|June 28, 2007 - SHANTHAN:TAMIL TIGERS FUNDED TERROR GROUP CROYDON, NORBURY, S LONDON. An alleged member of the Tamil Tiger terror group appeared in court today (Thurs) accused of collecting money and military equipment for the Sri Lankan guerrillas. Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, also known as AC Shanthan, joined 29-year-old lawyer Goldan Lambert in the dock at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.|
|Two arrested LTTE suspects charged in UK court|
The two men, A.C. Shanthan and Goldan Lambert, who have been arrested under the Terrorism Act in United Kingdom, were produced before the Westminster Magistrate Court yesterday (28), web based news sources states.
During the court ruling, A.C. Shanthan, President of the British Tamil Association was denied bail while Goldan Lambert of the Tamil Youth Organization was given conditional bail but later remanded to custody as the surety was not deposited.
Goldan Lambert was granted a conditional bail by the Chief Magistrate Court's Judge Oakman as he was only charged with one offence but later remanded to custody as the surety was not paid. The case would be taken up at the Crown Court on 09 August.
Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, also known as A.C. Shanthan, 50, of Upwood Road, Norbury, and 29-year-old Goldan Lambert, of Bramley Hill, south Croydon, are accused of giving support to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
These two suspects were the leading participants at rally held at Hyde Park last July at which cutouts of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran were displayed on the stage and flags with the LTTE emblem were flown.
The Metropolitan Police conducting a special operation to counter terrorism command have arrested the above mentioned suspects under Section 12 (3) of the UK Terrorism Act with prohibits "support for a terrorist organisation."
|UK Metropolitan Police Arrest A.C Shanthan (LTTE Leader in the UK) and Goldan Lambert (Head of Finance)|
22 Jun 2007 - 15:22
In a special operation UK Metropolitan Police from the Counter Terrorism Command arrested A C Shanthan (51 yrs), the LTTE’s leader in the UK who operates under the title of President of the British Tamil Association (BTA) and Goldan Lambert (29 yrs), Head of Finance of the BTA yesterday (21) around 3.45 p.m.
The latter was arrested on arrival from Dubai at the Heathrow Airport. They have been arrested under the UK Terrorism Act of 2000 under which bail is not allowed. They can be detained for upto 28 days during which formal charges will be filed by the Attorney General. The arrest has been specifically in connection with the Black July rally they organised in conjunction with the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) in Hyde Park London on 25 July 2006 which has been under investigation for some time. At this rally a large a large cut-out of the LTTE leader was displayed on the stage and participants were given photographs of the leader and LTTE flags were used to decorate the venue.
They have been arrested under Section 12 (3) which refers to “support for a proscribed organisation” (i.e in terms of speeches made at the Black July rally) and Sections 2 & 6 which refers to “providing material support for a proscribed organisation” (i.e in terms of financial support/fundraising etc).
Immediately following the arrests Police launched simultaneous raids on the head office of the BTA “Eelam House” located in Mitcham, Surrey and the office of the TYO in Colindale, London.
It may be noted that A C Shanthan who was closely associated in the 1980s with Col Kittu in the LTTE’s Jaffna command, later travelled to the UK purportedly for studies. He is known to have become the defacto LTTE leader in the UK since 1994 in succession to Kandasamy Ruthirapathy Sekar. Shanthan was originally leader of the United Tamil Organisation (UTO) which operated from Eelam House in Catherine Road, East Ham. Following the proscription of the LTTE in the UK the UTO which had been closely identified with the LTTE re-emerged under the name BTA. As leader of the BTA Shanthan has been responsible for coordinating the LTTE’s fundraising and propaganda campaign in the UK.
The BTA annually organises the Black July and Heroes Day celebrations in the UK in November. Shanthan’s arrest has been in connection with his being the chief organiser of the Black July rally in 2006 as well as a principle speaker at the rally in which he made comments supportive of the LTTE.
Goldan Lambert who is the BTA’s financial head was the chief financier of the Black July rally.
This action by the British authorities has been taken in the context of the LTTE proscription due to the organisation’s increasing involvement in fundraising and criminal activity in the UK. The LTTE was proscribed in the UK in March 2001. This is the first time that the British authorities have taken action against the LTTE following its proscription in the UK under the Terrorism Act.
|Croydon man accused of being 'Tamil Tiger' member|
Jun 28 2007
By Joshua Layton
A Croydon man has been charged this week with receiving underwater warfare and naval weapons systems which he knew could be used for terrorism.
Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, 50, is also accused of being a member of an outlawed terrorist organisation - the Tamil Tigers.
He appeared in court yesterday (Thursday) along with another Croydon man, Goldan Lambert, 29, to face terror charges.
Chrishanthakumar is accused of being a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),also called the Tamil Tigers.
Neighbours living close to his nondescript terraced home in Upwood Road, Norbury, have been left stunned by his arrest and told how they knew him as a quiet man who would always stop to say hello.
One said: "He had a wife and children and just seemed like a nice sort of chap. We were woken up by a baby crying in his house some nights, but other than that no one knew much about him at all.
"The police have had a 24-hour guard out-side since his arrest and they even put a marquee up in the garden. No one's had a clue what's going on and there's been all kinds of talk."
Chrishanthakumar's silver people carrier was still parked outside his empty home this week.
Police also swooped on Lambert's home in Bramley Hill, South Croydon. When the Advertiser confronted his parents,they refused to make any comment.
But neighbours said they had seen police staking out the tower block where he lives over the past week.
One neighbour,who asked not to be named, said: "They are a Sri Lankan family and moved in about a month ago. Last weekend, there were police outside the flats.I wondered what was going on. I didn't realise one of my neighbours had been arrested on terrorism charges.
"I'm shocked. They seemed like a nice family. The mother told me they had moved here from a house in France they had been staying at."
The men were arrested last Thursday and held under the Terrorism Act 2000. Painstaking forensic searches then took place at both homes.
Chrishanthakumar, also known as AC Shanthan, is charged with the following counts,contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000.
* Helping to arrange a meeting which he knew was to support the LTTE between June 1, 2006 and July 26, 2006
* Addressing an LTTE meeting in Hyde Park, London, to encourage support for the group
* Receiving £1,500 in London on January 24 with the knowledge that it would be used for the purposes of terrorism
* Between January 17, 2006, and June 22, 2007, in London receiving a quantity of literature and manuals including underwater warfare systems, explosive ordnance disposal and naval weapons systems, six trenching spades, 39 compasses and a piece of ballistic body armour in the knowledge they may be used for terrorism
* Between January 23, 2005, and June 22, 2007, in London, belonging to the LTTE.
