The two key candidates for the mayoralty of London, the election for which is being held today, have made strong rival pitches for the support of the pro-LTTE organizations in the UK in their efforts for election through garnering the Tamil vote.
The former Mayor and Labour Party candidate Ken Livingstone has promised the historic Trafalgar Square, or some other prestigious London venue, for the celebration of Tamil Day on May 18. This is the anniversary of the defeat of LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka in 2009.
"I want to work with the British Tamil forum and every year we can give Trafalgar Square to the Tamil community of London to organize an event like this," he said at a Tamils for Labour meeting organised by the separatist pro-LTTE groups in East Ham on April 7.
In November 2010, as part of his address to the Tamil National Remembrance Day gathering, Ken Livingstone said “I am with you in all you seek to do. I will be with you forever.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Gilligan in an article in The Telegraph today (3) said "Ken Livingstone has told 85 different lies during his election campaign."
His rival, the present Mayor and Conservative candidate Boris Johnson has also appealed to the Tamil vote through pro-LTTE groups. In his speech, Johnson said "London is home to tens of thousands of British Tamils, who are an integral part of our community in London and around the country. Their contribution to life in the capital, particularly through business creation, food and music is greatly valued by all of us."
Trafalgar Square that is offered for Tamil Day by Labour Party Ken Livingstone is a historical venue and major tourist attraction in central London. In 2009 pro-LTTE Tamils carried out prolonged sit-in protests against the military operation to defeat LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka. The 43-day long demonstrations outside the British Parliament by pro-LTTE supporters cost London's Metropolitan Police a whopping 8 million pounds.
Tamil expatriates around the world are conducting an extensive propaganda campaign targeting the Sri Lankan government over human rights issues to remain in their countries of domicile.
Various international reports indicate that "Tamil Diaspora" and LTTE front organizations have close links to LTTE remnants.
Europol in its 2011 “Terrorism Situation and Trend Report,” says Tamil Tigers still extort money from Tamils and are “actively involved in drugs and human trafficking, the facilitation of illegal immigration, credit card skimming, money laundering, and fraud for the purpose of funding terrorist (support) operations.” The profits of their criminal enterprises were alleged to be channeled into resurrect the LTTE.
The International Crisis Group, said in a report in 2010 that even after the May 2009 defeat, “most Tamils abroad remain profoundly committed to Tamil Eelam, the existence of a separate state in Sri Lanka.”