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Special Report: Will CHOGM be used to support a terrorist organization’s propaganda campaign?

October 21, 2011

Special Report: Will CHOGM be used to support a terrorist organization’s propaganda campaign?

There is a naive form of denial that seems to inhabit some of the most active protests about Sri Lanka. It is as if some people have merely gone to the propaganda sheets provided by the LTTE or their front organizations and uncritically repeat everything that they were told to say. It does not matter whether the long list of accusations is true or not, they will just pass it on. Far be it for me to accuse people of being terrorist supporters. However there is clear evidence that the international remnants of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) terrorist organization is making use of these uncritical activist for their own dark reasons.

Let us not shy away from the fact that LTTE were and remain a ruthless terrorist organization that are still banned by the European Union, USA, Canada and most everywhere else in the world. The FBI pulls no punches in its description of how the LTTE engaged in terrorism. Despite being eliminated in Sri Lanka after a 25 year long civil war there is ample evidence that fragments of its international operation are still actively engaged in fundraising, extortion and other illegal activities.

The Europol Report

In the 2011 report titled “EU TERRORISM SITUATION AND TREND REPORT” Europol has highlighted the current activities of terrorist organizations operating within the European Union. It makes a sobering read for those who have a myopic view that terrorists are harmless migrants.

This is particularly true with separatist organizations where the report make this point:

“Separatist and ethno-nationalist terrorist groups rely substantially on extortion to finance their activities.”

And also gives this warning:

“The internet is developing into a crucial facilitator for both terrorists and extremists.”

Later adding that:

“The internet has reached a firmly established position in the array of instruments used for radicalisation and self-radicalisation, propaganda, incitement and recruitment.”

Hence we should have some concern when certain writers engage in inflammatory rhetoric that reads more like an attempt to radicalize than understand a situation. We should have far greater concern if a writer goes further and tries to paint terrorists as heroic freedom fighter. Words like ‘massacre’, ‘wilful murder’ and ‘genocide’ are chosen for their emotional impact because that is the way of avoiding hard questions about their own motives and agendas. In one context we may think of a person who is continually using loaded language in describing their cause as trying to keep the subject on the emotional rather than intellectual level. Unfortunately it is the logical and clinic level where the truth will always be discovered. Love, hate, passion and tears are very poor substitutes for at least one cold hard piece of primary evidence.

We must be aware of what we are dealing with when someone like the former Australian diplomat to claims that Bruce Haigh writes:

“Former members of the LTTE do not constitute a security threat in Australia, anymore than white Rhodesians who fought against Mugabe or members of the ANC who took up arms against apartheid.”

Bruce Haigh

By Bruce’s reckoning there is no problem with so called ‘former members’ of a terrorist organization residing in Australia. As well meaning as Bruce may think that he is his statement is dangerously wrong. Not just for people born in Australia but also to Tamil migrants who want to leave any involvement in war behind.

According to the 2011 Europol report:

“… LTTE also collect money from their members, using labels like ‘donations’ and ‘membership fees’, but are in fact extortion and illegal taxation.”

“…the LTTE are actively involved in money laundering, illicit drugs and human trafficking, as well as illegal immigration inside and outside the EU…”

“…LTTE are actively involved in drugs and human trafficking, the facilitation of illegal immigration, credit card skimming, money laundering, and fraud for the purpose of funding terrorist (support) operations.”

This paints a picture of an active terrorist organization inflicting its standover tactics and criminal activities on any nation where they can gain a foot hold. Far from being “no security threat to Australia” they have no qualms about dealing in drugs and people smuggling. For those who are still not convinced that the LTTE still poses a threat western nations including Australia, the Europol report makes this disclosure:

“In 2010, 27 individuals were arrested for terrorist offences linked to the financing of LTTE in France, Germany and the Netherlands.”

Europol also reveals that in January 2010 the LTTE sent a parcel bomb to the Indian Embassy in Italy.

Terrorisms useful idiots

This brings us to the inevitable problem of those who willingly surround themselves with terrorist front organizations and proxies.

Perhaps the most active international front for the LTTE is the GTF (Global Tamils Forum) alias BTF (British Tamils Forum). Without pulling punches, it is fair to say that the GTF has acted as a propaganda wing of the LTTE. Every year it runs the Heroes Day celebrations where LTTE suicide bombers are glorified. Children dress up as LTTE cadres and perform dances before thousands of spectators. At one event the Australian born wife of the now decease chief propagandist/ theoretician/negotiator Anton Balasingham was treated as an honoured guest. Anton’s wife Adele, was in charge of the LTTE female cadres and there are videos of her hanging cyanide around the neck of child soldiers. Despite this direct evidence of a war crime no one moved to have her arrested; certainly not the GTF, activists, NGO’s and politicians that it travels the world to lobby. Instead we have bogus charge sheets drawn up by terrorist mouth pieces that are being regurgitated by an army of unquestioning supporters.

