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Supporting LTTE a criminal offence in UK - HC spokesperson Tiger protest opposite US embassy in London

2015 Mar 06

by Shamindra Ferdinando

The British High Commission in Colombo says that supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is a criminal offence in the UK.

A British HC spokesperson said: "The LTTE is a proscribed organisation in the UK. Showing support for the LTTE by fundraising, waving flags and other means is a criminal offence. In instances where this has occurred, the matter is referred to the UK Police."

The spokesperson was responding to a query as regards flag waving LTTE activists protesting opposite the US embassy in London recently demanding immediate US intervention to compel the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) present war crimes dossier on Sri Lanka to the ongoing 28th session.

The Island also queried the failure on the part of British law enforcement authorities to prevent LTTE flag carrying activists from setting ablaze photos of TNA leaders, R. Sampanthan and M.A. Sumanthiran.

A senior Sri Lankan security official alleged that in spite of the LTTE being included in UK list of proscribed organizations, the organization engaged in major propaganda activities. The recent protest outside the US diplomatic mission in London was a case in point, he said.

Asked for an explanation regarding a recent statement attributed to Deputy British High Commissioner Ms Laura Davies, the spokesperson said that the UK had provided assistance to several projects here since the conclusion of the conflict.

The military brought the war to a successful conclusion in May, 2009.

The UK High Commission spokesperson said: "The UK has supported a number of initiatives in post-war Sri Lanka. These include projects in community policing, working with youth on reconciliation programmes, working with the diaspora and supporting organisations that promote women’s empowerment and an end to violence against women. The £2 million funding for the year 2015/2016 will continue to focus on similar projects."

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