Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Overview
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ' onMouseout='HidePop("82625")' href="/topics/ISO_15919">ISO 15919
ISO 15919
ISO 15919 Transliteration of Devanagari and related Indic scripts into Latin characters is an international standard for the transliteration of Indic scripts to the Latin alphabet formed in 2001...

: ; commonly known as the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers) was a separatist militant organization formerly based in northern Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

.
Encyclopedia
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ' onMouseout='HidePop("82625")' href="/topics/ISO_15919">ISO 15919
ISO 15919
ISO 15919 Transliteration of Devanagari and related Indic scripts into Latin characters is an international standard for the transliteration of Indic scripts to the Latin alphabet formed in 2001...

: ; commonly known as the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers) was a separatist militant organization formerly based in northern Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

. Founded in May 1976 by Vellupillai Prabhakaran, it waged a violent secessionist and nationalist campaign to create an independent state
Tamil Eelam
Tamil Eelam , is the name given by certain Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora to the independent state which they aspire to create in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Tamil Eelam has no official status or recognition by any other state or authority...

 in the north and east of Sri Lanka for Tamil People
Tamil people
Tamil people , also called Tamils or Tamilians, are an ethnic group native to Tamil Nadu, India and the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka. Historic and post 15th century emigrant communities are also found across the world, notably Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, Canada,...

. This campaign evolved into the Sri Lankan Civil War
Sri Lankan civil war
The Sri Lankan Civil War was a conflict fought on the island of Sri Lanka. Beginning on July 23, 1983, there was an on-and-off insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , a separatist militant organization which fought to create an independent Tamil state named Tamil...

, which ran from 1983 until 2009, when the LTTE was defeated by the Sri Lankan Military.

At the height of their power, the Tigers possessed a well-developed militia and carried out many high-profile attacks, including the assassinations of several high-ranking Sri Lankan and Indian politicians. LTTE is the only terrorist organization to assassinate two world leaders, Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa was the 3rd President of Sri Lanka from January 2, 1989 to May 1, 1993. Before that, he served as the Prime Minister in the government headed by J. R. Jayewardene from February 6, 1978 to January 1, 1989...

 in 1993 and former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India . He took office after his mother's assassination on 31 October 1984; he himself was assassinated on 21 May 1991. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40.Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira...

 in 1991. Civilian massacres, suicide bombings and acts of ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

 were integral parts of its pursuit to create a monoethnic Tamil Eelam
Tamil Eelam
Tamil Eelam , is the name given by certain Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora to the independent state which they aspire to create in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Tamil Eelam has no official status or recognition by any other state or authority...

. The Tigers pioneered the use of suicide belts, and used light aircraft in some of their attacks. As a result of their tactics, they are currently proscribed as a terrorist organization by 32 countries (see list of countries), but have extensive support amongst the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora
Tamil diaspora
The Tamil diaspora is a demographic group of Tamil people of Indian or Sri Lankan origin who have settled in other parts of the world. Significant Tamil diaspora populations can be found in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Middle East, Réunion, South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Fiji, Guyana,...

 in Europe and North America, and amongst some Tamils in India. However, Human Rights Organizations such as UTHR
University Teachers for Human Rights
For the figure in Norse mythology, see UrðrThe University Teachers for Human Rights or UTHR was formed in 1988 at the University of Jaffna, Jaffna in Sri Lanka as part of the national organization University Teachers for Human Rights. Its public activities as a constituent part of university life...

 (Jaffna) alleges that Tamil Tigers have killed at least 8000 fellow Tamils considered to be traitors to their cause. LTTE founder Velupillai Prabhakaran
Velupillai Prabhakaran
Thiruvenkadam Velupillai Prabhakaran was the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , a militant organization that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka...

 headed the organization from its inception until his death in 2009.

Over the course of the conflict, the Tamil Tigers frequently exchanged control of territory in north-east Sri Lanka with the Sri Lankan military, with the two sides engaging in fierce military confrontations. They were involved in four unsuccessful rounds of peace talks with the Sri Lankan government over the course of the conflict. LTTE was in control of 76% of the landmass
Landmass
A landmass is a contiguous area of land surrounded by ocean. Although it may be most often written as one word to distinguish it from the usage "land mass"—the measure of land area—it is also used as two words.Landmasses include:*supercontinents...

 in Northern
Northern Province, Sri Lanka
The Northern Province is one of the 9 provinces of Sri Lanka. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but did not have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. Between 1988 and 2006 the province was...

 and Eastern
Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
The Eastern Province is one of the 9 provinces of Sri Lanka. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but they didn't have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. Between 1988 and 2006 the province was...

 Provinces of Sri Lanka, at its peak in 2000. At the start of the final round of peace talks in 2002, Tamil Tigers, with control of 15,000 km2 area, running a virtual mini-state. After the breakdown of the peace process in 2006, the Sri Lankan military launched a major offensive against the Tigers, bringing the entire country under their control and defeating the LTTE militarily. Victory over the Tigers was declared by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Mahinda Rajapaksa
Percy Mahendra "Mahinda" Rajapaksa ; ; born November 18, 1945) is the 6th and current President of Sri Lanka and Commander in Chief of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. A lawyer by profession, Rajapaksa was first elected to the Parliament of Sri Lanka in 1970, and served as prime minister from April 6,...

 on 16 May 2009, and the LTTE admitted defeat on 17 May 2009. Sangarapillai was killed by government forces on 19 May 2009. Selvarasa Pathmanathan attempted to succeed Prabhakaran as leader of the Tamil Tigers, but he was arrested in Malaysia and handed over to the Sri Lankan government in August 2009.

Background

In 1971, United Front
United Front (Sri Lanka)
The United Front was a political alliance in Sri Lanka, formed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party , the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and the Communist Party of Sri Lanka in 1968...

 government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike was a Sri Lankan politician and the world's first female head of government...

 introduced the Policy of standardization
Policy of standardization
The policy of standardization was a policy implemented by the Sri Lankan government in 1973 to rectify disparities created in university enrollment in Sri Lanka under Colonial rule.-The reasoning for the law:...

 to rectify disparities created in university enrollment in Sri Lanka under colonial rule
British Ceylon
British Ceylon refers to British rule prior to 1948 of the island territory now known as Sri Lanka.-From the Dutch to the British:Before the beginning of the Dutch governance, the island of Ceylon was divided between the Portuguese Empire and the Kingdom of Kandy, who were in the midst of a war for...

. Tamil Manavar Peravai (Tamil Students League) was formed by Sathyaseelan in the same year to counter this move. This group comprised Tamil youth who advocated an armed insurrection against the government. Inspired by the failed 1971 insurrection of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
The Janathā Vimukthi Peramuṇa is a Marxist-Leninist, Communist political party in Sri Lanka. The party was involved in two armed uprisings against the ruling governments in 1971 and 1987-89...

, it was the first Tamil insurgent group. There were around 40 Tamil youth in the group at that time including Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran
Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran
Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran , also known as Sivakumaran or Urumpirai Sivakumaran, was from Urumpirai, Sri Lanka.He was one of the early militant of the Tamil Eelam struggle. He was a progressive man with reformist ideas for the Tamils. He held Alfred Duraiappah Jaffna Mayor, responsible for the after...

 (leader of the Sivakumaran group), K. Pathmanaba (one of the founder members of EROS
Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students
The Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students , also known as the Eelam Revolutionary Organisers, is a former Tamil militant group in Sri Lanka. Most of the EROS membership was absorbed into the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 1990. The rump, which continues to use the EROS name, has...

) and Velupillai Prabhakaran
Velupillai Prabhakaran
Thiruvenkadam Velupillai Prabhakaran was the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , a militant organization that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka...

, who was an 18 years old youth from single caste oriented Valvettithurai
Valvettithurai
Valvettithurai or VVT is a small coastal village on the northeast coast of the Jaffna Peninsula in Sri Lanka's north. The population is mainly minority Sri Lankan Tamils of Hindu or Catholic faith. The main industry is farming, fishing and trading...

 (VVT). In 1972, Prabhakaran teamed up with Chetti Thanabalasingam
Chetti Thanabalasingam
Chetti Thanabalasingam was a Sri Lankan criminal, most importantly known for his association with the leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , Velupillai Prabhakaran, in the early days of insurgency. Thanabalasingam was the leader of Tamil New Tigers , the forerunner to the LTTE, which he and...

, a well known criminal from Kalviyankadu, Jaffna to form the Tamil New Tigers
Tamil New Tigers
The Tamil New Tigers was a militant Tamil organization founded by Velupillai Prabhakaran on May 22, 1972. The group was composed of a few close associates of Prabhakaran, who was 17 years old when he founded the group...

 (TNT). Thanabalasingham was its leader. After he was killed, Prabhakaran took over. At the same time, Nadarajah Thangathurai
Nadarajah Thangathurai
Nadarajah Thangathurai , was one of the leaders of former Tamil militant organization TELO from Sri Lanka. He was inspired by Marxism. He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment and was killed in 1983 Welikada prison massacre along with the other TELO leader Selvarajah Yogachandran.-See...

 and Selvarajah Yogachandran
Selvarajah Yogachandran
Selvarajah Yogachandran , also known as Kuttimani was one of the leaders of former Tamil militant organization TELO from Sri Lanka. He started his career as a smuggler...

 (better known by his nom de guerre Kuttimani) were also involved in discussions about an insurgency. They would later (in 1979) create a separate organization named Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization
Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization
The Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization is an Eelam Tamil organisation campaigning for the establishment of an independent Tamil Eelam in the northeast of Sri Lanka. The TELO was originally created as a militant group, and functioned as such until 1986, when most of its membership was killed in a...

 (TELO) to campaign for the establishment of an independent Tamil Eelam
Tamil Eelam
Tamil Eelam , is the name given by certain Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora to the independent state which they aspire to create in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Tamil Eelam has no official status or recognition by any other state or authority...

. These groups, along with another prominent figure of the armed struggle, Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran
Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran
Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran , also known as Sivakumaran or Urumpirai Sivakumaran, was from Urumpirai, Sri Lanka.He was one of the early militant of the Tamil Eelam struggle. He was a progressive man with reformist ideas for the Tamils. He held Alfred Duraiappah Jaffna Mayor, responsible for the after...

, were involved in several hit-and-run operations against pro-government Tamil politicians, Sri Lanka Police and civil administration during early 1970s. These operations include throwing bombs at the residence and the car of SLFP
Sri Lanka Freedom Party
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party is one of the major political parties in Sri Lanka. It was founded by S.W.R.D Bandaranaike in 1951 and, since then, has been one of the two largest parties in the Sri Lankan political arena. It first came to power in 1956 and since then has been the predominant party in...

 Jaffna
Jaffna
Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna district located on a peninsula of the same name. Jaffna is approximately six miles away from Kandarodai which served as a famous emporium in the Jaffna peninsula from classical...

 Mayor, Alfred Duraiyappah at least 3 times, placing a bomb at a carnival organized by him in the stadium of Jaffna city (now "Duraiyappah stadium") and Neervely
Neervely
Neervely is a village located in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. It is located seven miles from Jaffna along the Point Pedro road.-Education in Neervely:*Attiar Hindu College, Neervely was established in 1929.*Four other schools-Bank robbery:...

 bank robbery. 1974 Tamil conference incident
1974 Tamil conference incident
The 1974 Tamil conference incident occurred during the fourth World Tamil Research Conference, which was held in the city of Jaffna between January 3 and 9, 1974...

 also sparked the anger of these militant groups. Both Sivakumaran and Prabhakaran attempted to assassinate Duraiyappah in revenge for the incident. Sivakumaran committed suicide on 5 June 1974 in order to evade capture by Police. But on 27 July 1975, Prabhakaran was able to assassinate Duraiyappah, who was branded as a "traitor" by TULF
Tamil United Liberation Front
The Tamil United Liberation Front is a political party in Sri Lanka which seeks independence for the Tamil-populated areas of Sri Lanka.-Formation:...

 and the insurgents. Prabhakaran himself shot and killed the Mayor when he was visiting the Krishnan temple at Ponnalai. The ideology of the Tamil Tigers emerged from Marxist-Leninist thought, and was secular. Its leadership was atheist.

Founding and rise to power

The LTTE was founded on 5 May 1976, by Prabhakaran, as the successor to the Tamil New Tigers. Prabhakaran sought to "refashion the old TNT/new LTTE into an elite, ruthlessly efficient, and highly professional fighting force", which, as terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna
Rohan Gunaratna
Rohan Gunaratna is an international terrorism expert. He is the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research ] at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore...

 notes, he did by "keeping [his] numbers small, maintaining a high standard of training, [and] enforcing discipline at all levels". The LTTE carried out low-key attacks against various government targets, including policemen and local politicians.

