Britain under fire for complicity in LTTE show

From Neville de Silva in London

Sri Lankans and British nationals were indignant at the Gordon Brown Government for allowing the well-known LTTE supporter and Tamil Nadu politician Vaiko to address the Heroes Day event where Tiger leader Prabhakaran’s speech was aired.

The UK Terrorism Act 2000 under which the LTTE is banned as a foreign terrorist organization prohibits the display of signs and symbols of the banned organization and espousal of its cause.

Yet not only did British authorities permit the broadcast of the LTTE leader’s speech but they granted Vaiko a visit visa which he used to make the keynote speech at the Heroes Day event held at London’s Excel convention centre last Thursday, some members of a Sri Lankan organisation against terrorism told The Sunday Times by telephone, protesting against British complicity.

British nationals also joined in the condemnation saying that the Metropolitan Police including some officers of the Anti-Terrorism Unit were busy raiding the offices of the British Conservative Party MP Damien Green and interrogating him while turning a blind eye of the pro-LTTE event.

“Strange isn’t it that our police are busy chasing a sitting MP doing his job by exposing the faults of this Government but refusing to act against the activities that glorify an organization banned as a terrorist group,” said David Davey of a local think tank, one of the Britons who denounced British inaction as an ‘outrage.’

“The Metropolitan Police turned a blind eye for reasons of indifference and unconcern. More and more our police are proving how stupid they are, shooting innocent people in the process ,” Davey remarked.
Meanwhile indignant Sri Lankans claimed that Vaiko has been a vocal pro-LTTE supporter for several years and has been arrested several times for his views.

“This must be known to the British visa authorities who first refused him a visa and later granted it under pressure from British MPs. His reason for coming to London was said to be to address a meeting of British parliamentarians. But that was just an excuse. He came for the Heroes Day meeting and he hoodwinked the British officials,” they claimed.

British newspapers yesterday were saying that at least two and maybe seven of the gunmen who terrorized and massacred people in Mumbai had British links.

“If this is so the British will soon learn another tragic lesson by flirting with terrorists,” they said.

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