III. A Culture of Fear: LTTE Intimidation, Threats, and Violence
In Sri Lanka, there is nothing scarier than being a Tamil person of influence-whether you are a teacher, a school principal, a doctor, a journalist, a politician, or a successful businessman. Ordinary Tamils have learned to keep their heads down, do exactly what their neighbors do, and not make waves. These lessons traveled with them to Toronto and London and Paris-where the LTTE and its supporters continued to take over and monopolize social structures, from refugee relief in the 1980s to newspapers, shops and temples. A few threats, a few smear campaigns, a murder or two, and the lesson is reinforced.
" In December 2005, Seyed Bazeer, a U.K.-based lawyer, was accused by an LTTE-associated website of being linked to Al-Qaeda after he had spoken publicly against LTTE killings of Muslims in eastern Sri Lanka. The website, Nitharsanam, claimed that Bazeer, a Tamil-speaking Muslim, was the U.K. representative of the Sri Lankan arm of Al-Qaeda, and was "known to incite violence by spreading Osama Bin Laden's jihad theology and ideology." The site published a photo of Bazeer and urged U.K. government action to "curb the activities of such individuals."