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Sri Lanka calls for sharing of UK military intelligence to tackle Tamil diaspora

Sri Lanka’s defence secretary called on the British government to share military intelligence and technology to combat “terrorism”, as he slammed the Tamil diaspora in a meeting with Britain’s High Commissioner on Tuesday.

Kamal Gunaratne, who is himself accused of overseeing war crimes, told the UK’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Sarah Hulton that his government was seeking “assistance in sharing military intelligence, technology and expertise in combating terrorism”.

He went on to slam the Tamil diaspora to the High Commissioner, stating there were “concerted efforts of Tamil diaspora groups…  to revive the LTTE.”

A day earlier, Gunaratne told soldiers the “Tamil diaspora is trying their best to revive the LTTE to achieve what the LTTE could not achieve through the arms struggle by lobbying against the government with the support of the international community”.

“But all those attempts were futile,” he claimed. 

To Hulton, Gunaratne went on to allege that his regime would implement a program to “de-radicalize misguided youth” and claimed that Colombo had allowed former Tamil fighters to enter a program of “reintegration back into the society.”

Gunaratne’’s claims are in stark contrast to reports from international human rights organisations and Tamil civil society groups who have repeatedly found evidence of torture and rights abuses committed by the Sri Lankan state in its treatment of former LTTE cadres.

The Sri Lankan military is also accused of having deliberately ignored intelligence information with regards to last year’s deadly Easter Sunday bombing attacks, which led to the deaths of hundreds of peoples at churches and hotels.

Despite this the Sri Lankan military claimed that Hulton “emphasized the need for regional intelligence sharing”.

See more from the Sri Lankan defence ministry here.