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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 104

LTTE 'killing machine' is now a global issue

By Janaka Perera

Colombo, 20 October, ( Chairman, Anti-Terrorist Judges of France, Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere commended Sri Lanka for being ahead many other countries in recognizing the threat of terrorism.

"The fight against terrorism – under whatever form – has become global. It doesn't belong to one state. In this matter solidarity is an adamant requirement."

Judge Bruguiere was addressing the three-day International Conference on Countering Terrorism, at the BMICH, Colombo on October 19, on 'International Responses to Terrorism,' under the theme, "Terrorism: A Challenge to Democratically Elected Governments."

The judge has handled cases linked to Euro terrorism with Action Directe (linked to the Red Brigades and the German Red Army Faction), domestic terrorism (Basque and Corsican) and international terrorism of Middle Eastern origin.

He said: " Sri Lanka – like France – didn't wait until 11th September 2001 to evaluate the terrorist threat and implement the necessary measures to fight against those who have chosen to promote blind violence in order to give victory to their demands."

Judge Bruguiere observed that today the Islamist zealots like Al-Queda were resorting to suicide terrorism, "which was initiated and developed by the Tamil Tigers, who then exported it as well as their know-how to other regions of the world, notably Palestine and Caucasus."

The Judge was echoing Dr. Gerard Chaliand's description of the Tigers as "a killing machine," in his keynote address at the inaugural sessions of the conference on Thursday.

Bruguiere noted that the underground nature of terrorist movements like the LTTE, the compartmentalization of their operational structures and their members' discipline give them an indisputable military advantage but the centralization of decision-making and commanding bodies and pyramid like nature of their organizations make them vulnerable.

He stressed the need for anti-terrorist services to grasp this fact to develop their intelligence operations. Explaining the Tigers' need for an increasing amount of resources to finance its activities in Sri Lanka, he said:

"It has created in Europe very active underground networks under cover of charitable organizations, which extort money from the expatriate Tamil community. One of these networks was recently dismantled in France , after months of surveillance of militants, all linked to the politico-military apparatus established in Sri Lanka ."

The Judge recalled that the anti-terrorist judicial division which he leads has implemented, at his behest, this strategic dimension of the fight against terrorism, without discrimination against origin or form. Thus, he said, they are pursuing with the same determination the logistical and financial support of activities carried out for the benefit of organizations operating abroad. The judicial division has also developed international cooperation not only in Europe and in the U.S. but also in other regions, especially in Asia.

"Lately it's been particularly the case with Sri Lanka, within the framework of dismantling of an LTTE logistical and financial network set up in France."

General V.P. Malik, former Indian Army Chief of Staff and Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, India, said that the terrorist situation in South Asia has deteriorated due to lack of political consensus, a comprehensive collective strategy, a will to implement, and adequate capacity building.

"Terrorist activities anywhere will stop only when their fuel runs out. There is a need to combat and defeat the menace in all its manifestations. We do need a regional strategy and cooperation but essentially local operatives and doctrines."

The General said that counter terrorism in South Asia needs a comprehensive strategy that encompasses political, economic, social, perceptual, psychological, operational and diplomatic issues at reguo9nal and national levels. The operations have to be primarily regional, or country specific with local players, according to him.

Among the others who spoke were David Leppan, Founder and CEO, World-Check and Shanaka Jayasekera, Research Assistant, Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter terrorism, Australia.

The conference concludes on (today )Saturday.

- Asian Tribune -

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