Lambert is charged with one count of arranging a meeting in Hyde Park, London, on July 25, 2006.
Both men were remanded in custody after appearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court yesterday (Thursday).
The LTTE has used terror and guerrilla warfare tactics in its bid to create an independent state in areas of Sri Lanka inhabited by ethnic Tamils.
|A.C. Shanthan bail refused|
Fri, 2007-07-06 00:16
Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor
London, 05 July, (Asiantribune.com): AC Shanthan who is in police custody for suspected links with the proscribed LTTE was refused bail today at the City of Westminster Magistrate's Court.
Shanthan who is to be charged on five counts connected with LTTE activities was not brought to court today but was connected by video link to the high security Wandsworth prison where he is now being held.
A bail application was made by his lawyers shortly after he was produced in court last month.
But today the police objected to his release on bail.
Shanthan and another Goldan Lambert who was also arrested on a charge of connections with a banned foreign terrorist organisation will appear in court on July 30, it is understood.
Asian Tribune -
|December 21, 2007 - CHRISHANTHAKUMAR:TAMIL TIGER FACES FUNDRAISING TRIAL NORBURY, CROYDON, S LONDON. An alleged member of the Tamil Tiger terror group may not face trial on fundraising charges until October next year. Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, 50, is said to have collected money, army gear and weapons manuals at a rally in support of the Sri Lankan guerillas.|
|July 8: The UK has placed the LTTE as the second most dangerous terrorist group after al Qaeda. The UK already has put 44 groups on its list of terrorist organizations.|
July 5: A British Court froze all bank accounts of London LTTE leader A.C. Shanthan alias Krishnatha Kumar and of his wife. Britain's Anti-Terrorism Unit had filed 28 charges against Shanthan, including extortion, operation of business enterprises, printing press and oil storages with ill-gotten wealth.
Those employed at these enterprises were exclusively LTTE members, it was revealed. The money earned by these business ventures as at July 2 is reportedly 4 billion sterling pounds.
The money thus earned had been utilised to purchase weapons from China and Israel to attack the Lankan Navy. Meanwhile, Goldan Lambert who was also arrested along with Shanthan, is under house arrest. Lambert was arrested on charges of kidnapping for ransom and extortion. Another female LTTE cadre, identified as Pakyadevi, is reported to be absconding.
June 30: British Law Enforcement Authorities have requested their Sri Lankan counterparts for details of five Sri Lankan youth charged with kidnapping a Tamil youth, identified as Bavananthan Thirunavukarasu, employed at a filling station in Kent. All five youths, allegedly involved in fund raising activities for the LTTE, are in remand custody. British Police said there are at least five other suspects at large, who have either played a role in the installation of sophisticated credit card cloning equipment and the abduction and kidnapping of the youth.
June 28: President, British Tamil Association, Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar alias Shanthan, the high-ranking agent of the LTTE, and head of finance, Goldan Lambert, were charged by Scotland Yard under the Terrorism Act 2000, with providing support to the LTTE, a proscribed organization in the UK. Shanthan of Norbury town in South London, faced five charges under Terrorism Act 2000. Lambert, of South Croydon, was charged with assisting in the management of the Hyde Park event, knowing it was for the purposes of supporting LTTE, a proscribed organisation.
June 21: One of the prominent LTTE leaders in London, A.C. Shanthan, was arrested by the British police under the Terrorism Act 2000. It is believed that he was detained in relation to an LTTE event held at Hyde Park in London on July 25, 2006.
Profile of A Chrishanthakumar alias Shanthan - leader of the LTTE in London
The head of LTTE in the United Kingdom A Chrishanthakumar known as Shanthan was arrested by the Counter Terrorism Unit of the Metropolitan Police on June 21, 2007 on the grounds of his involvement with the United Kingdom proscribed Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
He came to the United Kingdom as a student in the late 1960’s and qualified as mechanical engineer and was employed as maintenance engineer for a leading international engineering company until the time the company went under in the late 1980’s. He joined the LTTE in 1989. His close friends say he was associated with the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation (EROS) prior to this and was a vocal critic of the LTTE before he joined them.
Following loosing his job with the engineering company, he became a full time activist of the LTTE. He joined the LTTE at the time Sathasivam Krishnakumar alias Colonel Kittu was the head in the UK.
It is appropriate to publish the brief background of Colonel Kittu for ease of reference.
According to Wikapedia-free Encyclopedia: ‘Sathasivam Krishnakumar also known as Colonel Kittu was a well-known commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE had significant victories against the Sri Lankan army under Krishnakumar. He managed to resist the military successfully with few LTTE cadres. Krishnakumar badly wounded both legs and lost one of it in a grenade attack by rival Tamil group grenade attack and required an artificial limb to be fitted in Britain. In 1990 Britain ordered his deportation, prompting him to seek political asylum in Switzerland. But when it appeared that his request was unlikely to be granted, he left in 1992 for an undisclosed European destination. Despite this, LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran appointed him to carry the LTTE's ships conrolling leader.
‘After the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, the U.K. authorities served Krishnakumar a quit notice on the grounds that he engaged in extortion of funds from Tamils living in the country. Krishnakumar moved to France, and then to Switzerland, where he said to be lived for a year before boarding the LTTE arms ship m.v. Ahat (also known as Yahata), which was interdicted by the Indian Navy in January 1993. He died in a mid-sea confrontation on January 14.’
Shanthan with his interactive engagement with Kittu was able to win his confidence and became his confidant. Kittu too became dependent on Shanthan and wherever he went he found comfort in taking him. Shanthan too transformed himself into a loyal servant of Kittu and will do anything when ordered without any questions being asked. This is the modes operandi of Shanthan and even practiced with Anton Balasingam when came to the United Kingdom in 1999.
Shanthan was said to supply large quantities of stolen photocopy papers from his Engineering company he was working to the LTTE activities in the early days whilst he was serving under Kittu.
When Kittu decided to leave the United Kingdom, he had to appoint a successor for his position. Though Kittu had concerns over Shanthan’s arrogance towards others, he had no choice other than appointing him, as there was no one else he could have trusted.
