Stand up against lifting the ban on brutal LTTE Tamil terrorists’ organisations in the UK

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Peace loving British public always stood in solidarity against terrorism be it terror attacks on home soil such as Manchester arena bombing or anywhere else in the world such as Christchurch attack in New Zealand. Repeated terrorist attacks targeting innocent British citizens have created a culture of zero tolerance to terrorism in the UK.

In the same spirit, British public should not forget the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), an ISIS-like terrorist organization, which not only kept Sri Lanka burning for three decades but also was involved in some high-profile assassinations like that of Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India. This terror organisation which invented suicide bombing may soon be legalised in United Kingdom.

The LTTE has been designated a Proscribed Terrorist Group under the UK’s Terrorism Act 2000 since 29 March 2001.

However, in a controversial judgement given on 21st October 2020, the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission (POAC), a British tribunal has ruled against the ban on LTTE. The ruling was given following an appeal filed by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam’s (TGTE) against the current proscription of the LTTE. POAC found that the Secretary’s decision to keep LTTE proscribed as a terrorist organisation was “flawed” and unlawful. Having issued its judgement in London on 21st October, the Commission will now hold a second hearing to decide on the nature of relief to be afforded to the applicants. As the Commission could instruct the UK Home Secretary to lay a statutory instrument before the Parliament that may ultimately remove the LTTE from the list of proscribed organisations and paving the way for this organisation to become a legalised outfit in the UK.

TGTE is a government exile established by LTTE sympathizers living in Canada, United States, United Kingdom and the EU. It shares the same aim as the LTTE, to establish a monoethnic, separatist and dictatorial state within the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. TGTE is banned in Sri Lanka as a foreign terrorist organization and as a LTTE front organization on April 2, 2014. Government of Sri Lanka defines the TGTE as “a ploy to perpetuate terrorism”. The current Prime Minister of TGTE is Visvanathan Rudrakumaran, who was the former international legal advisor of the LTTE

Even though the LTTE forces were completely defeated in Sri Lanka in 2009, this organisation has been involved in at least 6 terrorist related incidents between 2012 and 2017, especially in Sri Lanka.

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), has found that LTTE members were behind the November 2018 murder of two Sri Lankan policemen in Batticaloa. It was also established that there was a clear link between these murders and the ISIS terrorists who carried out the Easter Sunday bomb blasts in 2019.

It was found that LTTE masterminded a plot in January 2017 to assassinate a “moderate Sri Lankan MP MA Sumanthiran of Tamil National Alliance.

LTTE was suspected to be behind the killing of the bodyguard of a Jaffna High Court judge in July 2017.

It should not be forgotten that, in addition to the assassination of R Premadasa, incumbent President of Sri Lanka and Rajiv Gandhi, former Indian Prime Minister, the LTTE terrorist group has committed horrific crimes including forcefully preventing innocent Sri Lankan Tamil civilians from escaping war zones and using them as human shields,  enlisting child soldiers and carrying out several suicide bomb attacks on innocent Sri Lankan civilians. These tactics were used to intimidate the general public and engulf the citizens of Sri Lanka and World-wide in fear.

 

Prabhakaran created LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) which invented the suicide vest, carried out 378 suicide attacks including massacring civilians and unarmed forces (Aranthalawa, Gonagala, Kattankudi mosque massacre, central bank bombing, attack on Temple of the Tooth, Central Bus Station Bombing, Dehiwala train bombing, Gomarankadawala massacre, Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi massacre, Kebithigollewa massacre Kent and Dollar Farm massacres, Kallarawa massacre, Mahawilachchiya massacre, Mahagodayaya massacre, Paliyagodella massacre, Suicide air raid), assassinated two world leaders from two different countries, (PM of India, Rajiv Gandhi, President of Sri Lanka, Ranasinghe Premadasa), recruited child soldiers, carried out acts of ethnic cleansing.

 

In fact, rather than hastening to lift the ban on LTTE, the British public should focus their attention on various illicit activities being carried out by that organisation via various fronts.

