicide bombings that killed hundreds of civilians, murdered scores of non-violent Tamil leaders opposed to its extremist agenda, and has been listed as a terrorist group by more than 30 countries including the US, Britain and India and been described by the FBI as one of the deadliest and most dangerous extremist outfits in the world, can continue to lie under Canberra's anti-terrorist radar is a mystery.

Part of the puzzle is linked to Australia's matey support of "the underdog" in any situation, and a group opposed to a government is ipso facto an underdog.

Add to that the historic influence of the smooth-tongued LTTE supporters who had been winning over Australians since the 1980s, when the Sri Lankan government had no idea of how to fight a hearts-and-minds campaign, and the splenetic opposition of LTTE-influenced NGOs and the Australian Greens to the 2009 victory, and you get a country floundering between rival principles.

That's how Kirribilli House - under the prime ministership of Kevin Rudd - was tagged with impunity with terrorist bunting.

Perhaps the current Foreign Minister Bob Carr who, as a keen student of history, particularly the American Civil War, would be able to distinguish between a rebel force and a terrorist force, might encourage a more intelligent policy. Or are we just whistling "Dixie" on that one? (Source: The Australian)
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  Comments - 26

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  • Calistus Jayatilleke Wednesday, 26 June 2013 10:26 AM

    How about the influential and rich ex-tiger leaders such as KP, Karuna, Pillayan and now Thamilini as well who are part and parcel of this government?

    BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 26 June 2013 04:45 AM

    Dont blame Australia for presence of LTTE suporters who are actually the tamil diaspora in Australia. Find out why they came to be there. We sinhalese burnt their houses on many occassions, killed them in racist attacks, treated thousands of innocent tamils as suspects for years and years, even banned them from entering locations like Colombo Harbor, Petroleoum Corpn, Electricity Board power plants because their name was tamil. So they left and now we feel the repercussions. Today they lead a life of dignity in those foreign lands but still seek revenge for what we sinhalese did to them.

    MUTHU Wednesday, 26 June 2013 04:47 AM


    Api Buruwo Thursday, 27 June 2013 07:03 AM

    You are right on the money!

    Api Buruwo Thursday, 27 June 2013 07:05 AM

    Suq Mudique:
    You claim that the pogroms against the tamils were provoked by them.
    Is there no end to your fabrication, you liar?

    sugan Wednesday, 26 June 2013 05:07 AM

    seems the writer Dinoo Kelleghan has become another puppet of rajapaksha government...shame on The Australian for this one sided blabbering

    Sugath Wednesday, 26 June 2013 05:21 AM

    We should hold two or three demonstrations against Australia against their stand. That'll send a message to them.

    nanthana Wednesday, 26 June 2013 05:29 AM

    Old folk
    Go and sleep
    Just wandering here and there.

    Just want to talk something.


    Now started with 13 amendment

    Kotha is building temple all over places

    then tomorrow ALKIDA defenitaly below up the thalatha malakiwa.

    Wait & see

    Porky Pig Wednesday, 26 June 2013 05:38 AM

    Australia is a sovereign state. So mind you own business. This is what you tell civilized countries. This is dote age.

    Abdul Wednesday, 26 June 2013 05:40 AM

    Good news for us! Bad news for human smugglers and traitors of Mother Lanka.

    mercy Wednesday, 26 June 2013 05:46 AM

    Its due to the anti tamil riots in 1956 , 1977 1983 etc etc sponsored by the successive majority sinhala only regimes that still haunts the minds of that tamil generation and that which spawned and upgraded to a legitimate struggle of the tamil people .The international community are not fools to be conned by soft tongues. They go by facts .

    Kalu Kolla Friday, 28 June 2013 08:50 AM

    Yes we Tamils started the Riots in 56 by burning the library in Jaffna, we did the same in 1977 and 1983. Common #lal #Ase wake up and smell the coffee. # Suq Madique- if thats so ask the government to issue new ID cards to us instead of having it in two languages for Tamils and in Sinhala for Sinhalese. The successive governments marginalised and discrminated us tamils even in school i remember having to hear racist comments such as Para Demala etc. even then i dont harbour any communal hatred towards my country. I proudly say I am a Sri Lankan wherever I go. The Government is run by thugs and goons. # CHC we do what you just did and we will continue to be frogs in the well. Your sense of international relations seems to be zilch.

    raj Wednesday, 26 June 2013 03:19 PM

    The riots was never started by the Tamils. It was started by the Sinhalese. I can still remember our house being looted.

    etet Wednesday, 26 June 2013 11:32 AM

    As a matter Australia leadership as changed, in hours.

    CHC Thursday, 27 June 2013 05:40 AM

    All westerners are pro LTTE supporters. We all know that. Get rid of them from our country especially the missions and embassies.

    saradiyal Wednesday, 26 June 2013 06:43 AM

    It's the same policy everywhere. Look at USA and the west funding and arming Al Qaida in Syria while fighting against them everywhere else.

    Suq Madique Wednesday, 26 June 2013 06:46 AM

    Don't generalize....not all Sinhalese condoned what occurred to the tamils and similarly not all tamil are terrrorists. Don't deny the fact that these attacks were instigated by tamils hoping for a repercussion so they could gain sympathy from the Int'l community. All the bombings were carried out by tamils so is it any wonder they were all treated with caution? If these moron live lives of dignity in other countries why the heck do they still bother about SL? Fact is they live as 3rd class citizens and treated with suspicions because scores of tamils are involved in rackets and other crimes.

    raviraj Thursday, 27 June 2013 06:04 AM

    if you think Tamils living in other countries should not bother about SL, then your GL Peris should not bother baout TAmils living in Australia.
    First of all let the Sl govt. take action against LTTE without rewarding them with ministerial portfolios before asking Australia to do so

    jacoob Wednesday, 26 June 2013 06:49 AM

    Ltte has gone for good .. you bankrupt dirty filthy creatures ,, unable to get other than ltte to run your dirty politics !!!

    lal Wednesday, 26 June 2013 06:53 AM

    The riots were started by Tamils who went round killing innocent Sinhalese. The Sinhalese responded. A lesson not to be missed.

    raviraj Thursday, 27 June 2013 06:21 AM

    which riot was started by the Tamils? who burnt the Jaffna Library, who burnt houses in Colombo in 1983- "innocent" sinhalese ????

    Porky Pig Wednesday, 26 June 2013 07:08 AM

    Do it in Australia. Not is Colombo and block the streets. There are a lot of "so called patriots" in Australia.

    raviraj Thursday, 27 June 2013 06:21 AM

    they have not gone for good, they are all still with MR and his govt.

    saradiyal Wednesday, 26 June 2013 09:59 AM

    Yes, LTTE (Not Tamil) diaspora in Europe are all into underworld activities. Last year in Paris, LTTE rival gangs were killing each other and Parisians were blaming there government for letting LTTE goons into their country.

    Richard Wednesday, 26 June 2013 04:16 AM

    Whose muddled on the LTTE issue? How come some insignificant members of LTTE are remanded and prosecuted whilst the top LTTE some with assets and others with muscle are protected by you (SL govt). Pls clean your house first b'fore asking others to do so.

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