Those who closely associated with Kittu will say that Kittu had some reservations in his decision to appoint Shanthan to succeed him. This reservation became serious concern for him when Shathan spoke to him in an arrogant manner just before he was leaving Switzerland to board the ship to reach the LTTE controlled Vanni. He had said: ‘I do not know whether I made the right decision in appointing Shanthan’. What transpired for Kittu to make such statement is unknown. Sources say it is the arrogant tone of Shanthan that worried Kittu, but he wanted to leave matters until he reached Vanni safely.
Kittu’s death was the first test for Shanthan and he organised series of demonstrations in London including in front of the Indian High Commission. Shanthan’s prominence became well known when he carried out pro-active fund raising activities which he started in the mid 1990’s. He was able to rally round many youngsters and engaged them in the fund raising activities. Operating from a dungeon office in East Ham at 221 Katherine Road, he was able to show his strength in fund raising.
He realised the need to open a new office as the volume of work involved from fund raising and preparing for LTTE demonstrations were becoming hindrance for him in the derelict office. He also feared for his life as the property situated at a junction was a security threat for him. Katherine Road property was bought for the LTTE by international finance head and LTTE’s then World Federation of Tamils Head Nagendram Seevaratam.
This address was also the residence for LTTE finance head Rupert Soosaipillai known as Thanam. There were times when quarrels between the duos will reach acrimonious level and Shanthan had taken the liberty to change the locks of the doors of Katherine Rd to prevent Thanam entering the premises as a punishment. This bitter relationship was patched up over a period, as Thanam decided to accept Shanthan’s terms, as he realised he has lot to loose if he confronted him.
In 1996 Shanthan bought the two floor Eelam House in Long Lane in the Simon Hughes MP’s constituency of Southwark and Bermondsey. This was a massive building and refurbishment was undertaken to house all the activities of the LTTE from that office. The LTTE’s TRO, TEEDOR, TCHR, Sencholai etc found offices in Eelam House and came under the direct supervision of Shanthan.
With the acquisition of the Eelam House, Shanthan’s arrogance extended further. He perceived himself as the High Commissioner of Tamil Eelam and was telling people that Eelam House will be the future High Commission of emerging Tamil Eelam.
Intoxicated with power and living with the hypocritical mindset, his arrogant dictates started to hurt the LTTE fund raising activists. There came a point in 1996 when the fund raisers could not bear his dictates any more and they decided to go on strike and collectively demanded his removal from office. With that the fund raising activities also came to a standstill. Panic started to render the LTTE leadership in Vanni to take some remedial measures. The LTTE leadership sent Paris based Kandiah Perinpanathan alias Nathan to sort out the mess.
Nathan was the pal of Veerakathy Manoharan who succeeded Lawrence Thilagar in Paris.
Nathan accompanied by Kajenthiran alias Kajan the editor of LTTE’s Eelamurasu Tamil newspaper made series of visits to London to put things right. Nathan with the backing of the LTTE leadership was able implement systems and procedures and transformed the Eelam House operations acceptable to the activists. Nathan’s popularity as a result increased among LTTE activists in London. Except for sacking Shanthan, he did everything possible to organise a stable environment for the activists. Whether he was contemplating to sack Shanthan after implementing the changes is everyone’s guess as he was shot and killed in Le’ Chapple with his colleague Kajan in the brought day light. The killers were not found yet.
Nathan only returned from London the day before and was proceeding to the LTTE owned and managed International Supermarket in Lune when he and his colleague were killed. Before he left London he had told his trusted friends in London that he had to come again to sort out some serious ‘Thillu Mullu’s (misdealing) involving Shanthan.
Shanthan’s relationship with the LTTE’s former International Secretariat head Lawrence Thilagar (now known as Lawrence Christy now in Vanni) gave lot of strength to him as he knew Lawrence will come to his rescue at difficult times. The death of Nathan and Kajan sent shivers within the LTTE and Thilagar was ordered to return to Vanni immediately. Thilagar reached Vanni by LTTE’s clandestine shipping service. With the departure of Thilagar and death of Nathan, Shanthan arrogated more powers to himself and went on a spree to control everything including the LTTE supportive independent organisations and individuals.
He demanded all LTTE supportive and independent organisations and individuals to come under Eelam House control. He started to treat those who did not cooperate with contempt and went on the process of bringing the independent Expatriate Tamil Association which ran a parallel Parliamentary Pressure Group, International Tamil Foundation, Tamil Guardian, Deepam TV, Tamil Community Housing Association, International Broadcasting Corporation, Tamil Refugee Action Group, Tamil Directories etc under Eelam House control.
He became a habitual schemer and thrived on coercive manipulations, threats and campaign of hate practised to take over and bring down organisations and individuals. He used the services of Liverpool based Dr N Satchithananthan and Senthilkumar to extend his forceful takeover efforts. Senthilkumar who is the present head of British Tamil Forum who successfully brought the IBC and TTN under LTTE control whilst Dr Satchithananthan played his role obediently to take over the Tamil Guardian. Those who did not co-operate were branded as traitors and treated with contempt.
The Expatriate Tamil Association went under as a result of Shanthan’s campaign and the Tamil Directories was put under direct competition by starting a rival Murasam directory when the owners refused to handover their company to the LTTE.
Shanthan was worried when Anton Balasingam arrived in the UK. Numerous complaints were made against him to Balasingam. There was hope within the LTTE circle in London that Shanthan will be knuckled by Anton Balasingam. Shanthan played the game in the manner he is expert in and bent down like spineless worm to become a puppet of Anton Balasingam. Within a year he proved himself indispensable for Balasingam.
With enormous funds at his disposal, he was freely dishing out money to keep Anton Balasingam happy. He personally delivers £2,000 in cash to Balasingam every month on a specific date. A house was bought for his accommodation in the names of LTTE activists Shanteepan and Vijayakumar Balasingam in Streatham and fully furnished with security cameras installed at enormous costs. In addition to providing a car with the driver to Anton Balasingam, Shanthan also handed over the car purchased for 1999 LTTE cricket raffle to Mrs Adele Balasingam without giving it to the raffle winner. This car was later smashed by Shanthan’s men and an insurance claim was made to purchase another car for Mrs Adele Balasingam.
Shanthan was on the finger tip of Balasingam. Whenever he is summoned by mobile phone, Shanthan without giving excuses abandon everything he was doing to attend to his master. LTTE sources say, in addition to the monthly £2,000 cash contribution, Shanthan was paying Anton Balasingams mortgage payments and all the utility charges for the house without making any fuss. Shanthan also ensured there was no shortage of Johnny Walker stock for Anton Balasingam at his house.
