By Rajeewa Jayaweera –
Adele Anne Balasingham nee Wilby, the Australian born spouse of LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham is probably the last of the senior Tiger leaders to be alive today. Her role as Head of LTTE Child Soldier Recruitment is no secret. She was involved in the indoctrination of teenage Tamil girls. Yet today, she lives comfortably in UK with no threat of prosecution for her role in brain washing and training child soldiers. Taking out Adele Balasingham, using methods such as drones utilized by western nations to kill ISIL and Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen etc., is not an option for Sri Lanka. In any case, such an attempt would result in Sri Lanka being ‘bombed back to the stone age!’.
French authorities granted asylum to a LTTE combatant who fled to France with a false wife and child utilizing forged travel documents in 2009. A film titled ‘Dheepan’, which begins at the funeral bier somewhere in the northern province of a fellow terrorist at the tail end of the conflict was produced. It won an award at the prestigious Palme D’Or Festival in Cannes in 2015. The film does not hide the terrorist connections of the person acting the lead role, his entry into France with forged travel documents, success in obtaining asylum in France for himself and false family and subsequent relocation in UK.
Processing of an asylum application of a Sri Lankan national by western countries prior to 2009 generally lasted between 3 and 5 years. Deportations if any, were rare. There was a time when pleas from the government of Sri Lanka to US, UK and western European governments, notably France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Scandinavia to rein in LTTE terrorists seeking asylum in those countries fell on deaf ears. Some of the asylum applicants were LTTE terrorists.
These are but two examples of recorded instances of LTTE terrorists being provided safe haven by western governments. There are thousands of such cases all over US, UK and Europe.
Germany was horrified and rest of Europe outraged by the carnage at a Christmas market in the German capital Berlin on December 19.
It has now been established, a Tunisian named Anis Amri, aged 24, was responsible for driving a giant trailer truck into the Christmas market, resulting in the death of twelve persons and seriously injuring several dozens. Amri was shot dead by the Italian police in the suburbs of Milan four days later. Having travelled to Italy via France, he was discovered in Milan accidentally during a routine document check rather than efficiency of security arms of the three countries.
Amri had originally fled Tunisia to Italy in 2011 during the Arab Spring. Having crossed over to Germany in May 2015, his application for asylum had been rejected but had not been deported due a delay in obtaining a Tunisian passport. According to sources, the application for asylum had been rejected as he had been investigated for “preparing a serious crime endangering national safety involving funding the purchase of automatic weapons for use in terrorist attacks”. Hiss links to ISIL has now been established by German authorities.
Amri’s application for asylum had been processed and a deportation order issued within 19 months of his arrival in Germany, despite over a half million pending asylum applications. US, UK and western European countries would not dream of granting asylum to any applicant with connections to terrorist organizations such as ISIL, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah etc.
Public opinion in Germany for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “open door” migrant policy which had already begun to harden is expected to take a turn for worse and will possibly have disastrous consequence for her party in the national elections scheduled for September 2017. Some members of her own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party have begun to question Merkels policies on migrants. Politicians and media have begun to question “are our laws tough enough”.
Both LTTE and ISIL terrorists were preparing for serious crimes endangering national safety involving funding the purchase of weapons and explosives for use in terrorist attacks. The only difference was, LTTE terrorists endangered national safety and sourced funding for purchase of weapons and explosives for use in terrorist attacks to kill Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka. ISIL terrorists endangered national safety and committed acts of terror in western countries killing nationals of those countries. The level of concern and outrage among western governments and its citizens for causalities in faraway Sri Lanka was virtually nonexistent. Concern and outrage for causalities in their own countries is considerable.
India and western nations provided asylum and safe havens for LTTE terrorists who murdered Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka. Today, their own citizens are being murdered by foreign terrorists in their own back yard. In a manner of speaking, the boot is on the other foot.
It is hoped these nations, at least now, would define and deal with terrorism in one voice, instead of applying their misbegotten definitions to suit their own agendas.