Controversy erupts over plans to build monument for dead LTTE cadres

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London


A simmering dispute has surfaced amongst the Tamil community in the UK over controversial moves to build a monument in memory of dead LTTE cadres.

An organisation called the World Tamil Historical Society acquired a 24-acre land from Oxfordshire spending over 1.4 million Sterling Pounds to make this project a reality.

However, some Tamils are vehemently opposing this initiative saying the organization should help the Tamil people in Sri Lanka who suffered as a result of the war, rather than spending a substantial amount of money merely to build a monument.

According to a Tamil source in London, former LTTE cadres, who have now been rehabilitated in Sri Lanka, are accusing the Tamil Diaspora of collecting money using their names without supporting them to lead normal lives.

The land in Oxfordshire is in the British Green Belt and no constructions are permitted without the approval of the council. Under these circumstances, it is highly unlikely the local authorities will give the green light for a monument to be built, the source pointed out.

Former LTTE theoretician, the late Anton Balasingham’s wife Adele has also accused the World Tamil Historical Society of misleading the Tamil community.

In a press release issued in London last week, Adele said, "It has come to my attention recently that persons belonging to an organisation called the World Tamil Historical Society, otherwise known as ‘Headquarters’, claim possession of my beloved husband Anton Balasingham’s cremation ashes. These persons have also announced that the urn containing his so-called ashes will be interred in Oxford, England, and that a monument will be built in his memory at that designated location.

"My husband’s cremated ashes were given to me two days after his funeral, and in accordance with his deepest wishes I dispersed his ashes amongst the flower beds, under huge yew trees, in the gentle waters of a rippling brook, and amongst the undergrowth of trees where squirrels played and frolicked.

"The possession and dispersal of his cremated remains rests and rested entirely with me as his sole survivor, and not with anybody else."

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