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Fr. Emmanuel's snub, a major setback to LTTE front

Fr. Emmanuel's snub, a major setback to LTTE front

Author: Manjula Fernando
Publication: Sundayobserver.lk
Date: October 6, 2011
URL: http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2011/10/16/sec01.asp

International observers say that India's denial of entry to Fr. S.J. Emmanuel, a leading propagandist for the LTTE, could be viewed as a major setback for the outfit's attempt to regroup using Tamil Nadu as a base.

Fr. Emmanuel is the President of the UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a leading LTTE front.

A diplomatic source told the Sunday Observer from Canada that the vociferous LTTE activist who is allegedly a de-facto LTTE leader working through humanitarian and religious fronts collects funds to revive the LTTE. He said Fr. Emmanuel was in Canada on a fund raising mission last month. "He was in Canada and Europe to raise funds and mobilise pro LTTE groups to brush up the anti- Sri Lankan propaganda in the Western world."

Pro-LTTE websites were the first to report the incident where Fr. Emmanuel was refused entry at the Chennai airport. He was allegedly on his way to deliver a lecture. Due to the refusal to grant landing permission he had to return to Dubai, his point of transit.He is alleged to have possessed a multiple entry visa issued by the Indian High Commission in Germany at the time of his landing in Chennai. In spite of this he was stopped at the immigration counter and sent back.

According to pro-LTTE websites which criticised the Indian action, Fr. Emmanuel had visited India last year to participate in several meetings.

This time he was due to meet the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram and attend other events including seminars at the Chennai University and Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

The diplomatic sources said Fr. Emmanuel who glorified suicide bombers as martyrs, is also spearheading the human rights' campaign against Sri Lanka. The moderate diaspora sections have questioned his role in radicalising another generation of Tamil youth by his preachings and lectures overseas.Although he collected millions of dollars by way of donations from church leaders, he had allegedly not spent even a cent to help in the resettlement, rehabilitation and reintegration of former LTTE cadres. The donors have thus begun to press him to account for these funds given for development, the sources said.

In a recent interview with AP Fr. Emmanuel denied that the LTTE was trying to re-group, calling the claim a ploy of the Sri Lankan Government.

The diplomat said this was a futile attempt by Fr. Emmanuel to whitewash the LTTE, given that many Governments including the Netherlands were making headway in investigations and court cases against LTTE activists, accused of criminal activities and extortion charges.

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