London, Jun 13: Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who attended a meeting of Commonwealth leaders here, has accused Britain of applying double standards to its counter-terrorism policy as the banned Tamil militant group is being allowed to raise money among expatriates in London.
President Rajapaksa said that supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were able to raise millions of pounds each year from the Tamil community in Britain; some of them were coerced into donating the money. "You can't have two different attitudes towards terrorism," The Times quoted him, as saying at Commonwealth meeting, where he raised the issue with Gordon Brown. "I don't agree that there are good terrorists and bad terrorists. There is only one kind of terrorist," he added.
There are about 150,000 Tamils living in Britain, mostly in North London. The Sri Lankans estimate that 70million pounds are sent home every year. "These are not voluntary contributions, the money is taken by force, usually a percentage of their income," Rajapaksa said.
"The money is sent back to buy weapons. London is not the only place; money is also sent from Europe, Canada and other places," he added.
Rajapaksa insisted that in spite of the cost in lives and damage inflicted to Sri Lanka's tourist trade he would not resume peace talks with the Tamil Tigers until the organisation agreed to disarm.