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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2703

Pro-LTTE Mayor Ken Livingstone defeated

By Walter Jayawardhana

London, 03 May, (Asiantribune.com): The radical Labour Party Mayor of London who has been overtly sympathetic to Sri Lanka’s terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has been ousted from power after an eight year regime.Ken Livingstone defeatedKen Livingstone defeated

In a closely contested mayoral election Mayor Ken Livingston was defeated by Conservative Party’s Boris Johnson , according to results announced by midnight, May 2.

Boris Johnson polled 1,168,738 votes to Ken Livingstone's 1,028,966. “The result heaped further pressure on Prime Minister Gordon Brown after his party plunged to its worst council election results in four decades,” the BBC said.

Livingstone said he took full responsibility for his defeat and paid tribute to the Labor Party, including Gordon Brown, for the support he had been given.

During a hotly contested election in London, the city’s provincial daily, the Evening Standard accused Ken of supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

The Evening Standard which was exposing in a series of news items the sitting mayor of London Ken Livingston as a friend of varied terrorist organizations depicted him as a friend of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorist group.

“Livingstone has addressed a meeting co-organized by a "front" for a banned terror organization - even though he had been warned at the highest diplomatic levels about the group's alleged terrorist links. The Mayor sought backing from the British Tamil Forum at the meeting in Harrow on Saturday, according to its spokesman”, the newspaper said in a lead story in one of its inner pages with a three column photo of Prabhakaran.

The newspaper said the Labor Party Mayor has taken part in this meeting even after he had been informed about the true nature of the British Tamil Forum, which is alleged to be a front organization of the LTTE.

The newspaper alleged , “At a previous meeting organized by the British Tamil Forum, at the Excel Centre, Docklands, on 27 November, a video message from the Tamil Tigers' leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, praising suicide bombing was played and a collection was taken for Tamil Tiger "martyrs". The meeting is the subject of a police anti-terror investigation.”

The Evening Standard said further in its report, “The Tamil Tigers, officially known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, pioneered suicide bombing.

“Although indiscriminate violence has also been carried out by the Sri Lankan government, Tamil Tiger suicide attacks alone have killed around 1,600 people, including the Sri Lankan president and the Indian prime minister.

“Suren Surendiran, a spokesman for the British Tamil Forum, said that last weekend's meeting was co-organized by the forum and a local Tamil Labor councilors, Thaya Iddaikadar.

"The forum was involved (in the organization of the meeting)," he said. "About 20 per cent of the people at the meeting were from the British Tamil Forum and the rest were local Tamils."

The Evening Standard further reported, “The Mayor also gave the forum his "personal commitment" that he would support its candlelit vigil in Trafalgar Square this summer to mark the 25th anniversary of "Black July," a massacre of Tamil civilians triggered by a Tamil Tiger attack on a military convoy.

“About 1,000 Tamils were killed in this bloodshed, which is generally seen as the trigger for Sri Lanka's civil war. Mr Surendiran said the forum "shares the same aspirations as the Tamil Tigers, but we do not subscribe to their methodology". Mr Livingstone's campaign has been dogged by allegations that he is too closely linked to organizations which sympathize with terrorists.”

- Asian Tribune -

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