Having won the heart and mind of Anton Balasingam, Shanthan worked in a systematic way to turn against those whom he disliked. Anton Balasingam became almost a stooge of Shanthan until his death even though according to LTTE sources their relationship had strained before his death. In order to keep Anton Balasingam under his thump, Shanthan got his sister Indra Fernando who is a retired nurse to provide daily nursing care to him and this was said to be the mitigating circumstance for Anton Balasingam not to go all out against Shanthan before his death.
Shanthan took fund raising as a challenged and wanted to be on top amongst fund collecting countries. In addition to traditional fundraising efforts he took money from people by making them to re-mortgage their properties and loan the LTTE from credit card advances. Many of them who parted with large sums of money were put into difficulties when funds were not returned as promised.
Shanthan always was targeting the big fishes for finances and kept a portfolio of wealthy Tamils to raise funds personally. He drove faraway as to Cardiff, Bolton, Liverpool, Manchester and Scotland to meet the wealthy Tamil professionals to raise funds regularly.
Shanthan was reluctant to go to Vanni to meet the LTTE leadership and always maintained that he will not go unaccompanied. With the ceasefire agreement, Anton Balasingam was able to convince him to join with hin twice to Vanni. When he visited for the second time, he was taken away by Pottu’s intelligence wing without the knowledge of Anton Balasingam. Pottu could not interrogate him for too long as he was soon released as a result of Anton Balasingam’s intervention.
Shanthan is married to LTTE supremo’s wife Mathivathani’s cousin and have two teenage sons. He was not in any gainful employment since he left the engineering company and was living on the funds collected for the LTTE cause.
|Three arrested in Britain over Tamil Tiger probe: police|
2 hours ago
LONDON (AFP) — Three men were arrested in London and Wales Tuesday as part of a long-term police investigation into the Tamil Tigers guerrillas in Sri Lanka, Scotland Yard said.
The trio were arrested following dawn raids on homes and business addresses in Newtown in Wales, in Mitcham, southwest London as well as raids elsewhere in Surrey.
Two men aged 39 and 46 were arrested at separate addresses in Newtown. A third, aged 33, was held in Mitcham. All three men were arrested on suspicion of the "commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism".
"It is not linked to Al-Qaeda-type activity or inspired terrorism. It is in relation to support, procurement and fundraising for a proscribed organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers)," a police spokesman said of the arrests.
"This is part of a long-term investigation into alleged funding and procurement activity in support of terrorism overseas and two people have already been charged in connection with this investigation," he added.
They were to be questioned later at the high security Paddington Green police station in central London.
The LTTE, which is fighting for a separate Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka, is designated a proscribed terrorist organisation under the 2000 Terrorism Act.
The rebels have been fighting to carve out an independent homeland for the Tamil minority since 1972. Tens of thousands have died on both sides in the conflict in the Sinhalese-majority nation.
Two men, both from south London, appeared in court last June charged with offences in connection with the same operation. One is accused of arranging meetings of the Tamil Tigers and addressing an event in London's Hyde Park.
He is also accused of amassing machetes, combat boots, camouflage clothes, spades and handcuffs. He denies the offences.
Last November, the founder of a breakaway faction of the Tamil Tigers, Colonel Karuna Amman, was arrested in a joint operation by British police and immigration officials.
No details have been released of where he was detained or whether Sri Lanka will begin extradition proceedings.
|2ND LEAD (Correction)|
British police arrests 3 persons for alleged 'support and fundraising' to LTTE
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 April 2008, 11:38 GMT]
Three men were arrested at separate addresses in Wales, south east England and Greater London Tuesday morning when British police officers from the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, supported by members of the Welsh police service, carried out searches under the Terrorism Act 2000 at a number of residential and business addresses, according to a press release issued by the British High Commission in Colombo on Tuesday.
The LTTE is a proscribed organisation under the terms of the Terrorism Act 2000, which came into force in 2001, the British High Commission said.
Two people have previously been charged in connection with this investigation.
Full text of the press release issued by the British High Commission in Colombo follows:
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
BRITISH POLICE ARREST THREE MEN UNDER TERRORISM ACT 2000
At approximately 6.30 am on 29 April police officers from the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, supported by members of the Welsh police service, carried out searches under the Terrorism Act 2000 at a number of residential and business addresses in Wales. Further searches were carried out in Surrey in south east England and Greater London.
Three men were arrested at separate addresses on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000.
The arrests are part of a long-term investigation into the alleged funding and procurement activity in support of terrorism overseas. The investigation relates to alleged procurement, support and fundraising for the proscribed organisation, the LTTE .
Two people have previously been charged in connection with this investigation.
British High Commission
|Three Tamil Tiger kingpins arrested in London and Wales in a dawn raid|
Tue, 2008-04-29 21:33
By Walter Jayawardhana
London, 29 April, (Asiantribune.com): The Police in London and Wales have arrested three kingpins who have been engaged in Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) activities banned under the Terrorism Act.
Out of the arrested three, two of them are brothers and were arrested as a result of “their fund raising and procurement of acts of terrorism,” the police said.
According to the police sources the three arrested, Jegatheeswaran Muralieetharan (46) , of new Town in Wales, Vithy Tharan (39) of Powys, Wales, and Murugesu Jegatheeswaran (33) of Mitcham , Surrey, of South West London, have been under subject of police investigations for a long time.
Jegatheeswaran Muraleetharan and Murugesu Jegatheeswaran are two brothers who are running an electronics company called Radio matrix involved in the manufacture of circuit boards and other electronic equipment used in communications, audio, video and other digital equipment like remote control equipment.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command were joined by officers from Dyfed Powsy Police in Wales in the raid they conducted at dawn on Tuesday when they raided two properties in London and Wales. Later they were brought to the Paddington Police where they were being questioned.
A.C.Shanthanand Goldan Lambert were initially arrested on June 21 2007 connected to their LTTE activities in London. The case against them is still pending .
- Asian Tribune -
|Last November, the founder of a breakaway faction of the Tamil Tigers, Colonel Karuna Amman, was arrested in a joint operation by British police and immigration officials.|
No details have been released of where he was detained or whether Sri Lanka will begin extradition proceedings.
|Minority Report: Kensington's Tamil Tiger|
By Jerome Taylor
Three people were arrested today under terror legislation suspected of being involved in or funding militant movements abroad - and, for once, they were not Muslims. Instead the three men were arrested in what the police say is a long-running investigation into supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, otherwise known as the Tamil Tigers.
