LTTE domination in the United Kingdom
LONDON DRAMA: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) established
its foothold in London following the July 1983 riots in Sri Lanka. The
primary mover, to establish the first LTTE office in Selborne Gardens in
Hendon in Northwest London, was Balasegaram.
He transformed his three bedroomed house into a fully-fledged office
while heavily compromising his family life for the cause of the LTTE. He
became a victim of jealousy and greed and a mini-coup was conducted by
R. Kuhachandran known as Periya (Big) Kugan to oust him from his
position on a petty charge mismanagement in 1986.
The LTTE office too moved to Camden and then to Tavistock Place in
Central London. Balasegaram became a victim of the LTTE and his heavy
involvement with the LTTE made him a living memory any human should not
deserve in a western world.
The LTTE progressively established its overall control over the Tamil
population. When the LTTE became a dominant force other Eelam groups
like EROS, PLOTE, TELO and EPRLF could not face the challenge posed by
the LTTE. The anti-LTTE leadership in London remained a silent irritant
as they could not evolve practical strategies to confront the Tigers.
The LTTE's approach towards the people in the early years was very
friendly and was acceptable. There was no intimidation or coercion in
their approach. They took any amount given by the people and allowed
them to get involved in political activities independently. Having
established its absolute control over the Tamil people, the LTTE
progressively adopted coercive tactics to get large sums of money from
them. Competition between countries made the LTTE leadership
High value of the Sterling Pound was favourable to the UK leadership
as they came top most in the international fund raising efforts. It
manifested into a machinery of its own and fund raising Tigers were
given targets and this went to the extent of demanding from the people
to provide money by re-mortgaging their properties and from their credit
cards. People were forced to pay Sterling Pound 1,000 to 100,000.
Tamil retail shops became the major source for raising large sums of
money and some of them even have provided Sterling Pounds 100,000
recently. The LTTE also enlisted the professionals and section of the
medical doctors became a major source of fund providers. The greed of
the LTTE went beyond all reach and people started to resent to their
demands. Not opening or slamming the doors became recent phenomenon.
In order to confront the revolt by the people, the LTTE went out of
the way to get details about the relatives of the people in Sri Lanka to
intimidate them to pay large sums of money. Specially formulated four
page forms were introduced to extract personal details on the visits.
This approach made the people fearful and they had no choice but to part
with the sums demanded.
Shop owners were the worst victims as they remained exposed to
extensive abuse by the LTTE. The LTTE used violent methods by using
gangster groups to threaten the owners. The fast food and restaurateurs
faced the brunt of the LTTE violence.
Tamil gangsters were sent to these places and they took control of
the floor, they ate and drank as much and left the place damaging the
furniture and without paying for their consumption. A restaurant in
Wembley closed down was bought by a pro-LTTE businessman from Southall.
A restaurant in Walthamstow too faced LTTE hostilities and reached near
The LTTE fund raisers used intimidating tactics. In East London some
gangster groups were controlled by the LTTE. These gangsters roam the
streets of East Ham and Ilford in large numbers and Tamil businesses too
knew their connections with the LTTE. These groups were used as
bargaining points by the LTTE fundraisers and almost all the shops in
Eastham parted with the sums demanded, fearing attacks by the LTTE
The LTTE does not allow anyone to campaign independently on Tamil
issues. The LTTE's present head A. Chrishanthakumar's alias A C
Shanthan's regime is a totalitarian regime since his appointment in 1992
following the departure of his predecessor Kittu.
He does not tolerate any independent organisations. Blackmail and
coercion are his expertise. Many active Tamil democratic voices have
succumbed to his pressures and have found sanctuary in political
The prominent and early victim of the LTTE suppression was the
independent Expatriate Tamil Association which also called itself the
Parliamentary Campaign Group. This group was very sympathetic towards
the LTTE, but refused to be dictated. They faced the wrath of Shanthan
and eventually gave up and disappeared from campaign work.
