As part of its strategy “to combat terrorism and to control terrorist financing”

Sri Lanka on Tuesday banned as many as 15 Tamil diaspora organisations across the world as part of its strategy “to combat terrorism and to control terrorist financing.”

Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said the Sri Lankan government proscribed 15 organisations besides the LTTE — including the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), the British Tamil Forum (BTF) and the Trans-national Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) — under a United Nations resolution adopted in 2001, soon after the September 11 attacks in the United States.

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 was internationally binding and its implications are applicable globally, he told The Hindu.

Asked if the decision was related to the U.S.-backed resolution adopted at the Human Rights Council – many Tamil Diaspora organisations lobbied extensively for this – Brigadier Wanigasuriya said the process had begun much earlier and that the procedures took time.

The announcement comes soon after the Sri Lankan Army recently stepped up security in the Northern Province — the former war zone where the armed forces defeated the rebel Tigers after a three-decades war — citing possible regrouping of the LTTE as a reason.

“Charges baseless”

Responding to the development, S.A.N. Rajkumar of Strategic Initiatives - Human Rights, and spokesperson, British Tamils Forum, said in an e-mail interview: “We reject the baseless allegations and propaganda of the Sri Lankan state branding all Tamil Diaspora organisations terror groups or terror fronts.”

Observing that in the United Kingdom, the Forum, representing British Tamils, had a long history of civic activism and political advocacy, he said the organisation was “democratic, transparent, accountable and legitimate.”

Keywords: LTTETamil Diaspora