It's about time police cracked down on anyone funding the current carnage in Sri Lanka, one of those tragically long civil wars that too many people have simply stopped caring about.
Although the vast majority of Tamils in the UK are decent law-abiding citizens, supporters of both Tamil Tigers and the various breakaway rebel movements have happily resorted to kidnap and extortion of their fellow Tamils to fund a war that, thanks to the brutal tactics of both the rebels and Sri Lankan government, has killed up to 70,000 people in the past 36 years.
But while today's police action should be welcomed, I'd also like to know what's happening to a much more prominent protagonist of the maelstrom in Sri Lanka who was arrested by UK police in November, living in Kensington of all places.
His real name is Vinayagamorthi Muralitharan, but most people in Sri Lanka know him by his nom de guerre: Colonel Karuna (pictured).
Very few newspapers, including The Independent, paid any attention to the arrest in November of Colonel Karuna for an unspecified immigration offence. But back in Sri Lanka it was front page news.
Once a highly feared regional commander in the Tamil Tigers, Karuna defected from the notorious Tamil terror group in 2004 to set up his own faction in the eastern enclave of Batticaloa. He soon made an alliance with the Sri Lankan government's forces and began fighting his former comrades in the Tamil Tigers.
In November 2006, UNICEF publicly accused both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers of recruiting child soldiers. Two months later, Human Rights Watch released a report detailing how Karuna's group was actively involved in recruiting child soldiers in eastern Sri Lanka "with the complicity or wilful blindness of the Sri Lankan government".
Both announcements were deeply embarrassing for the Sri Lankan government which, despite the air raids and artillery barrages it often rains down on its own civilians, generally tries to portray itself as the more honourable protagonist in Sri Lanka's civil war.
But how did Karuna end up in London?
Last year Karuna's rule over Batticaloa broke down amid factional infighting which his loyalists eventually lost. Karuna fled to Colombo and eventually to London. Shortly after his arrest Sri Lankan newspapers broke the news that he had travelled to Britain on a diplomatic passport, reinforcing Karuna's official links to the authorities in Colombo.
Human rights groups have called on Britain to prosecute Karuna for war crimes and began building up a dossier of evidence against him. Under UK law, British courts can prosecute suspected war criminals under a various pieces of legislation, even if the crimes were not committed in Britain. In 2005 an Afghan warlord was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he was convicted in a British court for torture.
So far neither the government or police have given any indication as to whether they intend to prosecute Karuna. But even more worrying, I've been told by a source monitoring his case that there is a chance he will be released from detention some time in May and there are fears he may escape prosecution or leave the country altogether.
|What connects a quiet town... with this kind of horror?|
Apr 30 2008 by Sally Williams, Western Mail
IT IS a quiet and rural Welsh town set in the rolling hills of Montgomeryshire on the banks of the River Severn, where residents joke that “nothing ever happens”.
But yesterday the community of Newtown in Powys was shocked to find that two of its residents have been arrested under the Terrorism Act, as part of an investigation into the Tamil Tigers.
During dawn raids yesterday officers from Dyfed Powys Police and Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorism squad swooped on three properties in Newtown – 39 Old Kerry Road, 33 Beechwood Drive and 21 Crescent Gardens.
Each property is to be guarded by police for up to three days, the local force said yesterday, as its investigations in the town continue.
Neighbours were getting ready for work and putting the bins out when they saw police activity near their front doors.
By lunchtime they had received letters hand-delivered by police officers, explaining that the arrests were not linked to Al-Qaeda.
The letter explained: “We would stress that this inquiry relates to alleged fundraising and procurement in support of terrorism overseas.
“The searches may go on for a number of days and we will do everything to minimise disruption to your community.”
Residents said they were “shocked” to find that their quiet community was suddenly the focus of an international investigation involving Scotland Yard.
Graham Pace lives at 40 Old Kerry Road, just a thin wall away from the three-storey property at number 39, the type that could sell for about £130,000.
A police officer stood guard at Number 39 yesterday, in front of a door that was being monitored by a CCTV police surveillance van.
Mr Pace said, “My wife Yvonne said, ‘Poke your head out of the window’ just before she went to work at Laura Ashleys.
“And I saw eight to 10 forensic teams with rubber gloves entering number 39 and police vehicles and detectives next door.
“From what I understand, a couple took over the franchise of Snax 24, a BP petrol station in the town, and their shift workers have been living next door.
“The petrol station is open 24 hours a day and I would see two or three shift workers going in and out every six hours or so.
“I think they have also worked at a new 10-pin bowling alley that opened earlier this month on the third floor of the old five-storey woollen mill nearby, which used to be Agricultural House and was the dole office.
“The walls here are thin. I used to hear loud music playing late at night and I reported it to the Environmental Health but that is the only dealing I’ve had with them.
“It was a bit of a shock this morning.”
Sian Hopwood, 22, a business student at Cardiff University, said her grandmother lives within sight of 33 Beechwood Drive, a semi-detached house on a hillside estate, where properties overlooking the town and countryside can fetch around £300,000.
She said: “Nan rang me because she was worried to see all the police activity in her drive. We wondered what on earth was going on, because nothing of any significance ever happens here.
“We found out what was happening from Nan’s son in Dubai who had read about it on the internet.
“Mum knows the mother at 33 Beechwood Drive and I went to school with their children, who are younger than me, about 15 and 18 years old.
“I think they went to Penygloddfa School, the family have been here for at least 10 years, probably more.
“They are a lovely and quiet family, we see children playing in the garden and they walk the dog. I don’t think many people around here know much about the Tamil Tigers.”
But neighbours said they didn’t know much about a young man living in 21 Crescent Gardens, a clematis-covered two-up-two- down house in a cul-de-sac in the town centre, where properties can sell for around £100,000.
One said: “He only moved in over the past year or so, wears a baseball cap, says ‘hello’ but keeps himself to himself.”
‘The most dangerous and deadly extremist outfit in the world’
Ethnic conflict has marred Sri Lanka’s history since the country, formerly known as Ceylon, became independent in 1948.
Its main ethnic populations are the Buddhist Sinhalese majority (74%), Hindu Tamils (8%) and Muslims (7%).
In the years after independence, the Sinhalese, who resented British favouritism toward Tamils during the colonial period, disenfranchised Tamil migrant plantation workers from India and made Sinhala the sole official language.
In 1972 the Sinhalese changed the country’s name from Ceylon and made Buddhism the nation’s primary religion.
As a result tensions rose and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) began their separatist campaign for the predominantly Tamil north and east of the country.
