There were the fascist elements in the LTTE
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With the "Tamil Tigers" a terrorist organization has emerged which is one of the most extensive, most effective and at the same time most secret violent organizations in the world. It goes without saying that the Tamil Tigers reject the term terrorist organization with the greatest outrage: They call themselves the "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam" (LTTE). Founded by student politicians during the 1970s, their activities were directed from the beginning on the establishment of an independent state, a homeland, "Eelam", for the predominantly Hindu Tamils of the island, who have been living in the north and east for more than a thousand years. The first political murders and attacks on banks by the militant student organization provided the weapons and resources for local guerrilla actions (S. Ponnambalam 1983).
The first political murders were deliberately aimed at Tamils who cooperated with the ruling Sinhalese parties and the Sinhalese state apparatus. In 1983 the LTTE attacked a Sinhala military base on Jaffna. The ruling Sinhalese ruling party, the UNP, staged an island-wide pogrom against the Tamil minorities who settle in the Sinhala-dominated part of the island. With this, the Tamil irredenta and the secession movement entered the phase of open ethnic civil war. 18% of the now 20 million island population are Tamils. Two thirds of these approximately three million Tamils are Sri Lankan Tamils, they have been settling in the north and east of the island for more than 1,000 years, and for more than 100 years, albeit to a large extent, in the capital Colombo. Around one million Tamils, plantation workers, have only been brought by the British from India to the mountain and plantation highlands in the south-west since the middle of the 19th century. So far they have been able to stay out of the ethnic civil war (J. Manor 1984).
For more than a quarter of a century the ethnic civil war has taken on its own dynamic. In particular, it triggered waves of escape, first to South India, then to the OECD countries and finally to North America in particular. They have led to the fact that over a third of the Sri Lankan Tamils, around 600,000 - 800,000 people, have now found refugees in the West. This created a new Tamil diaspora: the Tamil Tigers were both the cause and the beneficiaries of this new movement of refugees. It also took place in an increasingly globalized world. The following consideration does not focus on the representation of this largely ignored 30-year Tamil war. "Ennuyer c'est tout dire". Rather, the following is intended to highlight the stages and foundations of one of the most dangerous international terrorist organizations. These stages and foundations are smuggling and educational traditions, diaspora networks, and globalization. All these behavior, socialization and organizational patterns have contributed to the development of this secret and violent organization, one after the other and in a staggered manner. They are briefly presented below:
More than 1,000 years ago, an archaic Dravidian peasant and caste society emerged on the northern Jaffna peninsula as a result of the immigration of entire village collectives from nearby southern India. It is characterized by the fact that, uniquely in comparison to southern India, it lacks almost completely the most important and rule-determining caste of the Brahmins. Until a few centuries ago, Brahmins refused to cross the sea and thus take the risk of losing caste. Instead, the rigidly structured peasant and caste society that has emerged on Jaffna is dominated by a powerful and militant peasant caste, the Vellalas. They still count almost half of the Jaffna Tamil population today. The rulers and warriors of the small, independent and mostly insignificant local empire of Jaffna and its temple city of Nellore were recruited from their ranks.
In addition to this local culture, which is largely isolated from the outside world, a society and culture supported by fishermen established itself long before the peninsula was settled. These fishermen kept in constant contact with southern India, which was only a few hours' sailing away. This fishing community, which is attributed to the Karayar both in southern India and on Jaffna, not only lived from saltwater and freshwater fishing - also in the numerous lagoons of Jaffna. For over 2,000 years, these karayar were also involved in coastal and sea trade, shipbuilding and the organization of piracy, looting trains, war expeditions and naval fleets (M. Banks 1960). As everywhere on the Indian coasts and opposite the land-based caste structures, the following also applied to Jaffna: On the one hand, these communities appear alien and ritually threatening, on the other hand, they were irreplaceable for the preservation of this farming society and its local empire. The fishermen's family and business ties stretched across both sides of the narrow Palk Strait. For centuries they organized trade between rich southern India and the exclusively rural northern Céylon. The Dutch monopoly trading company VOC first referred to fishermen as smugglers. They are ultimately made into smugglers by all colonial powers and the Sinhalese, post-colonial governments that follow them.
In contrast to the Portuguese, the Dutch monopoly trading company succeeds in enforcing formal control over all of Ceylon's coasts. The "United East Indian Trade Company", VOC, can therefore try to monopolize and make all trade between Ceylon and India more expensive. Successive governors and their governors have been trying since the middle of the 17th century from Colombo and Jaffna to force all Indian imported goods and Ceylonese export products into the "Fluits", the series-built ships of the VOC. This enforcement of a trade monopoly must of course fail. Nevertheless, since the 17th century the fishing communities have been driven into the new and lucrative channels of contraband trade and smuggling. This is especially true for the north coast opposite India, the Vaddamarachi. The fishing and smuggling center of Valvedditturai placed itself at the forefront of a tradition that is now three centuries old (S. Arasaratnam 1982). Even under the British colonial system, which is committed to free trade, duty-free and uncontrolled maritime trade is organized with the Karayar relatives who are so close by and the trading caste of South India. Indian textiles, potatoes, spices and chiles, but also new colonial household appliances are imported, a tobacco produced monopoly on Jaffna, but also the pearls, cinnamon sticks, precious stones and plantation products that are characteristic of Ceylon are exported by sea traders and smugglers.
