Is the LTTE, banned here as a foreign terrorist organisation, and its supporters deliberately defying Britain`s anti-terrorism laws?
The Sri Lanka Government and some organisations that have sprung up here seem to think so.
Sri Lanka has protested to the British authorities about the announced launch of `War and Peace`, authored by LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham, who lives in England. The book, among other things, not only sets out the violent history of the LTTE but also strongly supports its actions.
The sale of his book on Saturday evening, on the death anniversary of Thileepan, an LTTE cadre who died during a fast in Jaffna, coincides with the sale of videos and other promotional material at the Greenford Hall in north-west London.
There is no mention of what happens to the funds collected, according to Tamil sources who sent a translation of a pamphlet announcing the event.
Information sent to The Sunday Times states that the pamphlets announcing the event, a violation of Britain`s Terrorism Act 2000, have not only been freely distributed but the sale is being held at a hall belonging to a London borough council. ?They are spitting their defiance at the British,? an opponent of the LTTE said.
Sri Lanka is said to have alerted the British Government to what has been described as ?a blatant violation of Britain`s anti-terrorism laws.?
Information sent to The Sunday Times states that the videos and other promotional material on sale is aimed at glorifying the LTTE and its activities including its armed successes against Sri Lanka forces and recruitment and training on LTTE fighting units.
According to a translation of the Tamil pamphlet sent to this correspondent, those attending the event have been told that the use of still and video cameras to record proceedings would not be permitted.
Meanwhile a hitherto unknown group called ?Concerned Persons Against Terrorism? has informed British authorities of another event on September 24 organised by a charity called the White Pigeon.
This group has sent emails to a wide circle asking recipients to protest against a charity called the ?Zoroastrian Trust Fund of Europe? that is said to have loaned its hall for the White Pigeon event.
Concerned Persons Against Terrorism claims that White Pigeon, which it says is under scrutiny by the UK Charity Commissioner, is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) that was recently de-listed as a UK charity for suspected links with the LTTE and lack of transparency in its financial dealings.
The protestors who claim to have informed the Home Office, Foreign Office and the Metropolitan Police about it, say that a public notice announcing the event carries a map of Sri Lanka with the separate state of Eelam clearly demarcated.
The organisation has warned the Zoroastrian Trust Fund that by allowing its premises to be used for activities that violate British terrorism laws, it is also committing an offence.
Mr Dorab Mistry of the Zoroastrian organisation whose name was mentioned in the protest note told The Sunday Times that he had indeed received several emails concerning the event.
?This looks like some dirty tricks,? Mr. Mistry said. He said they were unaware of the implications and gave out the hall for what appeared to be a charitable purpose. He was however not willing to say whether the event will be held at the Zoroastrian Centre as planned or not.
The protest note says that while the event is billed as a dance competition, the songs proposed to be sung that day would be about Eelam, which is a violation of British law.
?While the British are chasing shadows and concentrating on the Muslim community, others are making hay,? said an academic who did not wish to be quoted by name.