More than two and half years after the military defeat of Tiger guerillas, four French stamps in honour of the LTTE’s slain leader Velupillai Prabhakaran have been released at the behest of pro-LTTE groups.
His photograph is on one of the four stamps issued. Others include a map of so-called Eelam, the rising sun flag with a tiger emblazoned and a “national flower” used by the LTTE.
The move has drawn angry response from the Ministry of External Affairs in Colombo. Its Public Communications Director General Sarath Dissanayake said the government would make a strong protest. As a prelude, he said, the Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris had been asked for a full report on the matter. The stamp can be officially made use for postal services and the event was given wide publicity by pro-LTTE groups in France.
A French embassy spokesperson said, “It is a sensitive issue and therefore we cannot comment on the matter.” In 2006, LTTE front groups in Canada made an attempt to issue similar stamps, but authorities prevented it as the LTTE had been declared as a terrorist organization.