The indeterminacy of the Karayar status, their outward orientation - towards their South Indian caste relatives -, their smuggling and trading activities, all these traditions make the Karayar indispensable insiders and the ritually disapproved outsiders of the deeply introverted farming society on Jaffna. For the understanding of today's Tamil Tiger Organization it is crucial that the LTTE is founded by a Valvedditturai-Karayar, Velupillai Prabhakaran, and that it is completely ruled until today. Not only is the LTTE founded by a Karayar, from the beginning there are many of Prabakaran's castes and comrades at all levels of leadership of the terrorist organization. In addition, during the crucial first 20 years of its creation, the organization relied primarily on the south Indian coasts and the Tamil hinterland. Tamil Nadu serves the LTTE as a logistical base, sanctuary, strategic fallback position and funding resource (D. Hellmann-Rajanayagam 1986).
The first Eelam War, radicalized since 1983, would have been completely impossible without the permanent cooperation with the Karayar smugglers, the local caste of dealers who cooperate with them, and a DMK civil service that has always been corrupted. Insurgency and smugglers support each other. The uncontrolled maritime trade across the Palk Strait gives the LTTE high chances of winning. As the Sinhalese control of the peninsula and the strait collapses, the traders and fishing groups participating in the smuggling also benefit from the Irredenta. These chances of winning are increasing due to the extensive liberalization measures that have been taking place in Sri Lanka since 1979. The World Bank and the UNP transformed the island economy into a "Hong Kong" from India, which was still managed and isolated from a planned economy. Large quantities of Japanese plastic saris, entertainment electronics, televisions and cassette recorders, but also other Western consumer goods, were secretly brought to the South Indian markets at high profit margins. The local LTTE organizations could demand either duties or gifts from the smugglers involved. It goes without saying that arms imports and supplies from nearby India could also be organized as part of this exchange (J. Venkatamaran 1989, 1991).
Ceylon and especially Jaffna had already been reached and conquered by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century. From the beginning, Portuguese missionaries, Augustinians, Dominicans, but above all the Jesuits, tried to Christianize Buddhists and Hindus. On the Jaffna Peninsula in particular, the Fathers achieved an initially resounding success. More than 36 congregations with their associated mission churches are being established on the peninsula. While the dominant Vellala peasant caste converts to Catholicism for power-political and opportunistic reasons, the Karayar fishing communities hope to improve their social and ritual status by converting to religion. As everywhere in India, the vellalas had denied entry to the temple for these fishermen. Now, in Catholicism, the magnificent ceremonies and rites, processions and relics of the Roman Church are immediately accessible to them.
A Catholic-Portuguese folklore but also redesigned by the Jesuits in a conscious approach to the Tamil culture and the temple rituals of the Hindus (F. de Queyroz 1664/1930). After the departure of the Portuguese and the arrival of the Protestant Dutch, the Vellala immediately fell away from the Catholic faith; the fishing communities, however, hold fast to their Catholic rituals, places of pilgrimage and forms of belief despite the arrival of Protestant and Anglican colonial rulers. You remain partakers of a universal faith and members of a global church organization. This still provides them with Portuguese mission priests and the church ensures that Tamil bishops are received and heard in Rome and in the western Catholic states.
Above all, however, the Catholicism of the Karayar once again strengthens the community ties with the fishermen's castes who also live in southern India and who have also remained Catholic. So he once again separates these marginalized outsiders from the ruling group of the Vellalas, which had returned to Hinduism in the 19th century. The Portuguese missionaries, Christianity and all three colonial powers are also responsible for the establishment of an unusually strong educational tradition on Jaffna. Primarily among the Vellala peasant classes, but also among the other, the lower-ranking castes and the Karayar:
II. Education tradition
Already the Portuguese Jesuits, later the poorly paid Protestant "company preachers", even later the Protestant missionaries who moved into the peninsula under the secular British colonial power and were tolerated rather than sponsored, they all founded an Anglophone, classical and western-oriented educational tradition on Jaffna, which is still effective today (WLAD Peter 1978). The 19th century will be decisive: the British colonial power fears, as everywhere, that missionaries could trigger resentment, resistance and, in the end, rebellions among the "natives". She therefore decides to send the American Baptist Mission only to what she sees as meaningless Jaffna. With tremendous pragmatic and personal commitment, American Baptists are now building an exemplary college system in just a few decades.
In these American-style schools, the newly converted Vellala Protestants learn practical professions: Everything, the basics for a modern craft but also for the veterinary, engineering, doctor, lawyer or surveyor professions they can learn from American and then learn from Tamil trade school teachers and missionary-run colleges. The only condition is: the abandonment of the Hindu faith. Since 1870, however, a Vellala educated class, which, thanks to American education, has risen to the rank of a new colonial elite, has no longer been willing to pay this price of denial of faith. It now occupies a majority of the "Liberal Professions". She is now building her own network of outstanding Hindu colleges, vidyalayas, and high schools in Jaffna. Only paying Vellala children are admitted to these elite schools. However, protests and interventions by the colonial power mean that, to a modest extent, children of low-ranking castes also find access to these government-funded schools - "Grant in Aid". The Karayar are not subordinate, they are rather outside of this caste society, which is now shaped by Western educational ideals and opportunities for advancement.
