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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2679

Memoirs of an anti-LTTE undercover agent in London - PART II : Delicious Curry served with a Stark Warning!

By - By Glen Jenvey - Exclusive to "Asian Tribune"

Edited By – Joseph Thavaraja

Walking down the road towards the LTTE offices in London at 211 Katherine Rd, one comes across a disused corner shop with a side door. This tatty little X corner shop or office with blanked out windows was the LTTE London office. Once inside the office, directly across your view is a cubicle with a big desk, hosting LTTE flags and photos of the supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Around the office walls to the right was a room, full of PR videos and a long conference table.

Young men cleaned the office, served us tea and at just a lift of a finger, would run off and fetch files.

One day, I was suddenly asked to rush to the office to meet with Amnesty International's (AI) South Asia Desk Officer who was coming to meet the LTTE. I had to get there early as the Tigers wanted to pre-rehearse their script to AI representatives.

The LTTE's plan was to sweet-talk the AI officials–which was what happened during the hour-long meeting.

But the women were not impressed –the child soldiers' issue began to loom during the meeting.

But worse was to come.

A number of cases where Tamils had been killed by the LTTE suddenly popped up for discussion from nowhere! In fact, the LTTE ended up with a 'right telling off'.

Once the AI women left, the team promptly reviewed the meeting and came to the conclusion that the "LTTE wanted better press from AI in future to be able to attack the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL)."

How could this be done? It was agreed that the only way to do this was to enlist LTTE rebel members with AI and thereafter gradually change AI's policy from within. To this end, it was speculated that AI might need bilingual (Tamil and English) staff for their office–The LTTE could make use of such a need and induct bilingual rebel members to AI offices. (I later came across a young student girl who was a rebel member and who was to be placed in AI to begin work as an intern).

The inducted members would detect Tamils complaining (of the LTTE) to AI. In addition, the infiltrators were to monitor the private files of Tamils –and to write fictitious reports against the GOSL.

It was also decided to use the same method on other British charity organizations –The UNHCR, International Red Cross, the Oxfam and Save the Children Fund;

However, these charities were infiltrated with a different aim--to get more aid direct to the North of Sri Lanka.

I inquired as to why the aid agencies would hand over the aid to LTTE and not the people;

The reply led to a startling revelation…

"We control everything that goes on in our areas and will use (the aid) to feed our own rebel troops first." -The aid supplies were not for the Tamil people suffering in up-north, but rather, for the families of rebel members fighting the Sri Lankan Army!

This appeared to be the LTTE's way of feeding their people and troops. They could not marshal aid for the populace since their own funds were needed for weapons purchases from the black market.

Thereafter, I was asked to make contacts with these organizations to monitor aid -which I did.

It was interesting to read all the reports coming from aid agencies once every few days on Sri Lanka. Most agencies could not operate in the north. Meanwhile, the rebels had attacked several aid laden ships in the past.

To me, it all appeared 'a bit strange': To sink aid ships first and then, ask questions about the non-receipt of aid!

Confused, I reported this to my bosses as I could not work out where all these led to….

Once, I was asked to invite the British press to a conference at Alexandra Palace in London where a major event was planned.. I had to make a choice between inviting the press and not doing so (since I did not want the press to get on first name terms with the LTTE). My SIS boss issued the go ahead with all LTTE's requests—And I started inviting the press…

I do not recollect as to whether everyone I invited showed up –But many came and there was a satisfactory showing up of the reporter pack when I arrived at the Alexandra Palace.

As an Assistant Press Officer, I was allowed in the official press room. I was armed with a mini recorder and camera. I collected all the press briefings while recording the conference in full. On show were the promotional videos. They showed actual ground offensive operations and were well edited - Curiously, some Al-Queda videos you see on CNN today are resonant with the first series of LTTE videos on sale at this conference…

There were also gift items bearing the LTTE logo. All of these were free to me –and I was allowed to load my car with as much as I could grab!

However, the curry on sale tasted delicious—in fact, 'real great'… and again, was free for me.

I was also amazed at the crowd numbers…The membership and supporters in the UK for the LTTE overwhelmed me. More than 1000 people had attended the conference (I wondered what the British would say if the Indian and Sri Lankan governments were to allow 1000 IRA supporters to rally round in both Sri Lanka and India).

However, at the conference, a stark warning awaited the audience -"Those of you who have come here to spy for your Sri Lankan government masters…go back and tell them all you have seen and heard today. But remember, if you are caught, you are dead.."

For the first time, I realized the degree of the danger I was facing…

(To Be Continued)…

- Asian Tribune -

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