India asks European Union
to ban LTTE
By S. Venkat Narayan
Courtesy The Island 06-12-2005
NEW DELHI, December 5: India has asked the European Union (EU) to ban
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by branding it as a terrorist
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sent to the EU, through the
Ministry of External Affairs, a dossier on the LTTE and three Indian
terrorist outfits to be considered for a ban, according to informed
The LTTE has acquired notoriety for being one of the most lethal and
well-organised terrorist groups in South Asia. India was the first country
to ban the LTTE on 14 May 1992, an year after the outfits woman
suicide-bomber Dhanu assassinated former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
at an election rally on the outskirts of Chennai on the night of 21
The outfit has since been banned by Malaysia, Canada, Australia, the
United States (in 1997), and Britain (2001).
On September 26 this year, the EU barred Tamil Tigers from visiting
its 25 Member States, and declared that it is actively considering listing
the LTTE as a terrorist group. Condemning their "continuous use
of violence and terrorism" the EU asked the Tamil Tigers "to
take immediate public steps to demonstrate their commitment to the peace
process and their willingness to change."
The EU also decided that each of its Member States will, where necessary,
take "additional national measures to check and curb illegal or
undesirable activities (including issues of funding and propaganda)
of the LTTE, its related organizations and known individual supporters."
Between May 1976, when Velupillai Prabhakaran floated the LTTE to wage
an armed struggle for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lankas
northern and eastern provinces, and February this year, the dreaded
outfit carried out 241 suicide bombings---the most by any terrorist
outfit across the globe. Its high-profile victims include Indias
Rajiv Gandhi, Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa, Foreign Minister
Lakshman Kadirgamar, and a failed attempt on the life of Chandrika Kumaratunga.
The Indian dossier sent to the EU says the LTTE runs a wide network
of publicity and propaganda activities through bases in at least 54
countries. Financial support comes in the form of donations, forced
or otherwise, from expatriate Sri Lankan Tamils across Switzerland,
Canada, Australia, the UK, the US and the Scandinavian countries.
If and when the EU formally bans the LTTE, that will freeze transfer
of funds and financial assets of the outfit across all its 25 member
In its 29 May 2000 issue, TIME magazine estimated that the LTTE raises
US$60 million annually for its "war chest" from an estimated
900,000 Sri Lankan Tamils living in 40 countries. THE ECONOMIST of London
estimated in its 20 July 2002 edition that a sum of US$4 billion was
being withheld from the Tamil Tigers in the wake of the ban imposed
on it by various countries.
Meanwhile, the Indian outfits which New Delhi wants the EU to ban include
two Kashmiri militant groups and one Sikh extremist outfit. They are:
Harkat-ul-Jehadi-I-Islami (Huji), Jamiat-ul Mujahideen, and Khalistan
Liberation Force (KLF).
Huji is a splinter group of the Harkat-ul Ansar, whose Bangladeshi
unit was formed in 1992 with Osama bin Ladens help. Of late, it
has been active not only in Bangladesh but also in border districts
of Indian states bordering that country, namely: West Bengal and Assam.
The KLF, which was active during the militancy in Punjab in north India
in the 1980s, claims to have several offices across Europe.
The sending of the dossier comes in the week of the EU recently including
Kashmiri outfit Hizbul Mujahideen in its terror black list.