July 17, 1998
The Honorable Tony Blair
10, Downing Street
Dear Mr. Blair,
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE/Tamil Tigers) is one of the most ruthless and violent terrorist organizations in the world today. We, the participants of the Peace Rally, respectfully urge your government to declare the LTTE as a terrorist organization and ban it from Britain.
The LTTE has been raising funds overseas to accumulate an arsenal of lethal weapons to murder scores of innocent Sri Lankans, destroy buildings, intimidate and kill democratically elected officials in Sri Lanka and stall a peace process that would ensure the integrity of this small island nation. Its activities around the world pose a serious threat to international peace and stability. India banned it following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by a LTTE suicide bomber. Malaysia banned it recognizing it as a terrorist organization. The United States banned the LTTE in 1997. However, it still enjoys legitimacy in Britain, which in fact, is the international headquarters of LTTE overseas operations. It is the nerve center of LTTE terrorist activities and the clearinghouse for funds that are used to buy weapons of mass destruction. We are convinced that until your government bans the LTTE from Britain, it will use London as its base to continue its vicious propaganda and to mastermind its illegal fund raising activities that nurture its ruthless acts of terrorism.
The money that the LTTE collects and distributes from its international headquarters in London is obtained illegally from a variety of sources. LTTE is a significant supplier of narcotics, especially to Western European countries. It resorts to extortion from Sri Lankan Tamils living overseas. The LTTE is a major actor in human trafficking of refugees to Western Europe and North America. It is no secret that a significant portion of the social welfare payments paid to the so-called Sri Lankan Tamil refugees by European governments go directly to the LTTE overseas fund. The LTTE and its agents have been involved in defrauding the British National Health Services, Inland Revenue, Social Security Services and Local Councils. Your government cannot knowingly endorse any of these activities that help fill the coffers of the LTTE.
The terrorist rampage of the LTTE in Sri Lanka has not spared any ethnic group, religion or class of people. It has murdered poor farming families and fishermen in the border villages of
the North and the East, innocent commuters in buses and trains and employees in the Central
Bank. LTTE terrorists have killed Muslims in prayer in Kalmunai, and Buddhist worshippers in the most venerated of shrines, the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura and in the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. The LTTE bombs have murdered a prime minister of the country and leading national political figures both among the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Most recently LTTE terrorists assassinated Mrs. Sarojini Yogeswaran, the Tamil mayor of the Northern city of Jaffna, who was elected to that office by the Tamil people of Jaffna, in March 1998 in a democratic election. As noted in The Economist of February 1996, Prabaharan, the leader of the LTTE terrorists, much prefers killing to democracy, and has no wish to test the opinion of the people in whose name he commits so much murder.
We are convinced that the best option to resolve the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka lies in a negotiated settlement between groups who are committed to a peaceful settlement. The reign of terror that the LTTE has unleashed has to be stopped in order to give peace a chance. Your government has a major role to play in combating the terrorist menace of the LTTE. Do not allow the LTTE to use Britain as a staging post to commit acts of terrorism in Sri Lanka. We urge the British government to do what is right and just: ban the LTTE from Britain.