A pensioner faces arrest after launching a political party linked to a banned terrorist organisation from his Purley Way headquarters.

The Electoral Commission has removed the People’s Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT) from its register while it investigates its links to the Sri Lankan terrorist group the Tamil Tigers.

Group leader Nadarajah Balasubramaniam, 69, plans to field candidates from his party in upcoming council and national elections, despite the Tigers being listed as a proscribed party under the Terrorism Act.

In an exclusive interview with the Croydon Guardian Mr Balasubramaniam, who calls himself Bala, defended the Tigers’ use of suicide bombing.

The former post office clerk from Thornton Heath said he chose Lombard Business Park in Purley Way for his party’s base as it had 24-hour security.

Mr Balasubramaniam hopes holding debates will raise awareness about the genocide he said occurred when Sri Lankan troops wiped out the Tamil Tiger army last year.

He said: “The arguments are all in our favour – the Tigers are real freedom fighters and it is wrong to brand them as terrorists.”

The Tamil Tigers became notorious for suicide bombings, recruiting child soldiers and massacring civilians during more than 30 years of civil war, until they were defeated by the Sri Lankan army last May.

Mr Balasubramaniam said he had been involved with the Tamil struggle for a separate state in the north and east of Sri Lanka since he was 15, but said he had never thrown a bomb or taken part in violence.

He said: “I don’t know if we will win any seats but we are in a good position to get our message across.

“The Tamil Tigers were accepted by the people. Even the suicide bombings were accepted by the public. Those pictures of children with guns were just propaganda.

“Boys voluntarily came and joined the Tigers, but they were just given an education.”

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission, which is in charge of registering political parties in the UK said: “The group was registered with us as a political party on February 10 this year.

“On March 19 we were made aware of comments in the press attributed to the party leader, saying it was a continuation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a proscribed organisation.

“We have temporarily removed them from the register while we investigate this.”