In 1983, 13 soldiers were killed in an LTTE attack on an army convoy, sparking riots in which 2,500 Tamils died.
It also resulted in a civil war that has claimed nearly 70,000 lives and led to the displacement of more than 200,000 people.
The Tigers have gained a reputation as one of the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisations, infamous for suicide bombings and the recruitment of child soldiers.
|Two arrests in Mid Wales ‘Tamil Tiger’ terror raids|
Apr 30 2008 by Carl Butler, Daily Post
ANTI terror cops swooped on a mid-Wales market town to arrest two men who were last night being questioned in a top security London police station.
Police carried out raids in Newtown yesterday under an investigation into alleged fundraising activities for the Tamil Tigers, which is fighting for an independent homeland in Sri Lanka.
Officers executed search warrants at business and residential properties around Newtown in Old Kerry Road, Beechwood Drive, and Cresent Gardens, at the same time as connected raids in London, at 6.30am.
The two Newtown men, 46 and 39, along with one man from London, were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, under the Terrorism Act 2000.
Graham Pace, 59, of Old Kerry Road, Newtown, lives next door to one of the raided houses. “I’ve been off work and I was in bed. My wife went to work about 7.45am and she said there was a lot of police activity outside.”
“The people who live next door all seem to work at a petrol station which I think someone from Sri Lanka took over. It’s one of these places open 24 hours a day, a franchise I think.
“The people who own it don’t live next door, I think they’re the people who work shifts at the petrol station. The people who run the petrol station have just opened a bowling alley in town, I believe. I don’t bother with them much because I fell out with one of them one weekend.”
The searched property is a three-storey building in a terrace of eight. Mr Pace believes it has about four bedrooms, and thinks up to six people stay there.
Further warrants were executed at addresses in Mitcham in Surrey and Harrow. It is believed the two arrested in Newtown, along with a 33-year old held in Mitcham, are being questioned in London’s Paddington Green top security police station.
Several premises in Powys and Mitch-am were yesterday still being searched.
The arrests are part of a long-term investigation into the alleged funding and procurement activity in support of terrorism overseas, but is not linked to Al-Qaeda activity.
Two people have previously been charged in connection with this inquiry, according to the Met Police.
Both from south London, they appeared in court last June charged with offences in connection with the same operation. One is accused of arranging meetings of the Tamil Tigers and addressing an event in London's Hyde Park.
Accused of amassing machetes, combat boots, camouflage clothes, spades and handcuffs, he denies the offences.
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is designated a proscribed terrorist organisation under the 2000 Terrorism Act by 31 countries.
|Terror suspects held in Welsh homes raid|
Apr 30 2008 by Darren Devine, Western Mail
THREE men suspected of raising funds for the banned Tamil Tigers terrorist group were arrested in Wales and London yesterday.
Officers from Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command launched 6am raids on addresses in Newtown in Powys, Mitcham in south-west London, and Surrey.
The raids were the latest development in a long-running investigation aimed at flushing out Tamil Tigers sympathisers. The Tamil Tigers – or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – have been waging a three-decades long guerrilla campaign for a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka.
Two men, aged 39 and 46, were arrested at separate addresses in Newtown, and a third, aged 33, was held in Mitcham.
All three men were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
They were being questioned last night at high-security Paddington Green police station in central London.
Scotland Yard have up to 28 days to interrogate the men, after which they must either be released or charged.
Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police assisted the raids on residential and business premises in Newtown. The force said there was no reason to believe the local community was in danger and ruled out a link to Islamic terrorists Al-Qaeda.
A police spokesman said, “It is in relation to support, procurement and fundraising for a proscribed organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.”
Government officials and senior police officers belive large sums of money are collected in Britain to fund LTTE’s attacks. Last Friday a bomb blamed on LTTE and hidden on a bus killed 24 civilians and wounded 40 others just south of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. Tamil Tiger activists are also suspected of involvement in widespread credit card scams, fraud and extortion.
Dyfed-Powys Police officers yesterday sought to reassure residents and businesses in Newtown with a letter-drop in the area searched.
A force spokesperson said, “We have the neighbourhood, local officers and the mobile police station in the Newtown area in a bid to keep the community informed and reassured.
“A letter-drop to properties close to the search areas has also been carried out. The searches may go on for some time and we will do everything to minimise disruption to the local communities.”
The LTTE is responsible for guerrilla attacks against armed forces and political targets in Sri Lanka, off the coast of southern India.
The rebels are fighting for autonomy for minority Tamils in the north and east of the island, claiming discrimination by the majority population.
More than 70,000 people have died in more than three decades of fighting and thousands have been forced to leave their homes.
The LTTE is thought to have power bases in both London and Paris, where sympathisers work to raise money for sophisticated weapons and other support.
More than 30 countries, including the UK, have proscribed the LTTE as a terrorist organisation.
Jeremy Binnie, of Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, said it was increasingly common for the Tigers to attempt to finance their activities through overseas fundraising.
“The vast majority of their fundraising activities are believed to be in Tamil diaspora communities in Western countries – Europe and North America.
“Anywhere with a Sri Lankan Tamil population is used as a base for fundraising through legal and illegal front organisations.
“There’s quite a body of cases now in places like the US and Canada that point to this global network.
“It makes sense because the fundraising opportunities in wealthier countries are more lucrative than local fundraising in Sri Lanka or across the strait in Tamil areas of India.”
Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Opik, whose constituency includes Newtown, said the law must be allowed to run its course before anyone leapt to conclusions about the guilt or innocence of those arrested.
The Liberal Democrat MP said, “I’m not willing to try these individuals through the media so we have to wait and see what the legal process discovers.
“However, it’s important to note that no-one was in any danger whatsoever of a terrorist attack in Montgomeryshire because I understand the allegations are about fundraising for Tamil activities, presumably elsewhere.”
Montgomeryshire’s Lib-Dem AM Mick Bates praised the efforts of the local police.
He said, “It just goes to show that in the modern world you can find terrorists anywhere – though obviously they’ve only been arrested on suspicion of terrorism charges.
“Fundraising is a critical part of terrorism so I wish the police every success in controlling terrorist activity.”
Two men, both from south London, have already appeared in court charged with terrorist offences in connection with the same operation.
One of the men is accused of arranging meetings of the Tamil Tigers and addressing an event in Hyde Park, central London.
He is also accused of amassing a hoard of military equipment including machetes, combat boots, camouflage clothes, spades and handcuffs.
