| by Our Special Correspondents in Colombo and New Delhi
( April 07, 2012, Colombo/New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) 1. In November 2009, after her arrival as the new Permanent Representative to the UN, replacing Dr Dayan Jayatilleke, Kshenuka Senewiratne contracted an LTTE company Shelvazug to renovate the Official Residence for more than 150,000 Swiss Francs (i.e., more than 20 million Rupees). Her husband did part of the renovation work and received payment from the Mission via the LTTE company.
2. Why did Kshenuka Senewiratne select Shelva Zug to carry out construction works from cellar to roof top? Shelva Zug is NOT a construction company, but a financial and credit institution also dealing with real estate, life insurance, health insurance, housing and car insurances. Its activities are oriented solely towards the Tamil community. Whatsmore, Shelva Zug is NOT located in Geneva where there are numerous construction companies, but in Zurich, a city 300 kilometers away from Geneva !
3. Every Government regulation relating to finance, procurement and administration was grossly violated. There were no quotations, no BOQ, no letter heads, no contract, and a large sum of money was paid in advance to the company!
4. Shelva Zug owner, P.T. Thurairajah, was among 9 LTTEers arrested by Swiss police in January 2011 for money laundering, extortion, and membership in a criminal organization. Following their arrest, the Swiss Attorney Generalí’s office said in a statement that, “During the course of investigations, the suspicion that, for many years, the accused persons had forced their fellow countrymen of the Tamil diaspora to financially support the LTTE, was substantiated.”
(See the Agence France Presse news item Ten Tamil Tigers arrested in Switzerland)
10 Tamil Tigers arrested in Switzerland
Face money laundering charge
GENEVA: Swiss police on Tuesday raided several properties and arrested 10 Tamil Tiger rebels, accusing them of involvement in a criminal group as well as money laundering, attorney-general’s office said.
“Today, the Swiss Federal Criminal Police carried out a nationally coordinated operation directed at Tamil individuals and members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). They are accused, amongst other offences, of money laundering and membership of a criminal organisation,” said the attorney-general’s office.
Some 23 premises were raided in ten cantons, leading to the arrests in the operation that came after a criminal probe into Tamil Tigers’ activities in Switzerland.
“During the course of investigation, the suspicion that, for many years, the accused persons had forced their fellow countrymen of the Tamil diaspora to financially support the LTTE, was substantiated,” said the attorney-general’s office.
“The victims in Switzerland were put under severe pressure, threatened, or subjected to extortion,” it added.
Authorities found that the accused had forced their fellow countrymen to draw out large loans, and hand over the funds. Those who refused were threatened with reprisals.
“Several million Swiss francs” were raised and transferred to Sri Lanka where they were used to finance Tamil Tiger activities, in particular, in the purchase of “war materials,” said the statement.
“To disguise the true origin of the funds, they were invested in companies with connections to the LTTE conducting legal business,” noted the attorney-general’s office.
Colombo defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 after killing the guerilla leaders, fighting for an ethnic Tamil homeland.
The UN estimates that up to 100,000 people died in the separatist conflict after the Tiger rebels first emerged in 1972.
The Sinhalese are the majority in Sri Lanka, with the Tamils representing the minority.
Swiss prosecutors have established a toll free line 0800 10 20 60, calling on witnesses or victims to come forward if they have information on how Tamil Tigers operate.
5. Thurairajah’s credit company made its money by forcing Tamils to take huge loans. The Swiss Attorney Generalís office found that those arrested had forced their fellow countrymen to draw out large loans, and hand over the funds. Those who refused were threatened with reprisals. In order to disguise the true origin of the funds, they were invested in companies with connections to the LTTE conducting legal business.î .
6. The money thus raised by Thurairajah was sent to Sri Lanka to finance the terrorist war in Sri Lanka. The statement issued by the Attorney General’s office said, “Several million Swiss francs were raised and transferred to Sri Lanka where they were used to finance Tamil Tiger activities, in particular, in the purchase of ” war materials.”
7. At the time the contract was given to Thurairajah, which was only a few months after the defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka, it was already known by the Swiss police that Thurairajah was an LTTE activist.
8. An audit by the Finance Ministry has produced a devastating report, but its release has been blocked by Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, who effectively runs the Foreign Ministry and whose complicity with Kshenuka Senewiratne is well-known. This is perhaps why Kshenuka is said to have paid such tribute to the role played by Sajin de Vass in Geneva despite his ignorance of the activities of the United Nations and of international humanitarian and human rights law, and despite his being an unknown quantity among the diplomatic corps in Geneva.