TULF support

TULF leader Appapillai Amirthalingam
Appapillai Amirthalingam
Appapillai Amirthalingam was a leading Sri Lankan Tamil politician, Member of Parliament and Leader of the Opposition. Amirthalingam was assassinated by the Tamil Tigers. -Early life:...

, who was in 1977 elected as the Opposition leader
Leader of the Opposition
The Leader of the Opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the largest party not in government in a Westminster System of parliamentary government...

 of Sri Lanka Parliament
Parliament of Sri Lanka
The Parliament of Sri Lanka is the 225-member unicameral legislature of Sri Lanka. The members of Parliament are elected by proportional representation for six-year terms, with universal suffrage. Parliament reserves the power to make all laws...

 clandestinely supported the LTTE. Amirthalingam believed that if he could exercise control over the Tamil insurgent groups, it would enhance his political position and pressurize government to agree to his demand, which was to grant political autonomy to Tamils. Thus, he even provided letters of reference to the LTTE and to other Tamil insurgent groups to raise funds. Prominent youth wing members of TULF, Secretary of Tamil Youth Forum, Colombo brach and ex-surveyor Uma Maheswaran, joined the LTTE as its chairman, and Urmila Kandiah, as its first female member in 1977. Amirthalingam introduced Prabhakaran to N.S. Krishnan, who later became the first international representative of LTTE. It was Krishnan, who introduced Prabhakaran to Anton Balasingham
Anton Balasingham
Anton Stanislaus Balasingham was the chief political strategist and chief negotiator of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam a militant organization...

, who later became the chief political strategist and chief negotiator of LTTE. LTTE was split for the first time in 1979. Uma Maheswaran was found out having a love affair with Urmila Kandiah. It was against the code of conduct of LTTE. Prabhakaran ordered him to leave the organization. Uma Maheswaran left LTTE and formed People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam
People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam
The People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam is a former Tamil militant group. It is currently a pro-government paramilitary group and political party. PLOTE's political wing is known as the Democratic People's Liberation Front.-Origins:...

 (PLOTE) in 1980.

Meanwhile in 1980, J. R. Jayawardene
Junius Richard Jayewardene
Junius Richard Jayewardene , famously abbreviated in Sri Lanka as JR, was the first executive President of Sri Lanka, serving from 1978 till 1989. He was a leader of the nationalist movement in Ceylon who served in a variety of cabinet positions in the decades following independence...

 government agreed to devolve power by the means of District Development Councils upon the request of TULF. But by this time, LTTE and other insurgent groups were not ready to accept any solution less than a separate state
Tamil Eelam
Tamil Eelam , is the name given by certain Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora to the independent state which they aspire to create in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Tamil Eelam has no official status or recognition by any other state or authority...

. LTTE had no faith in any sort of political solution. Thus the TULF and other Tamil political parties were steadily marginalised and insurgent groups emerged as the major force in North. During this period of time several other insurgent groups came into the arena, such as EROS
Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students
The Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students , also known as the Eelam Revolutionary Organisers, is a former Tamil militant group in Sri Lanka. Most of the EROS membership was absorbed into the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 1990. The rump, which continues to use the EROS name, has...

 (1975), TELO
Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization
The Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization is an Eelam Tamil organisation campaigning for the establishment of an independent Tamil Eelam in the northeast of Sri Lanka. The TELO was originally created as a militant group, and functioned as such until 1986, when most of its membership was killed in a...

 (1979), PLOTE
People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam
The People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam is a former Tamil militant group. It is currently a pro-government paramilitary group and political party. PLOTE's political wing is known as the Democratic People's Liberation Front.-Origins:...

 (1980), EPRLF
Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front
The Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front is a Sri Lankan political party and a former militant separatist group.-Militant separatists:The EPRLF was formed in 1980 by K...

 (1980) and TELA
Tamil Eelam Liberation Army
The Tamil Eelam Liberation Army was a Sri Lankan Tamil rebel group. TELA was originally the military wing of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization, but split away from TELO in 1982.-Early period:...

 (1982). LTTE ordered civilians to boycott the local government elections of 1983 in which even TULF contested. Voter turnout became as low as 10%. Thereafter, Tamil political parties had very little room to represent Tamil people as insurgent groups took over their position.

Thirunelveli attack, 1983

The LTTE carried out its first major attack on 23 July 1983, when they ambushed Sri Lanka Army patrol Four Four Bravo
Four Four Bravo
Four Four Bravo was the call sign of an fifteen-man Sri Lankan Army patrol, deployed in the Jaffna Peninsula on July 23, 1983. The patrol was ambushed and thirteen of its members were killed by the LTTE...

 at Thirunelveli, Jaffna
Jaffna
Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna district located on a peninsula of the same name. Jaffna is approximately six miles away from Kandarodai which served as a famous emporium in the Jaffna peninsula from classical...

. Thirteen Sri Lankan servicemen were killed in the attack, leading to the Black July
Black July
Black July is the commonly used name for the anti-Tamil pogrom and attacks carried out by mobs in Sri Lanka which began on July 23, 1983. The riots occurred following a deadly ambush by a Tamil militant organization known as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which killed 13 Sri Lanka Army soldiers...

 rampage against the Tamil community of Sri Lanka. Many outraged Tamil youths joining Tamil militant groups to fight the Sri Lankan government, in what is considered as the start of the insurgency in Sri Lanka.

Indian support

Due to various geo-political reasons (see Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan Civil War
Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan Civil War
The Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan Civil War was the deployment of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka intended to perform a peacekeeping role...

), from August 1983 to May 1987, India, through its intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing
Research and Analysis Wing
The Research and Analysis Wing is India's external intelligence agency. It was formed in September 1968 after the poor performance of the Intelligence Bureau in the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and the India-Pakistani war of 1965 convinced the then government of India that a specialized, independent...

 (RAW), provided arms, training and monetary support to 6 Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups including LTTE. During that period, 32 camps were set up all over India to train these militants. 495 LTTE militants, including 90 women were trained in 10 batches. First batch of Tigers were trained in Establishment 22
Special Frontier Force
The Special Frontier Force is a paramilitary unit of India. It was conceived in the post Sino-Indian war period as a guerrilla force composed mainly of Tibetan refugees whose main goal was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in case of another war between the People's Republic of...

 based in Chakrata
Chakrata
Chakrata or Chakrauta is a cantonment town in Dehradun district in the state of Uttarakhand, India.It is situated between the Tons and Yamuna rivers, at an elevation of 7000–7250 feet, 92 km from state capital, Dehradun, it was originally a cantonment of British Indian Army...

, Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand , formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found throughout the state, some of which are among Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship...

. Second batch including LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman
Pottu Amman
Shanmugalingam Sivashankar Shanmugalingam Sivashankar Shanmugalingam Sivashankar (Tamil: சன்முகலிங்கம் சிவசங்கரன், also known as Pottu Amman (Tamil: பொட்டு அம்மான் is a Sri Lankan Tamil militant...

 was trained in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over , and is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the south, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east...

. Prabakaran himself visited the first and the second batch of Tamil Tigers to see them training. 8 other batches of LTTE were trained in Tamil Nadu. Ironically, Thenmozhi Rajaratnam alias Dhanu, who carried out the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and Sivarasan - the key conspirator were among the militants trained by RAW, in Nainital, India.

In April 1984, the LTTE formally joined a common militant front, the Eelam National Liberation Front
Eelam National Liberation Front
The Eelam National Liberation Front was a short-lived umbrella organisation for leading Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups.-Formation:In April 1984 M...

 (ENLF), a union between LTTE, the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization
Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization
The Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization is an Eelam Tamil organisation campaigning for the establishment of an independent Tamil Eelam in the northeast of Sri Lanka. The TELO was originally created as a militant group, and functioned as such until 1986, when most of its membership was killed in a...

 (TELO), the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students
Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students
The Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students , also known as the Eelam Revolutionary Organisers, is a former Tamil militant group in Sri Lanka. Most of the EROS membership was absorbed into the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 1990. The rump, which continues to use the EROS name, has...

 (EROS), the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam
People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam
The People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam is a former Tamil militant group. It is currently a pro-government paramilitary group and political party. PLOTE's political wing is known as the Democratic People's Liberation Front.-Origins:...

 (PLOTE) and the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front
Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front
The Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front is a Sri Lankan political party and a former militant separatist group.-Militant separatists:The EPRLF was formed in 1980 by K...

 (EPRLF).

Clashes with other insurgent groups

TELO usually held the Indian view of problems and pushed for India's view during peace talks with Sri Lanka and other groups. LTTE denounced the TELO view and claimed that India was only acting on its own interest. As a result, the LTTE broke from the ENLF in 1986. Soon fighting broke out between the TELO and the LTTE and clashes occurred over the next few months. As a result almost the entire TELO leadership and at least 400 TELO militants were killed by the LTTE. The LTTE attacked training camps of the EPRLF a few months later, forcing it to withdraw entirely from the Jaffna peninsula
Jaffna Peninsula
The Jaffna Peninsula is an area in Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It is home to the capital city of the province, Jaffna and comprises much of the former land mass of the ancient Tamil kingdoms of the Nagas and the medieval Jaffna kingdom. The peninsula is mostly surrounded by water, connected to...

. The LTTE then demanded that all remaining Tamil insurgents join the LTTE. Notices were issued to that effect in Jaffna and in Madras, where the Tamil groups were headquartered. With the major groups including the TELO and EPRLF eliminated, the remaining Tamil insurgent groups, numbering around 20, were then absorbed into the LTTE, making Jaffna an LTTE-dominated city.

LTTE's practice such as wearing a cyanide
Cyanide
A cyanide is a chemical compound that contains the cyano group, -C≡N, which consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. Cyanides most commonly refer to salts of the anion CN−. Most cyanides are highly toxic....

 vial for consumption if captured appealed to the Tamil people as dedication and sacrifice.
Another practice that increased support by Tamil people was LTTE's members taking an oath of loyalty which stated LTTE’s goal of establishing a state for the Sri Lankan Tamils. In 1987 LTTE established the Black Tigers, a unit responsible for conducting suicide attacks against political, economic, and military targets, and launched its first suicide attack against a Sri Lanka Army camp, killing 40 soldiers. LTTE members are prohibited from smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol in any form. LTTE members must avoid their family members and avoid communication with them. Initially LTTE members were prohobited from having love affairs or sexual relationships as it could deter their prime motive. But this policy had changed since Prabhakaran married Mathivathani Erambu in October 1984.

IPKF period

In July 1987, faced with growing anger among its own Tamils and a flood of refugees, India intervened directly in the conflict for the first time by initially airdropping food parcels into Jaffna
Operation Poomalai
Operation Poomalai or Eagle Mission 4 was the codename assigned to a mission undertaken by the Indian Air Force to airdrop supplies over the besieged town of Jaffna in Sri Lanka on 4 June 1987 in support of Tamil Tigers during the Sri Lankan Civil War....

. After negotiations, India and Sri Lanka entered into the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord
Indo-Sri Lanka Accord
The Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord was an accord signed in Colombo on July 29, 1987, between Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayewardene. The accord was expected to resolve the ongoing Sri Lankan civil war...

. Though the conflict was between the Tamil and Sinhalese people, India and Sri Lanka signed the peace accord instead of India influencing both parties to sign a peace accord among themselves. The peace accord assigned a certain degree of regional autonomy in the Tamil areas, with Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) controlling the regional council and called for the Tamil militant groups to lay down their arms. India was to send a peacekeeping
Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 force, named the Indian Peace Keeping Force
Indian Peace Keeping Force
Indian Peace Keeping Force was the Indian military contingent performing a peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990...

 (IPKF), part of the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

, to Sri Lanka to enforce the disarmament and to watch over the regional council.

War against IPKF

Although the accord was signed between the governments of Sri Lanka and India and the Tamil militant groups did not have a role in the agreement, most Tamil militant groups accepted it. The LTTE rejected the accord because they opposed the candidate for chief administrative officer of the merged Northern and Eastern provinces because he was a member of the EPRLF. The LTTE named three alternate candidates for the position, which India rejected. The LTTE subsequently refused to hand over their weapons to the IPKF. After 3 months of tensions, LTTE declared war on IPKF on 7 October 1987.

