The Malaysian security authorities arresting as many as 12 persons for being involved in activities connected to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) makes Sri Lanka tighten its security belt.
Though this incident took place last week in Malaysia, what’s of concern to Sri Lanka is that the islanders are hearing of news about attempts to revive this rebel organisation months after celebrating the 10th anniversary after closing the lid on terrorism.
Sri Lankans did close the lid on terrorism, but those efforts were not enough to drive in the last nail into the ‘box’ that the LTTE spirit has been trapped in. This is because of foreign sympathisers and a strong Tamil diaspora which is ever alert on grabbing any chance to revive the organisation.
From the news that’s been received, Malaysia seems to be a haven for individuals wishing to support the revival of this terrorist movement and nourish it. We have read in Malaysian newspapers that Tamil Nadu Politician S. Seeman, who represents the Naam Tamila Katchi Party, has constantly been making trips to Malaysia to revive the LTTE and be involved in a struggle to help Sri Lankan Tamils preserve their identity. For the record the Malaysian authorities made many arrests in connection with several monetary transactions being made using accounts of these individuals with the motive of reviving the LTTE.
Among those arrested in Malaysia in connection with this financial transaction are three Democratic Action Party lawmakers.
The good news for Sri Lanka is that Malaysian Police special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) investigating the issue is sharing intelligence with Sri Lanka counterparts.
Facing terrorists upfront on a battlefield was the old way of fighting the enemy. It is not out of vogue however. This can be confirmed by the news that a large haul of explosives and firearms were found in Killinochchi along with arrests being made of two females and an ex-LTTE cadre. Now the real threat by terrorist rebels is coming from suicide bombings and converting the minds of innocent civilians through radical thinking.
After crushing the military arm of the LTTE, the rebel group fell into silence. But in the aftermath of the 2009 victory recorded by the Government security forces, the form of the struggle carried out by displaced Tamils has changed significantly. As many as hundreds of thousands of Tamils have been internally displaced within the island while close to a million people have sought refuge in countries like Canada, Australia, India and UK.
Now the horrifying news emerges from Malaysia that it has been serving the Tamil rebel cause for some time. Malaysian authorities have information to show that these terrorist activities have been taking place since last year. Malaysian press reports reveal that Terrorist sympathisers had attended many events in several states of the country.
What the Sri Lankan authorities must fathom is that terrorism will always surface as long as the need to have such an outfit exists. This surfacing can happen outside Sri Lanka because the world at large has shown time and again that they prefer to view the Sri Lankan ‘National Question’ using sympathy as apposed to empathy. Those who prefer the latter when making a judgment on whether the LTTE should be allowed to revive will not hesitate to throw their weight behind the decision taken by many nations to keep the organisation banned.
The Malaysian authorities have quite rightly asked observers not to confuse the struggles of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka with the work of the LTTE.
This terrorist issue emerging from Malaysia is likely to have an impact on the upcoming Presidential Elections too. The issue might be used by political parties in election platforms. The Malaysian terrorist issue is akin to branches of a tree connected to the Sri Lankan civil war. It is good that the Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshappriya banned parties from using victory slogans connected to the war during election campaigning.