He denies the offences.
Last November Tamil Tiger leader Colonel Karuna Amman was arrested in a joint operation by British police and immigration officials.
No details have been released of where he was detained or whether Sri Lanka will begin extradition proceedings.
Several days earlier, the head of the Tamil Tigers’ political wing SP Thamilselvan was killed in a wave of government air strikes in Sri Lanka.
A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed the arrests.
“At 6.30am (on Tuesday) officers from counter terrorism command supported by Dyfed-Powys Police executed search warrants at a number of residential and business addresses in Newtown, Powys.
“Further warrants were executed at addresses in Mitcham and Surrey. Three men were arrested.”
A Dyfed Powys Police spokesperson added, “Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm it is supporting the Metropolitan Police in the arrests of two men under the Terrorism Act and the search of properties in Newtown.
“We would like to reassure our communities that arrests of this nature in the force area are rare and they should not be unduly alarmed.”
|British police get more time to quiz LTTE suspects|
Detectives can continue to question three men suspected of raising funds for the banned Tamil Tigers terrorist group until next week.
Officers have been granted an extension to hold the trio at high-security Paddington Green police station until next Tuesday, a spokesman said yesterday.
The men were held during a series of early morning raids at addresses in London and Wales on Tuesday.
The move was the latest development in a long-running investigation aimed at flushing out sympathisers of the proscribed organisation.
The Tamil Tigers – or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – are responsible for three decades of guerrilla fighting in Sri Lanka.
Government officials and senior police officers believe large sums of money are collected in Britain to fund further attacks.
Tamil Tiger activists are also suspected of involvement in widespread credit card scams, fraud and extortion.
The raids took place at residential and business properties in Newtown, Powys, Mitcham, south-west London, and Harrow, north-west London.
Those in custody are two men, aged 39 and 46, arrested at separate addresses in Powys, and a third man, aged 33, held in Mitcham.
All three were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
Searches of four premises in Newtown, Wales continued on Wednesday following the arrest of two men under the Terrorism Act. Dyfed Powys Police continue to support the Metropolitan Police Service in their investigation.
Newtown Neighbourhood policing teams will be patrolling the town throughout the day and the mobile police station will be at Morrisons to reassure the community and address any concerns they may have.
Superintendent Steve Hughson said: “We will continue to support our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Service with this investigation.
"What is uppermost in our minds is to support and reassure our local community in Newtown.
"The Newtown Neighbourhood policing team is very active amongst the community and understand their issues.
"Today they have been deployed throughout the town to engage with residents and offer reassurance.
"Once again we would like to reassure our communities that arrests of this nature in the force area are rare and they should not be unduly alarmed
"We would like to stress that this inquiry relates to alleged fundraising and procurement in support of terrorism overseas."
|More raids on LTTE in UK |
Thursday, 01 May 2008
As a follow-up to the arrests of M/s A C Shanthan and Goldan Lambert on 21 June ’07 under the UK Terrorism Act, the UK Metropolitan Police at 6.30 am UK time today launched a massive raid on two LTTE undercover offices in Wales and London.
2. They arrested three frontline LTTE activists involved in manufacturing a number of components used in explosive devices for the LTTE and in procuring and paying for purchase of weapons/equipment.
3. The three arrested individuals are Mr Jegatheeswaran Muraleetharan (46) of New Town in Wales , Mr Vithy Tharan (39) of Powys, Wales and Mr Murugesu Jegatheeswaran (33) of Mitcham, Surrey, Southwest London . The three LTTE activists are now being held in a high security police cell in London where they are being questioned. They are expected to be formally charged under the UK Terrorism Act.
4. Mr Jegatheeswaran Muraleetharan and Mr Murugesu Jegatheeswaran are two brothers who were running a company called Radio Matrix involved in the manufacture of circuit boards and other radio communications, audio, video and digital equipment.
5. As you are aware although the LTTE was proscribed in the UK in 2001, the first arrest of LTTE activists under the UK Terrorism Act took place only on 21 June 2007 where M/s Shanthan and Goldan Lambert were arrested. They are currently facing trial at the UK Crown court. The 3 arrests that took place today is the second set of arrests of LTTE activists under the UK Terrorism Act.
|Man, 51, arrested in terror probe|
2 hours ago
A 51-year-old man has been arrested under the Terrorism Act.
The man, from the Swindon area, is being held in custody at a central London police station on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, Scotland Yard said.
The arrest came after detectives were on Monday granted another eight days to question three men suspected of raising funds for the Tamil Tigers, a banned terrorist group which has waged three decades of guerrilla fighting in Sri Lanka.
City of Westminster Magistrates gave police permission to hold the trio, aged 33, 39 and 46, until next Tuesday.
Police staged a series of early morning raids in London and Wales last Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation.
"The arrests are part of a long-term investigation into the alleged funding and procurement activity in support of terrorism overseas," a Scotland Yard statement said.
"This investigation is not linked to al Qaida activity."
Two people have previously been charged in connection with this inquiry, Scotland Yard said.
|Four on Tamil Tiger terror charges|
2 hours ago
Four men have been charged with conspiring to support the banned terrorist Tamil Tigers organisation.
Scotland Yard said the men are accused of possessing equipment including radios, computers and high-power magnets for terrorism.
All four men, who were arrested at addresses in London and Wales, will appear at City of Westminster magistrates' court.
They face a single charge of conspiring to receive equipment for terrorist purposes between January 2003 and December 2006.
Among the items listed in the charge were Toughnote laptops, head torches, printed circuit boards and lithium coin cell batteries.
They are also accused of possessing other electrical equipment, GPS and antenna equipment, transceivers, radios, navigation systems and high power magnets.
Those charged are Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, also known as AC Shanthan, 51, of Upwood Road, Norbury, south London; Jegatheswaran Muraleetharan, also known as Muralee Tharan, 46, of Beechwood Drive, Newtown, Powys; Jeyatheswaran Vythyatharan, also known as Vithy Tharan, 39. of Crescent Gardens, Newtown, Powys and Murugesu Jegatheeswaran, also known as M Jegan, 33, of Bond Road, Mitcham, south London
|Shock over terror case|
Officials at a Powys cricket club have spoken of their shock after one of its coaches was charged over alleged links to a terrorist group.
Newtown Cricket Club has suspended its youth development worker and coach, Muralee Tharan (Jegatheswaran Muraleetharan), who has been accused of conspiring to support the banned terrorist Tamil Tigers.
