LTTE coordinator seeks lifting of ban on outfit

An affidavit by a Switzerland-based coordinator on behalf the outlawed Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) before a tribunal sought the lifting of the ban on the outfit.

The tribunal was constituted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, to examine the validity of the proscription.

Chennai-based lawyer Radhakrishnan appeared on behalf of B. Sivanesan, LTTE Coordinator, Switzerland, and presented his arguments against the continuance of the ban.

In the affidavit, Mr. Sivanesan stated that he was deputed as coordinator for taking care of migrant Sri Lankan Tamils in The Netherlands. He had filed cases in the European Union court to protect the interests of Tamils.

The LTTE had been struggling for freedom of Sri Lankan Tamils and protection of their life and property. There were no LTTE activities in India and it had no presence here. There was no need for banning the LTTE in the country. It had not received any information or summons in this connection in 2010 or 2011. The ban should be lifted, the affidavit pleaded.

Reacting to the affidavit, Justice V.K. Jain, who mans the tribunal, asked: “How do we know that Mr. Sivanesan is the LTTE Coordinator and that Mr. Radhakrishnan is his counsel?”

Mr. Radhakrishnan said that copies of Mr. Sivanesan’s passport and other details were attached with the affidavit. Moreover, Sivanesan had appointed him counsel through a letter.

Later, the judge asked whether Mr. Sivanesan would appear before the tribunal. Mr. Radhakrishnan sought time to confirm his appearance if the government gave an assurance that he will not be arrested if he came to India to appear before the tribunal.

The judge asked the Central Government’s lawyer Shanthi to respond.

The judge also heard the deposition of police officers in connection with two cases said to involve LTTE activities registered by the Chengalpet and Tiruchi police. He also heard the counter arguments of MDMK general secretary Vaiko.

CB-CID police officer G. Rangasamy said a case was filed against three persons — Chandra Kantian alias Nagarajan, Subramanian alias Mahesh, Selvaraj alias Selvam — on the charges of smuggling detonators to Sri Lanka through Rameswaram from Tiruchi.

The judge asked whether the accused had given statements before the police or a judicial officer. The officers replied that they had given statements before the police.

The judge then asked whether the police had any video footage or audio tape of the accused to establish their claim. The police officers said they did not have any records.

Chengalpet Town Station Inspector M.S. Baskaran said a case had been filed against Naam Thamizhar Movement leader Seeman. Mr. Vaiko intervened to say that Mr. Seeman had been acquitted. The police accepted it.

Earlier, the judge turned down the request of Mr. Vaiko to appear before the court as a party to the proceedings. But, he was allowed to cross-examine them through the judge. The session lasted one and half hours.

The tribunal will meet again Madurai on October 29 and in Chennai on November 3. (The Hindu)