London, Apr.18 (ANI): British Tamils held regular meetings with Scotland Yard's Special Branch, even as some of their other colleagues were buying and supplying bomb-making equipment for rebel Liberation Tigers for Tamil Ealam, claimed alleged head of the Tamil Tigers in Britain.
Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, known as AC Shanthan, became the first person to be convicted of aiding the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) since the British Government declared them an illegal terrorist group in 2001.
According to The Times, LTTE representatives had frequent meetings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Chrishanthakumar regularly met Special Branch officers and was contacted by MI5 as part of efforts to monitor the 300,000 Tamils living in Britain, a court was told.
Clare Short, the former International Development Secretary, appeared as a defence witness and told the court that the Government gave millions of pounds in humanitarian aid to areas of Sri Lanka controlled by the Tamil Tigers during a four-year ceasefire that ended in 2007.
The court heard that from the early 1990s Chrishanthakumar had been head of the United Tamil Organisation (UTO), based in Bermondsey, South London, which was regarded as the public face of the Tamil Tigers in Britain.
When support of the LTTE and the UTO was made illegal he became leader of the British Tamil Association, which he insisted was separate from the guerrilla organisation.
Jonathan Laidlaw, QC, for the prosecution, told the court that Chrishanthakumar, 52, was effectively head of the LTTE in London.
"He was coordinator of the procurement exercise. He was in contact with senior LTTE figures in Sri Lanka, receiving orders and requests, and on occasions buying equipment himself," he added.
In 2004 Special Branch officers discovered that Chrishanthakumar had bought items including handcuffs and boots for the Tamil Tigers' police force from an army surplus shop in Southsea, Hampshire. He was not arrested but agreed to stop buying such items, the court heard.
However, it was alleged that he was later ordered by the LTTE leadership in Sri Lanka to buy laptop computers, printed circuit boards, remote control equipment and satellite equipment.
Chrishanthakumar was convicted of conspiracy to receive property to be used for the purposes of terrorism and possessing military manuals for terrorist purposes. (ANI)