Overseas Tigers shaken by debilitating split


Norway-based LTTE faction gains ground as Diaspora battle takes new turn

By Shamindra Ferdinando

A section of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has revolted against V. Rudrakumaran, the self-appointed Prime Minister of the organisation causing chaos among various Diaspora factions.

The rebel group consists of 34 self-styled MPs based in Australia (3), Canada (6), France (3), Germany (7), Italy (1), Denmark (3), Norway (3), Sweden (1) and UK (7).

The TGTE comprised 102 ‘MPs’ based in various parts of the world. Sources told The Island that since the conclusion of the war in May 2009, the US-based one-time legal advisor to the LTTE, Rudrakumaran had spent millions of dollars on the ‘TGTE project.’ He tried to exploit the arrest and extradition of Selvarasa Pathmanathan aka ‘KP’ to Colombo in Aug. 2009 to promote TGTE as a government in exile.

Sources based in Western Europe said that rebel ‘MPs’ of the TGTE had ignored a request by ‘Speaker’ Pon Balraj of the TGTE to reaffirm their commitment to the ‘government in exile’ by Mar. 5, 2011. Sources said that Balraj had requested rebels to get in touch with him via email at Speaker@tgte.org or Pon.balarajan@tgte.org.

The TGTE’s rebel group has already established a new political wing and aligned itself with Norway-based Perinpanayagam Sivaparan aka Nediyawan, widely believed to be Rudrakumaran’s main challenger. Sources said the split in the TGTE had strengthened Nediyawan’s efforts to oust Rudrakumaran.

Earlier the rebel group had made an abortive bid to appoint a former pro-Tiger TNA MP as the first ‘Prime Minister’ of the TGTE. Sources said that Rudrakumaran and the rebel group had been at daggers drawn over the latter’s demand to pursue the eelam project in spite of losing their conventional military capability. The rebel group had forced Rudrakumaran to display the LTTE flag at his inaugural speech as the ‘Prime Minister’ of TGTE, sources said.

The rebel group would eye young members of the Diaspora and that they had declared that they would pursue the LTTE’s original goal–a separate state for Tamils in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. They had set up a three-member executive committee to run the new party, sources said. The committee consists of three ‘MPs’ based in France, UK and Germany. Besides a nine-member committee has been formed to implement decisions taken by the executive committee, according to sources.

The TGTE rebels had alleged that a section of Rudrakumaran’s group had been influenced by the Sri Lankan Intelligence services, a charge vehemently denied by the group, sources said.

The rebel group cleverly exploited the demise of Prabhakaran’s mother to boost its popularity. Sources said that those operating in Germany had organised several meetings to honour Prabhakaran’s mother posthumously.

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