The European Union court, which struck down the sanctions imposed on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the EU in 2006, had its own reasons to do so. Significantly, the court has not lifted the freezing of the assets owned by the banned organisation. The EU had proscribed the LTTE after countries like the US and Canada had declared it a terrorist organisation. Though the LTTE was defeated and its leadership destroyed by the Sri Lankan forces in 2009, it continues to remain banned in countries like India, the US, the UK and Sri Lanka. It remains to be seen how the verdict would affect the policies of member countries vis-a-vis the LTTE.
The verdict should have no bearing on India’s policy on the LTTE. Though the organisation may have been defeated, its ideology remains intact. Its remnants are also active, both within and without Sri Lanka. There have also been reports that some of the LTTE activists have been joining hands with Islamists to carry forward their struggle for an independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam. In other words, it continues to pose danger to the integrity of Sri Lanka. No other country has experienced the severity of its danger as India, which lost a former prime minister to one of its suicide missions. Worse, the LTTE also stands in the way of the integration of the Tamils in the Sri Lankan society.
India has to take a holistic view of the situation, particularly the threat the LTTE poses. The fear that the remnants of the LTTE could be a rallying point for terrorist outfits inimical to India is too real to be discounted. India also has to take into account the threat to India’s security before taking any decision on reviewing its policy towards the terrorist organisation. True, the Tamils in Sri Lanka have been facing problems which prevent them from enjoying a sense of security. India must do everything possible to protect their interests but not at the cost of security. The decision of the European Union should, therefore, have no relevance to India. (New Indian Express)