The Socialist Equality Party (SEP), the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), urges all those who uphold democratic rights, including Tamils and Tamil organisations, to demand that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) instruct its European agents to cease their threats and violent attacks against our members and supporters in Europe.
At demonstrations in Berlin, London, and Paris on February 4, and at a protest meeting in Stuttgart on February 7, SEP supporters were told to stop distributing leaflets and to leave, and were jostled, threatened with violence, and subjected to anti-Sinhala racist abuse by stewards from various pro-LTTE organisations, including the Comité de coordination tamoul en France (CCT) and the British Tamils Forum.
Similarly, SEP supporters campaigning February 6 in Paris's La Chapelle neighbourhood for a public meeting March 15, which will advance a socialist solution to end the 25-year civil war and the oppression of the Tamils of Sri Lanka, had their leaflets seized and destroyed by CCT supporters. The CCT operatives warned that only those who have its permission will be allowed to speak about politics with Tamils living in La Chapelle.
The perpetrators of these coordinated attacks were acting on the instructions of the LTTE.
The LTTE has a notorious, decades-long history of employing murderous violence against its Tamil political opponents. Its anti-democratic methods, which have included assassinations, have been in flagrant disregard of the democratic aspirations of the Tamil masses, and have strengthened the reactionary Sri Lankan state in its war against the Tamil people.
In Europe, the LTTE's violence is escalating. Last Saturday, a group of 75 or more LTTE supporters—brandishing portraits of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and US President Barack Obama—attempted to break up a demonstration by Tamil and left French groups protesting against the Sri Lankan state's oppression of the Tamils. "Apart from us, you are not allowed to organise demonstrations or meetings," an LTTE thug told the protesters.
The intimidation campaign mounted by the LTTE's European agents is a flagrant attack on democratic rights and must be vigorously opposed.
The LTTE's targeting of the SEP is especially outrageous given the SEP's well-known and unbroken record of championing the democratic rights of the Tamil people.
In the face of state attacks and Sinhalese chauvinist violence, the SEP has unceasingly demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Sri Lankan troops from the north and east as a crucial first step in uniting the working class and peasantry, Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim, to overthrow the reactionary Sinhala elite-dominated capitalist state and establish a United Socialist States of Sri Lanka and Eelam that will ensure the democratic rights and basic social needs of all.
The LTTE resorts to violence because it is unable to answer political criticism, and fears mounting opposition to its right-wing policies and resentment of its anti-democratic methods among émigré Tamil workers and youth. The politics and modus operandi of the LTTE, it should be added, are very much bound up with the commercial interests of its local agents within the Tamil business community.
The LTTE's arrogant assertion of its dominance over the Tamils stands in grotesque contrast with its pathetic and fawning appeals to the governments of the US, Britain, the other Western powers, and India to "save" the Tamil people. The LTTE lashes out against its socialist opponents, while urging Tamils to place their hopes in the imperialist states that have aided and abetted the Sinhala bourgeoisie in its racist war against the Tamil people.
The nationalist politics and anti-democratic tactics of the LTTE are of one piece. Its ambition to carve out a capitalist state in the north-east and its strategy of seeking the patronage of one or more great powers underlies the LTTE's hostility to the democratic rights of Tamils whether in the diaspora or living under the repressive regime it long maintained in the Wanni.
The bankruptcy of the LTTE's perspective and its incompatibility with the genuine democratic and egalitarian aspirations of the Tamil people have been conclusively proven. The LTTE is desperately seeking to maintain its authority through intimidation and violence. Such methods must be opposed and condemned.
All those who defend democratic rights should demand that the LTTE immediately cease its attempts to suppress political debate within the Tamil community and end all threats and harassment of SEP members and supporters.
Send letters protesting the LTTE's actions and demanding their immediate halt to:
Comité de coordination tamoul en France
341, rue des Pyrénées
75020 - Paris, France
Fax : + 33 1 435 8119
British Tamils Forum
165 The Broadway
Please also forward copies of your letters to the World Socialist Web Site.