Today's Paper

LTTE still most lethal: tribunal

J. Venkatesan

Upholds ban imposed by Centre

New Delhi: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam continues to be an extremely potent, most lethal and well-organised terrorist force in Sri Lanka and has strong connections in Tamil Nadu and certain pockets of southern India, a tribunal said.

The tribunal, set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, was upholding the ban imposed on the outfit by the Centre on May 14, 2008.

Justice Vikramajit Sen of the Delhi High Court, who was on the tribunal, agreed with the Centre’s submissions that “the LTTE continues to use Tamil Nadu as the base for carrying out smuggling of essential items like petrol and diesel, besides drugs, to Sri Lanka.”

The Centre was represented by Additional Solicitor-General P.P. Malhotra, and Tamil Nadu by counsel S. Thananjayan. The LTTE was not represented by counsel.

It was submitted that Kalpakkam and Kudankulam, where nuclear plants are in existence, were proximate to LTTE bases in Sri Lanka. “The Government of India is apprehensive that unless the ban on the LTTE continues, acts of aggression on Indian soil are likely to occur.”

The judge also noted that the LTTE leaders had been cynical of India’s policy on their organisation and action of the state machinery in curbing its activities. Further, according to the submissions, enquiries on the activities of LTTE cadres/dropouts who had recently been traced in Tamil Nadu suggested that they would ultimately be utilised by the outfit for unlawful activities.

The tribunal said stress was laid on the fact that V. Prabakaran, leader of the LTTE, and his intelligence chief Pottu Amman, wanted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, were still absconding and declared proclaimed offenders.

The tribunal took into consideration the submission that “the LTTE will continue to remain a strong terrorist movement and stimulate the secessionist sentiments to enhance its support base in Tamil Nadu as long as Sri Lanka continues to remain in a state of ethnic strife torn by the demand for Tamil Eelam which finds a strong echo in Tamil Nadu due to the linguistic, cultural, ethnic and historical affinity between the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka.”

The judge said: “Each of the submissions is fortified by instances and documents. Examples have also been given of the cases which were registered earlier and are still alive, and in many cases some of the LTTE cadres and members of the Tamilar Pasarai, the Tamil National Retrieval Troops and the Tamil Nadu Liberation Army, who are accused in these cases, are at large and efforts are on to secure them.”

“In the absence of any representation from the LTTE, the entire material placed by the Central government as well as the State government including deposition of their witnesses remains un-rebutted and is taken as having been proved.”

The LTTE was first banned in India following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

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