Editorial

Where was the UK Mission looking?

Summary

It seems obvious that both ministry and mission have taken the proverbial eye off the ball. You do that with such outfits at great risk, as history has shown many times.

Terrorist flags, all

Britain’s Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission has found that the Home Office decision to keep the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) proscribed as a terrorist organization was flawed and unlawful.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the proscription will be lifted. The decision is based essentially on a technicality, that of the Proscription Review Group not attaching the minutes of the PRG meeting to the submission made by officials to the Secretary of State.

Pro-LTTE groups are naturally pleased, hail this as a victory and talk of imminent proscription-lifting.

Our issue is not with such people. Those in denial about what happened will continue to dream. If it’s a vocation, is a large piece of remaining relevant and is necessary to validate the obtaining of residency based on persecution claims, then this is understandable.

We do have an issue with the UK. That country names the LTTE as a terrorist organization, but during the conflict has in practice granted parity of status to it vis-a-vis the Sri Lankan state. Britain’s position on Sri Lanka, moreover has consistently coincided with that of pro-LTTE groups.

Our main issue is with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sri Lankan mission in the UK.

We are not sure what the procedural restrictions are but most certainly these entities can liaise with the British Foreign Office, keep it informed and updated about the various activities of pro-LTTE groups. They have histories. They have ‘currency.’ Such things should be at the fingertips of those in the Ministry and the UK mission.

It seems obvious that both ministry and mission have taken the proverbial eye off the ball. You do that with such outfits at great risk, as history has shown many times.

There’s a lesson here. Let us hope it is learnt.

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