LTTE was proscribed as a terrorist organization on March 2001 in the United Kingdom. Even after the ban, LTTE activities were thriving in the United Kingdom. Scotland Yard charged 2 men in 2007, Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar and Goldan Lambert, under the Terrorism Act 2000 for supporting the Tamil Tigers. The charges against them were fundraising for a proscribed terrorist movement, promoting LTTE and for receiving manuals titled Underwater Warfare System, Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Naval Weapons Systems, 6 trending spades, 39 compasses and ballistic body armour.

 

There are so many reasons to justify the continuation of ban on LTTE and its front organizations in the UK. According to the Human Rights Watch ‘Funding the final war- LTTE intimidation and extortion in the Tamil Diaspora, a case study of UK and Canada’ – extortion collected by the LTTE cadres from Tamil families and businesses range from £2000 to £100,000. They would not hesitate to carry out ‘executions’ for non-payment: for example, Subramaniam Sivakumar, a Tamil businessman operating a grocery (Apna Bazaar) in North West London was killed on 5 January 2006

·           Tamil gang violence – stabbing to death of a Tamil on 16 February 2006 at McDonalds, Tooting. In 2005, 16 killings were reported involving Sri Lankan Tamils.

·           Kovils collecting money – Sivayogam Temple in Tooting sending explosives as tsunami aid, sponsoring LTTE boatyard at Sampoor

·           Annual remittances from UK to fund terrorism-related activities is amount to about £10 million through extortion and other illegal activities

·           2 annual events held in the UK to commemorate Pragakaran, the ruthless leader of LTTE on 27 November (his Birthday) and 25 July (Black July)

·           When an event is attended by LTTE sympathisers wherever in the UK (including the ones that were widely held on hearing the news of POAC judgment on 21st October 2020) it is a common sight for them to hold and wave flags with a logo of the LTTE in contravention of Section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000. British public could well imagine how these people who are currently flouting the law of the country brazenly would behave if the ban on LTTE is lifted!

 

It is also a widely known fact that so many Britons who went to fill petrol and paid by credit card at network of petrol stations where LTTE sympathisers work have had their details cloned and their money illegally sent out to fund terror?

Earlier it was only the Tamil Diaspora from whom they were extorting ‘voluntary’ donations. Now it’s a totally new ball game with the wider British public being targeted. So far around 200 filling stations from where this illegal activity is being carried out have been identified in such places as Edinburgh, Norwich, Bury St Edmunds, Peterborough, Nottingham, Leeds, Bristol and Hull. It is reported that the wife of Conservative Party MP Andrew Selous has also fallen a victim of this scam to the tune of £1000 pounds (in New York)

No Britton would like to know that their hard-earned money is going towards terror activity. Given the fact that there are around 9500 petrol stations across the UK, it is not very difficult to imagine as to how much money these LTTE fronts could be siphoning off the purses of British citizens and pumping.

 

British public is entitled to find out how many other LTTE charities are exploiting the kindness of the British public and using sending out their donations tax-free to buy arms and ammunition.

British public and MPs should also be concerned about how LTTE, a foreign terrorist organization has been exploiting the ‘charity status’ its fronts have deceptively acquired and defrauded the British Treasury, Her Majesty’s Inland Revenue and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise of over 1million pounds by raising over 3million pounds in the UK without paying value added tax on turnover and transferring over 2.5million out of UK since 1995.

British public must wake up to the fact that LTTE fronts are at the centre of everything from credit card frauds to money laundering, drug trafficking to international narcotics trade and operating illegal shipping network as well. Despite the fact that LTTE ground force now no more, these LTTE fronts have not discontinued their money collection and this clearly indicates their intention to resurrect their terrorist activities to achieve their objective of an Eelam. Annual remittances from UK through various illegal activities is around £10 million – this money belongs to Britain and not to LTTE fronts.

Therefore, it is important to think twice before Allowing LTTE back into their usual business.

No time is more important than now to stand in solidarity against terrorism. Terrorists have no religion, race or country. They only aim to disrupt peaceful existence of people anywhere in the world. It is not different, be it ISIS, LTTE or Boko Haram! We are a nation that deplore all forms of extremism and terrorism! Let’s all join hands by signing this petition to strengthen the voice against re-emergence of LTTE and against de-listing of any terrorist organisation in the UK.