Thus LTTE found itself engaged in military conflict with the Indian Army, and launched its first attack on an Indian army rations truck on 8 October, killing five Indian para-commandos who were on board by strapping burning tires around their necks. The government of India decided that the IPKF should disarm the LTTE by force. The Indian Army launched number of assaults on the LTTE, including a month-long campaign dubbed Operation Pawan
Operation Pawan
Operation Pawan was the codename assigned to the operation by the Indian Peace Keeping Force to take control of Jaffna from the LTTE , in late 1987 to enforce the disarmament of the LTTE as a part of the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord...

to win control of the Jaffna peninsula. The ruthlessness of this campaign, and the Indian army's subsequent anti-LTTE operations, made it extremely unpopular among many Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Premadasa government support

The Indian intervention was also unpopular among the Sinhalese majority. Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa was the 3rd President of Sri Lanka from January 2, 1989 to May 1, 1993. Before that, he served as the Prime Minister in the government headed by J. R. Jayewardene from February 6, 1978 to January 1, 1989...

 during his presidential election campaign in 1988, pledged to withdraw IPKF as soon as he is elected president. After being elected, in April 1989, he started negotiations with LTTE. President Premadasa ordered Sri Lanka Army to clandestine handed over arms consignments to the LTTE to fight the IPKF and its proxy Tamil National Army (TNA). These consignments include RPG guns, motars, self loading rifles, T81 automatic rifles, T56 automatic rifles, pistols, hand grenades, ammunition and communications sets. Moreover, millions of dollars was also passed on to the LTTE.

After IPKF

IPKF became bogged down in the fighting with the Tamil Tigers for nearly three years, experiencing heavy losses. The last members of the IPKF, which was estimated to have had a strength of well over 100,000 at its peak, left the country in March 1990 upon the request of President Premadasa. A shaky peace initially held between the government and the LTTE, and peace talks progressed towards providing devolution for Tamils in the north and east of the country. Ceasefire held between LTTE and the government from June 1989 to June 1990, broke down as LTTE massacred 600 Police officers
1990 massacre of Sri Lankan Police officers
The 1990 massacre of Sri Lankan Police officers was a mass murder of Sri Lankan Police officers that took place on June 11, 1990. Members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a separatist organization, are alleged to have killed over 600 unarmed Sri Lanka Police officers in Eastern Province,...

 in the Eastern Province
Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
The Eastern Province is one of the 9 provinces of Sri Lanka. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but they didn't have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. Between 1988 and 2006 the province was...

.

Fighting continued throughout the 1990s, and was marked by two key assassinations carried out by the LTTE: that of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India . He took office after his mother's assassination on 31 October 1984; he himself was assassinated on 21 May 1991. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40.Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira...

 in 1991, and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa was the 3rd President of Sri Lanka from January 2, 1989 to May 1, 1993. Before that, he served as the Prime Minister in the government headed by J. R. Jayewardene from February 6, 1978 to January 1, 1989...

 in 1993, using suicide bombers in both occasions. The fighting briefly halted in 1994 following the election of Chandrika Kumaratunga
Chandrika Kumaratunga
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga born June 29, 1945) was the 4th Executive president of Sri Lanka, serving from November 12, 1994 to November 19, 2005. The daughter of two former Prime Ministers, she was also the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party until end of 2005...

 as President of Sri Lanka and the onset of peace talks, but fighting resumed after LTTE sunk two Sri Lanka Navy boats in April 1995. In a series of military operations that followed, the Sri Lanka Army re-captured the Jaffna peninsula. Further offensives followed over the next three years, and the military captured vast areas in the north of the country from the LTTE, including area in the Vanni
Vanni (Sri Lanka)
The Vanni is the name given to the mainland area of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It covers the entirety of Mannar, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya Districts, and most of Kilinochchi District. It has an area of approximately 7,650 km2...

 region, the town of Kilinochchi
Kilinochchi
Kilinochchi is a city in the Kilinochchi District, part of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Kilinochchi is situated at the A9 road some south-east of Jaffna...

, and many smaller towns. From 1998 onward the LTTE regained control of these areas. This culminated in the capture in April 2000 of the strategically important Elephant Pass
Elephant Pass
Elephant Pass, Northern Province, Sri Lanka is an important military base and formerly the island's largest salt field, located in the gateway of Jaffna Peninsula. It has thus regularly been the site of battles during the civil war....

 base complex, located at the entrance of the Jaffna Peninsula, after prolonged fighting against the Sri Lanka Army.

Mahattaya, a one-time deputy leader of LTTE, was accused of treason by the LTTE and killed in 1994. He is said to have collaborated with the Indian Research and Analysis Wing
Research and Analysis Wing
The Research and Analysis Wing is India's external intelligence agency. It was formed in September 1968 after the poor performance of the Intelligence Bureau in the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and the India-Pakistani war of 1965 convinced the then government of India that a specialized, independent...

 to remove Prabhakaran from the LTTE leadership.

2002 ceasefire

In 2001, the LTTE dropped its demand for a separate state. Instead, it demanded a form of regional autonomy.
Following the landslide election defeat of Kumaratunga and the coming to power of Ranil Wickramasinghe in December 2001, the LTTE declared a unilateral ceasefire. The Sri Lankan Government agreed to the ceasefire, and in March 2002 the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) was signed. As part of the agreement, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 and other Nordic countries
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

 agreed to jointly monitor the ceasefire through the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission was established on 22 February 2002 under the terms of a ceasefire agreement signed by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as a body that would monitor the ceasefire and enquire into reported violations of the ceasefire agreement...

.

Six rounds of peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and LTTE were held, but they were temporarily suspended after the LTTE pulled out of the talks in 2003 claiming "certain critical issues relating to the ongoing peace process". In 2003 the LTTE proposed an Interim Self Governing Authority
Interim Self Governing Authority
The Interim Self Governing Authority was a proposal issued on October 2003 by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam of Sri Lanka for power sharing in the north and east of Sri Lanka...

 (ISGA). This move was welcomed by the international community but rejected by the Sri Lankan President. The LTTE boycotted the presidential election in December 2005. While LTTE claimed that the people under its control were free to vote, it is alleged that they used threats to prevent the population from voting. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 condemned this act.

The new government of Sri Lanka came into power in 2006 and demanded to abrogate the ceasefire agreement, stating that the only possible solution to the ethnic conflict was a military solution, and that the only way to achieve this was by eliminating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil. Further peace talks were scheduled in Oslo, Norway, on 8 and 9 June 2006, but cancelled when the LTTE refused to meet directly with the government delegation, stating its fighters were not being allowed safe passage to travel to the talks. Norwegian mediator Erik Solheim
Erik Solheim
Erik Solheim is a Norwegian politician for the Socialist Left Party . He holds two posts in the current Norwegian cabinet, and carries the title Minister of the Environment and Minister of Development Cooperation...

 told journalists that the LTTE should take direct responsibility for the collapse of the talks. Rifts grew between the government and LTTE, and resulted in a number of ceasefire agreement violations by both sides during 2006. Suicide attacks, military skirmishes, and air raids took place during the latter part of 2006. Between February 2002 to May 2007, Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission was established on 22 February 2002 under the terms of a ceasefire agreement signed by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as a body that would monitor the ceasefire and enquire into reported violations of the ceasefire agreement...

 documented 3,830 ceasefire violations by the LTTE, with respect to 351 by the security forces. Military confrontation continued into 2007 and 2008. On January 2008 the government officially pulled out of the Cease Fire Agreement.

Dissension

In the biggest show of dissent from within the organisation, a senior LTTE commander named Colonel Karuna
Colonel Karuna
Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan is a Sri Lankan politician and former militant. After fighting for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for over 20 years, he rose to prominence as the leader of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal , a breakaway faction of the Tamil Tigers.After giving up arms and...

 (nom de guerre of Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan) broke away from the LTTE in March 2004 and formed the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (later Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal), amid allegations that the northern commanders were overlooking the needs of the eastern Tamils. The LTTE leadership accused him of mishandling funds and questioned him about his recent personal behaviour. He tried to take control of the eastern province from the LTTE, which caused clashes between the LTTE and TMVP. The LTTE has suggested that TMVP was backed by the government, and the Nordic SLMM monitors corroborated this.

Military defeat

Mahinda Rajapaksa
Mahinda Rajapaksa
Percy Mahendra "Mahinda" Rajapaksa ; ; born November 18, 1945) is the 6th and current President of Sri Lanka and Commander in Chief of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. A lawyer by profession, Rajapaksa was first elected to the Parliament of Sri Lanka in 1970, and served as prime minister from April 6,...

 was elected as the president of Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan presidential election, 2005
The Sri Lankan presidential election of 2005 was the fifth presidential election of Sri Lanka. Nominations were accepted on 7 September 2005, and the election was held on 17 November 2005. Electoral participation was 73.73%...

 in 2005. After a brief period of negotiations, LTTE pulled out of peace talks indefinitely. Spordiac violence had continued and on 25 April 2006, LTTE tried to assassinate Sri Lanka Army Commander, Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 Sarath Fonseka
Sarath Fonseka
Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka, known as Sarath Fonseka is a former commander and General of the Sri Lanka Army and a former candidate for President of Sri Lanka. As Commander of the Army, he played an instrumental role in ending the 26 year Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009, defeating the...

. Following the attack, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 decided to proscribe the LTTE as a terrorist organisation. A new crisis leading to the first large-scale fighting since signing of the ceasefire occurred when the LTTE closed the sluice gates of the Mavil Oya (Mavil Aru
Mavil Aru
Mavil Aru is a waterway in Sri Lanka that supplies water to some regions of eastern Sri Lanka.The closure by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , a separatist militant organization, of the sluice-gates of Mavil Aru on July 26, 2006, was a crucial turning point in the Sri Lankan Civil War...

) reservoir
Reservoir
A reservoir , artificial lake or dam is used to store water.Reservoirs may be created in river valleys by the construction of a dam or may be built by excavation in the ground or by conventional construction techniques such as brickwork or cast concrete.The term reservoir may also be used to...

 on July 21 and cut the water supply
Water supply
Water supply is the provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavours or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and pipes...

 to 15,000 villages in government controlled areas. This dispute was developed into a full scale war by August 2006.

Defeat in East

Eelam War IV
Eelam War IV
Eelam War IV is the name given to the fourth phase of armed conflict between the Sri Lankan military and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which is currently proscribed as a terrorist organisation by 32 countries . Renewed hostilities began on the July 26, 2006 when Sri Lanka Air...

 had commenced in the East. Mavil Aru fell into the hands of Sri Lanka Army by 15 August 2006. Systematically, Sampoor
Sampoor
Sampur is a town in the Trincomalee District of Sri Lanka and it is located about 30 km South-East of Trincomalee on the South-Eastern side of the Trincomalee Harbour.- References :...

, Vakarai
Vakarai
The Vakarai is an internationally distributed Lithuanian-American newspaper. The Vakarai is published in Chicago with its headquarters in suburban Downers Grove. It is the largest Lithuanian-American newspaper and is read not only in the United States, but in Canada and Europe as well...

, Kanjikudichchi Aru and Batticaloa
Batticaloa
Batticaloa is a city in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka. It is the seat of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka. It is on the east coast, south by south east of Trincomalee, and is situated on an island.-Etymology:...

 also fell into the hands of military. Finally military captured Thoppigala - the Tiger stronghold in Eastern Province
Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
The Eastern Province is one of the 9 provinces of Sri Lanka. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but they didn't have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. Between 1988 and 2006 the province was...

 on 11 July 2007. Even IPKF had failed to capture it from LTTE during its offensive in 1988.

Defeat in North

Sporadic fighting in the North had been going on for months, but the intensity of the clashes increased after September 2007. Gradually, defense lines of LTTE began to fall. Advancing military confined LTTE into an fast diminishing areas in North. Prabhakaran was seriously injured during air strikes carried out by the Sri Lanka Air Force on a bunker complex in Jayanthinagar on November 26, 2007. Earlier, on November 2, 2007, S. P. Thamilselvan
S. P. Thamilselvan
Suppayya Paramu Thamilselvan, commonly known as S. P. Tamilselvan, , was the leader of the political wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, an organisation fighting for a separate state for the ethnic Tamil minority in northern Sri Lanka from majority Sinhalese govt...

, who was the head of the rebels' political wing, was killed during another government air raid. On January 2, 2008, the Sri Lankan government officially abandoned the ceasefire agreement. By August 2, 2008, LTTE lost the entire Mannar District
Mannar District
Mannar district is one of the 25 administrative districts of Sri Lanka. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The headquarters is located in Mannar, Sri Lanka...

 following the fall of Vellankulam town. Troops captured Pooneryn
Pooneryn
Pooneryn is a strategically important village in the northern province of Sri Lanka situated just below the Jaffna Peninsula. Built in the Pooneryn area of north portion of the island first by the Portuguese to protect its possessions in Jaffna, it was expanded by the Dutch till in 1770 it was...

 and Mankulam
Mankulam
Mankulam is a village in Idukki district in the Indian state of Kerala. The village is geographically located 32 KM from Adimaly, Idukki, Kerala...

 during the final months of 2008.

