Why are UK MPs supporting LTTE terrorism?

| by Shenali Waduge

(October 09, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) When a terrorist organization has its international head office openly functioning from London & when its Government did pittance about it for decades what are we to think. When a terrorist organization is able to generate 40% of its foreign funds from UK, what are we to think? When UK MPs gather to bring endless proposals against a democratically elected Government citing international laws related to human rights, war crimes etc…we can simply ask what was the world doing or thinking when the LTTE were killing people, destroying property & bringing chaos?

In a country that has declared the LTTE as a terrorist organization – can the LTTE be allowed to hold demonstrations? Demonstrations are part of democracy but how can demonstrators holding LTTE flags chanting & supporting the LTTE be allowed to disturb & disrupt the lives of the British public?
The UK may have proscribed the LTTE in 2001 but LTTE was sharp enough to quickly change the names of their front organizations & most of these have been successful at roping in foreign MPs & foreign leaders bold enough to praise the LTTE despite its country banning the LTTE. Excuse given by western police is that they are preoccupied handling “Islamic terrorism” – given that terrorism is terrorism & the LTTE has been proscribed since 2001, the UK needs to wake up to this fact & seriously address its lethargy to treat all terrorists alike because LTTE has not feared to kill foreigners & now that LTTE is operating on foreign soil it is foreign locations that are likely to be affected & with LTTE having commercial links with other terrorist groups the runaway LTTE cadres now living in foreign shores will be perfect teachers for suicide missions & other clandestine operations abroad.

The facts

The British Government banned the LTTE alongside 21 other terrorist organizations on February 28, 2000. When UK banned the LTTE in 2000 under its terrorism act several MPs raised their objections. MPs Robert Evans, Linda Perham, Andrew Dismore, Dr. Jenny Tong, Jeremy Corbyn, John MacDonald, Andy Love. Similarly, Hon Andrew Love (Labour), Hon Simon Hughes (Lib Dem), Hon Jeremy Corbyn (Lab), Hon John McDonnell (Lab), Hon Paul Burstow (Lib Dem), Hon Susan Kramer (Lib Dem), Hon Andrew Dismore (Lab), Hon Andrew Pelling (Independent), Hon Lee Scott (Conservative), Rt. Hon Keith Vaz (Lab) and the Hon Minister Bill Rammell (Lab) who joined to sing hossanahs for the LTTE.

To this list of pro-LTTE supporters we must also include MPs – Gavin Barwell, Tom Brake, James Brokenshire, David Burrowes, Edward Davey, Duncan Smith, Barry Gardiner, Zac Goldsmith, Robert, Halfon, Stephen Hammond, Nick Hurd, Joseph Johnson, Sadiq Khan, Siobhain McDonagh, Bob Neill, Richard Ottoway, Stephen Pound, Andrew Rosindell, Sarah Teather, Gareth Thomas, Stephen Timms, Theresa Villiers, Angela Watkinson, Angus Robertson, Dianne Abbot, Jon Trickett, Mark Hendrik, Philip Davies, Peter Bottomley, David Miliband, Stella Creasy & John Mann,

Despite UK ban LTTE fundraising continues

LTTE’s defacto headquarters was in London masquerading under the name “British Tamil Association” with debit accounts in Natwest Bank.

The LTTE holds 2 events each year in London despite the UK & EU banning LTTE. The 1st event is in July & held in Hyde Park where a 20ft cut out of Prabakaran is on a stage organized by the Tamil Youth Organization. UK police had even given permission to hold the rally.

November for Prabakaran’s 50th birthday 5000 Tamils gathered in Wembley Arena with entrance fee £35 per head. The principal speaker was himself a UK citizen but LTTE theoretician – Anton Balasingham. UK has never questioned Balasingham’s connections with UK banned LTTE.

White Pigeon is a LTTE front organization being investigated by the UK Charity Commission having transferred approx £500,000 from NatWestBank to the Bumiputhra Commerce Bank in Kuala Lumpur to the account of the World Tamil Relief Fund to purchase arms for the LTTE.