After independence, the Karayar can therefore penetrate an educational system that is slowly opening up; at the same time, they have always had their own mission schools run by Catholic fathers. Whether Karayar or Vellala, the predominantly Hindu and 20% Catholic Jaffna-Tamil society is shaped by centuries-old educational ambitions in 1948, at the time of the island's independence (B. Ryan 1961). Their elites have a level of education that exceeds that of the Sinhala Buddhist majority many times over. Already during the British colonial era, this educational superiority meant that more than half of the posts reserved for the natives in the colonial administration were occupied by Jaffna Tamils, predominantly by Vellalas (M. Roberts 1979, 1979a). The ousting of this Jaffna-Tamil official elite from the corridors of power later becomes one of the reasons for the secession ambitions first of these notables and then of the entire Jaffna-Tamil minority.
While the mass literacy of the Sinhalese majority came late in the framework of the more comprehensive, by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike succeeded in mobilization campaigns, the Jaffna-Tamil society, supported by an exemplary network of educational institutions, implemented extensive literacy as early as 1948. After independence, this educational tradition and the institutions that support it came to nothing: Sinhala was declared the school, administrative and state language of Sri Lanka in 1956. Secondary school and university-qualified Jaffna Tamils no longer have access to the Sinhala administrative and state apparatus. Even in the private sector threatened by waves of nationalization, they are faced with competition from Sinhalese applicants. Since the Sinhala state also underfunds and weakens the Tamil educational institutions, the Vellala students are now studying in South India. Here they adopt a virulent political and cultural Tamil nationalism. Other student groups begin their training in England and later in the USA.
Not only in the north of the island, but also in India and in the west, a highly qualified and at the same time threatened by unemployment student body is forming. She is dissatisfied, competent and aggressive. The Jaffna-Tamil intelligentsia, now over 60 years old, who was forced out of the civil service, has organized itself since 1972/1976 in a "Tamil United Liberation Front", which is still melodramatically called. These old Vellala men are no longer taken seriously by the militant student body threatened with unemployment - "Tamil United Lawyers Front" (S. Ponnambalam 1983). The students have begun, also since 1972, to found their own organizations aiming at the autonomy or secession of the northern and eastern provinces.
By far the most militant of them is the engineer-led Tamil Tiger organization of V. Prabhakaran, born in 1952: It can prevail very quickly and in the context of bloody eliminations over the next 15 years against all parallel organizations. As early as 1972, before the first shot was fired, one thing had to be clear to all observers: A Jaffna-Tamil insurrection movement would be able to rely on one of the most qualified minorities in South Asia: The professional and university qualifications of the Jaffna-Tamils extended into the very different and im In the case of a diaspora and underground organization, such useful areas of expertise as engineering and electrical engineering, law and accounting, law and notarial services, business administration, journalism and social sciences.At the management level of the Tamil Tiger organization, two apparently irreconcilable strands of tradition flowed into one another at an early stage: Competent and professional smugglers sat next to academically qualified political scientists; Well-trained accountants consulted with qualified lawyers. Before the escalation of violence in the civil war set internal and external refugee movements in motion, something else was also predictable: It was foreseeable that the more than one million internally displaced persons of the civil war would presumably come from the poorer Tamil parts of the country and farmers and farm laborers; Those sections of the population who soon fled to nearby southern India in order to find refuge in "Cyclone Shelters" and poor settlements under deplorable conditions and under LTTE control also had to belong to the poor.
The English-speaking college and university elite, on the other hand, were equipped with a university examination and in possession of address lists in which all distant and close diaspora relatives were recorded. These "Best and Brightest" could hope to gain not only acceptance in the West, but also lucrative professional positions (J. Rösel 1988). The uprising had to create its own cosmopolitan and well-to-do diaspora community. In addition, the Tamil leadership, since 1983 the emergence of a refugee society made up of internally displaced persons, Indian refugees and migrants who fled to the West, consciously accepted. The LTTE was able to recruit its "boys" - often traumatized, orphaned children - from the local jungle refugee camps under LTTE control. In these slum camps she also recruits her suicide candidates. In the refugee camps in southern India, she recruited those followers who provided useful services as messengers, arms smugglers and drug couriers.
The western Tamil diaspora, which comprised around 600,000 to 800,000 people in 2001, took on a completely different task: it had to finance the war and, vis-à-vis a western public, it was supposed to advocate the legitimacy of the uprising and the bonafide of the LTTE. A strategy of "making refugees" has therefore been at the center of the LTTE's calculations from the start. The war was able to create an international diaspora that finances, justifies and makes the uprising independent. However, this diaspora, which was triggered by the Eelam wars and is constantly expanding, meets a Jaffna-Tamil diaspora that had already emerged in the 19th century and was increasingly globalized (H. Tinker 1962). This colonial and this new Jaffna diaspora coexist and also interact with the much larger, globally present diaspora networks of the Tamils of South India and the globally dispersed foreign Indians, the "Non Resident Indians". We have to consider these interwoven diaspora networks and functions in the following.
