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'Sri Lanka’s Scapegoat for its Own Terror'

Sri Lanka is using the mask of ‘counterterrorism’ to hide its own terror, whilst increasingly becoming a hub for international crime, said award-winning exiled Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam in a piece for Foreign Policy.

Tissainayagam, a former a Nieman Fellow at Harvard Univeristy, said that by continuing to paint itself as a victim of terrorism, Sri Lanka “absolves itself of its own inaction if not outright compliance with exporting terrorism”.

Whilst Sri Lanka may continue to claim the alleged revival of the LTTE as a reason for receiving international assistance, Tissainayagam argues that meanwhile, with government and military involvement, the island has become a hub for international crime.

He went on to cite cases of human trafficking, with alleged involvement from Sri Lankan Navy’s Lieutenant Commander Sanjeeva Annatugoda and “personnel recruitment for carrying out attacks in neighbouring countries” with reports that Pakistan’s embassy in Colombo has been recruiting militants for attacks in India.

Tissainayagam also stated that the Sri Lankan government has allowed radical Islam to gain ground on the island in order to keep Tamil nationalism contained, citing the use of paramilitary ‘home guards’ which terrorised Tamil villagers and gathered intelligence throughout the armed conflict, whilst also supporting Buddhist nationalists who incite violence.

He concludes,

"If the United States and the international community are serious when they talk tackling international terrorism, they have to separate the chaff from the wheat – those who find counterterrorism a convenient label to mask its own sins, from others who genuinely support this policy and strive to fight terrorism."

Extracts from his piece have been reproduced below. See the full article here.