2ND LEAD (Update)

Tamil Nadu police detaining leader of May 17 Movement condemned in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 August 2018, 21:43 GMT]
Thirumurugan Gandhi of May 17 Movement, who has been in Europe for almost three months closely working with Eezham Tamil diaspora and exiled Sinhala activists in Europe, was detained twice in India this week when he returned home from Europe. The right of Tamil Nadu activist is being oppressed in his own country because he was standing up for the rights of Eezham Tamils and other oppressed nations, said Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, the president of Tamil National Peoples Front. The TNPF organised a protest to raise awareness on the matter among Eezham Tamils in front of the bus stand in the city of Jaffna on Friday.

Describing Thirumurugan Gandhi as a true internationalist, Mr Gajendrakumar said it was the duty of Eezham Tamils to stand by him, his organisation, the May 17 Movement, and all those who work with him.

“While our own elected representatives were essentially doing the bidding for the foreign governments and not for their people who elected them, activists like Thirumugan Gandhi went to Geneva and exposed the resolutions that were being passed. Those resolutions were passed, using the genocide and war crimes committed upon the Eezham Tamil people, for the benefit of those countries that were trying to bring a political situation favourable to them in Sri Lanka,” Mr Gajendrakumar further observed.

Thirumurugan went to Germany and Switzerland providing solidarity to 12 Eezham Tamil activists, who were facing the biggest case ever done by the Swiss public prosecutor for having supported the LTTE before 2009.

There was massive pressure from the Government of Sri Lanka through its Ambassador in Germany/Switzerland. There were also other countries, tagging behind the US bandwaganism, which were influencing the Swiss prosecutor to open up the investigations against the Eezham Tamil activists.

It was a political battle waged in the courts, and finally the Tamils won the case.

While in Europe, Thirumurugan was also engaged in making awareness on the injustices being committed against the people in Tamil Nadu in violation of their fundamental rights, especially in the aftermath of Thooththukkudi (Tuticorin) massacre on 22 May.

Thirumurugan has also been an outspoken critic of the BJP and its Hindutva-oriented politics.

In the meantime, a section of intellectuals exiled from Tamil Eelam to Tamil Nadu in the past has been engaging with the foreign intelligence agency of India. The trend has become visible in their public addresses as well as ‘instructions’ going to the activists on the island as well as in the Tamil diaspora. The message coming from them was that New Delhi, based on its strategic interests, would turn against the Sri Lankan Establishment and Eezham Tamils have to wait and be hesitant about joining hands with struggling masses in Tamil Nadu.

Informed Tamil diaspora activists told TamilNet that Indian intelligence attachés at the Indian missions in several European countries have been seeking contacts and off-the-record meetings with ex-LTTE associated personalities, particularly those who lack ideological commitment.

“Thirumurugan's interactions with ideology-centred Tamil diaspora personalities who would not easily succumb to the manipulations and influences of the intelligence wings of the West as well as that of India, seem to have irked the New Delhi Establishment,” a key activist in Switzerland told TamilNet.

Thirumurugan was arrested in Bangalore earlier this week and handed over to Tamil Nadu Police. But, Chaithaap-peaddai (Saidapet) Court refused to detain him and released him. But, the Tamil Nadu police detained him later in the day without a valid arrest warrant.

Tamil Nadu Police detained Thirumurugan Gandhi also last year in May 2017, and it is widely believed that the detention came following the instructions from the New Delhi Establishment.



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