On 2 January 2009, the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa
Mahinda Rajapaksa
Percy Mahendra "Mahinda" Rajapaksa ; ; born November 18, 1945) is the 6th and current President of Sri Lanka and Commander in Chief of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. A lawyer by profession, Rajapaksa was first elected to the Parliament of Sri Lanka in 1970, and served as prime minister from April 6,...

, announced that the Sri Lankan troops had captured Kilinochchi
Kilinochchi
Kilinochchi is a city in the Kilinochchi District, part of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Kilinochchi is situated at the A9 road some south-east of Jaffna...

, the city which the LTTE had used for over a decade as its de facto administrative capital. On the same day, President Rajapaksa called upon LTTE to lay down arms and surrender. It was stated that the loss of Kilinochchi had caused a substantial dent in the LTTE's image, and that the LTTE was likely to collapse under military pressure on multiple fronts. As of 8 January 2009, the LTTE abandoned its positions on the Jaffna peninsula to make a last stand in the jungles of Mullaitivu
Mullaitivu
Mullaitivu is a small town on the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka. It is the capital of Mullaitivu District in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. A largely fishing settlement, the town in the early 20th century grew as an anchoring harbour of the small sailing vessels transporting goods between...

, their last main base. The entire Jaffna peninsula was captured by the Sri Lanka Army by 14 January. On 25 January 2009, SLA troops "completely captured" Mullaitivu town, the last major LTTE stronghold.

The Sri Lankan Government accused the LTTE of causing a human disaster by trapping civilians in the shrinking area under their control. With the LTTE on the brink of defeat, the fate of their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran
Velupillai Prabhakaran
Thiruvenkadam Velupillai Prabhakaran was the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , a militant organization that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka...

 remained uncertain. On 12 May 2009, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 reported that the LTTE was now clinging to 840 acres (3.4 km²) of land near the town of Mullaitivu
Mullaitivu
Mullaitivu is a small town on the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka. It is the capital of Mullaitivu District in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. A largely fishing settlement, the town in the early 20th century grew as an anchoring harbour of the small sailing vessels transporting goods between...

, which is roughly the same area as New York City's Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

. UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon appealed to the LTTE that children should not be held hostage, recruited as child soldiers, or put in harm's way. Claude Heller
Claude Heller
Claude Heller Rouassant is the current Ambassador for Mexico to the United Nations and the Security Council. He has been Mexico's Ambassador to France, Cuba, Austria and Switzerland...

 of United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 said, 'We demand that the LTTE immediately lay down arms, renounce terrorism, allow a UN-assisted evacuation of the remaining civilians in the conflict area, and join the political process.' The council president, speaking on behalf of the 15 members, said they 'strongly condemned the LTTE, a terrorist organisation, for the use of civilians as human shields and for not allowing them to leave the area'. On 13 May 2009, the UN security council condemned the LTTE, denounced its use of civilians as human shields, and urged them to acknowledge the legitimate right of the government of Sri Lanka to combat terrorism by laying down their arms and allowing the tens of thousands of civilians to leave the conflict zone. On 14 May 2009, The United Nations acting representative for Sri Lanka, Amin Awad, said that 6,000 civilians had fled or were trying to flee, but that LTTE was firing on them to prevent them from escaping.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Mahinda Rajapaksa
Percy Mahendra "Mahinda" Rajapaksa ; ; born November 18, 1945) is the 6th and current President of Sri Lanka and Commander in Chief of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. A lawyer by profession, Rajapaksa was first elected to the Parliament of Sri Lanka in 1970, and served as prime minister from April 6,...

 declared military victory over the Tamil Tigers on 16 May 2009, after 26 years of conflict. The rebels offered to lay down their weapons in return for a guarantee of safety. Sri Lanka's disaster relief and human-rights minister Mahinda Samarasinghe
Mahinda Samarasinghe
Mahinda Buddhadasa Samarasinghe, MP is a Sri Lankan politician and former diplomat. He is the current Cabinet Minister of Plantation in President Mahinda Rajapakse's Government, and Sri Lanka Freedom Party chief organiser for the Agalawatte Electorate in Kalutara District...

 stated 'The military phase is over. The LTTE has been militarily defeated. Now the biggest hostage rescue operation in the world has come to a conclusion, The figure I have here is since 20 April 179,000 hostages have been rescued.' On 17 May 2009, LTTE head of "Department of International Relations", Selvarasa Pathmanathan conceded defeat, saying in an email
Email
Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

 statement "This battle has reached its bitter end". Several LTTE fighters committed suicide when they became surrounded.

Aftermath

With the end of the hostilities, 11,664 LTTE members, including 595 child soldiers surrendered to the Sri Lankan military. Approximately 150 hardcore LTTE cadres and 1000 middle level cadres escaped to India. Government took action to rehabilitate the surrendered cadres under a "National Action Plan for the Re-integration of Ex-combatants". They were divided into 3 categores; hardcore, non-combatants, and those who were forcefully recruited (including child soldiers). 24 rehabilitation centres were set up in Jaffna, Batticaloa and Vavuniya. Among the apprehended carders, there had been about 700 hardcore members. Some of these cadres were integrated into State Intelligence Services to tackle the internal and external networks of LTTE. By August 2011, government had released more than 8,000 cadres, and 2,879 remained.

Continued operations

After the demise of LTTE leader Prabhakaran and the entire top brass of the organization, Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP was its sole first generation leader left alive. KP assumed duty as the new leader of LTTE on 21 July 2009. A statement was issued, allegedly from the Executive Committee of the LTTE, stating that Pathmanathan had been appointed leader of the LTTE. But 15 days after the announcement, on 5 August 2009, a Sri Lankan military intelligence unit, with the collaboration of local authorities, captured Pathmanathan in the Tune Hotel, Downtown Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the second largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of , has a population of 1.4 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million...

, Malaysia. LTTE leader of Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Perinpanayagam Sivaparan
Perinpanayagam Sivaparan
Perinpanayagam Sivaparan known by his nom de guerre Nediyawan is a prominent figure in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that some have claimed is the new head of the organization, after the arrest of Selvarasa Pathmanathan.-Personal life:...

 alias Nediyavan, Global Tamil Forum
Global Tamil Forum
Global Tamil Forum is an International Tamil organization meant to further Tamil causes in Tamil areas of Sri Lanka GTF supports self-determination for Tamils and wants Justice for War crimes against Tamils. It is headed by S. J. Emmanuel. In UK it works with both Labour and Conservative Parties...

 President Father
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

 S. J. Emmanuel
S. J. Emmanuel
Reverend Father S. J. Emmanuel is a Sri Lankan Tamil Catholic priest, activist and president of the Global Tamil Forum, an umbrella organisation for Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora groups.-Early life:...

 and New York based lawyer Visvanathan Rudrakumaran
Visvanathan Rudrakumaran
Visvanathan Rudrakumaran is the chairman of Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam which wants to create a separate homeland called Tamil Eelam. By profession he is a lawyer in the United States. He is currently a US citizen and lives in New York....

 are allegedly trying to revive the organization among the Tamil diaspora
Tamil diaspora
The Tamil diaspora is a demographic group of Tamil people of Indian or Sri Lankan origin who have settled in other parts of the world. Significant Tamil diaspora populations can be found in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Middle East, Réunion, South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Fiji, Guyana,...

. Subsequently in May 2011, Nediyavan, who advocates an armed struggle against Sri Lankan state, was arrested and released on bail in Norway, pending further investigation.

Divisions

Two major divisions of the LTTE were, the military wing and the political wing. Military wing consisted of at least 11 separate divisions including the conventional fighting forces, Charles Anthony Brigade
Charles Anthony Brigade
Charles Anthony Brigade the first conventional fighting formation created by the LTTE on 10 April 1991 was initially trained under the leadership of Col. Balraj. It is one of the oldest and a highly trained infantry units of the Tamil Tigers...

 and Jeyanthan Brigade
Jeyanthan Brigade
Jeyanthan Brigade consist of LTTE fighters from Eastern Sri Lanka. The fighters have participated in many conventional battles fought against the Sri Lankan Forces including Battle of Pooneryn, Operation Jayasikurui, Battle of Mullaitivu, Battle of Kilinochchi and Second Battle of Elephant Pass...

; the dreaded suicide wing called the Black Tigers; naval wing Sea Tigers
Sea Tigers
The Sea Tigers was the naval wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the Sri Lankan Civil War. It was founded in 1984. The Sea Tigers had a number of small but effective suicide bomber vessels. During its existence it had gained a reputation as a capable adversary for the Sri Lankan Navy...

, air-wing Air Tigers
Air Tigers
The Air Tigers was the air-wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , who used it against the Government of Sri Lanka...

, LTTE leader Prabhakaran's personal security divisions, Imran Pandian regiment and Ratha regiment; auxiliary military units such as Kittu artillery brigade, Kutti Sri mortar brigade, Ponnamman mining unit and hit-and-run squads like Pistol gang. Charles Anthony brigade was the first conventional fighting formation created by LTTE. Sea Tiger division was founded in 1984, under the leadership of Thillaiyampalam Sivanesan alias Soosai. LTTE acquired its first light aircraft
Light aircraft
A light aircraft is an aircraft that has a maximum gross take-off weight of or less.Many aircraft used commercially for freight, sightseeing, photography and scheduled flights are light aircraft.Examples of light aircraft include:...

 in late 1990s. Vaithilingam Sornalingam
Vaithilingam Sornalingam
Vaithilingam Sornalingam was founder of the air wing and marine division of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and a relative of Velupillai Prabhakaran...

 alias Shankar was instrumental in creating the Air Tigers
Air Tigers
The Air Tigers was the air-wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , who used it against the Government of Sri Lanka...

. It carried out 9 air attacks since 2007, including one last suicide air raid
2009 suicide air raid on Colombo
The 2009 suicide air raid on Colombo was an unsuccessful kamikaze style suicide attack launched by the air wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on February 20, 2009, targeting military locations in and around Colombo, Sri Lanka...

 targeting Sri Lanka Air Force headquarters, Colombo
SLAF Colombo
SLAF Colombo is the Sri Lanka Air Force headquarters in Colombo. In this capacity it has the offices of the Commander of the Air Force, Chief of Staff, the Board of Management and Board of Directors of the Sri Lanka Air Force...

 in February 2009. LTTE is the only terrorist-proscribed organization to acquie aircrafts. LTTE intelligence wing consisted of Tiger Organization Security Intelligence Service aka TOSIS, run by Pottu Amman, and a separate military intelligence division.
Aircraft in LTTE possession
Type of Aircraft Quantity
Micro Light Aircraft 2
ZLIN 143
Zlín Z 43
|-See also:-External links:* *...

5
Helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s
2
Unmanned aerial vehicle
Unmanned aerial vehicle
An unmanned aerial vehicle , also known as a unmanned aircraft system , remotely piloted aircraft or unmanned aircraft, is a machine which functions either by the remote control of a navigator or pilot or autonomously, that is, as a self-directing entity...

s
2

Although LTTE was never serious about a political solution, it operated a systematic and powerful political wing, which functioned like a separate state in the LTTE controlled area. In 1989, it established a political party named People's Front of Liberation Tigers
People's Front of Liberation Tigers
The People's Front of Liberation Tigers is a political party in Sri Lanka, founded as the political wing of the LTTE in 1989. Mahattaya was the founding president of the PFLT. PFLT took part as an observer in the August 12, 1989 All Party Conference, and was prepared to take part in elections...

, under Gopalaswamy Mahendraraja
Gopalaswamy Mahendraraja
Gopalaswamy Mahendraraja , also known as Mahattaya was a member of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam who was killed for leaking secrets to India's RAW- Personnel life :...

 alias Mahattaya. It was abandoned soon after. Later, S. P. Thamilselvan
S. P. Thamilselvan
Suppayya Paramu Thamilselvan, commonly known as S. P. Tamilselvan, , was the leader of the political wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, an organisation fighting for a separate state for the ethnic Tamil minority in northern Sri Lanka from majority Sinhalese govt...

 was appointed the head of the political wing. He was a member of the LTTE delegation for Norwegian brokered peace talks too. After the death of Thamilselvan in November 2007, Balasingham Nadesan
Balasingham Nadesan
Balasingham Nadesan was the LTTEs Political Chief from late 2007 until his death in 2009. He used to be the head of Police of the LTTE and was formerly based in Tamil Nadu.-Personal life:...

 was appointed as its leader. Major sections within the political wing include International peace secretariat, led by Pulidevan, LTTE Police, LTTE court, Eelam bank, Sports division and "Voice of Tigers" Radio broadcasting station of LTTE.

LTTE is also known for the use of female cadres for military engagements. Its women's' wing consisted of Malathi and Sothiya Brogades. Besides, LTTE controlled a powerful international wing. "KP branch", controlled by Selvarasa Pathmanathan, "Castro branch", controlled by Veerakathy Manivannam alias Castro and "Aiyannah group" led by Ponniah Anandaraja alias Aiyannah, comprised the international wing.

