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LTTE's global network remains intact: Top expert

world Updated: Oct 04, 2010 20:22 IST
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The government has focused little attention on dismantling LTTE's international network, which remains intact nearly one-and-a-half-year after the separatist outfit was wiped out by the Sri Lankan Army, a top expert has said.

Deposing before Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), terrorism expert Professor Rohan Gunaratne said the LTTE has 42 offices in the US, European countries, New Zealand and Australia.

He underlined the importance of dismantling the LTTE’s international network, which he said remained intact though "terrorism" was completely wiped out from the country 17 months ago.

"The mindset of LTTE cadres overseas have not changed and the government has focused little attention on the dismantling of its international network," the state-owned Daily News newspaper quoted Gunaratne as saying.

The fund raising activities are taking different shape in various countries. It takes the faces of charity, non government agency and non-profit organizations, he told the government commission investigating the last phase of the three decade-old ethnic conflict.

He told the panel, headed by the former Attorney General Chitta Ranjan de Silva, that the LTTE’s international network has three main divisions – propaganda, fund raising, procurement and shipping.

The eight-member LLRC appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in May this year will report on the lessons to be learnt from the events between February 2002 to May 2009 and to recommend measures to ensure that there will be no recurrence of such a situation.

"LTTE members and sympathizers in charge of propaganda disseminate various misinformation and they carry fabricated stories against the government and the security forces," the expert said.

Gunaratne pointed out an instance where LTTE operatives in foreign countries were successful in disseminating information to the international media by stating that more than 7,000 people were killed in the 'No fire Zone (NFZ)' declared by the Government in the last stages of the ethnic conflict, the report said.

He said the actual figure was only 1,400. Gunaratne said he interviewed coroners and doctors and they stressed that the maximum number of deaths would not have been more than 1,400.

Gunaratne, however, said the US still talks of 7,000 civilian deaths as reported by the LTTE propaganda and the government has failed to project the exact account of what happened in the NFZ. "What happened in the NFZ was not projected by the government properly," he underlined.