Tiger flags in London: Lanka protests to Britain

Sri Lanka will officially protest to Britain over the display of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) flag by protestors who demonstrated against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in London recently.
The Sri Lankan High Commission in London has sought an appointment with officials of the British Foreign Office to lodge the official complaint on the basis that the LTTE is a banned organisation in Britain.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Colombo told the Sunday Times that Sri Lanka’s Acting High Commissioner P .M. Amza had sought the appointment. Supporters of Tamil groups on at least two occasions displayed the LTTE flags when the President was in London. The first was when the President arrived at the Heathrow airport and thereafter at the Dorchester Hotel where the President was staying.

In terms of the British anti-terrorism law, under which the LTTE was banned, the display of symbols of a banned organization is prohibited. However the British Police present at both occasions ignored the violation of the law.

A British High Commission Spokesman said, ‘The LTTE remains a proscribed terrorist organization in Britain. The policing of demonstrations is a matter for the Police. The Police take seriously and investigate allegations of support for terrorist activities”.

However there were no attempts by the Police to arrest or prevent persons displaying the LTTE flags in public at the airport or close to the hotel.

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