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Cablegate: Legislatively Mandated Terrorism Reports:

P 090605Z DEC 88
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1883

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 08559

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE

DEPARTMENT FOR S/CT-WHARTON

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: PTER CE MV
SUBJECT: LEGISLATIVELY MANDATED TERRORISM REPORTS:
SRI LANKA AND MALDIVES

REF: STATE 357278

1. DECONTROL UPON RECEIPT.

---------------
2. SRI LANKA
-----------------

A. RESULTS OF ANY 1988 COURT PROSECUTIONS INVOLVING
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AND SIGNIFICANT ACTS OF
DOMESTIC TERRORISM: EMBASSY KNOWS OF NO/NO 1988 COURT
PROSECUTIONS IN SRI LANKA WHICH INVOLVED INTERNATIONAL
TERRORISM. SEVERAL CASES WHICH WERE IN PROCESS DURING
1988, HOWEVER, INVOLVED INCIDENTS OF DOMESTIC
TERRORISM ARISING OUT OF THE TWO SEPARATE INSURGENCIES
WHICH SRI LANKA FACES: IN THE NORTH THAT OF SOME
MILITANT TAMIL GROUPS--PARTICULARLY OF THE LIBERATION
TIGERS OF TAMIL EELAM (LTTE) WHICH CONTINUES TO OPPOSE
THE INDO-SRI LANKA PEACE ACCORD SIGNED JULY 31,
1987--AND IN THE SOUTH THAT OF THE RADICAL
REVOLUTIONARY, INTENSELY NATIONALISTIC SINHALESE
GROUP, THE JANATHA VIMUKTHI PERAMUNA (JVP).

AMONG THEM:

--IN THE CASE OF THE TERRORIST GRENADE ATTACK AT
PARLIAMENT ON AUGUST 18, 1987, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
TELLS US THAT CHARGES ARE TO BE FILED "SHORTLY,"
PROBABLY IN DECEMBER, AGAINST FOUR MEN. THEY ARE
ACCUSED OF KILLING A DISTRICT MINISTER AND A
PARLIAMENT OFFICIAL AND OF TRYING TO KILL THE
PRESIDENT AND THE MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY. THE
GRENADE ATTACK ON A MEETING OF SOME 140 MEMBERS OF THE
RULING UNITED NATIONAL PARTY CAME AS PART OF PROTESTS
AGAINST THE SIGNING OF THE INDO-SRI LANKA PEACE ACCORD.

--THE CASE HAS COME TO COURT AGAINST THREE TAMILS
ACCUSED IN THE MAY 1986 BOMBING OF AN AIR LANKA
TRI-STAP WHICH KILLED 28 PEOPLE. ON DECEMBER 5 THE
THREE PLEADED NOT GUILTY. THE CASE CONTINUES.

--BEGINNING IN AUGUST 1987 FOLLOWING THE SIGNING OF
THE INDO-SRI LANKA ACCORD, AND CONTINUING THROUGHOUT
1988, SOME 4000 TAMILS SUSPECTFD MILITANTS, BEING HELD
UNDER THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT AND EMERGENCY
REGULATIONS, HAVE BEEN UNCONDITIONALLY RELEASED FROM
DETENTION.

B. HAS STATUS OF PLO CHANGED SINCE 1987: THE PLO HAS
LONG BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE GSL AND CONTINUES TO
MAINTAIN AN EMBASSY IN COLOMBO. IT IS HEADED BY THE
EQUIVALENT OF A CHARGE D'AFFAIRES WHO IS CALLED "PLO
REPRESENTATIVE AND HEAD OF THE MISSION" ON THE
DIPLOMATIC LIST; THERE IS ONLY ONE OTHER MAN, WITH
COUNSELOR RANK, ON THE DIP LIST. SRI LANKA HAS
RECOGNIZED THE STATE OF PALESTINE WHICH WAS PROCLAIMED
AT THE PLO CONFERENCE IN ALGIERS IN MID-NOVEMBER.

