(WMR) -- The
current offensive by the Sri Lankan government against thr Tamil Tiger or
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebel movement has trapped tens of
thousands of refugees in a coastal strip still held by the rebels.
Sri Lanka�s military has been accused by human rights
organizations of using massive firepower against the guerrillas that is
resulting in civilian casualties. The comparison between Israel�s brutal attack
on the Gaza Strip and its killing of over 1,000 civilians and the wounding
of many thousands of others and the Sri Lankan assault on a three-mile
long coastal strip controlled by the Tamil Tigers have been made by a number of
observers, including Australia�s Green-Left Online in a May 2 article by Sean O
Floinn & Emma Clancy: �A largely defenseless people struggling to
survive and hemmed in on a narrow strip of land, facing indiscriminate air
strikes, assault from gun boats and cluster bombs by a well-equipped army,
conjures up the image of the recent Israeli invasion of Palestine�s Gaza Strip.�
However, there is more to the comparisons between Israel�s
attack on the Gaza Strip and Sri Lanka�s attack on the narrow strip of the
Jaffna peninsula. In May 2000, a day after India refused to give Sri Lanka any
military assistance in its war against the Tamil Tigers, Sri Lanka and Israel
resumed diplomatic relations. Although the corporate media are focusing on Sri
Lanka�s military assistance from China, little mention is being made of the
island nation�s military links with Israel.
After the establishment of diplomatic ties between Jerusalem
and Colombo, Israeli military technicians arrived to maintain Sri
Lanka�s Israeli-made Kfir fighter-bombers and Russian MiG-27 aircraft and
provided Sri Lanka with Dvora fast naval attack craft. Israeli arms and
ammunition also began flooding into Sri Lanka.
Soon, Israeli military advisers and �consultants� were
regular visitors to Colombo�s new Access Lanka Building, owned by relatives of
Sri Lanka�s top military officers. Among Israel�s security exports to Sri Lanka
was state-of-the-art electronic and imagery surveillance equipment. Israeli Air
Force pilots reportedly flew Sri Lankan attack aircraft against Tamil Tiger
targets on the Jaffna peninsula. Israeli military personnel were also
reported to have taken part in Sri Lankan military attacks on Tamil units.
Due to Israel�s military assistance to Sri Lanka,
Palestinians reportedly began aiding the Tamils in the 1980s. It is also
believed that Israel�s Mossad recruited agents among Sri Lanka�s large
contingent of foreign workers in the Persian Gulf Arab states. There were also
reports that Israelis were also providing weapons and training to Tamil
guerrillas in order to maintain a �market� for Israeli arms suppliers in the
civil war-wracked island nation.
On March 2, 2007, WMR reported: �WMR visited Phnom Penh,
Cambodia and discovered that the Mossad and Cambodian criminal syndicate allies
continue to obtain bought-back Cambodian weapons from Cambodian government
warehouses and are selling them to guerrilla groups throughout Asia, including
Sri Lanka�s Tamil Tigers, anti-Laotian Hmongs, the small anti-communist Free
Vietnam Movement, and Burmese tribal guerrilla groups. WMR photographed a
number of Zim shipping containers portside along the Mekong River in Phnom
Penh. From this and other port facilities, including the port of Sihanoukville,
bought-back Cambodian weapons, some originally provided to the Khmer Rouge
by [Israeli tycoon Shaul] Eisenberg and the Chinese, are making their way to
insurgent groups around Asia, possibly including Iraqi guerrillas battling U.S.
forces in Iraq.�
Tamil guerrillas have claimed to have destroyed an
Israeli-made Sri Lankan fast naval attack craft, perhaps reminiscent of
Hezbollah�s destruction of the INS Hanit, a Saar-V class missile corvette, which was deployed off the
Lebanese coast during the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon, with a C-802
Iranian-made Noor missile.
Although Sri Lanka suspended diplomatic ties with Israel in
1970 over the failure of the Israelis to withdraw from illegally occupied
Palestinian territory, however, operating an Interests Section within the U.S.
embassy in Colombo, Israeli-Sri Lankan ties began to grow closer in the
mid-1980s. Israel provided Sri Lanka with military advisers and established a
special commando unit for the Sri Lankan police.
In 1990, Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa ordered
the Israeli Interests Section at the U.S. embassy to close its doors and two
Israeli diplomats in Colombo were ordered to leave. Premadasa was said to have
come under pressire from Muslim ministers in his government. In 1990, Premadasa
also ordered a government investigation of charges that Mossad was training
both Sri Lankan and Tamil guerrilla forces.
On September 25, 1991, Reuters reported from Colombo: �Sri
Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa, fighting against a campaign to have him
impeached, yesterday accused the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad of plotting
against him because he closed the Israeli interests section in the U.S.
embassy. He spoke at the opening session of parliament.�
On May 1, 1993, Premadasa was assassinated in Colombo during
May Day festivities by a suicide bomber said to be a Tamil guerrilla.
Twenty-three other people were killed in the blast. On May 28, 1993, Abdul
Hameed Mohammed Azwer, Sri Lankan minister of state for Muslim affairs, said in
Jeddah, �Israel was enraged by when they were expelled from Sri Lanka by
Premadasa and I suspect the Mossad was behind the dastardly murder of this
Those behind Premadasa�s assassination remains an Asian �cold
case.� On September 23, 1997, Attorney General Sarath Silva released 18 Tamil
suspects in the assassination of the president, citing lack of evidence. Silva
declared the case would be officially deemed as �unsolved.�
During a March 2009 trip to Israel by Sri Lankan Prime
Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, talks were held with Israel�s leading arms
suppliers on increased military aid by the Israelis to Sri Lanka.
Israel continues to supply Sri Lanka with arms and military
training even after the United States and Britain cut off military supplies to
Sri Lanka over the government�s human rights violations.
published in the Wayne
Copyright � 2009 WayneMadenReport.com
Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and
nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report