LONDON, Feb 4, 2007 (AFP) – Ethnic Tamils living in Britain are being pressured into donating money to support Tiger rebels in their native Sri Lanka, facing harassment if they refuse, The Times reported in an early edition of its Monday newspaper. According to the newspaper, which interviewed a number of Sri Lankan Tamils living in Britain, the problem has become so widespread that the country’s High Commission here has alerted the British interior ministry and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency.
“We know the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) are coercing money from Tamils but it seems that, unlike with Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups, the police do not have the resources to act,” a spokesman for the Sri Lankan High Commission was quoted as saying by the daily.
The Times said that unnamed sources in the police had confirmed that they were investigating the LTTE’s activities but would not officially comment on investigations.
A spokeswoman for London’s Metropolitan Police told AFP: “The Metropolitan Police Service continues to monitor groups and individuals, and any evidence we get will be considered and appropriate action taken in order to disrupt and deter individuals who provide financial support to terrorists.”