Monday, June 1, 2009

Sri Lankan Smugglers Strive To Survive

(SP)June 1, 2009: Sri Lanka recently defeated ethnic separatist Tamil rebels, after nearly three decades of fighting. The rebel organization, the LTTE, had built a large international weapons smuggling organization. The government is hustling to try and prevent this smuggling operation from surviving the LTTE defeat. In the wake of that defeat, police found and arrested one of the lieutenants of LTTE weapons smuggling chief Kumaran Pathmanadan, hiding out in a Tamil refugee camp. The government has a list of Tamil weapons smugglers they are seeking, either among the dead bodies of the last LTTE battle, the Tamil refugee camps, or among the million Tamil refugees living in the West (where the LTTE raised over a hundred million dollars a year to support their fighting forces, and import weapons.) The LTTE "Sea Tigers" operated a fleet of boats (often fishing vessels) and six ocean going ships to move the weapons to LTTE controlled towns and villages on the coast. Kumaran Pathmanadan is believed to be outside the country, and already working to revive the LTTE gunrunning operation. Full text