Tamil Nadu daily questions lack of solidarity from Indian opposition on ban controversy

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 October 2010, 08:21 GMT]
Dinamani, a leading newspaper in Tamil Nadu in its editorial last Friday crticised major opposition political parties in India for not voicing for the Tamil people as the judge presiding over the last three debating sessions of the Special Tribunal to examine the legality of extension of ban on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had rejected any others except the LTTE to present their case while the ban on the LTTE is continously used as a pretext to arrest Tamil activists. The paper also questioned whether the Indian government would guarantee [former] LTTE members [from other countries] to appear before the Tribunal without facing arrest in India and present their case.

English translation of Dinamani editorial follows:

After the war it waged against the Liberation Tigers Sri Lanka government had forgotten them and is preoccupied with other matters. But the Government of India continues to impose its ban on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) claiming it as a ‘terrorist’ movement. It is but reasonable to question whether its decision to continue the ban is justified.

"There has been no attacks (by LTTE) after Sri Lanka Army had announced its victory in the war against LTTE. Considering this and the fact that the LTTE is in a very weak position it appears that though the LTTE regroups to function again it is more likely for its struggle to take the form of political struggle. It is also evident that an armed struggle is not possible immediately.

Even now, all the legal actions pursued against LTTE internationally in countries like Malaysia, USA and Australia for illegal purchase of weapons, pertain to their activities prior to the war and not after it.

In this context, even if the Government of India had voluntarily withdrawn the ban there would not have been any objection to it. But the judge presiding over the last three debating sessions of the Special Tribunal, headed by a High Court Justice to examine the legality of extension of ban on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), surprisingly, had said that it is the Liberation Tigers who should present their case as the party affected by the ban.

So long as the ban remains it would be legally right for the Indian Government to arrest those entering India claiming to be LTTE persons and hand them over to Sri Lanka government. In which case how could the Liberation Tigers appear before the Special Tribune in India?

If they are expected to appear before the Special Tribune those LTTE persons should not be arrested but be allowed to go to countries they wish. How could they appear without the guarantee of their safe return, from the Indian Government?

Interior Security Department Director P. K. Misra of the Indian Central government Home Ministry had argued that the ban on LTTE should not be lifted, in the third session of the Special Tribunal held in Uthakai. He had placed two reasons in support of his argument. Firstly, there are supporters of LTTE who create problems which threaten the sovereignty of India. Secondly, 115 persons who are members of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam have relations with LTTE and some of these members have connections to Maoists in India.

One should view his argument in the light of two facts. Firstly, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam is not banned in any international country. Secondly, one should only consider the political situation after the end of the Eelam War. It would not be wise to take into account the situation before that war.

The only people to contradict the arguments of the Director of Interior Security Department and to present reasons for the demand to lift the ban are the strong political parties in India. Only their voice has the power to reach the ears of the Indian Central Government. But they chose to remain silent as if they have nothing to do with the issue; it shows their lack of love for the Tamil people.

The General Secretary of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam, Vaiko and the leader of Tamil Nationalist Movement Pazha Nedumaran had courted imprisonment for supporting LTTE in Tamil Nadu. Why should not their views on this issue be recorded as the views of the LTTE? After all they had openly supported the LTTE.

Even if it might be true that some of the LTTE members may have had relations with the Maoists that could only be the remnants of earlier links. There is no possibility of fresh relationship given the present situation in Ilangkai.

Either the ban on LTTE should be lifted and they be allowed to place their arguments or LTTE supporters be allowed to represent them. If this cannot be done the Special Tribunal and its sessions are meaningless.

One could even appreciate the justice of Sri Lanka Rajapaksa government which had forgotten the LTTE but it is impossible to understand the justice of Indian Government.”



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