US finds LTTE financial network still operational ban remains

Although the Sri Lankan Government maintained a comprehensive counterterrorism stance, counterterrorism cooperation and training with the United States in 2015 was limited.The report further noted that Sri Lanka continued to operate a one-year long rehabilitation program for former alleged LTTE combatants, participation in which was mandatory for a majority of the prisoners formerly held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) who were released on bail. (Colombo Gazette) The US State Department, in its annual country reports on terrorism, said that there have been no known attacks in Sri Lanka that could verifiably be attributed to the LTTE since the end of the war, but a total of 13 LTTE supporters, several of whom had allegedly planned attacks against U.S. and Israeli diplomatic facilities in India, were arrested in Malaysia in 2014. Additional LTTE members were arrested in Malaysia and India in 2015, one of whom was accused of exhorting other Sri Lankans to fund and revive the LTTE. The US report noted that in 2015, the Sri Lankan Government maintained a strong military presence in post-conflict areas and continued to voice concern about the possible reemergence of LTTE sympathizers, but the new, democratically-elected Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized its commitment to seek political reconciliation with the Tamil community, including through talks with the Tamil diaspora.The report also said that the security services’ focus on a possible LTTE resurgence affected the government’s attention to emerging threats, such as reports of Sri Lankan foreign terrorist fighters joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The United States has found that the LTTE’s financial network of support continued operations in 2015 and so the ban on the outfit in the US will remain.The LTTE, in the past used its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funds, and other needed supplies. The group employed charities as fronts to collect and divert funds for its activities.

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