Tamil Nadu Government warns against expressing moral support to LTTE

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 15:32 GMT]
Desperate to appease its key ally Congress in order to retain power, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government on Wednesday warned of stern action against those who expressed moral support to the Liberation Tigers. Meanwhile, Thol. Thirumavalavan, leader of the Viduthalai Chiruththaikal Kadchi (VCK, Liberation Panthers Party), on Wednesday called upon the Indian Government to wage war against Sri Lanka and said that he was prepared to face any legal action arising out of his exercising the freedom of expression.

"Any speech supporting the banned outfits or propagating their ideals is a crime under the Unlawful Prevention Act and legal action will be taken against those who indulge in such acts," Tamil Nadu Law Minister Duraimurugan told the assembly on Wednesday making a veiled reference to the LTTE.

His statement comes in the wake of the Congress demand for the arrest of Thol Thirumavalavan, President of the VCK, another DMK ally, for his speech at a public meeting last Friday where he sought the ban on LTTE to be revoked.

On Tuesday, Congress members walked out of the Tamil Nadu assembly, dissatisfied with the explanation offered by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on the LTTE issue. The DMK is 22 seats short of a simple majority in the 234 member house. The 35-member strong Congress is extending outside support.

In his suo moto statement in the assembly, Duraimurugan said that a high level meeting, headed by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was held at the Secretariat in which Finance Minister K Anbazhagan, Advocate General M Masilamani, Chief Secretary L K Tripathy and other top civil and police official were present. The meeting discussed the possibilities of bringing a new act to prevent the activities of supporters of banned organizations, but it was decided that the action would be taken under the unlawful act prevention act itself, he said.

Talking to media persons at a demonstration in Chennai on Wednesday, Thirumavalavan said that the Government of Sri Lanka was trying to prevent the implementation of the Sethu Samudram Channel Shipping Project by laying underwater mines. The GoSL is actually challenging the sovereignity of the Indian Government, and therefore India should go to war with Sri Lanka.

"If the underwater mines are not removed from the seawaters near Kadchatheevu, India should declare war on Sri Lanka," Thirumavalavan said and announced that his party would stage a demonstration opposite the Collector's Office on February 1 to stress this issue.

Noting that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had given a clear explanation to the Congress that staged a walkout from the assembly on Tuesday, Thirumavalavan said, "It is our freedom of expression to talk about the LTTE. The ban on the LTTE should be revoked and it should be recognized as a mass movement of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. This is our freedom of expression and if the law is going to punish us for the same, we are ready to face the challenge."


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