Global network

LTTE had developed a massive international network since the days of N.S. Krishnan, who served as its first international representative. In late 1970s, TULF parliamentarian and opposition leader A. Amirthalingam provided letters of reference for fundraising, and V. N. Navaratnam
V. N. Navaratnam
V. N. Navaratnam was a Sri Lankan Tamil politician and Member of Parliament.Navaratnam represented the Chavakacheri constituency in the Sri Lankan Parliament between April 1956 and July 1983, for the Federal Party at first and then the Tamil United Liberation Front .He resigned from Parliament on...

, who was an executive committee member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), introduced many influential and wealthy Tamils living overseas to Tamil insurgent leaders. Navaratnam also introduced LTTE members to the members of Polisario Front
Polisario Front
The POLISARIO, Polisario Front, or Frente Polisario, from the Spanish abbreviation of Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro is a Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement working for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco...

, a national liberation movement
National Liberation Movement
A national liberation movement is an organization engaged in a war of national liberation.National Liberation Movement may also refer to:* Movement of National Liberation, a leftist party founded by former Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas...

 in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, at a meeting held in Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. In 1978, during the world tour of Amirthalingam (with London based Eelam activist S. K. Vaikundavasan), he formed the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC), which later turned out to be an LTTE front organization. The global contacts of LTTE grew steadily since then. At the height of its power, LTTE had 42 offices all over the world. The global network of LTTE is functional in 4 major areas. They are,
  • Propaganda
  • Fund raising
  • Arms procurement
  • Shipping


There were 3 types of organizations to do propaganda and fund raising, i.e. Front, Cover and Sympathetic. Prior to the ethnic riots of 1983, attempts to raise funds for a sustaining military campaign were not realised. It was the mass exodus of Tamil civilians to India and western countries following Black July ethnic riots
Black July
Black July is the commonly used name for the anti-Tamil pogrom and attacks carried out by mobs in Sri Lanka which began on July 23, 1983. The riots occurred following a deadly ambush by a Tamil militant organization known as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which killed 13 Sri Lanka Army soldiers...

, which made it possible. As the armed conflict evolved and voluntary donations dwindled, LTTE used force and threats to collect money. LTTE was worth US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 200-300 million at its peak. The group's global network owned numerous business ventures in various countries. These include investment in real estate, shipping, grocery stores, gold and jewellery stores, gas stations, restaurants, production of films, mass media organizations (TV, radio, print), industries, etc. It was also in control of numerous charitable organizations including Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation
Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation
The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation was established in 1985 in Tamil Nadu in southeastern India by Tamil refugees fleeing the violence in North and East Sri Lanka. Its operation to provide relief to the refugees in India continued until 1987...

, which was banned and funds were frozen by United States Treasury
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue...

 in 2007 for covertly financing terrorism.

Arms Procurement and shipping activities of LTTE were largely clandestine. Prior to 1983, it procured weapons mainly from Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 via the Indo-Pakistani border. Explosives were purchased from commercial markets in India. From 1983 to 1987, LTTE acquired subsantial amount of weapons from RAW
Research and Analysis Wing
The Research and Analysis Wing is India's external intelligence agency. It was formed in September 1968 after the poor performance of the Intelligence Bureau in the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and the India-Pakistani war of 1965 convinced the then government of India that a specialized, independent...

and from Lebanon, Cyprus, Singapore and Malaysia based arms dealers. LTTE received its first consignment of arms from Singapore in 1984 on board MV Cholan, the first ship owned by the organization. Funds were received and cargo was cleared at Chennai Port
Chennai Port
Chennai Port , formerly known as Madras Port, is the second largest port of India, behind the Mumbai Port, and the largest port in the Bay of Bengal. Being the third oldest port among the 12 major ports of India, it is over 125 years old, although maritime trade started way back in 1639 on the sea...

 with the assistance of M. G. Ramachandran
M. G. Ramachandran
Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran , popularly known by his initials , was an Indian film actor, director, producer and politician....

, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. In November 1994, LTTE was able to purchase whopping 60 tonne
Tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

s of explosives (50 tonnes of TNT and 10 tonnes of RDX
RDX
RDX, an initialism for Research Department Explosive, is an explosive nitroamine widely used in military and industrial applications. It was developed as an explosive which was more powerful than TNT, and it saw wide use in WWII. RDX is also known as cyclonite, hexogen , and T4...

) from Rubezone Chemical plant in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, providing a forged Bangladeshi Ministry of Defense end-user certificate. Payments for the explosives were made from a Citibank
Citibank Singapore
Citibank Singapore Limited is a division of Citibank N. A. of the United States and incorporated in Singapore on 28 June 2004. It has Qualifying Full Bank status which was awarded to its parent on 20 October 1999, and the QFB status was transferred on the same day of its incorporation...

 account in Singapore held by Selvarasa Pathmanathan. Consignment was transported on board MV Sewne. Same explosives were used for the Central Bank bombing
Central Bank Bombing
The Central Bank bombing was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks carried out by the LTTE during the Separatist civil war in Sri Lanka between the government and the Tamil Tigers.The attack took place on January 31, 1996, Sri Lankan city of Colombo...

 in 1996. Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia remained the most trusted outposts of LTTE, after India alienated it after the Rajiv Gandhi assassination.

Since late 1997, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 became the principal country to provide arms, ammunition and explosives to the LTTE. The deal with North Korean government was carried out by Ponniah Anandaraja alias Aiyannah, a member of World Tamil Coordinating Committee of USA and later, the accountant of LTTE. He worked at the North Korean embassy in Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

 since late 1997. LTTE had nearly 20 second-hand ships, which were purchased in Japan, and registered in Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

 and other Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n countries. Most of the times, these ships transported general cargo, including paddy, sugar, timber, glass and fertilizer. But when an arms deal was finalised, they travelled to North Korea, load the cargo and brought it to the equator
Equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

. Then the ships are based there. Then on board merchant tankers, weapons were transferred to the sea of Alampil
Alampil
Alampil is a small town in Sri Lanka. It is located within Northern Province.-External links:*...

, just outside the territorial waters in Sri Lanka's Exclusive Economic Zone
Exclusive Economic Zone
Under the law of the sea, an exclusive economic zone is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, including production of energy from water and wind. It stretches from the seaward edge of the state's territorial sea out to 200 nautical...

. After that, small teams of Sea Tigers
Sea Tigers
The Sea Tigers was the naval wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the Sri Lankan Civil War. It was founded in 1984. The Sea Tigers had a number of small but effective suicide bomber vessels. During its existence it had gained a reputation as a capable adversary for the Sri Lankan Navy...

 brought the cargo ashore. Sri Lanka Navy, during 2005-08 destroyed at least 11 of these cargo ships belonged to LTTE in the international waters
International waters
The terms international waters or trans-boundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems , and wetlands.Oceans,...

.

LTTE's last shipment of weapons came in March 2009, towards the end of the war. Merchant vessel "Princess Iswari" went from Indonesia to North Korea under captain Kamalraj Kandasamy alias Vinod, loaded the weapons and it came back to international waters beyond Sri Lanka. But due to the heavy naval bockades set up by Sri Lanka Navy, it could not deliver the arms consignment. Thus it dumped the weapons in the sea. The same ship, after changing its name to MV Ocean Lady, appeared in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

 with 76 migrants, in October 2009. In December 2009, Sri Lanka Navy apprehended a merchant vessel belonged to LTTE, "Princess Chrisanta" in Indonesia and brought it back to Sri Lanka.

LTTE had a special relationship with Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 in the latter stages of Sri Lankan civil war. United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It is charged with leading foreign-policy legislation and debate in the Senate. The Foreign Relations Committee is generally responsible for overseeing and funding foreign aid programs as...

 (USSFRC) and Ethiopian based Jimma Times claimed that Eritrean government
Politics of Eritrea
Politics of Eritrea takes place in a framework of a single-party presidential republic, whereby the Eritrean President of State is both head of state and head of government and a single-party state, led by the People's Front for Democracy and Justice...

 had provided direct military assistance, including light aircraft
Light aircraft
A light aircraft is an aircraft that has a maximum gross take-off weight of or less.Many aircraft used commercially for freight, sightseeing, photography and scheduled flights are light aircraft.Examples of light aircraft include:...

s to LTTE. This relationship was developed during the 2002-03 period, when it was having negotiations with Sri Lankan government via the Norwegian mediators. It has been alleged that Erik Solheim
Erik Solheim
Erik Solheim is a Norwegian politician for the Socialist Left Party . He holds two posts in the current Norwegian cabinet, and carries the title Minister of the Environment and Minister of Development Cooperation...

, the chief Norwegian facilitator, helped LTTE to establish this relationship. Sri Lankan armed forces have been concerned that Prabhakaran may try to flee to Eritrea, in the final stages of war.

Links to other designated terrorist organizations

LTTE is believed to have no extensive military association with al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 or other Islamic terrorist groups. However, LTTE had stolen Norwegian passports and sold them to Al Queda affiliates including Ramzi Yousef
Ramzi Yousef
Ramzi Yousef was one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot. In 1995, he was arrested at a guest house in Islamabad, by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and United States Diplomatic Security Service, then extradited to the...

, who was one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing
1993 World Trade Center bombing
The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 lb urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower into the South Tower , bringing...

 and a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot. The group had interactions with other terrorist organizations through illegal arms markets in Myanmar
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, and Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

. It had also smuggled weapons from Pakistan-based Islamists to their counterparts in the Philippines. During the mid-1970s, LTTE rebels were known to have trained from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organisation founded in 1967. It has consistently been the second-largest of the groups forming the Palestine Liberation Organization , the largest being Fatah...

 (PFLP) in Southern Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

.

LTTE also had connections with Maoist Naxalite movement
Naxalite-Maoist insurgency
The Naxalite-Maoist insurgency is an ongoing conflict between Maoist groups, known as Naxalites or Naxals, and the Indian government.In 2006 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the Naxalites "The single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country."...

, which is fighting to establish a Marxist Indian state, and Khalistan movement
Khalistan movement
Khalistan refers to a global political secessionist movement to create a separate Sikh state, called Khālistān , carved out of parts mostly consisting of the Punjab region of India, depending on definition....

, which is fighting to create a separate Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

 state in India. LTTE's shipping fleet has provided logistics support to Harkat-ul-Mujahideen
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen- al-Islami is a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group operating primarily in Kashmir. In 1997, the United States designated Harakat al-Ansar a foreign terrorist organization for links to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and in response the organization changed its name to...

, a Pakistani group with al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 affiliations, to transport a consignment of weapons to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. They also maintain close contact with the Kurdistan Workers' Party
Kurdistan Workers' Party
The Kurdistan Workers' Party , commonly known as PKK, also known as KGK and formerly known as KADEK or KONGRA-GEL , is a Kurdish organization which has since 1984 been fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and greater cultural and political rights...

 (PKK). LTTE had also sent two combat tacticians and explosive experts to the southern Philippines to train members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is an Islamist group located in the southern Philippines. It is one of two Islamic militant groups, the other being the Abu Sayyaf, that are fighting against Government of the Philippines...

.

The Times of India, in 2001, highlighted an alleged nexus between al-Qaeda and the LTTE, and claimed that "[al-Qaeda links with the LTTE] are the first instance of an Islamist group collaborating with an essentially secular outfit". The US-based research organisation "Maritime Intelligence Group" said the Indonesian group Jemaah Islamiya, which has known links to al-Qaeda, had been trained in sea-borne guerrilla tactics by LTTE Sea Tiger veterans.

"Norwegians Against Terrorism" led by Falk Rune Rovik, described how the Tamil community in Norway, at the behest of the LTTE, sold fake and stolen Norwegian passports to al-Qaeda members. The LTTE itself acquired a fake passport for Ramzi Yousef
Ramzi Yousef
Ramzi Yousef was one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot. In 1995, he was arrested at a guest house in Islamabad, by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and United States Diplomatic Security Service, then extradited to the...

, convicted mastermind of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. He further alleged that funds from Government of Norway had been inadvertently diverted to the LTTE.

