Arms Dealing

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2010 (AFP) – A New York court sentenced two men to 14 and 26 years in prison Friday for providing support to the Tamil Tigers separatist group, the Justice Department said Friday. Government troops killed the LTTE leadership and declared the total annihilation of the separatist guerrillas on May 18, ending Asia’s longest running ethnic conflict. “Defendants Sathajhan Sarachandran and Nadarasa Yogarasa were sentenced to 26 and 14 years in prison, respectively,” the department said in a statement.

The pair were convicted “in connection with their efforts to purchase one million dollars worth of high-powered weaponry for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,” the statement added, using the formal name for the separatist group.

Sarachandran, 30, pleaded guilty earlier this month to providing “material support to terrorism” by “conspiring and attempting to acquire guided surface-to-air missiles and missile launchers.”

Yogarasa also pleaded guilty to providing material support.

The pair were arrested in 2006, after engaging in negotiations with an undercover FBI agent to purchase and export heat-seeking missiles, ten missile launchers, 500 AK-47s, and other military e