Anti-LTTE Tamil protests halt London fund raiser:SEDOT

First published: Friday, 7 April 2006 – 6:53 AM SL Time ON

Public pressure has halted a fund-raising campaign in London by a supposed LTTE front organisation said to be the brainchild of Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and his wife. The Social and Economic Development Organisation for Tamils (SEDOT), a private company incorporated in Britain about one year ago, was due to hold a fund-raising event on April 29 at the well known Becks Theatre in Hayes, Middle intimacy. It is known to the British authorities and the Sri Lankan community here that the LTTE organises fund -raising events under the names of various organizations and some meetings had been cancelled or put off because of pressure on the owners or trustees of premises where the events were to be held.

They had been made aware of the Tiger connections or possible links to the LTTE which is a banned organization in Britain under its Terrorism Act and had refused to allow these events to be held at their venues.

During Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera`s recent visit to London he raised the issue of LTTE fund-raising with British ministers including Tim McNaulty of the Home Office.

SEDOT`s planned fund-raiser called `Mathi Oli` apparently named after Prabhakaran`s wife, ran into trouble when concerned Tamil groups and those opposed to the LTTE are said to have brought to the notice of the Hillingdon Borough Council, the alleged LTTE links of the organisation.

Interestingly the SEDOT`s website gives its Sri Lanka address as `Front of Post Office, A9 Road, Kilinochchi`.

The tickets for the planned event were available at £ 10 and £30 and it was sponsored by some London-based businesses.

Writing to protestors, David Brough, head of services of the Hillingdon Council – a London Borough Council – has said `I have been informed today that the event has been cancelled. I am not aware of the reasons but I thought that you would like to be informed as soon as this information became available.`Meanwhile Tamil sources in London informed the Daily Mirror that the pro-LTTE media, the Paris-based Tamil Television Network and International Broadcasting Corporation which usually publicise such events have been silent over the cancellation.

Tamil sources said that Deepam TV that is sympathetic to the Tigers and operates out of London, has also maintained a silence.

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