Tigers use Malaysia, Singapore to channel funds: Mangala
KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) funnel contributions through
Malaysia and Singapore to buy weapons in Thailand and Cambodia, a
newspaper reported yesterday. Samaraweera told The New Straits Times in
Kuala Lumpur that the Government has asked for help from those countries
to curb fundraising and weapons purchases by LTTE.
The Tigers rely heavily on contributions from expatriate Tamils
living in North America and Europe.
"The process of channeling funds raised in European Union nations and
the United States to Malaysia and Singapore is rather complicated. That
is why we are seeking the cooperation of countries like Malaysia,"
Samaraweera said in an interview with the Times.
"The Malaysia, Thai and Cambodian Governments are taking this very
seriously," he said.
Most funds are used to buy weapons in Southeast Asia, especially
Cambodia and Thailand, the newspaper reported Samaraweera as saying. The
foreign minister was in Malaysia for a meeting of the 116-nation
He said he has asked Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar to
help and offered to share intelligence with Malaysia's security
agencies. He told the newspaper that some of the funds may be deposited
in banks in Malaysia and around the region, but that the LTTE may also
be investing in legitimate businesses in Southeast Asia.
"One of the best ways to help the peace process is to ensure that the
LTTE's moneymaking capabilities are curtailed," Samaraweera said.
Samaraweera hailed the EU's decision on Monday to put the Tigers on a
terrorist blacklist, saying it would deprive the LTTE of vital funds
from the Tamil Diaspora in Europe.
"The ban will curtail their fundraising activities and cripple the
LTTE's ability to continue with its campaign of terror," the Minister
said, adding that it would encourage the Tigers to return to the
The United States, Canada and India already list the LTTE as a
terrorist organisation, hindering the Tigers' efforts to raise money
from expatriate supporters there - a crucial funding source for their
Malaysia, Wednesday, AP