Heroes Day 2008, run by the BTF, featured Adele Balasingham, children in LTTE cadre dress and a display
representing LTTE cadre graves being destroyed by a Sri Lankan Army tank.

Lee Rhiannon should really be more careful about where she leaves evidence of
her association with LTTE front organizations like the BTA/BTF/GTF/ATC

Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon own website is adorned with images of her meeting the heard of the GTF and LTTE supporter Fr. Emmanuel (called Prof. Emmanuel on Lee’s website). Recently Lee made a failed motion in the Australian Parliament to have Sri Lanka suspended from the Commonwealth. Her motion was defeated 39 votes to 9. Yet not satisfied with this Lee accuses the new Sri Lankan High Commissioner, Admiral Samarasinghe of committing war crimes. Her source of these claims comes from the NGO organization named as the “Australian Chapter of the International Commission of Jurists.”


Former BTA Chief A.C.Shanthan and his niece Australian Greens candidate
Brami Jegan

Another serious complication that the Australian Greens have involved them self with is with their 2010 Greens Senate candidate, Brami Jegan.

Barmi’s uncle, Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, also known as AC Shanthan, was jailed in Britain for aiding the LTTE. Shanthan, who was a founding member of the BTA (British Tamils Association), was found guilty of acquiring electrical components and military manuals for the LTTE. Another important point is that Shanthan’s wife was a cousin of the LTTE leader Prabakaran’s wife Madhivadini. Shanthan was also the registered owner of the official LTTE website with LTTE HQ, Eelam House, 202 Long Lane, London SE1 was stated as the registered address. It was Fr. Emmanuel who christened Eelam house as the “High Commission of Tamil Eelam”. The same Fr. Emmanuel that Lee Rhiannon is comfortable to display on her own website and touts as genuine voice of human rights.

After the conviction of Shanthan the BTA was rebadged as the BTF (British Tamils Forum) under the leadership of Fr. Emmanuel who then created the GTF (Global Tamils Forum). The GTF went on to create a number of international siblings which included the ATC (Australian Tamils Congress).

The ATC Annual General Meeting report for 2009-10 states that Ms. Brami Jegan was the Deputy Director Public Relations. The treasurer’s report reveals that the ATC has directed $81,573 towards Public Relations. That is an unbelievable 76% of its annual expenditure aimed purely at selling the ATC’s political agendas.

According to Brami Jegan her uncle AC Shanthan, was a not a terrorist. Unfortunately here is a direct quote from the web site that her uncle owned:

Today, the LTTE has evolved into a military and political organisation representing the aspirations and hopes of the Tamil people.”

The unwise Weiss

Prior to end of the war and in the years that followed Gordon Weiss was a chief critic of the Sri Lankan government and as such was often accused of having a pro-LTTE bias. On September 15 Gordon Weiss was one of 4 speakers invited to a forum run by ironically named “Sri Lankans Without Borders“. The former spokesperson Vijay Sappani of the pro LTTE organization “Canadian Tamil Congress” (another off-shoot of the GTF), is now heading this newly formed organization. In 2006 when HRW (Human Rights Watch) released a report that said the LTTE were are using threats, intimidation and violence to extort millions of dollars from Tamils living abroad, including some 200,000 Tamils in Canada, it was Vijay Sappani who fronted the media to deny the claims.

CHOGM Roulette

Bruce Haigh, Gordon Weiss and Lee Rhiannon have all tried to use the upcoming CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) in Perth as an opportunity to condemn the Sri Lankan Government.

Lee Rhiannon, as mentioned earlier, has tried to blacken Admiral Samarasinghe with accusations of war crimes.

On the ABC Drum blog bite Bruce Haigh penned this essay “A diplomatic dilemma of the Sri Lankan kind“. Here he pours scorn and dubious accusations upon Sri Lankan high commissioner to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, also accusing him of war crimes. In looking for evidence to support his claims Bruce turned to none other than John Dowd QC himself.

