Sri Lanka PM says Tamil Tigers re-emerging

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 8, 2010 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels are re-emerging a year after their defeat, Sri Lanka’s prime minister said Tuesday, despite the once-powerful guerrilla force launching no attacks. D. M. Jayaratne told parliament that remnants of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were planning a comeback with financial backing from Tamils abroad.

“There are hardcore Tigers who are still mingling among civilians,” Jayaratne said. “During the month of May alone we have arrested 77 hardcore Tigers who are believed to have been directly involved in terror activities.”

He said intelligence agencies reported that Tigers who escaped the military onslaught last year were collecting weapons they had stashed away to resume their struggle.

The Tigers have launched no attacks since being defeated in May 2009, but the government maintains tough anti-terror laws which are extended every month by parliament.

The opposition accuses the government of using the emergency laws to stifle political dissent.

Last month, the prime minister urged Western nations to crack down on Tamils living abroad who hope to revive the armed struggle that cost the lives of up to 100,000 peo