Sri Lanka labels foreign Tamil groups as ‘terror’ networks


COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has designated 15 foreign organisations run by ethnic Tamils as “terrorist groups”, accusing them of trying to revive a separatist war which ended in 2009, an official said Wednesday.
The government suspects the groups of being linked to the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which was crushed by government forces after decades of combat in May 2009, an information department official said.
“The main objective of this (latest ban) is to ensure that the Tamil organisations abroad will not be allowed to send money into the country,” the official said, asking not to be named. “This is to prevent LTTE elements regrouping,” he added. Following years of accusing foreign groups of trying to revive the LTTE, the official said the terror designation applied to several organisations in Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States.
Among the designated groups are the British Tamil Forum, World Tamil Movement, Canadian Tamil Congress, Australian Tamil Congress and the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam.
None of the groups designated by Colombo is based in Sri Lanka.
At least 100,000 died during the violent struggle for a homeland for ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka between 1972 and 2009, according to UN estimates. 

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