Madras High Court upholds ban on LTTE

Tuesday, 2 July 2013 00:08 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday (1 July) had upheld the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) between 2010 and 2012 and it has been renewed till 2014. Earlier, the Chief of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Vaiko had challenged the ban that was upheld by the Unlawful Activities Tribunal in Chennai. Vaiko said that the ban was illegal because the objective of LTTE of building an independent nation for Tamils in the island did not pose any threat to the territorial integrity of India. Vaiko told the reporters that he would continue to fight and the basis of the ban would be crumbled. “The earlier writ petition has been dismissed, orders have been confirmed but my present writ petition is pending. In due course of time, it will also be heard and the basis of the ban will definitely be crumbled because this is not true that they want to annex a part of Tamil Nadu and we have placed the arguments. I will continue it and the UPA government headed by Congress is betraying the Tamils,” said Vaiko. The LTTE is on US, EU and Indian militancy lists and is fighting to create a separate Tamil homeland in northern Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Tamils complain of decades of marginalisation by successive governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority. The 30-year-long civil war between the Government and the Tamil Tiger rebels who at one time controlled large swathes of the north of the island state is estimated to have left tens of thousands of people dead or injured. Rights groups said that the Sri Lankan military killed thousands of ethnic minority Tamil civilians in the shrinking territory held by rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) just before their defeat in May 2009. An expert panel set up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had said the army committed large-scale abuses and as many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the last months of the conflict. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Government had rejected the allegations and said that its forces never targeted civilians. A key regional ally pulled out of India’s ruling coalition in March in protest against the Government’s position on a US-backed United Nations resolution on war crimes carried out during Sri Lanka’s civil war. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is based in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, and has often pressured the Indian Government to do more to protect Sri Lanka’s minority Tamil population. Sri Lanka’s war has presented a difficult balancing act for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Government, which has designated the LTTE a militant group but also counts Tamil politicians among its political allies. International investigators, whose findings have been rejected by the Sri Lankan authorities, have said the army committed large-scale abuses and was responsible for many civilian deaths in the final stages of the war. The International Commission of Jurists said that the failure to submit those abuses and others committed by the Tigers to a court was a symptom of the overall lack of accountability in the country, where rights groups say abductions and attacks on media are also common.