|LTTE front organisations running riot in UK
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|Author:||Guest [ Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:41 pm ]|
|Post subject:||LTTE front organisations running riot in UK|
LTTE front organisations running riot in UK
White Pigeon is the successor to the US and UK-banned Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), which has allegedly raised millions of dollars across Western capitals to funnel arms to the LTTE.
14 Jan 2008 /,Rashmee Roshan Lall,TNN
LONDON: Sri Lanka has alleged that millions of dollars are still being raised in the UK and mainland Europe by thinly-disguised front organizations for the LTTE, even as it argues for the British government to ban an active UK-based charity it claims to be supported by several southern Indian film stars.
A spokesman for the Sri Lankan High Commission said on Monday that the charity called 'White Pigeon' held a big-ticket in London over the weekend. This was followed by two shows in Paris. All were billed as mega-star events and were advertised as fronted by "South Indian musician Shiyam, senior Tamil actor Sathyaraj, his actor son and heart throb Sibi, actress Sri Lekha, actor Jeeva, actor Nanda, actress Mathumitha, Kerala actress who also plays leading roles in Tamil films Bhavana, male singer Karthik, male singer Krish, female singer Vinaya, and male singer Mano".
The Paris shows were expected to raise at least two million pounds.
According to some reports, White Pigeon is the successor to the US and UK-banned Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), which has allegedly raised millions of dollars across Western capitals to funnel arms to the LTTE.
Sri Lankan sources claim the LTTE is using 'White Pigeon' "openly to fund raise, for the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) in Paris, banned in many countries for pumping money to the coffers of the Tamil Tigers".
Walter Jayawardhana, information minister at the Sri Lanka High Commission said "unchecked fundraising in Western capitals undoubtedly affects the effort to fight terrorism".
Unconfirmed reports said at least six of the 11 advertised Indian artistes did not show up at the European shows because they were refused British visas. This meant only 2,000 British Tamils attended the London show, leaving the 10,000-capacity venue relatively forlorn.
It's understood that the Sri Lankan authorities asked the British and French governments a few weeks ago to crack down on 'White Pigeon' and are still waiting for action.
The weekend Tamil shows come just weeks after the Sri Lankan government complained about the attendance of three high-profile MPs of Britain's governing Labour Party at a several-thousand-strong expatriate Tamil event here.
On Monday, the Sri Lankan government reiterated that the expat Tamil event "openly violated anti-terrorism laws. The police have sent evidence about the violators to the crown prosecutor's unit for the culprits to be charged."
The Sri Lankan authorities claim that even though 'White Pigeon' had agreed with the London Metropolitan Police not to violate Britain's strict Anti-Terrorism laws and only fund-raise for charity, rather than the LTTE, "in the past all such assurances by the fronts of the LTTE were futile that finally resulted in the banning of the TRO."
Sources reiterated that the United States government, on November 15 designated TRO "as a fundraising front organization for the terrorist group LTTE and the TRO's offices in 18 countries, including the one in Cumberland, Maryland USA were also designated".
They said that "immediately, after the US ban, the United Kingdom followed suit. Australian investigations revealed that millions collected from Australians to aid victims of the Tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka have been used by the TRO to the procurement of arms for the LTTE. Sri Lanka froze assets of the TRO first and confiscated them later".
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