Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ken Talks to 'Front' for Banned Tamil Tigers; Warned: The Mayor Was Told That Tamil Forum Is Said to Be a Front for Tigers, Led by Velupillai Prabhakaran, Left. below, the Forum's Website

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ken Talks to 'Front' for Banned Tamil Tigers; Warned: The Mayor Was Told That Tamil Forum Is Said to Be a Front for Tigers, Led by Velupillai Prabhakaran, Left. below, the Forum's Website

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW GILLIGAN

KEN LIVINGSTONE has addressed a meeting co-organised by a "front" for abanned terror organisationeven though he had been warned at the highest diplomatic levels about thegroup's alleged terrorist links.

The Mayor sought backing from the British Tamil Forum at the meeting in Harrowon Saturday, according to its spokesman.

The forum is accused by the Sri Lankan government of being a front for theTamil Tigers, which wages an armed struggle for a separate Tamil state in SriLanka and is banned in Britain under anti-terrorism laws.

A spokesman for the Sri Lankan High Commission in London told the Standard thatthe High Commissioner, Kshenuka Senewiratne, wrote to Mr Livingstone "earlylast week" to express her "concerns" about his intention to speak to the forum.

"The British Tamil Forum is one of the main front organisations for the TamilTigers in the UK," the spokesman said. "We did not know whether the Mayor knewwhat the background to the meeting was so the High Commissioner wrote to informhim." Mr Livingstone never replied, the spokesman said.

At a previous meeting organised by the British Tamil Forum, at the ExcelCentre, Docklands, on 27 November, a video message from the Tamil Tigers'leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, praising suicide bombing was played and acollection was taken for Tamil Tiger "martyrs". The meeting is the subject of apolice anti-terror investigation.

The Tamil Tigers, officially known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,pioneered suicide bombing.

They have been responsible for numerous attacks in Sri Lanka, including amilitary assault on the country's main airport in 2001 which caught almost 50British tourists in the crossfire.

Although indiscriminate violence has also been carried out by the Sri Lankangovernment, Tamil Tiger suicide attacks alone have killed around 1,600 people,including the Sri Lankan president and the Indian prime minister. …

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