An independent tribunal in the UK has ordered the British Home Office to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
The LTTE was proscribed in the UK in 2001.
In 2019, the Tran-snational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) officially requested the British Home Office to lift the ban, claiming that the proscription of the LTTE was misperceived as a ban on advocacy for the establishment of a sovereign state of ‘Tamil Eelam’ and had a “chilling effect” on people’s participation in TGTE work towards that goal.
The Home Office refused to lift the ban on the LTTE noting that it had been reported in 2018 that the Sri Lankan police had arrested persons transporting explosive devices and LTTE paraphernalia including flags. The TGTE challenged the refusal before an independent tribunal especially constituted under the UK Terrorism Act called the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission (POAC). The tribunal is vested with powers to order the British Government to lift bans on proscribed organisations. In its decision, the tribunal said the Home Office decision was “flawed” and allowed the TGTE appeal.
The appeal was filed on behalf of the TGTE members by Prof. Conor Gearty of Matrix Chambers and the London School of Economics.