Centre extends LTTE ban by 5 years; terms it threat to India

The 23-year-old ban imposed on terror group LTTE has been extended by five years by the government which said the outfit is a threat to India’s sovereignty and integrity.

The home ministry said the LTTE, even after its military defeat in May 2009 in Sri Lanka, has not abandoned the concept of ‘Eelam’ and has been clandestinely working towards the ‘Eelam’ cause by undertaking fund raising and propaganda activities. LTTE, which was behind the assassination of prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, has been banned since 1991.

The remnant LTTE leaders or cadres have also initiated efforts to regroup the scattered activists and resurrect the outfit locally and internationally, it said in a notification issued on Wednesday.

The government feared that the separatists Tamil chauvinist groups and pro-LTTE groups continue to foster a separatist tendency among the masses and enhance the support base for LTTE in India and particularly in Tamil Nadu.

‘The diaspora continue to spread through articles in the internet portals, anti-India feeling among the Sri Lankan Tamils by holding the government of India responsible for the defeat of the LTTE. Such propaganda through internet, is likely to impact VVIP security adversely in India,’ the notification said

The home ministry said the government of India is of the opinion that LTTE is an ‘unlawful association’ and there is a need to control such separatist activities by all possible means.

‘The activities of the LTTE cadres, sympathisers in Tamil Nadu suggest that the cadres would ultimately be utilised by the LTTE for unlawful activities. It has come to the notice of the government of India that despite the ban in force, attempts have been made by pro-LTTE organisations and individuals to extend their support to the LTTE,’ the notification said.

The government, under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, has proscribed the LTTE as an ‘Unlawful Association’, it said.

‘The declaration of LTTE as an ‘Unlawful Association’ has been extended for a further period of five years with effect from 14 May, 2014,’ the notification said.

LTTE, which came up in 1976, was based in northern Sri Lanka and fought for creation of an independent Tamil state in the north and east of that country. It was decimated by the Sri Lankan military in 2009.

Thousands of people were killed during the bloody movement launched by LTTE under the leadership of Velupillai Prabhakaran, who was also killed in the fight with the Sri Lankan Army in 2009.

It had carried out the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and Sri Lanka’s President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993.
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