These are the other LTTE front organizations - * London Tamil Manram, * Tamil Co-ordinating Committee, * Eelam Solidarity Campaign, * Tamil Information Centre, Thamil House, 720 Romford Road, London E12, * Tamil Rehabilitation organization (TRO) , 79 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, * International Federation of Tamils, 17, Birchiew Close, Yateley, * World Saiva Council ,

The International Federation of Tamils in Surrey runs the Kalathil a well known Tamil journal with wide distribution. It also publishes booklets & pamphlets to gain international support. Other publications include - * Viduthalai Puligal, * Tamil Times Tamil Times Ltd. P O Box 121, Sutton Surrey, * Tamil Nation, P O Box 373, Croydon, Surrey, * Network , The International Federation of Tamils 17, Birchview close, * Thamilan, 19, Undine Street, London SW 17 8PP, United Kingdom.

There is also a Tamil Information Center which has a unit called the Tamil Eelam British Branch,

If we recollect in 2006, a British NHS GP – Dr. Murugesu Vineyagamoorthy & his wife Dr. Pushpam were arrested in New York by the FBI for attempting to bribe a US Justice Dept official with 1m to remove LTTE from the US list of banned terrorist organizations. Leaving aside the arrest the offer of USD1m is a good eye opener as to how the LTTE operates & how big the monetary transactions are for western bias. Human Rights Watch in a study documented that individual families & businesses had to pay money ranging from £2000 to £100,000. If Tamils do not agree they would be killed or their next of kin in Sri Lanka would be abducted & killed. That was what happened to Subramaniuam Sivakumar on January 5th, 2006 who ran a grocery shop in North West London. UK police discovered journal entries with regular payments to “LTTE boys”. Annual remittances from the UK alone both from extortion and their business activities was in the range of £10 million.

Tamil Gang violence

Incidents involving Tamil gangs has surged with 16 such killings recorded in 2005. Prabakaran’s son Charles Anthony had been a student at the University of Belfast entry secured with the assistance of IRA’s Martin McGuinness on the grounds that it was a “confidence building measure”. Many of the international credit card scams are spearheading by the LTTE. Human smuggling & international narcotics is part & parcel of LTTE’s other crime syndicate. With all nations aware of these why have they kept silent or how much has it kept to maintain the silence is a good question we need to ask.

UK MPs & Councillors supporting LTTE

Harrow Councillor Thaya Idaikaddar delivered a homily on 25 July 2006 at Hyde Park honoring the LTTE. While fellow Harrow Councillor Shashikala & Eliza Packiadevi Mann from Southwark had obtained permission for the 2006 Hyde Park rally from the Royal Parks Police. These councilors formed the British Tamil Councillors & Associates.

Mr Idaikaddar is closely associated with DFID Minister Gareth Thomas who usually is an active participant in these events in his electorate. Mr Robert Evans -- another Labour member who is a member of the European Parliament (PSE group) -- is another active supporter.

The LTTE has gained control of the Hindu temples which also brings large volumes of money – Sivayogam Hindu temple in Tooting is a good example. This very temple had sent container loads of “tsunami relief in 2004” inside kitchen pots were ball bearings & other items for assembling explosives. This temple also sponsored the construction of a boat yard in Sampoor which was used for LTTE sea tigers.

In August 2005 the UK Charity Commission did delist the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (British charity number 1010029) from its list of charities since the TRO had links with the LTTE. The TRO response was to register itself under the International Tamil Rehabilitation Organization as a company with Companies House UK. The TRO had supposedly collected over Rs.56m to construct over 600 tsunami houses in the North & East. The TRO has since 1995 sent 3m pounds from UK to the LTTE, tax free under the guise of “rehabilitation”. Incidentally, the staff of TRO are paid through the Tamil Housing Association which means British tax payers were paying for salaries of terrorists! Not paying value added tax means defrauding the British treasury, Her Majesty’s Inland Revenue & Her Majesty’s Customs & Excise – why was action not taken when authorities were aware of these irregularities?

