Ban on Sinhala Terrorists Urged

By: D.B.S Jeyaraj

A newly formed Tamil umbrella network is to request the British government to impose on British soil a ban on the activities of certain Sinhala organisations that are allegedly aiding and abetting terrorist activity in Sri Lanka by providing finance and engaging in propaganda for Sinhala terrorist outfits indulging in violence against international as well as Tamil targets.

A large number of Tamil organisations and prominent individuals convened at a meeting in London last week and formed a loose coalition known as Tamils For A Negotiated Peace In Sri Lanka (TANPIS). The new front would actively support and assist the internationally backed peace effort spearheaded by Norway to facilitate a negotiated settlement that would usher in peace while catering to the legitimate aspirations of the Sri Lankan Tamils.

A spokesperson of TANPIS told The Sunday Leader by telephone that the immediate priority of the new group would be to urge and campaign for the banning of certain Sinhala organisations in Britain that were allegedly promoting terrorism in Sri Lanka by providing finance and engaging in propaganda. Declining to name these organisations at this juncture, the spokesperson said that the TANPIS was presently compiling a dossier about the activities of these outfits and also preparing a petition urging a ban to be presented to the British government shortly.

Thereafter the organisation would conduct a press conference and publicise the issue. It would also lobby British parliamentarians as well as stage public demonstrations in support of the ban. According to the TANPIS spokesperson, a serious development in Sri Lanka was the mushrooming of Sinhala 'supremacist' groups in Sri Lanka that were fomenting hatred and xenophobia towards the minority communities, particularly the Tamils. Moreover this venom was also being directed against western nations particularly Norway and Britain for initiating and endorsing the peace process.

Operating under different labels with the tacit support of certain powerful personalities these Sinhala supremacist outfits masquerading as nationalist fronts had indulged in terrorist violence in Colombo and outstations. Apart from the killing of unarmed Tamil civilians like Kumar Ponnambalam these outfits were also involved in the Bindunuwewa massacre and the anti-Tamil violence in the up-country areas, alleged the spokesperson. A serious aspect of this southern terrorism was the premeditated explosive attacks on the premises of the Norwegian embassy, the Save the Childrens Fund and the Oxfam. The latest attack on Oxfam premises had resulted in special protection being extended to certain British institutions and individuals in Colombo.

The TANPIS spokesperson said that the unfortunate public challenge issued by Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar that a British non-ban on the LTTE would result in a strain on bilateral relations was being interpreted by terrorist elements in the south as 'open season' on anything British. The spokesperson said that some Sinhala organisations in the USA, Canada and Australia were also supporting these terrorist groups and that the TANPIS would soon broadbase its activity to those countries and combat the 'financiers of terrorism'.

A disturbing feature according to the TANPIS spokesperson was the inability or unwillingness of the Sri Lankan authorities to control or curb these violent activity.

Courtesy : Sunday Leader [February 4th, 2001]