Don't listen to those other comments about LTTE being cruel, because that is not true.
LTTE stands for Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam. They started in 1970s as a small group of Tamils (a minority people living in Sri Lanka nowadays). The main reason for the etablishment of this milita was that the SLA (Sri Lankan Army) was slaughtering Tamils. Government favoured the Sinhalees. Also Muslims rights were neglected. Tamils couldn't get a proper job in the government. The goverment threated Muslims and Tamils as inferior beings.
But things changed as LTTE were formed. They, in the beginning, had no weapons. But as time went they got their hands on military storage of weapons and explosives. LTTE started recruiting members. They became great. Got support from the remaining Tamil people. LTTE fought against the SLA which had more advanced weapons and tanks. Even the advantage LTTE managed to gain territories back. The territories that were stolen by the Sinhalese. And today they have almost got 45 % of the land mass. But still there are areas that still belongs to Tamils but controllen by SLA. As of today, 21 feb 2006, there is a temprorary peace threaty agreed by both parts.
As of the ban in countries like Great Britain and USA; USA is paranoid after the 9/11 attacks which had nothing to do with LTTE. LTTE has no connection to terrorist networks like Al-qaeda. And yes LTTE does recruit children, but NOT as soldiers but to work with papers and other kind of thing. These children either lost their close ones or family in SLA flight attacks or in the war. So the have nowere to go so they join LTTE by THEIR OWN WILL. In LTTE they get proper education, food and clothes.
There are many Sinhalese people who acknowledge the Tamils. They know that Tamils got their rights too. This was confirmed during the 2005 tsunami when Tamils and Sinhalese helped each other. Only the government laid a block on the borders so the redcross aid couldn't get to the Tamil areas which were hit worst by the tsunami.
The LTTE is a group fighting for freedom for Muslims and Tamils in Sri Lanka.