His brother, Jeyatheswaran Vythyatharan, also known as Vithy Tharan, of Crescent Gardens, Newtown and two other men from south London have also been charged.
Peter Davies, chairman of Newtown Cricket Club said Mr Tharan had been a coach for the club’s under 13 and under 15 teams for the last three years.
He said following news of the arrests the club had received several phone calls from concerned parents.
He said: “Newtown Cricket Club having taken advice from the appropriate authorities i.e, the Welsh Cricket Association and Lords, and have suspended youth development officer and coach Muralee Tharan from the club in the light of ongoing police investigations.
“He will be suspended until these investigations have reached their climax.
“The club would like to stress that whilst he conducted his duties with the youth section he did nothing but good to build up what is a not a very strong youth set up, which will now continue under new leadership.” he added.
|Banned Terrorist Group Plans Event Honouring Suicide Missions at the London ExCeL Centre|
Notizia pubblicata in rete il 23/11/2008 08:00, tempo medio di lettura previsto 2 minuti e 44 secondi
LONDON, November 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Heroes' Day, an event glorifying Tamil Tiger terrorist tactics, is due to take place later this month at the London ExCeL Centre in defiance of UK laws prohibiting the glorification of and support for terrorism.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), or Tamil Tigers, are a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK under the 2000 Terrorism Act. Membership of the LTTE, fundraising for the group and encouraging support for them are all prohibited in the UK. For the LTTE and its supporters, the 27th November is Heroes' Day. Past suicide missions are openly venerated and Velupillai Prabhakaran, the military and political leader of the LTTE, addresses crowds in many countries via video link-up to raise money and international support for the group.
Holding a public Heroes' Day event in the UK is illegal under both the Terrorism Act 2000 (for supporting a proscribed organisation) and the 2006 Act (for glorification of terrorism). However, LTTE-supporting websites have started advertising this year's celebration. On Wednesday 19th November, the Tamil language radio station International Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) informed listeners that the event would take place at the London ExCeL Centre from 10am onwards. An Ofcom investigation into IBC's broadcast the day before Heroes' Day 2007 found that, "parts of the programme included content that could be perceived as either encouraging or inviting support for the LTTE."
40 percent of LTTE funding comes from UK sources. Despite this, the government's position towards the LTTE and its supporters lacks consistency. The ExCeL Centre drew 3,000 supporters in 2007, and 8,000 the year before when LTTE supporters from around Europe gathered at a leisure centre in Harrow. Heroes' Day 2007 was filmed by the Metropolitan Police, but it was not investigated further. Tharisanam TV, a pro-LTTE London-based satellite TV station, was closed down in June 2008. Yet, Thendral TV, set up in July 2008, now broadcasts pro-LTTE material across the UK.
Prabhakaran's 2007 Heroes' Day speech praised the "immeasurable dedication and sacrifice" of the Black Tigers, the group's suicide contingent. In the same speech, he criticised the international community for proscribing Tamil Diaspora support for the LTTE. An open video message this year from Prabhakaran - currently wanted for terrorism offences by Interpol - would raise serious questions over the government's ability to enforce UK terrorism laws.
The Centre for Social Cohesion believes it is deeply worrying that fundraisers for a proscribed terrorist organisation can operate in the UK with impunity. Whether it's the Tamil Tigers or the extreme Islamist group Al Ghurabaa, the government needs to show consistency in its enforcement of the Terrorism Acts.
Press enquiries: +44(0)207-222-8909 / firstname.lastname@example.org, The Centre for Social Cohesion is an independent think tank, The Centre for Social Cohesion, Clutha House, 10 Storey's Gate, London, SW1P 3AY, +44(0)207-222-8909, email@example.com
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| March 26, 2009|
VYTHYATHARAN:ACCUSED TAMIL TIGER HELPER WAS HELPING POULTRY FARMERS
NORBURY, S LONDON; POWYS, S WALES.
An electrical engineer accused of sending bomb-making equipment to the Tamil Tigers was 'honouring his human duty to others' by shipping circuit boards to Sri Lanka to help poor poultry farmers, a court heard.
Jeyatheswaran Vythyatharan, 40, claims he developed the circuit boards as a power-saving device to provide cheap electricity in poorer areas, including providing light in hen houses.
|Terror charges man grateful for support of Newtown people|
Published Date: 11 May 2009
By Dominic Robertson
A MID Wales man accused of terrorism charges has thanked the people of Newtown for their support after the Crown Prosecution Service announced he will not face a retrial.
Jegaswarethan Muraleetharan, of Beechwood Drive, Newtown (known as Muralee Tharan), had, along with his brother Jeyatheswaran Vythyatharan (known as Vythy), been on trial for receiving electrical components for the purposes of terrorism.
After the nine-week trial at Kingston Crown Court in London the jury cleared Vythy but failed to reach a verdict on the charge against Muralee.
The Crown Prosecution Service had to decide whether to press for a re-trial against Muralee but after a hearing at the Old Bailey on Tuesday it announced it would not be pursuing the matter.
The announcement ends a year long ordeal for Muralee who was arrested by officers from Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism unit in April last year.
He and his brother were accused of aiding the Tamil Tigers (known as the Liberation Tigers of Eelam), an organisation which was banned in the UK in 2000.
Muralee thanked the people of Newtown for their support and said he is now looking forward to getting his life back on track.
"It has been more than a nightmare," he said, "I'm relieved that it is over and I just want to get back to normal now."
He added: "The support from local people has been fantastic so I'd like to say a big thank you to the people of Newtown.
"Thanks for all the people who supported us and especially for Lembit Opik MP. As an MP and a friend he's been fantastic in what has been a very difficult time. He's taken the time to comfort my wife, my brother and my children."
Mr Opik said he was delighted that Muralee and Vythy could now get on with their lives and he criticised Government legislation that made the trial possible.
He said: "From the outset this whole trial has been an exercise in persecuting good people with bad law. Anyone who knows Muralee and Vythy would regard terrorist charges as laughable.
"Unfortunately the state saw fit to spend who knows how many thousands of pounds to come to exactly the same conclusion.
"It is the right outcome but this trial should never have occurred in the first place and I am raising the matter in Parliament to highlight the inadequacy of our paranoid terrorism legislation, after all Muralee's and Vythy's experience proves it is very effective at disrupting the lives of innocent people but not much good for anything else."
The full article contains 436 words and appears in n/a newspaper.
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Last Updated: 11 May 2009 8:56 AM
Location: Welshpool, Powys