Monday, December 10, 2007

Keith Vaz in trouble after attending pro-LTTE event

NRI Labour MP Keith Vaz has been criticised by the Sri Lankan High Commission for attending an event here in which LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, through a televised address, called for supporting their demand for a separate Tamil state.

Vaz, the chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, addressed the annual Tamil rally in East London after a televised address by Prabhakaran, the commander of the LTTE, a terrorist organisation banned by the British Government.

The rally was organised by UK-based Sri Lankan Tamils on the birthday of the LTTE leader.

The presence of Vaz, MP from Indian-dominated Leicester East, and a fellow Labour MP, Joan Ryan, drew an angry response from the Sri Lankan High Commission which released a statement claiming that the event was a "clear violation of the UK terrorism laws".

The police, who recorded the gathering, said they were "assessing material from the event" to ascertain if there is any evidence of criminal offences being committed.

The High Commission also accused 51-year-old Vaz of being "partisan to a proscribed terrorist group" and claimed that the event was organised by a front organisation of the LTTE.

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