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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2641

Global Peace Support Group in UK Exposed As Proxy of LTTE

London, 26 March, ( The clandestine affairs of the Global Peace Support Group in UK masquerading as peace activists are coming to light as their International seminar held in London recently, had permitted only pro-LTTE people in to the premises and prevented other participants from entering the building at the University of East London on March 22nd.Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, LondonStephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, London

According to Nesan Shankar Raji, Senior Leader of EROS, British member of Parliament Stephen Timms, who was present at the seminar saw the treatment meted out to the non-LTTE participants and left the seminar immediately. Members of Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF), R Jayadevan of the Tamil Democratic Congress and several people who had tried to be present were rudely told to go away. MP Stephen Timms was alarmed and shocked and immediately came outside the building to meet the people who were denied access to the event by the pro-LTTE organizers. This event had now exposed the treacherous activities going on under the pretext of fighting for peace.

Here is Nesan Shankar Raji, Senior Leader of EROS's report to Asian Tribune:

I am writing this article in response to the two day International seminar on ‘Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka’ on 22nd and 23rdMarch 2008 held at the University of East London organized by the Global Peace Support Group -UK.

When I initially heard about this seminar taking place in London after being approached by my party’s co-ordinator, I decided to contact the organisers Global Peace Support Group -UK and book a place representing my party the Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF).

I felt that as EROS has played a vital role in the politics of Sri Lanka since 1975 and was a major player in the implementation of the Indo-Lanka Accord in 1987, it was necessary that I attend representing our organization. I spoke to two of the organizers well in advance of the seminar namely Mr K.P. Nathan and Mr S. Balasundaram. I gave them my contact details and was informed that I will be notified in writing as to whether I would be permitted to attend the event or not which I believed to be unusual.

After a couple of days having not received any invitation letter from the Global Peace Support Group –UK, I decided to speak with the organizers once again. I contact Mr K.P. Nathan and was passed over to Mr S. Balasundaram who informed me that a seat had been reserved for me to attend the seminar on either Saturday 22nd or Sunday 23rd March 2008.

The organizers of “Global Peace Support Group –UK” had initially faced serious difficulties in holding the event as the Vice Chancellor of University of East London which had hired out the venue intervened to cancel the hall bookings following some serious representations to him by the University’s Sri Lankan students, academic staff and ordinary residents in London from the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora.

After learning about this, I spoke to a local MP Rt. Hon. Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, London and was informed by him that this event was an open-seminar for everybody to attend, as he was assured by the event organizers that this seminar was not pro-LTTE. I informed Mr Stephen Timms that it was my intension to attend the seminar representing the Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF) and I was informed that there wouldn’t be any problems and should there be any issues to call him immediately on his mobile.

After my discussions with the MP, I then proceeded to inform and ask all Sri Lankan Tamil community representatives, including Mr R. Jayadevan of the Tamil Democratic Congress and several others to register and attend the seminar with me. Their initial reaction was “no” as they all had reservations about attending the seminar organized by the Global Peace Support Group –UK, as the event was being seen as a pro-LTTE seminar. I assured them after speaking to MP Stephen Timms that there should be no problems in attending the seminar and this was an open seminar for everyone to attend, subject to registration.

All attendee’s that I had encouraged to attend the seminar were either asked to register by e-mailing to the e-mail ID published in the website or by contacting the event organizers and register, which I believe they all did.

On the 22nd of March 2008, when I arrived at the building with Mr R Jayadevan and others we were confronted by S. Karunalingam of Tharisanam TV, C. Sithamparapillai of an organisation known as TRAG and S. Balasundaram, one of the seminars main co-ordinators and unprofessional non-SIA (Security Industry Authority) licensed security guards and prevented us from entering into the building.

I informed the organizers that I was an invited guest and so were Mr R. Jayadevan and several others. I was not permitted to speak to MP Stephen Timms who was inside the building foyer. I had to resort to contacting MP Stephen Timms on his mobile phone and informing him of our dilemma in not being allowed to enter into the building and the fact that Mr Jayadevan and several other members from human rights and other organizations were not being permitted to enter into the building which was contradictory to what we were informed by him earlier.

MP Stephen Timms was alarmed and shocked and immediately came outside the building to meet us. I and Mr Jayadevan explained the situation to the MP and the organizers. The event organizers then proceeded to accuse me and others of working for the Sri Lanka Government and being their agents which we strenuously denied. After learning that their false accusations were getting them no where, I was given authorization to enter into the building as my name, political party and details were already registered on the guest list.

I chose not to go inside the building as Mr R. Jayadevan and several others were not permitted to enter the venue. In principle, because I had asked them to register and come to the event and the fact that they were prevented from attending led me to believe that this seminar was purely pro-LTTE and it therefore would have been unfair and unjustifiable for me to attend. I informed MP Stephen Timms and the organisers accordingly and left the building along with Mr Jayadevan and others.

I was informed later that MP Stephen Timms did not give his speech at the seminar in protest and principle over our treatment by the Global Peace Support Group –UK, the events organizers. MP Stephen Timms was clearly mislead by the events organizers and was clearly upset and unimpressed with the organizers over the whole sorry episode. It is now clear that the function was held by the intolerant LTTE campaigners. This is the same predicament faced by many hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians suffering in Sri Lanka and this is why the Sri Lankan Government is taking effective measures to arrest the situation in our country.

As a result of this weekend unfortunate saga, it has attracted various news stories and this is why I have decided to set the record straight. I appeal to the “Global Peace Support Group –UK” to learn from this unfortunate episode and permit all peace loving Sri Lankan’s regardless of whether they are Tamil, Tamil-Muslim or Sinhalese to attend future seminars without showing any resentment.

Only when we all put our differences aside and have the humility to accommodate diverse opinions, can we honestly resolve the crisis that has plundered our country out of peace and democracy for decades. Our people duly deserve a peaceful life and a prosperous future and it is up to us to resolve this diplomatically with an open heart. We owe this to our people and to our nation.

Nesan Shankar Raji, Senior Leader of EROS, Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF)

- Asian Tribune -

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