The other pro-active Tamil group sympathetic towards the LTTE was the
International Tamil Foundation. This group was founded by the late C.J.T.
As a pro-active group, they held regular discussion forums, meetings
and carried out political lobbying. They too were pressurised by the
LTTE's Shanthan to amalgamate their activities with the LTTE's
International Federation of Tamils. When this was not complied, he
demanded them to change the name that confuses with their International
Federation of Tamils.
The LTTE leadership tirelessly worked to take-over and wind up many
democratic organisations. The Independent Tamil Information Centre (TIC)
faced the wrath of the LTTE. Its founder leader Kandasamy was killed in
the late 1980's in the uncleared area for the stand he took to stay
The Tamil Times which reflected independence throughout its existence
was systematically targeted and pressurised to abandon publication. But
the paper is still going on despite the LTTE onslaught.
The pro-LTTE 'Tamil Guardian' was founded in 1986 by R Jayadevan and
former Rupavahini head N. Vasantharajah and it was forcibly taken over
by the LTTE in 1998. A sustained campaign was carried against the paper
and the managers. The campaign included non-payment of charges for the
large quantity of newspapers purchased and campaign to sabotage the
The independent newspaper fell into the hands of the LTTE unable to
face the pressure put on it by LTTE's Shanthan.
The LTTE wanted to poke its finger into every pie and intimidated
anyone campaigning independently. It is common for the LTTE leadership
to brand independent thinkers and operatives as thieves, womanisers and
alcoholics in public way to marginalise them.
The first medium wave Tamil radio broadcast was formed by Dr. R.
Nithyananthan, who successfully negotiated air time with the community
radio station Sunrise Radio.
Efforts were made by the LTTE to sabotage and takeover the
broadcasting operation. Then Thracious started the International
Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) in 1997. This satellite radio station was
systematically targeted and Tharcious was scandalised as an
anti-national. With the determined effort by using threats and
intimidation, IBC was forcefully taken-over by the LTTE.
With the proscription of the LTTE in the UK in 2001 under the
Terrorism Act, the LTTE's activities became more aggressive.
In order to circumvent the proscription, the LTTE decided to
forcefully take over successful Tamil organisations. It found the Hindu
temple as major source of influence. It started its campaign with
Eelapatheeswarar Allayam based in Wembley, Middlesex in May 2002. LTTE
fundraisers and diehard activists invaded the temple on May 2, 2002 to
forcefully bring it under their control. With the strong intervention of
the police, the LTTE failed in its efforts.
Having made several failed attempts to take-over the temple, finally
the LTTE held two of the temple trustees R Jayadevan and A K
vivekananthan as captives when they visited Vanni in January 2005. While
holding Jayadevan they attempted to transfer the temple to their trusted
man in London Nagendram Seevaratnam. This effort was thwarted with the
Court ruling that occupation by Seevaratnam was illegal.
If the LTTE had succeeded in the takeover of Eelapatheeswarar Aalayam,
all other 20 odd temples would have fallen prey for the LTTE.
Whilst Eelapatheeswarar Aalayam episode was going on, the LTTE also
infiltrated the London Tamil Association (LTA) founded and managed by
Dr. R. Nithiyananthan. This organisation managed a Sunday Tamil school
and an elderly people care centre. Once again, the LTTE's Nagendram
Seevaratnam known as Emdon Seevaratnam masterminded the takeover.
When Dr. Nithyananthan went to Vanni in early 2005, the LTTE ordered
him to transfer the LTA to Emdon Seevaratnam. Following the utter
disaster with the Eelapatheeswarar Aalayam take-over effort and the
pressure mounted by the members of LTA, Emdon Seevaratnan had to soon
find his exit from the organisation.
The sordid story of LTTE aggression on persons holding to independent
socio-democratic values is limitless. Numerous individuals have been
systematically marginalised by the LTTE leadership in the UK. All these
are done to maintain the LTTE operatives luxury lifestyles and extend
their unsocial and corrupt practices on the Tamil civilian population.