Gordon Weiss also published an article in the Australia Newspaper called “Secrecy and denial are also war crimes” where he reiterates a long list of accusation against the Government of Sri Lanka. Again Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe described as someone whose ships ‘allegedly’ bombarded civilians. Guess who he turned to for evidence? That’s right: ‘The International Commission of Jurists (Australia)’ headed by John Dowd QC.

Weiss shamelessly drags out the discredited accusations accusing Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the UN, Dr Palitha Kohona of luring surrendered LTTE leaders to their death; followed by any unsubstantiated allegation that he can lay his hands upon, except one.

Conspicuously absent from his list of accusations was his most infamous claim that 40,000 Tamils had been killed in the last months of the war. It is remarkable that the very claim that had put Weiss at the top of world headlines was also absent from his recently published book called “The Cage”. In publishing his book Weiss magically dropped his estimate down to 10,000. Weiss is yet to explain why.

Why this is important?

A recent case in Holland indicates that LTTE agents are still actively seeking to infiltrate and exploit the Tamil Diaspora. Five men charged with organising illegal lotteries, asking for subsidies for from Dutch municipalities and threatening the Sri Lankan community in the Netherlands. The LTTE has been proscribed as a terrorist organization in the EU since 2006.

Following this case is the report from The Dutch National Co-ordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) that there are at least 21 Saturday schools in the Netherlands run by the LTTE. The schools provide pro LTTE material and education to children.

A police report into the school was used as evidence of radicalization of children:

“The thoroughness with which Tamil children in the Netherlands … are brainwashed with the extremely violent LTTE ideology is shocking,” prosecutors told the Dutch judges

One of the images released by the Dutch National Police Services Agency (KLPD) showing what the children were encouraged to draw.

India is also taking the threat from remnants of international LTTE seriously and is concerned that the LTTE may be trying to regroup in Tamil Nadu. So serious in fact that when the head of the GTF, Fr. Emmanuel, tried to visit India he was promptly deported from the airport. The Indian Government gets it, but Lee Rhiannon, Bruce Haigh and Gordon Weiss don’t.

The upcoming CHOGM has been specifically targeted by the Pro LTTE organization the GTF. They are also using their satellite organisations around the world to give the impression of having international backing.

There is an inherent danger that ‘litigious terrorism’ is being used by the international remnants of the LTTE. Attempting to expel Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth on false charges can be seen as just another vexatious attempt. Hopefully those who are at the diplomatic levels of government can see through any such attempts and firmly reject them. To do otherwise would merely provide a dangerous terrorist organization with a propaganda victory that they so desperately crave. For other terrorist organizations any victory may be seen as blood in the water.

Copyright © 2011

UPDATE 24/10/11: Some information from this report has been removed until the details can be verified as being 100% accurate.

The matter relates to the whether John Dowd QC is the same John Dowd who acted as defence attorney for Raj Rajaratnam.  If confirmed the passage will be restored.


Update 22/10/15
The link going to Sri Lankans Without Borders (SLWB) has been updated to
Vijay Sappani is still listed as a director.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. iamlrrr permalink
    October 24, 2011 5:52 am

    Intriguing stuff. I don’t think ICJ’s Dowd is the same one as Raj’s though, going by the pictures. Regardless, there have been some interesting revelations about his ‘star witness’ Meena whatsherface; her LTTE links don’t quite end at just being married to a Tiger “accountant”, allegedly (which even by itself would prove very useful for anyone looking to shred her credibility).


    • October 24, 2011 1:27 pm

      Thanks for your comments.
      It may be possible that there are two John Dowds involved in Sri Lankan issues. What are the odds?
      I will check this out and if necessary, edit my post.

      I left out the case that was lodged in USA against Rajapakse because it was not central to CHOGM.


    • iamlrrr permalink
      October 25, 2011 8:38 am

      Sorry, just to clarify, Meena Krishnamoorthy is the woman who was paraded on ABC (, whose ‘eyewitness’ testimony is supposed to be crucial to Dowd’s submission to the AFP.

      It seems Sri Lanka had been keeping an eye on her for a while, and the image she tries to project of a clean as a whistle humanitarian worker fighting for justice might not line up with reality. Here’s an article with some details, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more on her (from a government paper, so take it with a pinch of salt):


      • October 25, 2011 1:42 pm


        I haven’t seen the ABC story yet so I will check out you links.
        John Dowd QC seems to have some sort of an axe to grind about Sri Lanka. I am not sure if it just naivity or something more personal.
        One interesting twist in the story is that the AFP and DFAT have rejected his submission as having no substance. It has also been claimed that Dowd did not name Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe in his submission.

        So it seems that the CHOGM fight is all over bar the shouting.


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