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Saturday, 18 December 2010

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UK spawns terror at home and abroad

Keith Vaz, the Leicester East member in the House of Commons, must have been sour at the answer he received from the Home Department to his question about the use of Police for the recent visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the UK.

His questions to the Secretary of State for the Home Department was: How many (a) Police and (b) Police community support officers were deployed for the recent visit of the President of Sri Lanka; and what the cost to the Police service was of policing the visit?

Tamil voters

Nick Herbert's reply was: "The Home Office does not hold this information but we understand from the Police that approximately 800 officers were deployed across the Metropolitan Police area for the visit". A very reliable grapevine tells us that Keith Vaz had made arrangements with his pro-LTTE Tamil supporters, to distribute leaflets to present and would be Tamil voters in his electorate that at least that 2,000 Policemen and other community support officers had been used for this work, and a cost of several million Pounds.

But here is a question that no one, not even Keith Vaz or his possible guru David Milliband raised in the House of Commons when Police was used in much larger numbers in May 2009.

Both of them were on the Government benches at the time, and there are many who believe that the event concerned made many a Labour MP lose one's seat or had one's majority pruned down sharply. It was the cost to the Metropolitan Police in men and money at the time of the extended protests by pro-LTTE Tamils and hired, bought, cajoled or fooled fellow travellers at the time when the terrorism of the LTTE was being finally snuffed out in Sri Lanka; and the world made safe from the absence of the most ruthless terrorist organization, as the US State Department described it.

Police resources

This is how the cost of this exercise in abusing the hospitality of the UK and the British people was described in the London Evening Standardon May 19, 2009, the day the LTTE was defeated with the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran. The lead news by Justin Davenport and Amar Singh said: "Tamil protests cost the Met almost eight million Pounds".

The story said: "Demonstrations by pro-Tamil supporters have cost the country's largest Police force almost Sterling Pounds 8 million. Met Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said the protests, which have been going on for 43 days, meant the force was "extraordinarily stretched". "We have to provide such a level of resources that it is reducing policing on the streets of London," he said. He suggested government intervention was needed to create "some kind of exit strategy".


Demonstrations by pro-Tamil supporters in London. Pic. courtesy: London Evening Standard

Speaking to the Home Affairs Committee, Sir Paul said the cost of policing the Tamil demonstrations "just short of Sterling Pounds 8 million" was more than the cost of policing the G20 protests, which came to Sterling Pounds 7.2 million.

About half of the total, Sterling Pounds 3.72 million, was for additional policing costs, including overtime. Sir Paul added: "Whatever the rights and wrongs of any demonstration, it has to be said that policing that demonstration is a huge drain."

UK politics

Commander Bob Broadhurst added that one problem faced by police was the lack of a spokesperson for the demonstrators and another was their "ability to mobilize hundreds, and yesterday thousands, in a very short space of time, which overwhelms police resources."

"When that happens they tend to put their women, children and babies at the forefront, which makes it difficult for us to use force."

Despite Keith Vaz, David Milliband and others who spend more of their time in UK politics looking after the interests of the asylum won, refugee status obtained, somehow smuggled-in pro-LTTE Tamils immigrants in urban centres of the UK, there is clearly a larger issue that is now facing the British public. It is the ever-present danger of the abuse of the democratic right of freedom of assembly, protest and demonstration to threaten the very fabric of UK society.

As illustration I quote from the outgoing president of the Oxford Union, James Kingston's letter (Dec 1, 10) to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, explaining why the invitation to address the Union could not be carried out as planned.

"While the Union maintains a deep commitment to the principles of free speech and debate, we also have a responsibility to those who live and work in the city of Oxford. The disruption and danger that residents and citizens would face is by far too great to justify hosting the speech. This is to say nothing of our members who, similarly, could be directly placed in danger should the expected protests turn violent.

Keith Vaz's question, in attempting to show how much it costs the British taxpayer to protect a visiting Head of State and his delegation (in this instance disliked by his pro-LTTE voters), may possibly give him and the Labour Party some political mileage at a time of cost cutting by the ConDem coalition.

But the problem facing the British public is the much larger issue of how safe the United Kingdom could be, if it has elements with well-known criminal backgrounds, committed to terrorism as a political tool, have used it in Sri Lanka, India and the UK too, are skilled at extortion and adept in the use of violence, being free to use all their tactics of threat, coercion, duress and even murder and mayhem to achieve their ends.

This is not a problem that the British High Commission in Colombo can address by any statement about the UK Government's non involvement in what happened vis-a-vis the visit of President of Sri Lanka. Rather, it exposes the policy the High Commission has carried out in the issue of visas to anyone who claimed to be threatened by the State in Sri Lanka, and helped make well-known terrorists, citizens in the UK.

It is the result of the UK giving shelter and citizenship to the theoretician of LTTE terror Anton Balasingham, and also to his wife Adele, who played a key role in organizing the women suicide killer cadres of the LTTE, one of who was involved in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

It is the time for reckoning in the United Kingdom; the time to examine its own commitment to democracy and freedom, as opposed to giving continued succour to and spawning the forces of terror at home and abroad.

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