Bruce Haigh speaks to Sabra Lane for The World Today. In a piece titled ‘Tuckey’s terrorist claims vindicated’, Bruce questions if Tuckey is overestimating the threat:
Overestimating the threat?
The Australian Government has considered listing the Tamil Tigers as a banned terrorist group several times and has declined to do so without explaining why.
Bruce Haigh, a political commentator who has served as an Australian diplomat in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, also says the Tamil Tigers should not be classified as terrorists.
“What does Wilson [Tuckey] think they will do if granted the right to live in Australia? Blow up the local post office, police station or shock horror, a pub?” he asked.
“It should not come as a surprise to learn that there are former members of the LTTE living in Australia and that they are now engaged in one or other of the professions and raising successful children.”
Mr Haigh says there are also Sinhalese living in Australia, who were involved with military and security organisations in Sri Lanka, “the sole aim of which were to kill, sometimes through murder, members of the Tamil community”.
He says Australia sided with the Sri Lankan government in its civil war, subsequently viewing the Tamil Tigers as terrorists, but that it was a war in which terrorist tactics were used by both sides.
“Australia ended up supporting one side in a civil war when it should have been neutral and even handed,” he said.
“That does not mean that Australia should continue to demonise Tamils.
“Elements in the AFP [Federal Police] might like to hear Wilson in action on LTTE terrorists, but other intelligence agencies are more sanguine and circumspect in their analysis of the threat posed by former members of the LTTE stepping onto Australian soil.”