Tamil Nadu government terms as ‘illegal’ pro-LTTE shutdown

February 1st, 2009 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Feb 1 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu government Sunday termed “illegal” the Feb 4 shutdown called by the ‘Lankan Tamils Protection Movement’ (LTPM) and warned it of stern action if the agitation affected the movement of essential commodities and services.”If movement of essential commodities and services are hindered during the illegal shutdown of the state proposed by the Lankan Tamils’ Protection Movement, stern action will be initiated to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential commodities and services,” said a government press release.

The statement also pointed out that the Supreme Court banned all shutdowns while hearing the issue of a similar move attributed to the DMK by the opposition last year.

The shutdown was announced by the Tamil National Movement led by LTPM organiser Pazha Nedumaran, a sympathiser of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during an interaction with reporters Saturday.

Though the LTPM comprises the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) — all open supporters of the LTTE, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) that are pressing for political dialogue in Sri Lanka, none of the parties has openly expressed support to the shutdown.

The meet was also attended by BJP Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh S. Thirunaavukkarasar, who hails from the state.

A senior police official told IANS that the police would take stern action if there was any threat to law and order.

“It is a free country and anyone can make any statement even if it is a mere political rhetoric sans public support. But, in the event of it posing a law and order problem, stringent and preventive action would be initiated,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the Congress’ Tamil Nadu unit has expressed concern at the use of the issue of the neighbouring island’s ethnic Tamil minority crisis by growing ranks of ’separatist groups.’

“The citation of the intensification of the war against the LTTE by the Lankan military establishment and terming it ‘genocide of the Tamil race with active support from the centre’ is fallacious and mischievous,” K.V. Thangkabalu, the president of the Congress party’s state unit, told IANS.

“The solution to the decades’ old problem can only be resulted from the central government’s ongoing proactive, diplomatic endeavours and political interaction with Colombo, including the recent visit by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee,” Thangkabalu added.

The state government announced Saturday that all colleges and attached hostels would be closed till further notice to prevent violence by fringe student elements in support of “suffering Lankan Tamils”.

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