Stalin keeps revival of LTTE at bay by doling out sops to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees

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Stalin keeps revival of LTTE at bay by doling out sops to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees
Chennai: Tami Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday in the state legislative Assembly announced a package of Rs 317.40 crore to the Sri Lankan Tamil refugee camps spread across the state. The money was for the reconstruction of the camps as well as providing education to the children and scholarships for the postgraduate students among the refugees.

The government will also support self-help groups in the refugee camps and an amount of Rs 6.16 crore has been sanctioned for the same. The government also announced an amount of Rs 10 crore to provide skill development training to 5,000 youngsters.

Free of cost cooking gas connection and stove would be provided to camp inmates at a cost of Rs 7 crore and a subsidy of Rs 400 would be provided for five gas cylinders and an amount of Rs 3.80 crore per year is earmarked for this purpose.

The announcement of such a huge package to the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees by the Chief Minister M.K. Stalin is being seen by political analysts and social activists as a brilliant political move by him and the DMK to keep the revival of the LTTE at bay.

In April 2021, the Indian Coast Guard apprehended a Sri Lankan boat from Pakistan and headed towards the Island nation with drugs worth Rs 3,000 crore and 5 AK-47 assault rifles. Sri Lankan nationals were arrested from the boat. On interrogation and questioning, the arrested gave information that certain people living in Tamil Nadu and Kerala were behind the deal. Police acted swiftly and arrested a Sri Lankan national, Suresh Raj, who was staying in Aluva in Kerala without proper details. He had an Indian Aadhaar card, PAN card, and Indian Voter ID card and was staying near Nedumbassery airport under the guise of a cloth businessman.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other central agencies on questioning the apprehended Sri Lankan national found that the money to be received after the sale of drugs was for funding the LTTE movement and that in several European countries some groupings were taking place.

The Government of India had in 2019 extended the ban of LTTE for five more years and the banned outfit was trying to regroup in India using sleeper cells and with the support of funds sourced through dirty money raised through drug trade.

The DMK has always been under scanner over its covert and overt support to the LTTE and its alliance partners in the front, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(MDMK) has always been vocal for the LTTE and Tamil Nationalism. While MDMK leader Vaiko was arrested and jailed after slapping the dreaded POTA charge against him in 2002, the VCK leader and MP Thol Thiruvamavalavn has also been a vocal supporter of the LTTE.

Actor-politician Seeman, who is the founder of Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) has also been a pro active supporter of Tamil nationalism and LTTE.

With all these factors looming large and the arrested Sri Lankan nationals spilling the beans that the contraband drugs and their sale were for the funding the activities of the LTTE, the Tamil Nadu government and the Chief Minister wanted to keep a safe distance from these movements.

Chief Minister Stalin has announced a Rs 317 crore package for the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in a swift move to prevent any unrest from being developed in these refugee camps in favour of the Tamil nationalist movement and sympathies.

With the LTTE trying to regroup and the DMK government with vocal supporters of LTTE like Vaiko and Thol Thirumavalavan as part of its alliance, the Chief Minister wanted to stay clear from the LTTE and its politics and hence to wade of any uncertainty in the Sri Lankan Tamil refugee camps, Stalin has announced this package.

C. Rajeev, Director, Centre For Policy and Development Studies, a Think Tank based out of Chennai while speaking to IANS said, “The Tamil people of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu are the same. The possible regrouping of LTTE and the financial support it could garner following drug trade can lead to a sympathy quotient developing for the outfit in the Sri Lankan Tamil refugee camps in Tamil Nadu.

“Chief Minister M.K. Stalin wants to stay clear of the LTTE and prevent the outfit from sowing the seeds of Tamil nationalism again in the minds of these refugees. The Chief Minister has announced a Rs 317 crore package for the Tamil refugees is a deft political move to prevent LTTE from garnering support from these refugee colonies,” said Rajeev.


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