OXFORD’S Tamil community has vowed to continue fundraising despite fears that the Sri Lankan government is spying on them.

Last month, Oxford Tamil Society held what was believed to be one of Britain’s first fundraising events to help an estimated 260,000 refugees in the war-torn country.

Dr Kannaiyan Rabindra-nath said Tamils had been reluctant to organise and publicise events as they believed the Sri Lankan government, dominated by the Sinhalese ethnic group, was monitoring the Internet and the news.

He said Tamils in Britain, including an estimated 1,000 in Oxfordshire, were worried about being identified as having raised money for humanitarian causes.

In May, the Tamil Tiger rebels were defeated after a 26-year civil war to create an ethnic Tamil homeland Dr Rabindranath, 35, who lives in Witney and works in the renal unit at the Churchill Hospital, said: “This was one of the first fundraising events for the Sri Lanka Tamils in the UK.

“Everyone’s worried about collecting money for Sri Lanka.

“People feel if they give money to support Sri Lanka the information will get back to the government and there could be reprisals.

“Most of the money supporting the Tamil Tigers comes from Tamils in Europe, but no-one really wants to be associated with these things.”

Dr Rabindranath, a Tamil of Indian origin from Madras, believes the society’s Yahoo email account was hacked into by spies earlier this year.

The society raised £400 from a recent evening of South Asian music at Eynsham village hall, which was attended by more than 150 people.

In all, the society has raised £700 for the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, which is working in refugee camps on the island.

If you would like to make a donation towards the society’s £1,000 target, email samuelrabi@hotmail.com