Similarly, the Tamil Housing Association has raised millions of pounds through British local bodies on account of them being registered charity & a Housing Association in the UK. The other front organization the Tamil Refugee Action Group was able to secure a British National Lottery grant of £78,450 pounds in 1998. While the Tamil Refugee Education & Training Center also obtained a National Lottery grant. of £155,484 pounds in 1999 covering a 3 year period. In May 2007, UK MP for Edmonton Andy Love declared open the LTTE’s new TV station Tharisanam in Southgate, London following the previous channel Tamil Television Network based in France being shut by the French authorities.

Without a doubt the LTTE has been comfortably existing in UK. The Tamil Diaspora which has been spearheading LTTE beyond Sri Lanka on foreign shores enjoy promoting themselves as leaders of various groups & canvassing amongst foreign MPs & foreign Government bodies as well as private establishments & UN & NGOs. Their ability to influence was such that they even held meetings in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. A good example is Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar alias AC Shanthan (Head of the United Tamil Organization based in South London & later the British Tamil Association) holding regular meetings with the UK Special Branch & purchasing electrical components for remote controlled bombs & eventually being convicted of aiding the LTTE. The Special Branch had not arrested Shanthan in 2004 despite their awareness that he had bought items including handcuffs & boots for the LTTE police force! Shanthan was never convicted for lack of evidence & neither was Jagatheeswaran M & his brother both charged with purchasing equipment for the LTTE.

In a country that has declared the LTTE as a terrorist organization – can the LTTE be allowed to hold demonstrations? Demonstrations are part of democracy but how can demonstrators holding LTTE flags chanting & supporting the LTTE be allowed to disturb & disrupt the lives of the British public? Despite raising this at the Parliament debate why was no explanation called from MPs Jeremy Corbyn & MP Simon Hughes for supporting pro-LTTE protests? In fact Simon Hughes pointed out that he knew that permission was granted 4 weeks in advance which next questions are British authorities aware that the LTTE is a banned terrorist entity.

In 1995 permission was granted for an assembly of 100 but more than 8000 gathered infront of UK Premiers office claiming they were on behalf of the 65 Tamil community organizations in the UK & called upon the UK Govt to condemn Sri Lanka’s violations of humanitarian law & military operations.

British MPs supporting LTTE terrorism

41 British MPs have written to UK Premier David Cameron urging for UK to support calls for an independent international inquiry into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka. When the LTTE has been banned in the UK since 2000 why has no UK MP called for its Government to look into why UK authorities have allowed the LTTE to prevail & why some UK MPs have even spoken atop pro-LTTE stages & even had links with LTTE foreign leaders? If there are some MPs siding with the LTTE surely there must be other MPs that have not been bought by pro-LTTE connections? LTTE being a terrorist organization why is it that it is always the Sri Lankan Government that is being penalized & none of LTTE terror has even been treated in the same manner that foreign governments go after Islamic terrorists?

