Japan aided LTTE mini-sub project
Under the guise of Tsunami Relief, the LTTE Tamil Tiger’s received considerable foreign aide for their war effort, according to the Lanka Times:
In the wake of tsunami, the then UNF government allowed experts from many countries to launch rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the LTTE-held area. According to information from LTTE suspects in custody, the Japanese team had also helped them develop submersibles though their first attempt to test the first craft ended in failure.
Divers subsequently recovered it close to Farah III, a Turkish ship which had run aground at Vellimullivaikkal.The LTTE had smuggled in a range of items needed for this particular project from overseas before the navy cut off their supply route north-eastern coast. The LTTE had powerful Japanese built outboard mortars, radar and communication equipment among several other items recovered by the army and navy, especially in the eastern Vanni.
The Island also reveals much UN help for the terrorists’ last stand on land:
INGOs loved to operate in the LTTE-held terrain for various reasons. Some of them with terror links had an opportunity to work for the LTTE on the pretext of doing humanitarian work and others found a safe haven in that part of the country as their donors could not monitor the progress of their multi-million dollar projects. They only had to part with some of their funds to appease the LTTE. That they had swindled their donors out of funds to the tune of millions of dollars, pounds etc., became known after the army wrested control of the LTTE-controlled areas. There was no evidence of projects that INGOs had claimed to have launched and the heavy equipment they had moved into those areas had been placed at the disposal of terrorists to build massive earth bunds in anticipation of a military onslaught. These obstacles were responsible for many casualties the army had to take in the Vanni offensive.
Besides its submersible project, the LTTE could not have developed its crude air wing and the infrastructure needed for it without foreign assistance. There is a reason to believe that it smuggled in foreign experts posing as INGO activists flaunting a humanitarian cause. Some INGOs, it may be recalled, even tried to bring in mini helicopters claiming they were needed for their tsunami relief operations!
Strategypage provides more on NGO activities during the Sri Lankan Civil War.