Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) (Sri Lanka)

Country: Sri Lanka
Details of Formation: The group was founded as a political party in 1979, and dates back to 1968 as a student group. Prior to becoming pro-Sri Lankan government it was trained and armed by the Indian army in 1987-90. The PGM was a former rebel group that fought with other Tamil groups for an independent state. In 1986 a dispute with the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) erupted and then the two groups fought violently against each other. The first evidence that TELO has become pro-government is from 1990.
Details of Termination: The leader claimed to give up arms in 1987 but evidence suggests armed activity until about 2000. When the ceasefire was signed in March 2002, it is reported that TELO had already handed over their weapons (one earlier reports claims 2000). Contrary to other groups, there are no more armed incidents reported after the ceasefire in 2002. Members were reluctant to give up their weapons due to concerns about their own protection.
Purpose: Like other Tamil groups, the PGM was used by the government to help fight the LTTE and its members helped to identify LTTE rebels and supporters.
Organisation: There is little information on how the government controlled the PGM, besides that the group cooperated with government forces. One source states that the group’s funding mainly came from criminal activities.
Weapons and Training: Members were trained by Indian intelligence and also received weapons from India before the group became pro-government. Sources state that the government did not authorise their weapons. Weapons included revolvers, guns and explosives.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: According to sources, ideology was not a strong incentive for membership, although the goal upon formation was an independent Tamil state (which became more moderate later).
Treatment of Civilians: Attacks by the group resulted in the death and injury of civilians. It took hostages and was accused of human rights abuses.
Other Information: The group collected 'ransom' from businessmen and is still active as a party today. Prior to becoming pro-government, the group worked with the LTTE, but disagreements led to conflict between the two. The PGM also faced internal divisions, leading to a split in the group.
References: PGMD

Stanford. “Mapping Militant Organizations. Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization” http://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/print_view/503

Wikipedia. “Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_Eelam_Liberation_Organization