How come the voices of Dr. Kim Howells who said that the LTTE’s violent acts are well documented, that it has been proscribed since 2000 & that the LTTE’s involvement in killings, torture, detention of civilians & denial of freedom of speech is a reality is never heard by UK Parliament or the British public? Dr. Howells even went on to say that LTTE fund raising in the UK is encouraging war & not peace. Dr. Howells voice came at a time when the LTTE was involved in global credit card scams & various other nefarious activities. Only MP Neil Gerrard & MP Peter Luff, joined in support confirming that money is being raised in this country which goes to the LTTE. Why has UK Government preferred to allow British soil to be prostituted to raise funds for a terrorist entity when terrorism can never be legitimized? MP Peter Luff went on to state that great danger lies in LTTE’s techniques being used by other terrorist groups & do we need to remind the world that it was the LTTE that launched the human suicide bomber & many of the present day suicide attacks are likely to have been carried out following LTTE training & advice! LTTE has links to terrorist organizations including the Al Qaeda & even Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination is said to have been as a result of a foreign contract! The air training capacity of the LTTE was confirmed to have been obtained by Canadian-trained Tamil engineers as confirmed by MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown. MP Geoffrey went on to say that foreign training of LTTE cadres must be stopped & we know how true this is. We are told that a large number of LTTE cadres managed to flee the country prior to the fall of the LTTE – these cadres who fled to foreign shores would have obviously connected with parties that had been instrumental in continuing terrorism in Sri Lanka & these cadres who would have remained as “refugees” would naturally be sent back with directive & orders to carry out another stage of terrorism when the time is right. The Government of Sri Lanka must keep a tab on these “refugees’ & carry out security checks on them & incorporate them into the rehabilitation programs forthwith.

So when there are a few UK MPs who present a factual case of LTTE terrorism to the British parliament why are their voices never heard. MP Peter Luff says that the LTTE has never been seriously committed to the democratic process & that Prabakaran was only interested in establishing a one-party independent Tamil state without democratic elections & said he had reservations about the LTTE being capable of holding dialogue. Echoing Sri Lankan public’s own thoughts MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown stressed that no Government can or should give in to demands of those who would kill & maim innocent civilians. MP Edward Davey went on to say that most Tamils he had spoken to did not support the LTTE & many of them had fled the country because of the violence perpetrated by the LTTE against them & not the Government of Sri Lanka as is widely publicized.

Yet, despite these sane voices there are prominent UK MPs like Keith Vaz, Virendra Sharma openly supporting the LTTE & the UK Government doing nothing despite protests by the Sri Lanka High Commission. The irony is that Keith Vaz chaired the Home Affairs Select Committee which looked into the UK counter terrorism laws. Under UK terrorism law the LTTE is banned from raising funds, holding property or operating in any form, glorifying their activities or inciting others to support them. Nevertherless, both these MPs accompanied by MP MP Joan Ryan (Labor) attended the Tamil Remembrance Day alongside 25,000 expatriate Tamils in UK.

Incidentally, Keith Vaz jointly chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils with Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes. It is not difficult to presume that these MPs are MPs because of the Tamil votes they obtain for the favors they return! Perhaps that is why UK’s anti-terrorism police investigated by Keith Vaz should speak at a rally in which suicide bombers were praised! Keith Vaz whose Leicester East constituency has 7000 Tamils & these obviously had secured his entry in to the UK Parliament! Another MP to speak in favor of the LTTE is Rt.Hon. Douglas Alexander – British Shadow Foreign Secretary. Alexander speaking to a packed Tamil for Labor event demanded an international inquiry against the Sri Lankan Government. He also pledged to contact the UK Foreign Secretary’s office against its decision to deport 50 Tamils to Sri Lanka.

There has to be saner reasons for UK MPs supporting a terrorist organization like the LTTE & it has to be for more than just votes. Thus Scotland Yard & the HM Revenue & Customs & all UK tax agencies must investigate. It was Janes Intelligence that reported that the LTTE raised close to $300m a year. For records purposes to have the LTTE banned but watch while its proxy fronts in the form of the World Tamil Forum, the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, Global Tamil Forum etc carry out its activities is ridiculous to say the least. Why has foreign authorities never done anything against people like Rev. Emmanual, Suren Surendiran, Rudrakumar &a host of others? Is it not this money that is funding all pro-LTTE propaganda including some made-up drama aired by Channel 4/BBC titled Killing Fields? Are these funds not paying for foreign presenters, producers & directors? The British public should now start demanding for facts & question whether accepting money from a banned terrorist group does not equate to aiding & abetting terrorism? Perhaps LTTE has infiltrated into these key British authorities like they did in the foreign embassies/UN agencies/INGOs & NGOs.

