A team of Dutch officials has arrived in Sri Lanka to probe links between the Tamil rebels during the civil war and their leaders in exile in the Netherlands, an official said Tuesday.
Spokesman Jaco Beerends said the team hoped to meet with Sri Lankan officials and former rebels. They are investigating funding activities and weapons procurement by Tamil leaders based in the Netherlands during the conflict, which lasted from 1983 to 2009.
The investigators hoped to speak to Kumarn Pathmanathan, alias KP, currently in custody, and suspected of being one of the chief arms procurers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) group, Beerends said.
The visit was part of a Dutch probe which aims to investigate the links between the Dutch-based rebel leaders and supporters in several other countries, including the United States and Norway.
The team has taken statements from around 90 people, Dutch officials were quoted as saying by Radio Netherlands.
The Tamil rebels are thought to have raised funds for the conflict from various groups overseas and from their shipping companies.
The 26-year uprising by the ethnic Tamil minority for an independent territory in the north and east of the island was put down in a three-year military campaign which ended in May 2009.