III. Diaspora networks
Portuguese, Dutch, and American missionaries founded the vellalas' zeal for education. He predisposes this dominant, now literate and technically trained peasant caste to take on the new occupations, the "liberal professions" of the colonial power - in the official, semi-official and market economy sectors. For the first time in the history of this isolated and deeply tradition-steeped peasant culture, an exodus began in all administrative centers and bazaars on the island. Tamil officials serve in the district headquarters of the colonial power, they work as notaries, surveyors, accountants, bank clerks and commercial agents. Western-educated Tamils, often qualified in Oxford and Cambridge, are active in many modern business areas in Colombo. A newly developed residential area intended for the bungalows of the colonial elite, the "Cinnamon Gardens" in Colombo, becomes the preferred garden city of the Tamil intelligentsia. The Tamil civil servants secure the right to invite and have a say at all, including the highest levels of colonial administration (M. Roberts 1979).
This first internal migration is quickly followed by a much more extensive emigration movement. The British colonial empire expanded throughout the 19th century. It extends across Burma, the Malay Peninsula and Singapore towards the Pacific Islands and China. Since 1870 England has been able to secure large parts of the dark continent in the "Scramble for Africa". In all of these new colonial territories, Great Britain initially cannot fall back on qualified, English-speaking local administrative staff. It is therefore Indian, i.e. Bengali, Tamil, but also North Indian, predominantly Brahmanic officials who are now following the expanding colonial power. The new offices from Kuala Lumpur via the Fiji Islands and the Seychelles to Kenya, Nigeria and Trinidad / Tobago are occupied by these Indians. They are well prepared for the tasks of power, because they have served for decades, sometimes in the second generation, in the administration of the "East India Company", in the "Company Raj" (P.M. Jayarajan 1984).
Soon the Jaffna-Tamil official elite began to follow this colonial expansion and office proliferation. But not only high-ranking or Brahmin administrative officials seek access to the British overseas possessions. In the new colonies, British management and capital are now establishing extensive plantation and mining sectors. Indian contract workers are hired to work in these plantation areas; "a new system of slavery" is created (Hugh Tinker). Most of these contract workers go into indebtedness and dependency on indigenous Indian labor contractors, village chiefs, bazaar traders or union leaders for generations. This inherited debt usually means that the contract worker families who have been hired for five or ten years remain in the new territories permanently. Since these new plantation, mine, road, canal and dock workers have to be supplied with food, consumer credits, wedding jewelry, tea rooms and accommodation, the migration of the contract workers is followed by an uncontrolled and colorful stream of emigration from Indian bazaar traders, moneylenders, peddlers and speculators and entrepreneurs. These migrants, who come from traders, clerks and moneylenders, establish the new bazaar towns on the Pacific islands, in Africa or in the Caribbean, from which the majority of contract workers are supplied. High-ranking Indians try to organize the regionally, religiously and linguistically heterogeneous Indian emigrants under one roof from the British administrative centers and these "Indian" bazaar towns.
In the new provincial centers and colonial metropolises, "Little India's" are emerging, in which Indian temples, mosques and gurdwaras are located; small print shops publish books and pamphlets, address books, business directories, petitions and devotional literature intended for the English-speaking Indian elite. In these centers, however, an Indian elite that is caste, religion and origin neutral, at least in terms of external representation, is forming in the long run. She equates her interests with those of all local Indians (S. Ponnambalam 1983: 267). With growing success, this ruling class can ask the colonial power for a greater say and for concessions. The Nattukottai Chettiars, originally from Tamil Nadu, play a particularly impressive role in this diaspora network, which extends from Africa via the Indian Ocean to Asia. The Nattukottai Chettiar are an ancient and respected South Indian moneylender caste. They gained a foothold on Ceylon at an early stage, presumably already under the Dutch colonial rulers. Parallel to the expansion of the British Empire, the Nattukottai Chettiar are also expanding their business relationships. Not only are they active in all British colonial centers, they are among the first to systematically use the new means of communication established by the Suez Canal, steam navigation and telegraphy.