What can we really expect from the British Government or its parliament? The Telegraph’s exposure on MPs misuse of state funds doesn’t showcase much integrity & when dwindling voter turn outs means the requirement to court immigrants it is easy to understand how some of these British MPs are turning anti-Sri Lankan & pro-LTTE. Though the Third World politicians are often accused of corruption who would have remotely thought that British MPs would reimburse for furniture, servicing swimming pool boiler, for food, Christmas tree decorations, DVD player, bookshelves, bathmats, pet food, repairs to lawnmower, lavatory brushes & the list goes on & the list gets worse! Tony Blair put a claim for £7000 just 2 days prior to stepping down as PM & goes to show that British MPs are sensitive towards money & pro-LTTE campaigners know perfectly how to toss the carrots.

The UK Government cannot ignore the fact that 40% of LTTE funds came from UK sources despite LTTE being banned Why is it that the LTTE remains banned on paper while the LTTE is allowed to carry out a terrorist campaign against a democratic nation? Why is the LTTE allowed to or be even given permission to carry out events, gatherings & promotional campaigns? What action has been taken against MPs that have spoken on LTTE platforms or even accepted invitations to open pro-LTTE promotional units including television stations?

It is difficult to fathom why a terrorist entity has prevailed for so long when the Al Qaeda was pursued by Western allies for just killing over 3000 people & even countries were invaded without any proof of involvement.

The LTTE had prevailed for 3 decades primarily as a result of foreign nations allowing & watching the LTTE grow from strength to strength.

It was the US that spearheaded a drive to portray Sri Lanka’s Govt as being responsible for violating international human rights law & practices which evolved into other western capitals parroting the same & UN & other bodies attempting to take Sri Lanka to international court totally ignoring all the terrorists acts by the LTTE over the years. Can there be a saner explanation for why western governments would chide a democratically elected Government for eliminating a terrorist movement that struck terror to all the citizens of Sri Lanka while carrying out various clandestine operations internationally under the very eyes of these western nations? If international human rights laws are being used to chide Sri Lanka for annihilating the LTTE why has the west not applied the IHLs against the LTTE? The general assumption was that all signatories to the covenants of humanitarian laws would be bound to follow them but the ambiguity lies in western nations attempting to disregard armed non-state actors who are not signatories to such covenants nor follow any international laws whatsoever. If the west treats armed non-state actors by letting them off without putting them on the dock for years of killing innocent civilians, politicians, suicides & damaging state & private property is there any need to have international laws in place at all?

Is it because pro-LTTE units have successfully lobbied & won foreign lawmakers? Is it because pro-LTTE units have put millions towards foreign election campaigns?

UK MPs supporting call for an international investigations for war crimes by the Sri Lankan Government.
  1. Lee Scott (Chair)
  2. Virendra Sharma (Vice Chair)
  3. Siobhain McDonagh (Vice Chair)
  4. Simon Hughes (Vice Chair)
  5. Heidi Alexander
  6. Ian Austin
  7. Hazel Blears
  8. Peter Bottomley
  9. Russell Brown
  10. David Cairns
  11. Martin Caton
  12. Katy Clark
  13. Jeremy Corbyn
  14. Stella Creasy
  15. Jon Cruddas
  16. Jim Cunningham
  17. John Cryer
  18. Jim Dowd
  19. Clive Efford
  20. Mike Gapes
  21. Barry Gardiner
  22. Mary Glindon
  23. Robert Halfon
  24. Tom Harris
  25. Margaret Hodge
  26. Sharon Hodgson
  27. George Howarth
  28. David Lammy
  29. Andy Love
  30. John Mann
  31. Stephen McCabe
  32. John McDonnell
  33. Teresa Pearce
  34. Steve Pound
  35. Nick Raynsford
  36. Chris Ruane=
  37. Joan Ruddock
  38. Stephen Timms
  39. Emily Thornberry
  40. Gareth Thomas
  41. Keith Vaz