Germany charges suspected Tamil Tigers

BERLIN, August 31, 2010 (AFP) – German prosecutors said Tuesday they had charged three men suspected of fundraising and buying weapons for the Sri Lankan separatist group the Tamil Tigers. Sri Lankan national Vijikanendra V. S., 35, and German nationals Sasitharan M., 33, and Koneswaran T., 39, were charged with belonging to a banned “terrorist” organisation and breaking export laws, a statement said.

The three men, arrested in March, ran in the western city of Oberhausen the German “affiliate” of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), banned as a “terrorist” organisation in the European Union, prosecutors said.

Between July 2007 and April 2009 they raised some three million euros (3.8 million dollars) from Tamils in Germany and transferred it to the LTTE or used it on LTTE orders to buy weapons and other items, the statement said.

Vijikanendra V. S. is also believed to have been in charge of all of the Tigers’ foreign affiliates, prosecutors added. They did not say when the men might face trial.

Decades of civil war in Sri Lanka ended last year after government forces crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels in a bloody finale in which the United Nations says that at lea