This allows them to transfer funds across the entire Pacific. Wherever Indian contract workers, traders and administrative officials are represented, the Nattukottai Chettiar operate as the natural contact for financial transactions, transfers or as the "lender of last department". Since the British commercial banks accept neither the foreign Indians nor the respective native populations as customers, these South Indian money dealers take over their financial transactions (W.S. Weerasooria 1973). Soon they invade the inland economy of Ceylon and the other colonial areas. In Burma, which was conquered by Great Britain, the Nattukottai Chettiar occupy a particularly prominent position: They take on the pre-financing and marketing of all irrigation rice-oriented agriculture in the Irrawadi Valley. Nattukottai Chettiar Bankers not only penetrate through their networks into all small towns in Burma, they also begin to trade in the border with Thailand and the Indian Northeast. They are finally followed by other Tamil trader groups, so that today in the inaccessible border stations and jungle posts of the western and eastern borders of Burma not only descendants of these moneylenders, but also Jaffna-Tamil traders, as well as members of the local tribal societies sit. Prabhakaran's grandfather is said to have worked as a "trader" on the Manipur / Birmingham border:
"There are some 17,000 Tamils living in and around Moreh, and some across the (Myanmar) border in Tamu. Some are World War II refugees, others left Burma following nationalization of trade and business by the Ne Win government in the early 1960s. They are fluent in Manipuri, Burmese, Nagamese, Hindi, Tamil and English. They have relatives and business contacts in Myanmar, India and other parts of Southeast Asia, a valuable network that facilitates commerce. Along with smaller numbers of Punjabis, Marwaris and Nepalese they control the Burma trade, both legitimate and clandestine, the latter being by far the larger. The rest of Moreh is made up of Meiteis and Kukis. But the Tamils dominate. " (in G.H. Peiris 2001: 9-10).
The British colonial expansion encourages the emergence of Indian diaspora groups. Within and alongside them, the Jaffna Tamil officials' groups have been able to establish themselves with great success from the start. Leading Jaffna Tamil civil servant families work in Kenya. The father of a leading Tamil politician, von Nelam Tiruchelvam, worked for the King of Buganda during the 1940s. But it is not only Jaffna-Tamil officials who settle in the British district centers from South Africa to Singapore, traders and specialized craftsmen are also following the British expansion. In Kuala Lumpur, the center of British Malaya, a neighborhood called "Little Jaffna" is being built, in which Jaffna-Tamil gold and silversmiths, bazaar traders, clerks and notaries take care of the needs of the numerous workers employed in Malaya's rubber plantations and tin mines. From here, individual Jaffna Tamils also follow the Nattukottai Chettiars to Burma, until they finally become involved in border smuggling in North Birmingham. Wherever this small Jaffna-Tamil diaspora establishes itself, it communicates and socialises itself naturally with the Tamil or Keralesian emigrant groups from South India. The university-educated, Anglophone and often Brahmanic speakers of these "Indian communities" know that they must appear as an independent, intelligent and secular "nationality" in relation to the British colonial power, which is always ready for discussion.
The diaspora experience gives a highly educated Tamil intelligentsia the experience and the competence to enter into business and political contact with other Indian subgroups. The far greater number of South Indian foreign families and the entirety of the Indian diaspora are thus moving in the distance into a new proximity to the long isolated and rural Jaffna Tamils. The agitation efforts and mobilization efforts of the Jaffna Tamils therefore do not always have to be directed at the host populations in the future, it is sufficient if the entirety of the foreign families and the foreign Indians is reached.
The number of all foreign Indians is currently estimated at around 20 million. Foreign Indians can be found in almost every one of the 190 countries in the world. However, their distribution is extremely uneven: more than 2 million live in Europe and Australia, around 2.5 million in North America, 3 million in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, around one million in the Caribbean (P. Gottschlich 2005a) . Another very large group of 5 million lives in nearby rear India. Although the expatriate Indians represent just 2% of the more than one billion population of India, the estimated income of the group corresponds to around a third of India's gross domestic product. This makes it understandable that remittances, especially those of the Indians living in the OECD countries, have become one of India's key financial resources. Since 1991 they have made a decisive contribution to the economic rise of this new economic world power (P. Gottschlich 2005). This reference to the Indian diaspora is necessary so that the development and current success of the Jaffna-Tamil diaspora can be better understood: The more than 30 years of struggle for a Tamil homeland has meanwhile created a Jaffna-Tamil diaspora of around 800,000 people. Most of the refugees settle in the west, especially in Canada, the USA, Great Britain and Australia. Everywhere, the Jaffna Tamils encounter the far larger, long-established and affluent Indian overseas communities. In particular, the Jaffna Tamils in exile can meet - and communicate with South Indians, i.e. Tamils, Keralese, Telugus or Karnataka emigrants. The globally established and well-organized Indian diaspora therefore makes it easier for the Jaffna-Tamils to gain a foothold and prosper in any country in the First, Second and Third World.
As traditional diaspora groups we should consider emigrant groups that are characterized by three orientations: The memory of their homeland and the desire to return to this homeland form an essential element of the identity and togetherness of these groups; the emigration group has settled in a respective host country without having found complete acceptance and integration in this host country or without wanting to strive for such integration; after all, this group is in contact with other groups that have migrated from this homeland. The diaspora group therefore differs from conventional emigration movements in three continuously compulsory levels of reference, exchange and orientation. In addition to this three-level structure, the following also applies: the diaspora group is always in a minority position and it remains characterized by political, military and legal weakness and vulnerability vis-à-vis the elite or the majority of the host country. This orientation pattern and this weakness characterized both the Jaffna-Tamil diaspora as well as the all-Indian diaspora throughout the 19th century. With accelerating economic and cultural globalization, however, new framework conditions arise. These have a massive impact on the identity patterns and the mode of operation of these diaspora communities (J. Rösel 2005).
