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 Post subject: Murderous tactics
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:05 pm 
Murderous tactics
Tamils' cause, meritorious or not, cannot in any way justify their murderous tactics

25 Aug 2006

This is worth contemplating: Those weapons for purchase were destined for Sri Lanka; under other circumstances, they could have just as well been destined for Canada or USA.

One citizen's "terrorist'' can very comfortably fit into another's definition of "rebel" or "freedom fighter.'' The Tamil Tigers believe that their cause is just. The response of Canada, the U.S. and EU to the Tigers has been the proper one: That the Tamils' cause, meritorious or not, cannot in any way justify their murderous tactics.


David Kaplan, Ontario, Canada
Source: The Record


This week, fourteen Tamils, among them six Canadians, two of them with links to the University of Waterloo, were taken into custody as part of a continentwide, Tamil-focused, antiterrorism probe conducted by the FBI. The suspects are alleged to have participated in a scheme that involved the attempted purchase, in the United States, of anti-aircraft missiles, machine guns and other military weaponry destined for Tamil use in Sri Lanka.

By now, given the horrific events of the past five years in New York City, London, Madrid, Bali and elsewhere, people the world over have become regrettably familiar with the nature of terrorism. It may also be reasonable to observe -- speaking very broadly -- that one citizen's "terrorist'' can very comfortably fit into another's definition of "rebel" or "freedom fighter.''

The Tamil Tigers believe that their cause is just: They maintain that they are fighting for freedom as they stand up to what they see as the oppression suffered by Tamils at the hands of the nation's Sinhalese government. The response of Canada and the U.S. to the Tigers has been the proper one: That the Tamils' cause, meritorious or not, cannot in any way justify their murderous tactics.

It is a small, threatening world in which we live. British-born, British-educated terrorists blow up a subway or threaten to bring down airliners carrying nearly 3,000 passengers on behalf of an ill-defined cause half a world away. Bombers in a Bali nightclub slaughter innocent Australian tourists. Commuters in Spain are massacred on their way to work. In Ontario, in the summer of 2006, 18 suspects are rounded up as part of a terror-bomb plot.

And then, as part of a broader FBI investigation, two young men with significant connections to a university in Waterloo, Ontario are taken into custody for their roles in a heavy-arms deal to supply a Sri Lankan rebel/terrorist group with the means to slaughter even more innocents and bring down a government.

This should go without saying: There is no reason to believe that the University of Waterloo had any part to play in this. It has simply served as the educational host to young men with active intellects and a cause to pursue. They have pursued that cause, they have been arrested, and they will be brought forward to face the justice system. This is worth contemplating: Those weapons for purchase were destined for Sri Lanka; under other circumstances, they could have just as well been destined for Canada.


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 Post subject: Nabbing Tigers
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:29 am 
Nabbing Tigers

@ TODAY'S EDITORIAL / The Washington Times
August 25, 2006


The arrests in the past week of supporters of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers is the kind of crackdown needed to bring the separatist rebels back to the negotiating table. Any meaningful cease-fire negotiations in Sri Lanka are predicated on cutting off the influx of money and weapons to the Tigers, forcing talks in order to forge a lasting resolution and not simply to rearm themselves during the break in fighting.

The arrested Tiger supporters tried to purchase AK-47 rifles and shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, according to a complaint that was unsealed recently in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The United States officially declared the Tamil Tigers a terrorist organization in 1997, making it illegal for the rebel group to raise money in the United States. The separatist group still does, however, and sources of funding from Tamil sympathizers abroad, particularly in the West, allows the group to continue fighting in Sri Lanka. Tiger sympathizers also work the public-relations angle, playing up legitimate grievances of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka while downplaying the heinous methods -- the often-forceful recruiting of women and children and the use of suicide bombers -- that the Tigers employ. This was the first time that Tiger supporters were arrested for trying to purchase weapons in North America -- a disconcerting development that some analysts have interpreted as a move to a more operational role for the Tigers supporters in the West.

The Tigers have an active and well-polished propaganda machine, but it should stumble when confronted with court documents that note that the suspects speculated about the number of deaths that could be inflicted by the weapons, and laughed.

The image of the Tigers abroad was dealt a solid blow this year when Canada and the European Union passed stiff bans on the group. Tiger sympathizers are clearly interested in rehabilitating the group's image: also in court were supporters charged with attempting to bribe agents working undercover as State Department officials to get the Tigers taken off of the terrorist list.

The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the separatists is regional, but the Tigers' network of finance and support is international. Targeting that network, as the recent arrests show that the United States, Canada and Britain have, may be the only way to bring a cease-fire to the war-weary island.


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 Post subject: Political solution
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:39 am
Posts: 16
The answer to the LTTE's butchery definitely needs to be military and decisive. However, the present government must not put the political solution, the only means through which the sentiments which provide validity for the tigers' cause, on the back-burner giving sole priority to the military campaign. The search for an acceptable political solution must continue with the kind of conviction which will survive the usual horse-trading which takes place in such processes.

If the present government fails to do so, we are more likely to be saddled with a load of far worse problems in the years to come.


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