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Centre's ban on LTTE justified: M K Narayanan

Written by: Staff

Chennai, Aug 9: Ruling out any direct Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan issue, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan today justified the Centre's ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE).

''We regard the LTTE as a dangerous organisation and hence the ban on it. I don't think the Centre has any doubt on the ban imposed on the outfit,'' he told reporters here in response to a query on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's recent remark in the State Assembly that the ban on the LTTE was debatable.

Mr Narayanan was here as the Prime Minister's special envoy to apprise Mr Karunanidhi about recent discussions held between Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and the Centre on the situation prevailing in the island nation.

He said the Centre had explained to the Lankan Minister India's position on restoring the safety and security of Tamils in Sri Lanka and to make a distinction between the LTTE and the Eelam Tamils.

''My mission was to brief the Chief Minister on the meeting,'' he said after calling on Mr Karunanidhi at the Secretariat here.

Mr Narayanan also ruled out any change in the country's foreign policy, stating that there was a ''complete unanimity'' between the Centre and the states on the matter.

Mr Narayanan said India was not directly intervening in the Lankan issue but was extending all possible cooperation. ''India is an important factor in the thinking of Sri Lankan Government. They are very sensitive to the issue and have agreed to go ahead with devolution of powers to the Eelam Tamils,'' he added. Stating that the Lankan Government had problems in dealing with the LTTE, he reiterated that India would not get involved in the matter given the past experience.

''There is no possibility of India's direct involvement in the issue. But as India is a big country, its persuasion is important that everybody, including the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission, talk to us,'' he added.

Mr Narayanan also ruled out any LTTE threat in Tamil Nadu. ''I don't think they will plan a threat as they would like to have the support of India to some extent,'' he said.

On reports about infiltration of terrorists into India's armed forces, Mr Narayanan said the National Security Coucil Secretariat had done a study on jehadi terrorist groups and came out with a 40-page report.

Stating that the report was shared with all the Chief Ministers as it was very important, he said new techniques that had been employed by the Lakshar-e-Taiba was also mentioned in the report.

''The LeT is now recruiting educated people and there is unconfirmed information about their attempts to infiltrate into Armed forces,'' he said.

However, the Air Force had made a thorough internal inquiry and reported that no penetration of terrorists had taken place, he added.


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