While the various Eelam Wars in the West are creating a Jaffna-Tamil diaspora community, the simultaneous globalization processes are causing a fundamental change in the density of transfers and mobility of global diaspora groups. As globalization processes enormously accelerate the speed of the exchange of goods, capital, people and information, completely new diaspora forms and functions are possible: Internet and easier telecommunications, the increasing loss of control of national economies and nation states and a dramatic increase in international goods and air traffic have an impact Diaspora groups. Groups that have always relied on international exchange and global family, cultural and business contacts can now establish new forms of community and cooperation. The Jaffna Tamils are trained in a world language, they are mobile and highly qualified: This intelligentsia uses the new exchange and networking opportunities to a special extent. The following applies to the LTTE, which was operating internationally at an early stage: It can try to capture, mobilize and use the Jaffna-Tamil diaspora for its own purposes. It has largely succeeded in this attempt: As the LTTE demonstrates almost openly, it is able to take hostage, tax and blackmail 600,000 foreign families.
Only since human rights organizations, courageous Tamil dissidents and dutiful Western journalists tried to penetrate a little deeper into the impenetrable network of "tiger organizations" has the extent of this bureaucratic, as well as despotic international and local rule become visible within limits (for example: Human Rights Watch 2006). Numerous studies meanwhile show the following: In almost all western countries, the LTTE operates in the classic way of functioning of an immigrant party - for example the Democratic Party of the USA in the 19th century.Century - and an immigration mafia - comparable to the Italian, Irish or Jewish mafia on the American east coast. Tamil asylum seekers receive legal advice and assistance from Tamil lawyers - who work with the LTTE. For Tamils seeking asylum, the way to apartments, to the payment of security deposits and to a job - for example with an established Tamil businessman - is paved with the help of Tamil welfare organizations.
If the Tamil immigrant needs financial support or even a loan to set up a small shop or a company, an LTTE-affiliated organization lends him financial support. Comparable to an Italian or Irish immigrant, the Jaffna-Tamil immigrant remains extensively dependent on the LTTE. At the same time, he has every reason to be grateful to the organization. Jaffna Tamils, like all Indian emigrants, have always founded temples in their immigration regions. In the large urban agglomerations and important Tamil immigration areas such as New York, London and Toronto there are dozens of Tamil temples. Hindu temples, especially South Indian temples, have always been centers of a local religious, cultural and also philanthropic community. In many places, the LTTE has succeeded in discreetly taking control of these temples without much effort. Hindu temple complexes are usually established by wealthy Tamil business people. Together with several like-minded people, you found a temple association and a "Board of Trustees". It goes without saying that these members of a temple association are interested in recruiting other like-minded dignitaries and philanthropists to join the association. In Toronto and London, however, it was repeatedly shown that these circles noticed too late that LTTE members were able to secure a majority by joining clubs (Ibid .: 21).
This majority of the association then ensures that LTTE functionaries take over the chairmanship of the temple, that the considerable savings and possessions of the temple are transferred to the LTTE or that the income and functions of the temple are placed at the service of the Eelam propaganda. Even before, but on a massive scale, after this takeover, the temples became centers of LTTE propaganda. Video cassettes, DVDs and CDs that glorify the struggle against the "Sinhala Fascists" are sold in the temple; the LTTE's great, often religiously colored, Martyrs' Remembrance Days are celebrated here; here donation or lottery campaigns are carried out to finance the fight. Worship of gods, hero cults and martyr apotheosis begin to blur (K. Meisig 2005, M. Meisig 2005). In Canada, the USA and England in particular, small Jaffnas have sprung up in the centers of Tamil immigration. The 150,000 or so Tamils in Toronto, for example, form the largest Jaffna-Tamil city outside of Sri Lanka. Toronto also follows the North American market economy principle of ethnic-folkloric self-sufficiency and urban (self-) design. There are Tamil radio stations, television stations, law offices, cinemas, bus routes, parcel services, greengrocers, small traders, moving companies, local newspapers in Toronto.
A separate Tamil business world and home has emerged here. She lives largely separate from the surrounding Francophone or Anglophone Canadian civil society. Their parliamentary candidates, however, are happy to receive the "package of votes" from the Tamils - from organizations close to the LTTE. They are therefore not interested in critically reviewing the LTTE's power and violations of the law. It is easy for the LTTE to rule these countless companies and neighborhoods, to tax them and to force them into political conformity: The LTTE functionaries are proven economists, accountants, lawyers or engineers. They have succeeded in recording the local Tamil diaspora in precise housing, income and tax lists. The immigrants, themselves welfare recipients, are forced to give around 10% of their monthly salary to the LTTE for the patriotic struggle. Gray gentlemen with countless briefcases, Leitz files and pocket calculators visit the delinquent contributors as a couple. Those who receive this visit too often are considered disloyal and isolated in the Tamil neighborhood. Those who are socially isolated will find no neighborhood help, no business contacts, no financial solidarity and no marriage partners when they are away from home. Even worse, if you protest and contact the police, you cannot avoid the police visiting your home. This means social death for the person concerned, because he is now boycotted in broad psychological, social and professional terms. In the long run, he and his whole family have to leave the Tamil community. The organization can enforce this comprehensive conformity so easily because all refugees have relatives on Jaffna: they are always exposed to full access, i.e. to taxation, imprisonment or "disappearance" on the part of the LTTE. But those who are unable to protect their own parents and relatives from abroad have lost their honor and face.
