Sri Lanka remains concerned of LTTE’s overseas financial network

 Aug 01, Washington, Dc: The government of Sri Lanka, although not immediately concerned over a possible resurgence of the defeated Tamil Tiger terrorist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), remains concerned over its overseas financial network, a United States government report said.

‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2011’, an annual report mandated by the U.S. congress, issued Tuesday (July 31) by the State Department reviews the counterterrorism events worldwide last year.

The report, which provides an assessment of trends and events in international terrorism revealed within the last year, continues to list the LTTE as a U.S. government designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

The report said that in 2011, there were no incidents of terrorism in Sri Lanka and most counterterrorism activities undertaken by the government targeted possible LTTE finances as the government remained concerned that the LTTE’s international network of financial support is still functioning.

The possible resurgence of domestic militant Tamil groups is not an immediate concern, but efforts were underway to address possible growing Tamil radicalism in the north and east, the U.S. State Department noted in the report.

The State Department noted that despite the military defeat of the LTTE, the Sri Lankan government is of the belief that sympathizers and organizational remnants continue to raise funds in many countries.

According to the report, since LTTE had used a number of non-profit organizations for terrorist financing purposes, including the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), during 2011, the government has actively searched for other financial links to the LTTE and remained suspicious of non-governmental organizations, fearing they would be used by the LTTE, the report described.

“The Sri Lankan government has used the fear of the possible reemergence of the LTTE to maintain a strong military presence and role in the post-conflict areas, although the military’s continued heavy presence in the north feeds Tamil resentment.”

The Sri Lankan government cooperated with other countries on regional counterterrorism issues but the counterterrorism cooperation and training with the United States in 2011 was minimal due, in part, to statutory and policy restrictions imposed by the U.S. government over concerns of alleged human rights abuses committed by Sri Lankan security forces during the war.

According to the terrorism report, the Sri Lankan government remained committed to the counterterrorism efforts of international bodies such as the United Nations.

Read the full report here.

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