US embassy cable - 06CHENNAI954

QUESTIONS ABOUT TAMIL NADU/LTTE CONNECTIONS

Identifier: 06CHENNAI954
Wikileaks: View 06CHENNAI954 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Chennai
Created: 2006-05-15 10:59:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PINR PREL PTER CE IN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
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P 151059Z MAY 06
FM AMCONSUL CHENNAI
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CHENNAI 000954 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/14/2016 
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, PREL, PTER, CE, IN 
SUBJECT: QUESTIONS ABOUT TAMIL NADU/LTTE CONNECTIONS 
 
REF: CHENNAI 0062 
 
Classified By: Acting Consul General Ravi Candadai. Reason 1.4 (b,d) 
 
1. C) SUMMARY: Despite the fact that Tamil Nadu is home 
to the largest population of Tamils in the world, there 
is virtually no support in the state for the LTTE. 
There is no financial support coming from the state, no 
significant supplies flowing from Tamil Nadu to the 
LTTE, and almost no public sentiment in support of the 
LTTE in Tamil Nadu.  END SUMMARY 
 
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IS TAMIL NADU A SOURCE OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR LTTE? 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
2. (C) All the sources with whom Post has discussed this 
issue, including law enforcement officials, say that 
Tamils in Tamil Nadu and the relative few Tamils who 
live elsewhere in India, are not a source of financial 
support for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). 
This was not always the case, however.  Prior to the 
assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by an LTTE terrorist in 
1991, there was significant support for the LTTE cause 
in the state that likely included financial support. 
But support for the LTTE cause vanished almost overnight 
after Rajiv Gandhi's death.  It may be, however, that 
some financial support flows the other way, that is, 
from the LTTE to certain political leaders in Tamil 
Nadu, notably Vaiko, founder and General Secretary of 
the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK).  Some 
people, including Tamil refugee NGO leader Chandrahasan, 
believe that the LTTE provided initial financial support 
for Vaiko in establishing his MDMK party after he split 
from the DMK party in 1993.  Vaiko has been an outspoken 
supporter of the LTTE but any financial link remains 
unproven (Reftel). 
 
--------------------------------------- 
WHERE DOES FINANCIAL SUPPORT COME FROM? 
--------------------------------------- 
 
3. (C) Post's contacts suggest that substantial 
financial support for the LTTE comes from Tamils in 
other countries, notably Canada, the United Kingdom, 
Netherlands and Germany.  Each of these countries has a 
significant Tamil population.  Some sources suggest that 
Tamils in these countries are encouraged to give up to 
10 percent of their income to support the LTTE cause. 
This encouragement, which may be closer to extortion, is 
often administered through local religious institutions 
or Tamil cultural organizations in these countries. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
DOES LTTE RECEIVE ARMS AND SUPPLIES FROM TAMIL NADU? 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
4. (C) Reftel explained the firm line that the Tamil 
Nadu government under former Chief Minister J 
Jayalalithaa took against LTTE elements in the state. 
Post expects the newly elected DMK government to 
continue that tough anti-LTTE policy.  The expectation 
is based on the DMK's record in controlling the LTTE 
when it was last in power from 1996 to 2001.  Outgoing 
Director General of Police AX Alexander told Post with 
confidence that no arms were flowing from Tamil Nadu to 
the LTTE.  He said that a few small items like 
medicines, diesel, gasoline, and motorcycle tires are 
sometimes smuggled from Tamil Nadu to the island in 
small boats but nothing of consequence.  Alexander and 
others have suggested that arms reach the LTTE from 
three primary sources: Thailand, Burma, and captured 
arms from Sri Lankan government forces. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
WHAT IS THE VIEW OF THE AVERAGE PERSON IN TAMIL NADU? 
 
CHENNAI 00000954  002 OF 002 
 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
5. (C) To the average person in Tamil Nadu, the 
situation in Sri Lanka is not a primary interest.  In a 
pre-election interview, Tamil Nadu journalist and 
political commentator Cho Ramaswamy told Post that 
people care about their economic problems and not 
the LTTE or the fight for Eelam.  Based on the total 
lack of discussion of the issue during the campaign and 
even the lack of local news coverage about conditions on 
the island, he appears to be right.  If there were to be 
a major human rights violation against Tamils in Sri 
Lanka or a huge influx of new refugees into Tamil Nadu 
from Sri Lanka, the public's interest might increase but 
in the absence of such a major event, public interest in 
the LTTE and the Sri Lanka situation is likely to remain 
low. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
NO SUPPORT FOR LTTE IN TAMIL NADU AND NONE LIKELY 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
6. (C) COMMENT: It may seem strange that in the Indian 
state of Tamil Nadu, which literally means Tamil 
country, there is so little support for the LTTE, an 
organization that professes to be dedicated to 
establishing a homeland for all Tamils.  But the 
situation today can be directly traced to the day in May 
1991, when an LTTE suicide bomber terrorist killed Rajiv 
Gandhi here in Tamil Nadu.  Opinion instantly turned 
against the LTTE and their tactics.  Dravidian political 
parties that had been supportive of the LTTE in the past 
fell silent in their support and later stepped up 
efforts to rid the state of any remnants of LTTE 
activity.  That anti-LTTE sentiment remains today and is 
unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.  END 
COMMENT 
 
 
 
 
 
CANDADAI 

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