Monday, November 07, 2011

'Tigers' extinct in Sri Lanka, but not in Europe

Two years after Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed, along with his lieutenants and cadre, and the LTTE obliterated by the Sri Lankan Army, the ruthless man who terrorised Sinhalese and brutalised Tamils alike is very much alive in the imagination of Germany’s — as well as Europe’s — Tamil diaspora.

In life, Prabhakaran tested the loyalty of his ‘Tigers’, many of whom were in their early teens, by asking them to turn themselves into human bombs. Any ‘Tamil Tiger’ taken alive by security forces was under instruction to swallow a cyanide pill; nobody is known to have violated that order.

Over the quarter century that he led a horrific campaign of terror for a Tamil Eelam, Prabhakaran set standards for terrorists around the world. The final battle against the LTTE was no doubt vicious and exacted terrible collateral damage, but in the end the evil that Prabhakaran and his organisation had come to symboli were destroyed root and branch.

On May 18, 2009, Prabhakaran was killed while trying to escape the military blockade of Mullaitivu. He met a violent end, as did the entire top leadership of the LTTE.

But as Dutch prosecutor Prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse says, “Although the Tigers have been defeated in Sri Lanka, here in Europe they are very much alive.” The EU’s police coordination organisation, Europol, in its ‘Terrorism Situation and Trend Report’ for 2011, said ‘Tamil Tigers’ in Europe continue with their extortion and “are actively involved in drugs and human trafficking, the facilitation of illegal immigration, credit card skimming, money laundering, and fraud for the purpose of funding terrorist (support) operations”.

Read my take on how Europe keeps LTTE alive.

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