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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2584

Infighting within the LTTE in Paris led to the closing of TTN television channel.

Paris, 05 May, (Asiantribune.com): Infighting within the rank and file of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Paris has caused the closure of the Tamil Television Network TV channel, according to informed sources in the European Tamil diaspora. They state that disgruntled elements within the membership were responsible for providing information to French Police, knowingly or unwittingly.

The recent exposures revealed by the Tamil Tiger members in Paris has in various news websites under pseudonyms and expressed comments over the radio waves, after the shutting down of the Tamil Television Network (TTN) channel. This indicates the infighting and the internal clashes within the rank and file of the Tamil Tiger cadres. The emerging disunity and the attempts to scapegoat others point to serious splits within the LTTE.

It has now been established that the TTN pay channel card payments were made directly to the Tamil Coordinating Committee – the front organization for the Tamil Tiger office in France. Investigators scrutinizing the books now state that the payments are not reflected in the books of the TTN.

Without going through the proper procedures, the Tamil Tigers simply thrust the TTN Pay Channel on to the Tamil diaspora in Europe. The aims of the LTTE were to pocket the revenue and gain the sole monopoly of the propaganda instruments in Europe. When LTTE’s Political Head S.P. Tamilselvan visited Europe to participate in the first round of talks with the Government of Sri Lanka in Geneva, he urged that Tamils to ‘only patronize’ the TTN Television channel.

When the Tigers in Vanni opened up the National Television of Tamil Eelam (NTT) in May 2005, TTN started broadcasting the NTT programs through its channel in Europe. This provoked the Sri Lanka Government to send a protest to the French Foreign Ministry.

Sri Lanka Government in its protest note to the French Foreign Ministry said that LTTE has begun to propagate their terrorist agenda among the Tamil diaspora resident in the European countries through its TTN television channel.

Following the protest, French Foreign Ministry requested Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA)the French Authority that was responsible controlling the Television and Radio, to look into the allegation made by the Sri Lanka Government.

It was during this time that the Tigers applied for their license which was needed to run their TTN Television channel out of France. CSA found out that they have applied for a license long after they had got it running without their prior approval. The CSA brought this matter of running the TV Channel without approval to the notice of the French Attorney General. Details of this is available in their website Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA.

Accordingly, Attorney General filed a case against the TTN. As TTN was located in 5 Rue Emile Zola, 93120 La Courneuve, the matter was referred to the Tribunal de grande instance de Bobigny (Court of Bankruptcy of Bobigny), 173, avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, 93009 Bobigny Cedex.

Though the final judgment of this case is still pending, CSA ordered the Globecast to shutdown the TTN Television channel.

TTN television is a commercial organization run in the name of some Tamils, who are said to be the proxies of the LTTE. These TV channels run programs glorifying Tiger terrorism. Their programs include Tiger terrorist propaganda materials. But it is believed that it would be difficult to prove that the TTN belonged to the Tigers.

But now there is a strong suspicion that some Tiger members themselves would have provided the necessary required evidences to the French Police.

Siva Sinnapodi has been in charge of the news division of the TTN Channel from the day it was forcibly taken over by the Tigers. He has been transferred to office of the Tamil Co-coordinating Committee recently.

Pay Channel card sale money was sent direct to the Tiger office without reflecting it in the TTN office accounts. It is estimated that TTN had 22,000 card holding viewers. TamilNet in its recent news report after the shutting down of the channel reveled that a card holder pays Euro 15 per month. Accordingly the monthly earning by running this TV channel was Euro 330,000.

This TV channel has been a money spinner for the LTTE. It is estimated that even after spending Euro 100,000 per month for the maintaining and up keeping of the channel, there was still a monthly balance of Euro 230,000 -- all which has been diverted to Tiger funds for arms purchases to fight the Sri Lanka Government.

Despite earning substantial revenue from TTN the books revealed that their finances were in the red. This income was hidden because the legal implications, including paying taxes, would cut down the income from the illegal TTN operations.

When the French police raided the Tiger office on the April Fools Day and seized all the documents the Tigers have exposed the information which they had never given the French authorities. It is now reliably learnt that the French Tax authorities are preparing to take action for tax evasion.

- Asian Tribune -

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