LTTE tactics followed by other terrorist organizations

Some of LTTE's attacks in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 have similarities to attacks by other proscribed groups. Some examples are:
  • The similarities between previous LTTE attacks against Sri Lanka Navy
    Sri Lankan Navy
    -The Beginning and World War II:In January 1938 the Ceylon Naval Volunteer Force was created with Commander W.G. Beauchamp as Commanding Officer under ordinance No I of 1937. On 31 August 1939 at the out set of World War II, the CNVF was mobilized for war duties...

     ships and the al-Qaeda attack
    USS Cole bombing
    The USS Cole Bombing, or the USS Cole Incident, was a suicide attack against the United States Navy destroyer on October 12, 2000 while it was harbored and refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden. Seventeen American sailors were killed, and 39 were injured...

     on the USS Cole
    USS Cole (DDG-67)
    The second USS Cole is an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyer homeported in NS Norfolk, Virginia. The Cole is named in honor of Marine Sergeant Darrell S. Cole, a machine-gunner killed in action on Iwo Jima on 19 February 1945, during World War II...

     which killed 17 US Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

     sailors. The incident has raised suspicions of connections between the two groups. The "Maritime Intelligence Group" based in Washington, DC, claims to have unearthed substantial evidence that the LTTE trained Indonesian Islamists in the technique of maritime suicide bombings. The group, linked to al-Qaeda, is believed to have then passed the technique it learned from the LTTE to al-Qaeda itself.
  • The website "South Asian Terrorism Portal" claimed that the LTTE provided forged passports to Ramzi Yousef
    Ramzi Yousef
    Ramzi Yousef was one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot. In 1995, he was arrested at a guest house in Islamabad, by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and United States Diplomatic Security Service, then extradited to the...

    , who was one of the planners of the first attack against the World Trade Center
    World Trade Center
    The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

     in New York in 1993. The allegation has been backed by the Westminster Journal as well.

The website "South Asian Terrorism Portal" states that there are increasing intelligence reports that the LTTE was smuggling arms to various terrorist organizations, including Islamic groups in Pakistan and their counterparts in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, using their covert smuggling networks. The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies
International Institute for Strategic Studies
The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a British research institute in the area of international affairs. It describes itself as "the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict"...

 found that LTTE was building commercial links with al-Qaeda and other militants in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and that several cadres were spotted in Afghan militant camps.
  • India's National Security Adviser, M K Narayanan, alleges that LTTE raises money by smuggling narcotics. A recent arrest of LTTE operatives in Colombia
    Colombia
    Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

     corroborates this claim.
  • According to an "anti-LTTE" website, Glen Jenvey
    Glen Jenvey
    Glen Jenvey, born April 9, 1965, is a British journalist who states that he has devoted much of his time to infiltrating, undermining and exposing radical Islamic groups...

    , a former employee of the government of Sri Lanka and a specialist on international terrorism, claimed that al-Qaeda has copied most of its terror tactics from the LTTE. He highlighted the LTTE as the mastermind that set the pattern for organisations like al-Qaeda.
  • According to Asian Tribune
    Asian Tribune
    The Asian Tribune is an online newspaper that provides news and editorial on the current affairs of Asia, with a special emphasis on South Asia but mostly concentrates its news on the current Civil conflict in Sri Lanka....

    , attacks on civilians in buses and trains in Sri Lanka were copied in the attack on public civilian transport during July 2005 bombings
    7 July 2005 London bombings
    The 7 July 2005 London bombings were a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks in the United Kingdom, targeting civilians using London's public transport system during the morning rush hour....

     in London.

Proscription as a terrorist group

32 countries have listed the LTTE as a terrorist organization. As of January 2009, these include:
  • India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     (since 1992)
  • United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     (designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations by the Department of State
    United States Department of State
    The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

     since 8 October 1997. Named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist
    Specially Designated Global Terrorist
    Specially Designated Global Terrorist is a designation authorized under U.S. Executive Order 13224 , among other executive orders, and Title 31, Parts 595, 596, and 597 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, among other U.S. laws and regulations. SDGT designations are administered and enforced...

     (SDGT) since 2 November 2001)
  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     (designated as Proscribed Terrorist Group under the Terrorism Act 2000
    Terrorism Act 2000
    The Terrorism Act 2000 is the first of a number of general Terrorism Acts passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It superseded and repealed the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989 and the Northern Ireland Act 1996...

     by the Home Secretary
    Home Secretary
    The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the Home Office of the United Kingdom, and one of the country's four Great Offices of State...

     since 2000)
  • European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

     (since 2006; 27 countries)
  • Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     (since 2006) Canada does not grant residency to LTTE members on the grounds that they have participated in crimes against humanity
    Crime against humanity
    Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings...

    .
  • Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

     (from January 1998 to 4 September 2002, and again from 7 January 2009)


The first country to ban the LTTE was its former ally, India. The Indian change of policy came gradually, starting with the IPKF-LTTE conflict, and culminating with the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India . He took office after his mother's assassination on 31 October 1984; he himself was assassinated on 21 May 1991. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40.Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira...

. India opposes the new state Tamil Eelam that LTTE wants to establish, saying that it would lead to Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

's separation from India though the leaders of Tamil Nadu are opposing it. Sri Lanka itself lifted the ban on the LTTE before signing the ceasefire agreement in 2002. This was a prerequisite set by the LTTE for the signing of the agreement.

The European Union banned LTTE as a terrorist organization on 17 May 2006. In a statement, the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 said that the LTTE did not represent all the Tamils and called on it to "allow for political pluralism and alternate democratic voices in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka".

Assassinations

Political figures assassinated by LTTE
Position/Status Number
President of Sri Lanka
President of Sri Lanka
The President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is the elected head of state and the head of government. The President is a dominant political figure in Sri Lanka. The office was created in 1978 but has grown so powerful there have been calls to restrict or even eliminate its power...

1
Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

1
Presidential candidate 1
Leaders of political parties 10
Cabinet Ministers
Cabinet of Sri Lanka
The Cabinet of Sri Lanka is the council of cabinet ministers , responsible to parliament. Cabinet ministers are appointed by the President under the advice of the Prime Minister and serve at his pleasure. Officially the prime minister is the head of the cabinet, but the cabinet is chaired by the...

7
Members of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

37
Members of Provincial Councils
Local government in Sri Lanka
Local government is the third and lowest level of government in Sri Lanka - after the central government and provincial councils. The local government bodies are collectively known as local authorities. They are responsible for providing a variety of local public services including roads,...

6
Members of Pradeshiya Sabha 22
Political Party Organisers 17
Mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

s
4

The LTTE has been condemned by various groups for assassinating political and military opponents. The victims include Tamil moderates who coordinated with Sri Lanka Government, Tamil paramilitary groups assisting Sri Lankan Army. The assassination of the Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa was the 3rd President of Sri Lanka from January 2, 1989 to May 1, 1993. Before that, he served as the Prime Minister in the government headed by J. R. Jayewardene from February 6, 1978 to January 1, 1989...

 is attributed to LTTE. The seventh Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Rajiv Gandhi, was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber Thenmozhi Rajaratnam on 21 May 1991. On 24 October 1994, LTTE detonated a bomb during a political rally in Thotalanga-Grandpass, which in turn wiped out most of the promonent politicians of the United National Party
United National Party
The United National Party, often referred to as the UNP ), , is a political party in Sri Lanka. It currently is the main opposition party in Sri Lanka and is headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe...

, including presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake
Gamini Dissanayake
Lionel Gamini Dissanayake was a prominent Sri Lankan politician and a former presidential candidate and Leader of the Opposition.-Early life:...

 MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

, Cabinet ministers Weerasinghe Mallimarachchi
Weerasinghe Mallimarachchi
Weerasinghe Mallimarachchi was the Cabinet Minister of Food and Co-operative of United National Party government from 1990-94. He was re-elected from the Parliamentary election of 1994...

 and G. M. Premachandra
G. M. Premachandra
G. M. Premachandra was the Cabinet Minister of Labour and Vocational Training of United National Party government from 1990-94. He was re-elected from the Parliamentary election of 1994...

, Ossie Abeygunasekara
Ossie Abeygunasekara
Ossie Abeygunasekara was a former Member of Parliament and chairman of the Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya. He was assassinated by a female suicide bomber of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam while attending an election rally in support of Gamini Dissanayake, for the Presidential election of 1994...

 MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 and Gamini Wijesekara MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

.

LTTE sympathizers justify some of the assassinations by arguing that the people attacked were combatants or persons closely associated with Sri Lankan military intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

. Specifically in relation to the TELO
Telo
Telo is one of the 77 woredas in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region of Ethiopia. This woreda has its origins in the province Chetta of the former Kingdom of Kaffa. A triangle-shaped sub-unit of the Keficho Shekicho Zone, Telo is bordered on the west by Decha, at the northwest...

, the LTTE has said that it had to perform preemptive self-defence
Self-defense
Self-defense, self-defence or private defense is a countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one's property or the well-being of another from physical harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many...

 because the TELO was in effect functioning as a proxy for India.

Suicide bombings

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies
International Institute for Strategic Studies
The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a British research institute in the area of international affairs. It describes itself as "the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict"...

, LTTE was the first insurgent organization to use concealed explosive belts and vests
Explosive belt
An explosive belt is an improvised explosive device, a belt or a vest packed with explosives and armed with a detonator, worn by suicide bombers...

. The specialized unit that carried out suicide attack
Suicide attack
A suicide attack is a type of attack in which the attacker expects or intends to die in the process.- Historical :...

s was named the Black Tigers. According to the information published by the LTTE, the Black Tigers carried out 378 suicide attacks between 5 July 1987 and 20 November 2008. Out of the deceased, 274 were male and 104 were female.

Many of these attacks have involved military objectives in the north and east of the country, although civilians have been targeted on numerous occasions, including during a high profile attack on Colombo's International Airport in 2001 that caused damage to several commercial airliners and military jets, and killed 16 people. The LTTE was responsible for a 1998 attack on the Buddhist shrine and UNESCO world heritage site  Sri Dalada Maligawa
Temple of the Tooth
Sri Dalada Maligawa or The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex which houses the Relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is...

 in Kandy
Kandy
Kandy is a city in the center of Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka; it is both an...

 that killed eight worshipers. The attack was symbolic in that the shrine, which houses a sacred tooth of the Buddha
Buddha
In Buddhism, buddhahood is the state of perfect enlightenment attained by a buddha .In Buddhism, the term buddha usually refers to one who has become enlightened...

, is the holiest Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka. Other Buddhist shrines have been attacked, notably the Sambuddhaloka Temple in Colombo that killed nine worshipers.

Black Tiger wing had carried out attacks on various high-profile leaders both inside and outside Sri Lanka. It had successfully targeted 3 world leaders, only insurgent group to do so. That includes assassination of Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi assassination
The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the sixth Prime Minister of India, occurred as a result of a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, India on 21 May, 1991. At least 14 others were also killed. It was carried out by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, also known as Dhanu. The attack was blamed on the...

, the former Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

 on 21 May 1991, assassination of Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa was the 3rd President of Sri Lanka from January 2, 1989 to May 1, 1993. Before that, he served as the Prime Minister in the government headed by J. R. Jayewardene from February 6, 1978 to January 1, 1989...

, the President of Sri Lanka
President of Sri Lanka
The President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is the elected head of state and the head of government. The President is a dominant political figure in Sri Lanka. The office was created in 1978 but has grown so powerful there have been calls to restrict or even eliminate its power...

 on 1 May 1993 and failed assassination attempt of Chandrika Kumaratunga
Chandrika Kumaratunga
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga born June 29, 1945) was the 4th Executive president of Sri Lanka, serving from November 12, 1994 to November 19, 2005. The daughter of two former Prime Ministers, she was also the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party until end of 2005...

, the Sri Lankan President on 18 December 1999, which resulted in the loss of her right eye.

The slain Black Tiger cadres were highly glorified and their families were given the "Maha Viru family" status. Those cadres were given a chance to have his/her last supper with the LTTE leader Prabhakaran, which was a rare honour one would get in the LTTE controlled area. This, in turn motivated LTTE cadres to join the Black Tiger wing.

On 28 November 2007, an LTTE suicide bomber named Sujatha Vagawanam [24], in an attempt to kill Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda
Douglas Devananda
Kathiravelu Nithyananda Douglas Devananda, commonly known as Douglas Devananda, is a Sri Lankan Tamil politician, Cabinet Minister and leader of the Eelam People's Democratic Party. Originally a Sri Lanka Tamil militant who fought against the Sri Lankan government for an independent Tamil Eelam, he...

, detonated a bomb, hidden inside her brassiere
Brassiere
A brassiere is an undergarment that covers, supports, and elevates the breasts. Since the late 19th century, it has replaced the corset as the most widely accepted method for supporting breasts....

. This was recorded in the security cameras inside Devananda's office. It is the only occasion a suicide bomber detonating the bomb is recorded in a camera. (video)

Human rights violations

The United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 states that its reason for banning LTTE as a proscribed terrorist group is based on allegations that LTTE does not respect human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and that it does not adhere to the standards of conduct expected of a resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

 or what might be called "freedom fighters
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

". The FBI has described the LTTE as "amongst the most dangerous and deadly extremist outfits in the world". Other countries have also proscribed LTTE under the same rationale. Numerous countries and international organizations have accused the LTTE of attacking civilians and recruiting children.

