Header Ads

Australian Senator seeks proscription of the LTTE



(October 31, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Senator Stephen Hutchins has called on the Australian Government to take steps to proscribe the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organization under the Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002, in the wake of the suicide bomb attack in Anuradhapura on 06th October in which Sri Lanka’s former High Commissioner to Australia, retired Major General Janaka Perera and several others were killed.

In a letter dated 08th October addressed to the Attorney General of Australia, Robert McLelland, which has been copied to Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, the Senator for New South Wales and Chairman of the Australia-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group, has stated that, “it has been common knowledge for years that Australian-based Tamil expatriates have used Australian organizations and businesses as fronts to funnel money back to the LTTE”. He has further stated that high profile examples included collecting money out of a West Australian Hindu temple and defrauding Australians of millions of dollars in tsunami relief donations.


Senator Hutchins pointed out that “by proscribing this organization and holding local Tamils accountable, we would be sending a clear message that this country does not tolerate terrorism”. “Only through proscribing the LTTE as a terrorist organization, will we be able to empower the Australian government to take appropriate action against individuals who insist on funneling money to this organization”. He concluded his letter by emphasizing that it was critical that the Labour Government of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd acts now to stop Australian money from being used to fund the conflict in Sri Lanka.


It may be recalled that Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama had also urged his Australian counterpart, Stephen Smith to proscribe the LTTE, during his recent visit to Canberra. The Australian Minister had responded by stating this matter is currently under consideration by the Attorney General.

Meanwhile, the Australia-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group Chairman, Senator Stephen Hutchins and Vice Chairman, Don Randall, MP have condemned the recent suicide bombing in Anuradhapura. In their statement, they expressed their sorrow at the death of retired Major General Janaka Perera and his wife in this terrorist attack. Describing the late High Commissioner, as “a good man who worked tirelessly for his country” the statement referred to the involvement of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with him.

Here is the text of Senator Hutchins’ letter:

SENATOR STEPHEN HUTCHINS
Senator for New South Wales

The Hon. Robert McLelland
Attorney General
House of Representatives
PO Box 6022
Canberra Act 2600

8 October 2008

Dear Robert

Re: Proscription of the LTTE as a terrorist organization

Following the recent suicide bombing in Sri Lankan in which the former High Commissioner to Australia, retired Major General Janaka Perera and his wife (both whom I understand were Australian citizens) were killed. I believe it is critical that the Rudd Labor Government take steps to proscribe the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a terrorist organization under the Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002.

It has been common knowledge for years that Australian-based Tamil expatriates have used Australian organizations and businesses as fronts to tunnel money back to the LTTE.

The former Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer openly acknowledged that Australian funds were keeping this bloody war going.

High profile examples included collecting money out of a West Australian Hindu temple and defrauding Australians of millions of dollars in tsunami relief donations.

In August 2007, it was revealed by the Asian Tribune that three Australian radio stations were being used for on-air fundraising. Several cases were documented where a Tamil terrorist leader being interviewed made comments like “We are surviving only because of your contributions…” and”… our boys and girls are fighting the Sinhala enemy who must be annihilated…”

By proscribing this organization and holding local Tamils accountable we would be sending a clear message that the country does not tolerate terrorism.

Thirty three countries have now proscribed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a terrorist organization. These are not small or obscure nations. They include the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

I am aware that for you to proscribe an organization, you must first be of the belief that the organization “is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting or fostering the doing of a terrorist act”.

I believe the weight of historical evidence of Tamil fundraising activity in Australia and approximately 240 suicide bombings over a period of 25 years should be sufficient to satisfy you in this regard.

Only through proscribing the LTTE as a terrorist organization will we be able to empower the Australian government to take appropriate action against individuals who insist on funneling money to this organization.

It is critical that the Rudd Labor Government act now to stop Australian money from being used to fund this bloody conflict.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

No comments

Powered by Blogger.