As an immigration and terrorist organization, the LTTE is able to register and tax the respective Tamil neighborhoods with the help of a large number of cultural, patriotic, social and religious organizations. In addition, there are very substantial local investments of their own. The LTTE sets up its own businesses or invests in existing Tamil companies. These business holdings and investments are said to have assumed enormous proportions in North America. The company's profits are now said to equal those from direct tax collection. Given these general conditions, it is easy to understand that no Jaffna Tamil is prepared to openly criticize the organization: Critical traders and business people lost all their Tamil customers within a few weeks and their sales collapsed. Critical journalists and newspaper publishers learned that after a few months they had lost all of their advertisers; in turn, other journalists suddenly found their names on LTTE or Islamist websites - they were seen here as sympathizers of jihad terror (also: K. Radtke 2006).
Ordinary Tamil employees and workers are exposed to simple but permanent telephone terror. As these details already make clear: the local, almost totalitarian control succeeds because the LTTE also systematically used the new communication, exchange and travel opportunities that have arisen thanks to globalization from the start. As early as the 1980s, long before India forced the LTTE to disband its Madras headquarters, LTTE accountants recorded all Jaffna Tamil refugees from here. With the help of old-fashioned bank registers, they kept a precise record of the respective monthly donation contributions. In the meantime, the LTTE has switched to the mechanisms of computerized international bookkeeping. The LTTE benefits from globalization not only in collecting its ordinary and extraordinary financial contributions. Openly or secretly, for more than 10 years it has started to take part in a globalized arms trade, drug smuggling and human trafficking as a matter of course and to reap high profits. These legal and illegal activities not only fund the war, they also contribute directly to the organization of the LTTE's suicide attacks and offensives.
As ever new information shows, the LTTE now has its own merchant fleet comprising around 10 ships. The ships are registered in the flag of convenience countries Panama, Honduras and Liberia. The official shipowners and shipowners are formally correct business people from Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, South Africa, Malaysia or South India. Since the LTTE can easily fall back on the Tamil entrepreneurial milieus in Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and Hong Kong, but also in the West, it is extremely difficult to prove ultimate LTTE control and ownership. However, it is irrefutable in those cases in which the Indian and Sri Lankan navy seized these ships near the northern Sri Lankan coast and found weapons intended for the LTTE on board. By constantly re-registering these ships, the LTTE has so far been able to play cat and mouse with the Sinhalese government. Only in the rarest of cases could the ships equipped with complex technology be identified in the ports of Thailand and Malaysia, for example in Phuket / Thailand. With the merchant fleet registered in "Panholib", the LTTE can operate conventional transport and trade transactions, it can smuggle large quantities of goods and bring in the weapons required for its offensives (G.H. Peiris 2001).
How far this account, company and transport network extends is shown by an incident from May 1997: At that time, the Sinhalese Ministry of Defense had via the (arms) trading company L.B.J. Military Supplies of Israeli Ben Tsoi initiated the purchase of 32,000 mortar shells (81 millimeters caliber). The company eventually bought these $ 3 million mortar shells in Zimbabwe from China-established Zimbabwe Defense Industries. The grenades are transported by freight train to Mozambique and loaded onto the Greek cargo ship Stillus Limassul in the port of Beira. On July 11, 1997, however, the following fax reached the American embassy in Colombo:
"We, the Tamil Tigers, inform you by the present that on 11 July 1997 we have hijacked a vessel carrying arms destined for Colombo. We know that the manufacturer and the supplier of the mortar bombs is ZDI from Harare. The cargo (has been ) confiscated. Me make known and warn that we will take action against all persons participating in the supply of military equipment used against the legitimate rights of Tamil people and we will severely punish those concerned. " (P. Chalk 2000: 1-2)
Subsequent investigations show that the Stillus Limassul was not captured. It was owned by the LTTE from the start. On it, as on all LTTE ships, Tamil seamen from Velvititturai, Prabhakaran's hometown, and the LTTE ship, with or without the knowledge of the Israeli arms dealer, serve the unsuspecting Sinhala Ministry of Defense. When the fax arrived, the grenades had already been loaded onto speedboats and taken to the LTTE's jungle bunkers. The 32,000 shells were supposed to help the Sinhalese army finally to free the crucial land connection from Vavuniya to the conquered Jaffna. One month later, however, they were used with terrible effects against the poorly equipped Sinhala recruits (interview with K. Ganesh, Government Agent Vavuniya, November 9, 1998).
