Support Tamil people’s right to self-determination

by PILC

Support Tamil people’s right to self-determination

by PILC
PILC
Case Owner
PILC exists to challenge systemic injustice. We hold government and public bodies to account and promote access to justice for marginalised communities.
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தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் மீதான ஐக்கிய இராச்சியத் தடையை அகற்றுவதற்கான நாடுகடந்த தமிழீழ அரசாங்கத்தின் நடவடிக்கை

We are members of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) appealing against the Home Secretary's decision to keep the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the list of proscribed organisations. 

Donate now and share our appeal with friends, family and colleagues so that Tamil people regain the right to assemble, speak freely and self-determine.

Our case will be heard by the Proscribe Organisations Appeal Commission in March 2024. We need £10,000 to ensure that our legal team has the funds it requires to put the best case forward to the Commission and overturn this unjust ban. 

This case is not only significant for Tamil refugees living in the UK but also other Tamils in Europe and beyond because other jurisdictions are following the lead of the British government

Background

Tamil people in the UK have been severely affected by the proscription of the LTTE simply because they share the ethnicity or the political aspirations - the right to self-determination of the Tamil people (though not the violent methods). We have been prevented from displaying national symbols (e.g. flags) as ours are often mistaken for LTTE symbols, leading to questioning by the police and wrongful arrests of peaceful demonstrators. Disproportionate interference by the Police has been raised in Parliament for over a decade and they have produced a wider chilling effect on community organising amongst Tamil people.

Venues frequently refuse to host meetings of Tamil community groups. Problems of this sort have been raised by MPs in Parliament for over a decade.

Legal Case

On 7 December 2018, members of the TGTE made an application to the Home Secretary for the LTTE to be removed from the list of organisations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000. The Application was refused on 8 March 2019. The TGTE appealed that decision and, on 21 October 2020, the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission found that the Home Secretarys assessment of the LTTE lacked in reasoning, prompting a reconsideration by the Home Secretary. Regrettably, the Home Secretary maintained their decision, which is the subject of our appeal.

We are arguing against the Home Secretary’s decision on four grounds:

  • Ground 1: The decision is unlawful as the LTTE is no longer an ‘organisation’ capable of being subject to proscription

  • Ground 2: The decision is unlawful as there is insufficient evidence to form a reasonable belief that the LTTE is concerned in terrorism

  • Ground 3: The Home Secretary’s exercise of her discretion to maintain proscription was irrational

  • Ground 4: The decision is unlawful as it constitutes a disproportionate interference with our clients’ rights under Article 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, i.e. Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly.

Disproportionate interference by the Police has produced a wider chilling effect on community organising amongst Tamil people.

Impact on the Tamil Community

  • The designation of LTTE as a terrorist organisation particularly in the western world has been instrumental in allowing the Sri Lankan government to maintain the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in spite of calls by the UN Human Rights Counsel and other prominent nongovernmental international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc under the guise of “countering terrorism”.

  • The designation of LTTE as a terrorist organisation in the western world contributes to the subjugation of the Tamils in the form of torture, sexual violence, enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrest and detention under the guise of “countering terrorism”.

  • The designation of LTTE as a terrorist organisation in the western world contributes to the abuse of UN Security Resolution 1373 by the Sri Lankan state blacklisting 18 organizations and 522 individuals under the guise of “countering terrorism”.

  • The designation of LTTE as a terrorist organisation has a chilling effect on the TGTE’s political campaign for freedom and self-determination since the political goals of the LTTE and the TGTE are the same namely the establishment of an independent state with respect to freedom of speech and freedom of association.

  • The designation of LTTE as a terrorist organisation denigrates the Tamils quest for an independent state based on remedial justice, self-determination, and reversion to sovereignty.

  • The designation of LTTE as a terrorist organisation stigmatises the Tamil people.

Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly are fundamental pillars of a just and democratic society. 

Donate now and share our appeal with friends, family and colleagues so that Tamil people regain the right to assemble, speak freely and self-determine.

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