C. HAS SRI LANKA MADE ANY PUBLIC STATEMENTS IN
SUPPORT OF A TERRORIST-SUPPORTING COUNTRY ON A
TERRORISM ISSUE? NO.

D. A REVIEW OF MAJOR COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS
UNDERTAKEN IN CY-88, INCLUDING STEPS TAKEN IN
INTERNATIONAL FORA: ON DECEMBER 6, SRI LANKA ENACTED
ENABLING LEGISLATION TO CONFORM WITH THE SAARC
CONVENTION ON THE SUPPRESSION OF TERRORISM; IT THUS
BECAME ONLY THE SECOND (AFTER NEPAL) OF THE SEVEN
SAARC COUNTRIES TO BRING ITS OWN STATUTES INTO LINE
WITH THE SAARC CONVENTION.

E. RESPONSE OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, INCLUDING
EXTRADITION ACTIONS, ACTIONS ON TERRORISM AFFECTING
AMERICAN CITIZENS AND FACILITIES, OR DEALINGS WITH
OTHER SIGNIFICANT ACTS OF TERRORISM: NOT APPLICABLE.
HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THAT GSL WOULD BE HELPFUL AND
RESPONSIBLE TO USG CONCERNS IF TERRORISM ACTS HERE
INVOLVED AMCITS/FACILITIES.

F. SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT, IF ANY, FOR INTERNATIONAL
TERRORISM: NOT APPLICABLE.

------------
3. MALDIVES
------------

A. RESULTS OF ANY 1988 COURT PROSECUTIONS INVOLVING
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AND SIGNIFICANT ACTS OF
DOMESTIC TERRORISM: EARLY ON THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER
3, A GROUP OF SOME 150 ARMED TAMIL-SPEAKING MEN (LATER
DETERMINED TO BE SRI LANKAN TAMILS, MERCENARIES WHO
WERE ALSO MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION
ORGANIZATION OF TAMIL EELAM, OR PLOTE), INVADED MALE,
THE CAPITAL ISLAND CITY OF THE MALDIVES. TAKING THE
MALDIVIANS COMPLETELY BY SURPRISE, THEY QUICKLY GAINED
THE UPPER HAND IN MOST OF THE TINY ISLAND BUT WERE
UNABLE TO CAPTURE THE HEADQUARTERS BUILDING OF THE
NATIONAL SECURITY SERVICE, THE NATION'S COMBINED (AND
SOLE) SECURITY FORCE. PRESIDENT GAYOOM ASKED SEVERAL
NATIONS FOR HELP IN QUELLING THE INVASION; SHORTLY
BEFORE MIDNIGHT INDIAN TROOPS ARRIVED AND WERE ABLE TO
RELIEVE THEIR BELEAGERED MALDIVIAN NSS BREATHERN.
SOME OF THE INVADERS ESCAPED BY BOAT BUT WERE LATER
CAPTURED BY INDIAN NAVY AND RETURNED TO MALE. AT THE
END OF 1988, THE GOVERNMENT OF MALDIVES IS HOLDING
ABOUT 70 OF THESE SRI LANKAN TAMIL INVADERS, AND
INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE. THEY ALSO HOLD 2 MALDIVIAN
CITIZENS, INCLUDING THE MEN ACCUSED OF MASTERMINDING
THE PLOT, WHO WERE CAPTURED WITH THE FLEEING TAMILS.
A FURTHER TWO MALDIVIANS HAVE BEEN DETAINED FOR
QUESTIONING. SO FAR NO TRIAL DATES HAVE BEEN SET.

B. HAS STATUS OF PLO CHANGED SINCE 1987: THE PLO HAS
MAINTAINED A ONE-MAN EMBASSY IN THE MALDIVIAN CAPITAL
SINCE THE EARLY 1980'S. THE CURRENT PLO REPRESENTA-
TIVE, WHO HOLDS THE RANK OF AMBASSADOR, APPARENTLY IS
ONLY OCCASIONALLY IN COUNTRY. MALDIVES HAS RECOGNIZED
THE STATE OF PALESTINE WHICH WAS PROCLAIMED IN
MID-NOVEMBER AT THE PLO'S ALGIERS CONFERENCE.

C. HAS MALDIVES MADE ANY PUBLIC STATEMENTS IN SUPPORT
OF A TERRORIST SUPPORTING COUNTRY ON A TERRORISM
ISSUE: NO.


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