In addition to participating in globalized sea trade and arms smuggling, there is also drug trafficking. The LTTE has always avoided getting involved in the transportation or sale of drugs in the West, North America or the EU. In South Asia, these concerns do not seem to be equally prevalent. With the help of smuggling through Palk Strait and its own ships, the LTTE appears to be supplying the drug market in Sri Lanka. LTTE couriers appear to have worked for the LTTE till in South India as well. Even more remarkable, however, are the statements of an Indian journalist working in northeast India: Not only local Burmese or Assamese trader and smuggler families operate on the borders of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur, individual Jaffna-Tamil "bazaars" have also got stuck here - among them Prabhakaran's grandfather. All of these groups of traders and smugglers appear to be involved in the opium trade as well. The Tamil traders also maintain business links with the nearby "golden triangle" of opium production in northern Burma. In addition to these activities, the LTTE is involved in people smuggling. At least there are growing suspicions that the LTTE not only organizes the transport of people between North Cylon and South India, but also helps organize the movements of asylum seekers Tamils to the EU and North America - of course, in return for large sums of money.
Since the asylum seekers concerned are unable to pay these amounts, they fall into the guilt dependency of the secret and terrorist organizations right from the start. With the help of influential, technically highly qualified Tamil business people in large parts of Asia, Europe and North America, the LTTE can organize and control civilian sea transport and arms smuggling, drug and human trafficking over long distances and with presumably high profits in a globalized economy. The same diaspora network based on political, ethnic, cultural and religious affinity makes it easier for the LTTE to procure weapons: In almost all "failing or failed states" that have their own weapons industries or have high stocks of weapons after wars, the LTTE has seen weapons buyers: from Ukraine to Burma to Cambodia, Zimbabwe and West Africa. These weapons purchases enabled the LTTE's electrical engineers and computer scientists to improvise technologically sophisticated weapon systems and repel attacks by the Sinhalese navy and army. The stinger missiles, ground mines, high-speed boats packed with explosives and car bombs are not simple weapons of retaliation, not weapons of the poor. They come from an international arms bazaar to which only financially strong and professional negotiators and terrorist organizations have access (P. Chalk 2000).
The business areas mentioned are based on a new "world disorder". This includes collapsing states, new markets of violence, countries with flags of convenience and financial loopholes that make the work of an international terrorist organization easier. This underside of globalization, on which the LTTE relies in the organization of the war business, is rarely shown in the official self-portrayal of the LTTE. Another facet of the globalization process dominates here: the use of a globalized media culture: The Tamil intelligentsia, which overcomes the hurdles of the asylum application process in the West, is a highly educated group that includes not only accountants and engineers, but also academics, journalists and many Find social scientists. Some of the Jaffna-Tamil academics have long since found access to English and American universities in order to avoid the harassment and career hurdles of Sinhala education policy (R. Venugopal 2003).
Based on the voluntary cooperation with this intelligentsia, the LTTE manages without any effort to set up an exemplary information system and a seamless public relations organization. This information structure, initially based on newspapers, magazines and newsletters, is also transferred to the Internet at an early stage. Today the LTTE is one of those terrorist organizations whose websites eclipse those of all other violent organizations in terms of size, quality and craftsmanship. These information and propaganda instruments, which are aimed at the Western public, the Indian community and its own diaspora, ensure that the LTTE has an argumentative advantage right from the start. In the politically decisive USA, in Great Britain, but also in Canada, the LTTE has long been able to maintain ideological supremacy and moral hegemony over the Sinhalese side. For at least the first eight years of the civil war, the Sinhalese side was forced to justify itself for the human rights violations that the Tamils rightly accuse it of. The LTTE has information offices, websites and propaganda networks in over 50 countries. For a long time she was able to convince the western public of the legitimacy of her uprising.
These information and mobilization services are of the utmost political importance, especially in the USA: As an immigration country, the USA has promoted naturalization, political integration and articulation of immigrant groups from the start. Based on a comprehensive and competent news and argumentation system, the Tamil diaspora in the USA was able, at least during the 1980s, to exert an above-average influence on the political patterns of assessment in the government towards the two conflicting parties. Many American universities and colleges employ Tamil scientists. They can influence the academic discussion in the USA in favor of this marginalized and disenfranchised minority (D. Sriskandarajah 2004).
So if globalization means the accelerated transfer of goods, capital, people, opinions, ideas and style elements, then the LTTE is probably the "terror multinational" that has made the best use of the opportunities of an accelerated exchange: It conducts extensive maritime trade and acquires worldwide weapons and technologies necessary for them; it distributes its propaganda material worldwide and precisely controls its various legal actions, conferences and information and propaganda networks; LTTE cadres, often with British, Canadian and American passports, move around the world without any noticeable obstacles; a modern globalized banking system transfers its donation millions to every point on earth; at the same time, the LTTE is making use of traditional transfer options operated by moneylenders and "hawala" offices. Within the Tamil diaspora and its organization, it promotes and disseminates a certain ideological and at the same time folkloric habitus and style. It celebrates days of remembrance, promotes a sentimental heroic poetry and martyr culture and patronizes an interest-based homeland and "Eelam" research (also: R. Laegreid 2004).
Continuation: Tradition of smuggling and education, diaspora networks and globalization: Framework conditions for the terror of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) (II)
This article is part of the focus: South Asia Experts Special: Jakob Rösel.
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