Friday, 6 November 2015

How Global Is Global Tamil Forum?

Rajasingham Jayadevan
Rajasingham Jayadevan
My article, ‘Transparency Needed In Dealings With The GTF’ datelined October 19,2015 received considerable interests from various quarters. Most of the contacts appreciated the effort to open a debate on the issues involving the Global Tamil Forum (GTF).
Many cheers to the few hand counts for reflecting their historical personal hate in anonymity towards me. This is something I am prone to since my release from captivity from the LTTE in Vanni in 2005. Their facelessness in their harpings gives the flavour of ever progressing malady that needs to be banished with responsible debates. Whilst giving a gentle pat for the few historical hate promoters for their time and effort to gory spin anything I write, I wish their spineless hidebound hate will find its way out soon.
With earnest gratitude, I wish to thank those who provided me with well-intended information about the GTF to formulate this write up. This is a much needed initial process for the evolvement of wider democratic discussions that should lead to fearless public debates that the Tamil Diaspora is seriously lacking.
I spent greater part of my analysis herein on the information given to me by a well-intended young energetic Tamil activist of the manifold of active Tamil Diaspora, who is tirelessly working to bring the Tamil issues to the international forums. In a real sense, the GTF has hijacked the pioneering achievement of the thousands of global Tamil diaspora, whom have been flatly undermined for their narrow minded and self-centric effort.
In my previous article, I confirmed that GTF was formed with the change of name from International Federation of Tamils following the annihilation of the arms struggle of the LTTE in May 2009. Rightly, the GTF obtained its legal status with the online filing of its registration with the UK Companies House on 17 November 2009. Global Tamil Forum Ltd – a company limited by guarantee, was electronically formed on this date.

Global Tamil Forum Ltd was formed with the statement of guarantee of a single £1 subscribing membership of Nalliah Sivarasan of 66 Worcester Park Road, Worcester Park Surrey, KT4 7QD, which was the original registered office of the GTF. He was one of the British Tamil Forum (BTF) members. The Company House records confirm he was the sole director of GTF and resigned on 1 June 2013. The company did not appoint a Secretary until Allan George Pratt, stating the same address, was appointed on 10 December 2011. He resigned on 14 January 2015. According to information, A G Pratt is/was an employee of Sen Kandiah, a GTF and Labour activist whom the GTF subsequently ostracised and isolated.
The Company House search further confirms that Prakash Rajasundaram, an IT consultant and a resident of Australia was appointed as director on 1 June 2012. Instead of filing his Australian address, his residential address is stated as 14 The Glade, Croydon, England CR0 7QB which is the current registered office of GTF. My source close to the GTF queried: ‘It is not clear whether he (P Rajasundaram) has declared his directorship of GTF to his employer or his mortgage lender, which may have restrictions on being a director of an insolvent company’. With him, Velupillai Kuhanendran was appointed as director on 19 April 2012. V Kuhendran was a former member of the militant group Eelam Research Organisations.
It is an offence to file false details of the office holders with the Companies House. GTF directors and the Secretary all along have failed to disclose their private addresses in the Companies House register.
The current registered office of GTF filed with the Companies House is 4 The Glade, Croydon CR0 7QB. The company’s Standard Industrial Classification number is 94990 i.e., Activities of other membership organizations n.e.c, of even the likes of a local Caravan Club Ltd. Compared to the GTF, the national political party, the United Kingdom Independence Party – registered as a Limited Guarantee Company, of which Dr Raj Chandran is a committee member, has rightly identified its specific mission as: (94920) Activities of political organisations.
The Global Tamil Forum Ltd has adopted the standard Memorandum and Articles of Association template (model articles for private companies limited by guarantee) of the Companies House in the conduct of its business.
The Global Tamil Forum Ltd enjoyed its entitlement to exemption under section 477 of the Companies Act 2006 relating to small companies from not filing its annual Income and Expenditure accounts. The limited balance sheets and notes filed for the years ending 31 December 2010 to 31 December 2014 except for 31 December 2011 confirms that the basic figures are not flowing through and losing track. The accounts for the year ending 31 December 2011 was prepared by an independent accountancy firm Metier King & Co., Chartered Certified Accountant which gives disclosure of Income and Expenditure and Balance Sheet of the GTF. During this year, the income derived from donations, gifts and subscriptions amounted to £136,324. The expenditure over-stretched the income to £169,133 mainly spent for Internal advocacy (£20,477) and Diplomatic engagement expenses (£147,881). Most of this money was spent on a extravagant showcase event in parliament for the self-aggrandisement of Suren Surendiran rather than on advocacy work. According to disclosure, the membership liability that stood at £1 at the formation of the company went up to £10.
The Company House served notice on Global Tamil Forum Ltd on 22 March 2011 to dissolve the company. The notice was annulled on 7 April 2011 on the grounds of ‘Cause has been shown why the above company should not be struck off the register and accordingly the Registrar is taking no further action under section 1000 of the Companies Act 2006’. According to information, the striking off process was started as a result of Suren Surendran & Co attempting to undermine the name of a company formed by the BTF.
The BTF had complained to the Companies House that lead to GTF giving up its hostile effort against the BTF resulting in the withdrawal of the statutory notice. This attempt by Suren Surendran to form a company similar to BTF, compelled him to dissolve the BTF related company after striking-off threat. It was said to be an attempted back door takeover of BTF.

The present registered office 4 The Glade, Croydon CR0 7QB is a private residence said to be owned by the director V Kuhenendran’s wife and daughter. This is the GTF’s third change of registered office following non -payment of rent for their Westminster office amounting to £50,000.

What is clear from the above facts is that the GTF’s claims of sole representation of the Diaspora Tamils is not progressing to disclose the full extent of its affairs to the public and its very status of limited guarantee is an irresponsible process to cover up the facts. Its global portrayal is limited to engagement of a few hand-picked members in the expatriate community.
One source said the very survival of the activities of Suren Surendran and the GTF is greatly dependent on Fr Emanual’s engagement with the company. The much respected Fr Emanual has earned the credibility with his tireless commitment to serve the Tamil people is now being hijacked by Suren Surendran & Co. According to sources, Suren Surendran does not disclose the full extent of his activities to Fr Emanual and Fr Emanual too is not bothered to query Surendran’s behind the scene works to avoid confrontations and distraction from his commitment to serve his people.
One well informed source said Vellupillai Kuhenendran had attended an anti-holocaust event last year and his anti-comments have infuriated Jewish Cabinet Minsiters and MPs who have been vocal in their support for Tamils. Even the South African Foreign Ministry have expressed annoyance that Suren Surendran is stubbornly resisting wider Tamil engagement in the South African initiative.
A Colombo based source said the other two oxygenating valves promoting Suren Surendran is the External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and TNA’s M.A. Sumanthiran MP who are either not willing or enjoying the comfort of exclusively dealing with Surendran, without opening the channels to engage with wider Tamil interests. In that, they are failing to understand the simmering discontents that could have wider implications for the credibility of the government and the TNA. This when British politicians and the South African Foreign Ministry have expressed disappointment in its actions.