The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Country: Sri Lanka
Web Address: Eelam.com
Why they’re in the “opposition”: For the last three decades, the Tamil Tigers, as they are popularly known, have been fighting the Sri Lankan government to create an autonomous ethnic homeland. Equally well known for violent guerilla tactics, suicide bombings, and high-profile assassinations, the group is currently engaged in an all-out civil war with the government-controlled south.
Why they need a Web site: As they are on the United Nations’ list of terrorist organizations, winning positive press is an uphill battle for the Tigers. Through their official site, http://www.Eelam.com, and other independent Tamil media such as http://www.TamilNet.com, the organization has sought to convince the world of its secular political credentials. But a Human Rights Watch report in 2006 criticized the organization for taking its outreach a little too far—often pressuring or threatening members of the 800,000-strong Tamil diaspora into offering financial contributions.
The Web site itself, which dates back to at least 1997, offers the usual rebel fare: press releases, media coverage, and a somewhat dated section entitled “Freedom Struggle,” recounting the ideology behind the Tamil revolt and explaining why the Tigers are an “armed freedom movement,” not the terrorists the Sri Lankan government claims them to be.
For more recent updates from the Tamil diaspora, check out Eelam Nation.