Human rights campaign for solidarity with supporters of banned Tamil group

A human rights groups in Germany is calling for international solidarity for two Tamils who have been on trial for collecting funds for the Tamil Tigers (the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) a decade ago. The defendants Nathan Thambi and Anandarajah position is that the LTTE were not terrorists, rather a legitimate and necessary resistance movement.  Germany is using of terror legislation to prosecute the Tamil activists.

The two men have been convicted but have not yet received the reasons in writing. Once that written notice is issued the appeal judges will take one month to review the initial judgement (there is no appeal hearing).    

The strong support of the EU for a negotiated peace helped bring about the Peace Process which was initiated by a unilateral ceasefire of LTTE in 2000. Germany’s support back then was particularly significant, which itself had previously criminalised the LTTE before it broke with the US/UK policy.

At the beginning of the Peace Process the LTTE administered approximately 75% of the traditional homelands of the Tamil people — who had for decades struggled against brutal racial oppression at the hands of the British-constructed Sri Lankan state.  However, a negotiated peace where the Tamils and the Sinhalese would share the sovereignty of the strategically important island, was anathema to the US. LTTE control would prevent the possibility for the US to use the island for military basing (see interview with journalist Sivaram discussing the strategic significance of the island to the US – in English with Spanish subtitles).

After systematically undermining the peace process, the US finally succeeded in pressuring the EU to ban the LTTE in May 2006 and reverse its policy in support of negotiated peace.

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