Lift ban on LTTE: VCK to Centre

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LTTE

Chennai, Jan 27: At a time when political parties in Tamil Nadu were making a hue and cry over the alleged infiltration of LTTE activities into the State, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), an ally of the DMK-led DPA, has urged the Centre to lift the ban on the proscribed outfit.

An unanimous resolution to this effect was adopted at the end of a one-day rally-cum-conference on 'Rights of Freedom of Expression' organised by the VCK here, in which some of the Sri Lankan MPs participated.

The VCK, a known supporter of the banned outfit, also wanted the international community to recognise LTTE as a ''democratic movement fighting for Liberation of Sri Lankan Tamils, who were subjected to torture and harassment for more than five decades by the successive racist Sinhala regimes.'' Asserting that LTTE was the lone beacon of hope for the Lankan Tamils, the resolution appealed to the international community to lift all sanctions against the outfit, while demanding the Indian Government to revoke the ban on LTTE.

Claiming that his campaign for the LTTE had public support, VCK President Thol Thirumavalavan said everyone had their right to express their views under Article 19(1) of the Constitution. ''The rally was to express our support to the LTTE and Tamil Eelam'', he added. ''If you have the right to say there is God, we have the right to say no God. And if you have the right to say ''no'' to Eelam, we have the right to say ''yes'','' he said, and recalled that though the LTTE was banned in several countries, the Tamils in those countries were allowed to stage rallies in support of the LTTE.

Citing an instance, he said Tamils in Canada sang the Canadian National Anthem alongside the Anthem of Tigers, which was allowed there.

''But in India we are not able to speak our mind. We are prevented from expressing our views, which is nothing but discrimination against Dalits,'' he bemoaned and justified Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi penning a poem mourning the killing of LTTE Political Wing leader S P Thamilchelvan.

In an apparent dig at Congress criticism against LTTE, he also pointed out to AICC President Sonia Gandhi recommending commuting of capital punishment to Nalini, one of the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The organisation of the rally-cum-conference by the VCK, a Dailt outfit, and passing a resolution virtually ''hailing'' the LTTE, would certainly raise several eyebrows in the political circles. Congress, also a constituent of the DPA, had been shouting from rooftops opposing any form or rally or meeting in support of the LTTE and were also demanding a ban on parties supporting the banned outfit, responsibile for the killing of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and its Chief V Prabhakaran declared as a proclaimed offender in the case.

The VCK virtually had the police on tenterhooks when it attempted to erect a cutout of LTTE Supremo V Prabhakaran as part of the rally.

But, the police managed to convince them citing the prevailing political situation and persuaded them not to do so.

In a bid to smoothen the ruffled feathers of Congress in the wake of parties organising condolence meetings to mourn the killing of Mr Thamilchelvan, the Government issued an advertisement warning stern action against such parties.

A soulful poem penned by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi after Mr Thamilchelvan's death also drew criticism from the Congress.

With the State Assembly in Session, the Congress and the main Opposition AIADMK, which too was targeting the DMK Government on the issue and demanding its dismissal, were certain to rake up the issue in the House, causing more headaches and embarrassment to the DMK Government.

UNI

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