U.S. TERRORISM REPORT ON TAMIL TIGERS :
The State Department Annual Report on "Patterns of Global Terrorism - 1995" published on Congressional mandate refers to Tamil Tiger terrorists of Sri Lanka. Introducing the Report recently in Washington, Ambassador Phillip Willcox, the Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism at the State Department, stated , "As President Clinton said when he signed the new Counter terrorism Act last
week, combatting terrorism, both domestic and international, is a critical priority for this Administration. Although terrorism kills or injures relatively few people compared to other forms of violence, it inflicts an
extraordinary psychological, political, and economic toll. It's random quality, the fact that it strikes without warning, the fact that it preys upon innocent victims, gives it a particularly evil quality. It increases our collective sense of fear and vulnerability. That's why we pay so much attention to it.
Terrorism is also a powerful, yet low-cost political weapon. It's also used for strategic purposes -- to bring down governments, to foment revolution, to reverse historical initiatives like the Arab-Israeli peace
process, and to turn back political, social and economic change."
Jagath C. Rajapakse
Following is the full text of reference to terrorism in Sri Lanka in this Report:
Friends of Sri Lanka in US (FOSUS)
The separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continued to
plague the government in 1995, with insurgency and terrorism directed
against senior Sri Lankan political and military leaders, economic
infrastructure-related facilities, and civilians. The LTTE withdrew from
government-initiated peace talks in April and renewed its attacks. The
government then launched the largest offensive of the 12-year war. Although
the LTTE suffered heavy casualties, and at least temporarily lost its main
base on the Jaffna Peninsula, it continued to pose a serious terrorist
threat. In October, in their first attack on Sri Lanka's economic
infrastructure in several years, the Tigers attacked oil and natural gas
storage facilities in the Colombo suburbs and significantly reduced Sri
Lanka's oil storage capability. The Tigers also conducted or planned
suicide bombings against Indian Prime Minister Rao, Sri Lankan Army
headquarters, other senior military and government officials, and government
offices in Colombo.
The LTTE had refrained from targeting Western tourists possibly out of fear
that foreign governments would crack down on Tamil expatriates involved in
fund raising activities abroad. In July, however, the Ellalan Force, an
LTTE front group, exploded bombs in Colombo's zoological gardens, in a park
and on a beach frequented by tourists; there were no causalities. They
intended to damage the tourist trade rather than to harm foreigners. These
attacks followed a threat by the Ellalan Force to carry out bomb strikes in
Colombo unless the government agreed to investigate the military's alleged
use of civilians as human shields.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Other known front
organizations: World Tamil Association (WTA), World Tamil Movement (WTM),
the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT), the Ellalan Force.
Founded in 1976, the LTTE is the most powerful Tamil group in Sri Lanka and
uses overt and illegal methods to raise funds, acquire weapons, and
publicize its cause of establishing an independent Tamil state. The LTTE
began its armed conflict with the Sri Lankan Government in 1983 and relies
on a guerrilla strategy that includes the use of terrorist tactics.
The Tigers have integrated a battlefield insurgent strategy with a
terrorist program that targets not only key personnel in the countryside but
also senior Sri Lankan political and military leaders in Colombo. Political
assassinations and bombings have become commonplace. The LTTE has refrained
from targeting Western tourists out of fear that foreign governments would
crack down on Tamil expatriates involved in fund raising activities abroad.
Approximately 10, 000 armed combatants in Sri Lanka; about 3,000 to 6,000
form a trained cadre of fighters. The LTTE also has a significant overseas
support structure for fund raising, weapons procurement, and propaganda
Location/Area of Operation
The Tigers control most of the northern and eastern coastal areas of Sri
Lanka but have conducted operations throughout the island. Headquartered in
the Jaffna Peninsula, LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has established an
extensive network of checkpoints and informants to keep track of any
outsiders who enter the group's area of control. The LTTE prefers to attack
vulnerable government facilities, then withdraw before reinforcements arrive.
The LTTE's overt organizations support Tamil separatism by lobbying foreign
governments and the United Nations. The LTTE also uses its international
contacts to procure weapons, communications and bomb-making equipment. The
LTTE exploits large Tamil communities in North America, Europe, and Asia to
obtain funds and supplies for its fighters in Sri Lanka. Information
obtained since the mid-1980s indicates that some Tamil communities in Europe
are also involved in narcotics smuggling. Tamils historically have served
as drug couriers moving narcotics into Europe."