The Narendra Modi government has extended the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for five years with immediate effect. The Union Home Ministry issued a notification on Tuesday in this regard.
According to the notification, the ban has been extended under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The notification stated that the LTTE’s continued violent and disruptive activities are prejudicial to the integrity and sovereignty of India. The group continues to adopt a strong anti-India posture and also continues to pose a grave threat to the security of Indian nationals. LTTE was active in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, which was banned in India after the death of Rajiv Gandhi.
History of the Tamil Tigers
The conflict between Sri Lanka’s government forces and armed Tamil rebels has raged for nearly 60 years. Thousands have died and many more have been made homeless by the fighting. Since Sri Lanka’s independence from Britain in 1948, the Tamil minority felt increasingly marginalised. In that very year, Solomon Bandaranayake, the country’s first prime minister, made Sinhala the official language, which is spoken by the majority of Sri Lankans.
After 1948, the Tamils also became the targets of numerous riots that swept through the island nation. Believing that these riots were instigated by the Sinhalese authorities, Tamils began calling for an independent state and for an organisation to protect their rights. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was one of the many groups that came into existence to fight for Tamil rights. Formed in 1975 with its base in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka, the group vowed to form a separate state called Tamil Eelam.