Significant in the wake of Centre extending ban on LTTE

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Sunday met DMK president M. Karunanidhi, a key ally of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, at the latter’s CIT Colony residence here.

The 20-minute-long meeting assumes significance in the wake of the Centre extending the ban on the LTTE and at a time when the DMK is gearing up to hold a conference of the ‘Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation’ here on August 12.

Mr. Karunanidhi has revived TESO, a forum he had started in the mid-1980s, with a view to raising support for the ‘Tamil Eelam’ cause. His view is that the creation of a separate ‘Tamil Eelam’ alone can put an end to the ordeal of Sri Lankan Tamils.

The extension of the ban, the second since the LTTE was decimated in 2009 and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed, has raised many an eyebrow in DMK circles, party sources said.

“Mr Chidambaram came to explain the reasons behind the ban, since we are making preparation for the TESO conference,” the sources said.

The Union Home Ministry, in its latest order extending the ban up to May 31, 2014, said the LTTE, “continues to adopt a strong anti-India posture and poses a grave threat to the security of Indian citizens.”

“LTTE's objective for a separate homeland (Tamil Eelam) for all Tamils threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and amounts to cession from the Union and thus falls within the ambit of unlawful activities,” the notification said.

The LTTE was first banned in May 1992, a year after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperumbudur. Since then, the ban, declaring the LTTE as an “unlawful organisation” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, has been routinely extended every two years.

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