Govt extends ban on LTTE by 5 more yrs

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Tuesday issued a notification extending the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) — a militant outfit that fought for Tamil independence in Sri Lanka until its defeat in 2009 — for five more years. It said LTTE’s continued violent and disruptive activities are prejudicial to the integrity and sovereignty of the nation.

India had banned the LTTE after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. The ban on the group was last extended for five years in 2014. The LTTE, a terror outfit based in Sri Lanka, came up in 1976 with a demand for a separate homeland [Tamil Eelam] for Tamilians.

“LTTE continues to adopt an anti-India posture which is posing a grave threat to the livelihood of Indian nationals. Therefore, it is essential to declare the LTTE as an unlawful association. LTTE supporters are spreading articles on internet saying that India is the reason for the defeat of LTTE in 2009. As the diaspora is speculating their articles against India amongst the Sri Lankan Tamils, is likely to impact Very Very Important Persons (VVIP) security adversely in India,” a notification issued by the MHA stated.

The ban has been extended under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the MHA said.

Even after its military defeat in May, 2009 in Sri Lanka, LTTE has not abandoned the concept of “Eelam” and has been clandestinely working towards this cause by undertaking fund raising and propaganda activities, and the remnant LTTE leaders or cadres have also initiated efforts to regroup the scattered activists and resurrect the outfit locally and internationally, the home ministry claimed.

Meanwhile, filmmaker Va Gowthaman, who runs ‘Tamil Perarasu Katchi,’ a Tamil nationalist outfit has called the Centre’s ban an injustice. “LTTE is not against India…,” he said.

First Published: May 15, 2019 01:47 IST

Updated: May 15, 2019 — 2:31 am