Ahead of TN polls, Vaiko bats for LTTE in court | india | Hindustan Times
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Ahead of TN polls, Vaiko bats for LTTE in court

india Updated: Sep 21, 2010 23:20 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
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Ahead of the Tamil Nadu assembly polls MDMK leader Vaiko is seeking to uplift the ban on a terrorist organisation before a court of law.

Vaiko, who has a long history of support for the Tamil Tigers, appeared before special tribunal, headed by Delhi High Court Justice Vikramjit Sen, here on Tuesday. He pleaded

for lifting the ban on the LTTE but the judge asked him, “how can you appear for the organisation of which you are not a member nor part of its organisation?”

Vaiko said though he was not a member of the LTTE he was pleading on its behalf because the Centre had cited his utterances in the May 14 order, extending the ban for another two years. But the counsel for the DMK government in Tamil Nadu vehemently opposed Vaiko, saying he had no legal right to speak for the LTTE.

The tribunal declined Vaiko’s plea to hear him before passing any order while fixing Friday for further proceeding in the matter.

Vaiko’s appearance is seen as the first sign of the state politics heating up over the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils living in camps since the LTTE was vanquished in May 2009. The MDMK chief is arguing for lifting the ban saying the LTTE alone was the voice of suffering Tamils since the war got over.

Countering his critics, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has been pressing the Centre to influence Colombo to speed up rehabilitation of 50,000 Tamils living in camps since the war got over. India’s foreign secretary Nirupama Rao visited Sri Lanka to discuss the issue a few days ago.

The ban on the Tamil Tigers was first imposed in 1992. It has been extended after every two years.