London’s Pro Tamil Tiger demonstration and the numbers game
Posted on June 23rd, 2009

By Janaka Alahapperuma

The London Metropolitan Police had to force the organizers to proceed and keep up with the schedule in the latest march, organized by British Tamil Forum (BTF) with the help of Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) on Saturday 20th June in London. The organizers asked permission from the Met Police for 100, 000 participants, but disappointed by the poor attendance, they tried to delay the march in the hope of more people attending.

A Scotland Yard informant told me that organizers expected Tamils even from Europe to attend, and carried out huge propaganda and media campaign to attract Diaspora Tamils. “They expected a huge crowd today. It looks like they are loosing the grip, and the support they got before the elimination of Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. They must be very disappointed”, he further said.

However British media reported the event as “Thousands march in support of Tamils, where more than 10,000 (Ten thousand) pro-Tamil protesters have been marching around Parliament as campaigners compared the plight in Sri Lanka to Nazi Germany”.

BBC reported the event as, thousands marching for Tamils rights and an estimated 20,000 (Twenty thousand) people have marched in London in support of the minority Tamil population in Sri Lanka. When BBC doubled the actual number estimated by the authorities and the independent media groups in Britain, pro Tamil Tiger web site “ƒ”¹…”Tamil Net’ as usual reported the number of Tamils attended as 100,000 (hundred thousand), ten times bigger.

Tamil Tiger supporters blamed the British government and the Western World for not taking any effective action against the Sri Lankan government to save the Tamil Tiger leaders those who wanted to surrender at the final phase of the war. They chanted in unison “Shame on Gordon Brown” and staged a mock-up Second World War concentration camp. Organisers said they had talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Foreign Secretary (Minister) David Milliband, many other Ministers, MPs and other high profile figures in the government to no avail and indicated that they expect action rather lip service.

Spokesperson of the British Tamils Forum, said: “The comparison with Nazi Germany will shock – but it should do. There are hundreds of relatives here who do not know what has happened to their next-of-kin. Genocide is happening before our eyes in Sri Lanka and the international community has taken little or no action to help. But he didn’t blame Tamil Tigers and its ruthless dictatorial leadership those who were responsible for creating a hell and misery for Tamils in Sri Lanka for last 30 years. He did not mention what people say in IDP camps, those who experienced misery of the LTTE terrorism and escaped from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers.

The Free Tamil Eelam campaign group claims more than 53,000 people have been killed or are missing and 280,000 imprisoned by the Sri Lankan government. There were no details or figures revealed of Tamil Tigers killings when innocent Tamils tried to escape from the human shield. The claims were made to deceive the Western world and media simply by crediting all the deaths to the Sri Lankan government.

Disappointed organizers warned the authorities saying “The protests do not end today but we can assure authorities we will continue to do our utmost to keep things peaceful”.

Saturday’s demonstration follows a 73-day protest which featured mass sit-ins blocking central London roads, underground stations, Westminster Bridge and the Parliament Square, carried out by pro Tamil Tiger movements, which ended on last Wednesday night around 9.45pm. Several main roads were shut in Central London including around Parliament Square to allow for the march to take place.

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