Attacks on civilians

The LTTE has launched attacks on civilian targets several times. Notable attacks include the Aranthalawa Massacre
Aranthalawa Massacre
The Aranthalawa Massacre was the massacre of 33 Buddhist monks, most of them young novice monks, and four civilians by cadres of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organization on June 2, 1987 close to the village of Aranthalawa, in the Amparadistrict of Eastern Sri Lanka.The massacre is...

, Anuradhapura massacre
Anuradhapura massacre
The Anuradhapura massacre occurred in Sri Lanka in 1985 and was carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. This was the largest massacre of Sinhalese civilians by the LTTE to date; it was also the first major operation carried out by the LTTE outside a Tamil majority area.-Incident:The...

, Kattankudy mosque massacre
Kattankudy mosque massacre
The Kattankudi mosque massacre was the killing of over 147 Muslim men and boys in a mosque in Kattankudi by LTTE cadres on August 3, 1990. It took place when around 30 Tamil rebels raided four mosques in the town of Kattankudi, where over 300 people were prostrate in Isha prayers...

, the Kebithigollewa massacre
Kebithigollewa massacre
The Kebithigollewa massacre occurred on June 15, 2006 when 60 people were killed as a result of claymore attack on a bus. The U.S and the SLMM claimed that LTTE was the perpetrator. However, LTTE claimed that they did not perpetrate this attack.- Incident :...

, and the Dehiwala train bombing. Civilians have also been killed in attacks on economic targets, such as the Central Bank bombing
Central Bank Bombing
The Central Bank bombing was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks carried out by the LTTE during the Separatist civil war in Sri Lanka between the government and the Tamil Tigers.The attack took place on January 31, 1996, Sri Lankan city of Colombo...

.

Women fighters

LTTE women’s involvement in the leadership and fighting forces of the group has given rise to fierce debates about whether the visibility of females in the LTTE fighting forces represented the ‘true’ liberation of the Tamil women and whether women would enjoy equal rights in the public during the post-conflict period. Actually, the Tamil Eelam is the overarching goal of the LTTE, and the emancipation of women has always been a secondary issue dependent on the liberation struggle. All the existing literature illustrates that the LTTE has been unsuccessful in creating the gender equality within the movement, and suggests that women have the right to achieve their emancipation and empowerment without linking to interests of the nationalist and ethnic struggles.

Child soldiers

The LTTE has been accused of recruiting and using child soldiers to fight against Sri Lankan government forces. The LTTE was accused of having up to 5,794 child soldiers in its ranks since 2001. Amid international pressure, the LTTE announced in July 2003 that it would stop conscripting child soldiers, but both UNICEF and Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 have accused it of reneging on its promises, and of conscripting Tamil children orphaned by the tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

. On 18 June 2007, the LTTE released 135 children under 18. UNICEF, along with the United States, states that there has been a significant drop in LTTE recruitment of children, but claimed in 2007 that 506 child recruits remain under the LTTE. A report released by the LTTE's Child Protection Authority (CPA) in 2008 stated that less than 40 soldiers under age 18 remained in its forces. In 2009 a Special Representative of the Secretary-General
Special Representative of the Secretary-General
A Special Representative of the Secretary-General is a highly respected expert who has been appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to represent her/him in meetings with heads of state on critical human rights issues...

 of the United Nations said the Tamil Tigers "continue to recruit children to fight on the frontlines", and "use force to keep many civilians, including children, in harms way".

The LTTE argues that instances of child recruitment occurred mostly in the east, under the purview of former LTTE regional commander Colonel Karuna
Colonel Karuna
Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan is a Sri Lankan politician and former militant. After fighting for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for over 20 years, he rose to prominence as the leader of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal , a breakaway faction of the Tamil Tigers.After giving up arms and...

. After leaving the LTTE and forming the TMVP, it is alleged that Karuna continued to forcibly kidnap and induct child soldiers.

Ethnic cleansing

The LTTE is responsible for forcibly removing, or ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

, of Sinhalese
Sinhalese people
The Sinhalese are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group,forming the majority of Sri Lanka,constituting 74% of the Sri Lankan population.They number approximately 15 million worldwide.The Sinhalese identity is based on language, heritage and religion. The Sinhalese speak Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language and the...

 and Muslim
Sri Lankan Moors
The Sri Lankan Moors are the third largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka comprising 8% of the country's total population . They are predominantly followers of Islam. The Moors trace their ancestry to Arab traders who settled in Sri Lanka some time between the 8th and 15th centuries...

 inhabitants from areas under its control, and using violence against those who refuse to leave. The eviction of Muslim residents happened in the north in 1990, and the east in 1992. Main reason behind the expulsion of Muslims was the fact that local Muslim community did not support the Tamil Eelam
Tamil Eelam
Tamil Eelam , is the name given by certain Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora to the independent state which they aspire to create in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Tamil Eelam has no official status or recognition by any other state or authority...

 struggle of LTTE.

Howeverthe North of Sri Lanka participated the Tamil movement on several occasions. Muslim ironmongers in Mannar
Mannar, Sri Lanka
Mannar , formerly spelled Manar, is the capital of Mannar District, Sri Lanka. It is located on Mannar Island.Mannar is known for its baobab trees and for its fort, built by the Portuguese in 1560 and taken by the Dutch in 1658 and rebuilt; its ramparts and bastions are intact, though the interior...

 fashioned weapons for the LTTE. In its 1976 Vaddukodai Resolution, LTTE condemned the Sri Lankan government for "unleashing successive bouts of communal violence on both the Tamils and Muslims." But later, LTTE undertook its anti-Muslim campaigns as it began to view Muslims as outsiders, rather than a part of the Tamil nation. Local Tamil leaders were disturbed by the LTTE’s call for the eviction of Muslims in 1970. In 2005, the "International Federation of Tamils" claimed that the Sri Lankan military purposefully stoked tensions between Tamils and Muslims, in an attempt to undermine Tamil security. As Tamils turned to the LTTE for support, the Muslims were left with the Sri Lankan state as their sole defender, and so in the eyes of the LTTE, the Muslims had legitimized the role of the state, and were thus viewed as Sri Lankans.

Beginning in 1985, the LTTE forcibly occupied 35000 acres (141.6 km²) of Muslim-owned farmland in the north of Sri Lanka, before systematically evicting the Muslims from areas under LTTE control. Although anti-Muslim pogroms had occurred in the north and east of Sri Lanka since 1985, the LTTE embarked on a campaign to expel Muslims from the North in 1989. The first eviction notice was sent to the Muslims of Chavakacheri on 15 October 1989, after the LTTE entered the local mosque and threatened Muslims a few weeks earlier. Afterward, the houses of evicted Muslims were ransacked and looted. On 28 October 1989, the Muslims of Mannar were ordered to leave, by the LTTE. Before leaving, they had to seek permission and clearance at the LTTE office. LTTE was to decide their exit route."

The deadline was extended by four days after pleas from local Tamil Catholics, who were left to look after many Muslims' property in anticipation of looting by the Sri Lankan army. The Catholics themselves were later robbed by the LTTE of both their own, and the Muslims’ property. On the 28th, while Muslims were preparing to leave, the LTTE barred Hindus from entering Muslim villages and dealing with them. The areas were reopened on 3 November, after Muslims had been packed onto the boats of Muslim fishermen and sent southwards along the coast. After a lull in ethnic cleansing, the LTTE on 3 August 1990, sealed off a Shiite mosque in Kattankady, the Meera Jumma and Husseinia, and opened fire through the mosque's windows, leaving 147 Muslim worshipers dead, out of 300 gathered for Friday prayers. Fifteen days later, LTTE gunmen shot dead between 122 and 173 Muslim civilians in the town of Eravur.

Ethnic cleansing culminated on 30 October 1990 when the LTTE forcibly expelled the entire Muslim population of Jaffna
Jaffna
Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna district located on a peninsula of the same name. Jaffna is approximately six miles away from Kandarodai which served as a famous emporium in the Jaffna peninsula from classical...

. LTTE commanders from the east announced at 7:30 am that all Muslims in Jaffna were to report to Osmania stadium, where they were to be addressed by two LTTE leaders, Karikalana and Anjaneyar. After listening to the leaders denigrate Muslims for allegedly attacking Tamils in the east, the leaders explained to the community that they had two hours to evacuate the city. The community was released from the stadium at 10 am, and by noon, and were only allowed to carry 500 rupees, while the rest of their possessions were seized by the LTTE after they were forced to report to LTTE checkpoints upon exiting Jaffna. In total, over 14,400 Muslim families, roughly 72,000 people, were forcibly evicted from LTTE-controlled areas of the Northern Province
Northern Province, Sri Lanka
The Northern Province is one of the 9 provinces of Sri Lanka. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but did not have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. Between 1988 and 2006 the province was...

. This includes 38,000 people from Mannar
Mannar, Sri Lanka
Mannar , formerly spelled Manar, is the capital of Mannar District, Sri Lanka. It is located on Mannar Island.Mannar is known for its baobab trees and for its fort, built by the Portuguese in 1560 and taken by the Dutch in 1658 and rebuilt; its ramparts and bastions are intact, though the interior...

, 20,000 from Jaffna
Jaffna
Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna district located on a peninsula of the same name. Jaffna is approximately six miles away from Kandarodai which served as a famous emporium in the Jaffna peninsula from classical...

 and Kilinochchi
Kilinochchi
Kilinochchi is a city in the Kilinochchi District, part of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Kilinochchi is situated at the A9 road some south-east of Jaffna...

, 9,000 from Vavuniya
Vavuniya
Vavuniya is a town in northern Sri Lanka. This town is situated in the Northern Province. Vavuniya was often referred to as the gateway to Vanni....

 and 5,000 from Mullaitivu
Mullaitivu
Mullaitivu is a small town on the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka. It is the capital of Mullaitivu District in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. A largely fishing settlement, the town in the early 20th century grew as an anchoring harbour of the small sailing vessels transporting goods between...

.

In 1992 the LTTE embarked on a campaign to create a contiguous Tamil Hindu-Christian homeland that stretched from the North of Sri Lanka and downwards along the Eastern Coast. A large Tamil-speaking Muslim population inhabited a narrow strip of land between the two entities, and so a pattern of ethnic cleansing emerged in Eastern Sri Lanka. "The LTTE unleashed violence against the Muslims of Alinchipothanai and killed 69 Muslim villagers. This led to a retaliatory violence against the Tamils in Muthugala, where 49 Tamils were killed allegedly by the Muslim Home guards." Later in the year, the LTTE attacked four Muslim villages (Palliyagodalla, Akbarpuram, Ahmedpuram, and Pangurana) and killed 187 Muslims. The Australian Muslim Times commented on 30 October 1992: The massacres, eviction and the atrocities by the Tamil Tigers are carried out in order to derive the Muslim Community from their traditional land in the Eastern province as they have done it in the northern province and then set up a separate state only for Tamils.

In 2002 LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran formally apologized for the expulsion of Muslims from the north and asked the Muslims to return. Some families returned and re-opened the Osmania College
Osmania College
Osmania College is a mixed public provincial school in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. It was once a prominent educational institution for the city's Muslim community.-History:...

 and two mosques in 2003. Since the apology, TamilNet
Tamilnet
TamilNet is a news website that provides news and feature articles on current affairs in Sri Lanka, specifically related to the erstwhile Sri Lankan Civil War...

, which is widely seen as an LTTE mouthpiece, has featured numerous stories of Muslim civilians coming under attack from Sinhalese forces. During the summer of 1990, the LTTE killed over 370 Muslims in the North and East of Sri Lanka in 11 mass killings The LTTE is accused of organizing massacres of Sinhala villagers who settled in the Northeast under the dry lands policy. Expulsion of civilians did not confine to Muslim community. Sri Lanka population census of 1981 recorded 19,334 Sinhala civilians in Jaffna District
Jaffna District
Jaffna district is one of the 25 administrative districts of Sri Lanka. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The headquarters is located in Jaffna city. Parts of the district were transferred to...

. But with the end of the war in 2009, hardly any Sinhala civilian remained in their places of origin in Jaffna.

Execution of prisoners of war

LTTE had executed prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 on a number of occasions, in spite of the declaration in 1988, that it would abide by the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

. Most important incident was the mass murder
Mass murder
Mass murder is the act of murdering a large number of people , typically at the same time or over a relatively short period of time. According to the FBI, mass murder is defined as four or more murders occurring during a particular event with no cooling-off period between the murders...

 of unarmed 600 Sri Lankan Police officers
1990 massacre of Sri Lankan Police officers
The 1990 massacre of Sri Lankan Police officers was a mass murder of Sri Lankan Police officers that took place on June 11, 1990. Members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a separatist organization, are alleged to have killed over 600 unarmed Sri Lanka Police officers in Eastern Province,...

 in 1990, in Eastern Province
Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
The Eastern Province is one of the 9 provinces of Sri Lanka. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but they didn't have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. Between 1988 and 2006 the province was...

, after they surrendered to the LTTE upon the request of President
President of Sri Lanka
The President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is the elected head of state and the head of government. The President is a dominant political figure in Sri Lanka. The office was created in 1978 but has grown so powerful there have been calls to restrict or even eliminate its power...

 Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa
Ranasinghe Premadasa was the 3rd President of Sri Lanka from January 2, 1989 to May 1, 1993. Before that, he served as the Prime Minister in the government headed by J. R. Jayewardene from February 6, 1978 to January 1, 1989...

. Police officers were promised safe conduct and subsequent release. But they were taken to the jungles, blindfolded, tied hands behind, made to lie down on the ground and shot. In 1993, LTTE executed 200 Sri Lanka Army soldiers, captured in the naval base
Naval base
A naval base is a military base, where warships and naval ships are deployed when they have no mission at sea or want to restock. Usually ships may also perform some minor repairs. Some naval bases are temporary homes to aircraft that usually stay on the ships but are undergoing maintenance while...

 at Pooneryn, during the Battle of Pooneryn
Battle of Pooneryn
The Battle of Pooneryn was a battle fought on November 11, 1993 for the town of Pooneryn.-Background:The main target of the LTTE in the shorline offensive was the Sri Lankan government naval base at Pooneryn...

.

War crimes

There are allegations that war crimes were committed by the Tamil Tigers during the Sri Lankan Civil War, particularly during the final months of the conflict in 2009. The alleged war crimes include attacks on civilians and civilian buildings; executions of combatants and prisoners; acute shortages of food, medicine, and clean water for civilians trapped in the war zone; and child recruitment. A United Nations expert panel
Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka
The Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka was a report produced by a panel of experts appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to advise him accountability in Sri Lanka following the end of the three decade old Sri Lankan Civil War which is...

 investigating violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the final stages of the civil war found "credible allegations" which, if proven, indicated that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed by the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tigers. The panel has called on the UN Secretary General to conduct an independent international inquiry into the alleged violations of international law.

Other criminal activities

One factor that has greatly benefited the LTTE has been its sophisticated international support network. While some of the funding obtained by the LTTE is from legitimate fundraising, a significant portion is obtained through criminal activities, extortion among Tamil diaspora, involving sea piracy, human trafficking
Human trafficking
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...

, drug trafficking and gunrunning
Gunrunning
Arms trafficking, also known as gunrunning, is the illegal trafficking or smuggling of contraband weapons or ammunition.The 1997 Report of the UN Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms provides a more refined and precise definition, which has become internationally accepted...

.

Sea piracy
The LTTE has been accused of hijacking
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 several vessels and ships in waters outside Sri Lanka, including Ocean Trader (in October 1994), Irish Mona (in August 1995), Princess Wave (in August 1996), Athena (in May 1997), Misen (in July 1997), Morong Bong (in July 1997), MV Cordiality (in September 1997), Princess Kash (in August 1998), Newko (in July 1999), Uhana (in June 2000), Fuyuan Ya 225 (Chinese trawler, in March 2003), MV Farah III (in December 2006) and City of Liverpool (in January 2007). The MV Sik Yang, a 2,818-ton Malaysian-flag cargo ship
Cargo ship
A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade...

 which sailed from Tuticorin, India on 25 May 1999 was reported missing in waters near Sri Lanka. The ship, with a cargo of bagged salt, was due at the Malaysian port of Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

 on 31 May. The fate of the ship's crew of 15 is unknown. It is suspected that the vessel was hijacked by the LTTE and is now being used as a phantom vessel.
Likewise the crew of a Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

ian ship, MV Farah III, that ran aground near LTTE-controlled territory off the island's coast, accused the Tamil Tigers of risking their lives and forcing them to abandon the vessel which was carrying 14,000 tonnes of Indian rice.

Arms smuggling

The LTTE members operated a cargo company called "Otharad Cargo" in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. There are reports that the LTTE met Taliban members and discussed the "Sharjah network", which existed in the Sharjah emirate of the United Arab Emirates. The Sharjah network was used by Victor Bout, an arms-smuggling Russian intelligence agent, to provide Taleban with weapons deliveries and other flights between Sharjah and Kandahar. Otharad Cargo reportedly received several consignments of military hardware from the Sharjah network.

The Mackenzie Institute
Mackenzie Institute
The Mackenzie Institute for the Study of Terrorism, Revolution and Propaganda is a think tank in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1986 by Brigadier Dr. Maurice Tugwell, a former Parachute Regiment officer and British Army veteran of WW-2, Palestine , the Malayian insurgency, Cyprus and Ulster...

 claimed that LTTE's secretive international operations of the smuggling of weapons, explosives, and "dual use" technologies which is attributed to the "KP Branch", headed by Selvarasa Pathmanathan prior to 2002. It also claims that the most expertly executed operation of the KP Branch was the theft of 32,400 rounds of 81 mm mortar
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

 ammunition purchased from Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 destined for the Sri Lanka Army. Being aware of the purchase of 35,000 mortar bombs, the LTTE made a bid to the manufacturer through a numbered company and arranged a vessel of their own to pick up the load. Once the bombs were loaded into the ship, the LTTE changed the name and registration of their ship. The vessel was taken to Tiger-held territory in Sri Lanka's north instead of transporting it to its intended destination. In 2002, Prabhakaran appointed Castro as the international chief of LTTE. He overtook the responsibilities of arms smuggling and related activities from Pathmanathan.

Human smuggling
Most of the smuggling
People smuggling
People smuggling is defined as "the facilitation, transportation, attempted transportation or illegal entry of a person or persons across an international border, in violation of one or more countries laws, either clandestinely or through deception, such as the use of fraudulent documents"...

 of Tamil people to western countries was carried out by LTTE. It had largely benefited from this. The prices charged by LTTE to go to countries such as Canada was extremely higher than the normal cost to travel. In addition, money had to be paid to obtain "exit visa" to leave LTTE controlled areas. After the war, LTTE's main business has been the human smuggling. A cost of LKR
Sri Lankan rupee
The rupee is the currency of Sri Lanka, divided into 100 cents. It is issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and is generally written Rs. The rupee (Sinhala: රුපියල , Tamil: ரூபாய்) (sign: ₨; code: LKR) is the currency of Sri Lanka, divided into 100 cents. It is issued by the Central Bank of Sri...

 4 million per immigrant was "enforced" by LTTE operatives. LTTE's human smugglisg ships include MV Ocean Lady, appeared in October 2009, off Canada's British Columbia coast with 76 Tamil asylum seekers; MV Sun Sea, arrived in August 2010, off British Columbia, with 492 asylum seekers and MV Alicia, carrying 80 illegal immigrants, which was intercepted by Indonesian authorities in July 2011, allegedyly heading towars Canada or New Zealand.

Extortion
LTTE had coreced
Coercion
Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way...

 Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora
Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora
The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora refers to the global diaspora of the people of Sri Lankan Tamil origin. It can be said to be a subset of the larger Sri Lankan as well as Tamil diaspora....

 and Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka to give it money, by threatening the safety of their relatives or property in areas under its control.

Money laundering
LTTE was involved in several money laundering
Money laundering
Money laundering is the process of disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources. The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount...

 cases in western countries. In January 2011, Swiss authorities arrested several LTTE members on money laundering.

Passport forgery
In 1990, Canadian authorities uncovered a passport forgery scheme of LTTE. In December 2010, Spanish and Thai police uncovered another passport forgery scheme attributed to LTTE.

Drug trafficking
Number of intelligence agencies have accused that LTTE is involved in drug trafficking. In 2010, citing Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

 sources, the Jane's Intelligence Review
Jane's Intelligence Review
Jane's Intelligence Review is a monthly journal on military intelligence published by Jane's Information Group . Its coverage includes international security issues, ongoing conflicts, organized crime, and weapons proliferation....

 said the LTTE controls a portion of USD one billion drug market in the Canadian city of Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

. It also states, narcotics smuggling using its merchant ships, is one of the main ways of earning money out of its USD 300 million annual income. US Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 states that LTTE has historically served as the drug couriers moving narcotics into Europe. Indian authorities accused LTTE operatives used to bring narcotics to Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

 from Mandsaur District
Mandsaur District
Mandsaur District is a District of Madhya Pradesh state in central India. The town of Mandsaur is the administrative headquarters of the district.-Origin of name:...

 of Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

, Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

 and Punjab border. Then the drugs were transported to coastal towns in Tamil Nadu such as Tuticorin
Thoothukudi
Thoothukudi , also known as Tuticorin, is a port city and a Municipal Corporation in Thoothukudi district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thoothukudi is the headquarters of Thoothukudi District....

, Rameswaram, Ramanathapuram
Ramanathapuram
Ramanathapuram , also known as Ramnad, is a city and a municipality in Ramanathapuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the administrative headquarters of Ramanathapuram district.-Tourism:...

, Nagapattinam
Nagapattinam
Nagapattinam is a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the administrative headquarters of Nagapattinam District. It is a prominent seaport on the east coast of India and an important centre of trade and commerce.The town of Nagapattinam dates back to the Sangam period...

 and Kochi
Kochi
-Places:* Kochi, a city in the state of Kerala, India, formerly known as Cochin* Kingdom of Cochin, a former feudal city-state on Malabar Coast, India** Fort Kochi, one of the three main urban components which constitute the present day city of Kochi, Kerala, India...

.

Credit card fraud
LTTE is also involved in credit card fraud
Credit card fraud
Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Credit card fraud is also...

, in United Kingdom. In 2010, STF
Special Task Force
The Special Task Force is an elite special forces unit of the Sri Lanka Police Service specializing in Counter-Terrorist and Counter-Insurgency operations. It was formed in 1983 not as a military force but rather as a highly specialised police unit...

 arrested the mastermind behind this fraud, Neshanadan Muruganandan alias Anandan. LTTE had cloned credit cards using PIN
Personal identification number
A personal identification number is a secret numeric password shared between a user and a system that can be used to authenticate the user to the system. Typically, the user is required to provide a non-confidential user identifier or token and a confidential PIN to gain access to the system...

 and card numbers obtained from unsuspecting cards holders in the United Kingdom, and funds were transferred to their accounts later. In 2007, Norwegian authorities sentenced 6 LTTE members for skimming more than 5.3 million Norwegian kroners in a similar credit card scam.

See also

  • 2009 World Tamil protests
  • Black July
    Black July
    Black July is the commonly used name for the anti-Tamil pogrom and attacks carried out by mobs in Sri Lanka which began on July 23, 1983. The riots occurred following a deadly ambush by a Tamil militant organization known as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which killed 13 Sri Lanka Army soldiers...

  • Eelam War (disambiguation)
  • List of attacks attributed to the LTTE
  • Military use of children in Sri Lanka
    Military use of children in Sri Lanka
    Militant use of children in Sri Lanka has been an internationally recognized problem since the inception of the Sri Lankan civil war in 1983. The primary recruiters of under the age of 18 children are the rebel LTTE movement and the Karuna group .-LTTE recruitment:Before 2007 the LTTE was accused...

  • Notable assassinations of the Sri Lankan Civil War
  • Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups
    Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups
    Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups rose to prominence in the 1970s to fight the state of Sri Lanka in order to create an independent Tamil Eelam in the north of Sri Lanka. They rose in response to the perception amongst minority Sri Lankan Tamils that the state was preferring the majority Sinhalese...



External links

LTTE web sites
Sri Lanka Government
International organizations
  • An analysis of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organization and operations by Federation of American Scientists
    Federation of American Scientists
    The Federation of American Scientists is a nonpartisan, 501 organization intent on using science and scientific analysis to attempt make the world more secure. FAS was founded in 1945 by scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bombs...

  • Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora After LTTE Relationship between LTTE and the Tamil diaspora, and consequences of LTTE defeat, by International Crisis Group
    International Crisis Group
    The International Crisis Group is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts around the world through field-based analyses and high-level advocacy.-History:...

  • Background information on the Tamil Tigers by Council on Foreign Relations
    Council on Foreign Relations
    The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

  • Overview of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by Anti-Defamation League
    Anti-Defamation League
    The Anti-Defamation League is an international non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency", the ADL states that it "fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects...

  • Funding the "Final War" A Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

     report on LTTE's fund raising strategies
  • Trapped and Mistreated Human rights violations of LTTE, a Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

     report

International press
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