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Home > Human Rights & Humanitarian Law > Armed Conflict & the Law > What is Terrorism? - Law & Practise > Terrorism: Indian Law & Practise > LTTE Appeal Against Ban, 6 August 1992 > India & the Tamil Eelam Freedom Struggle
Terrorism: Indian Law & Practise
LTTE Appeal Against Ban
1. The Secretariat denies that the Central Government of India has jurisdiction in law to make the above mentioned declaration under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, in relation to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (hereinafter referred to as the LTTE) and submits that the said declaration is null, void and inoperative in law.
2. The Secretariat submits that the LTTE is a combatant in an armed conflict in the island of Sri Lanka. The gross, consistent and continued violations of the human rights of the Tamil people by Sri Lanka during the past forty years, have been well documented.
During these forty years, acting within the confines of an unitary state, a permanent Sinhala majority, through a series of legislative and administrative acts, ranging from disenfranchisement, and standardisation of University admissions, to discriminatory language and employment policies, and state sponsored colonisation of the homeland of the Tamil people, sought to establish its oppressive rule over the Tamil people.
Tamil opposition to these tyrannical measures was met with genocidal State sponsored violence directed to terrorise and intimidate the Tamil people into submission.
It was a course of conduct which resulted in the rise of the armed resistance of the Tamil people led by the LTTE. The combatant status of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has been recognised in international law and in international fora. Furthermore, the combatant status of the LTTE was specifically recognised by the Central Government of India both at the Thimpu Talks in 1985 and again in the Indo Sri Lanka Agreement of 1987.
3. The Secretariat submits that the LTTE is not, in any event, an association within the territorial jurisdiction of the Central Government of India, and further that it is not an association within the meaning of that expression in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and that accordingly the Central Government of India has no power in law to make an order in relation to the LTTE under the provisions of Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
4. The Secretariat further submits that the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 which define ‘unlawful activity’ in relation to an individual or association to mean "any action taken by such individual or association (whether by committing an act or by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise) which is intended, inter alia, to bring about, on any ground whatsoever, the cession of a part of the territory of India," are in any event, a clear violation of the fundamental right of freedom of expression secured by the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, and by international law, and enshrined in the Indian Constitution as well.
The Secretariat submits that these provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act are not only ultra vires the Indian Constitution, but also offend the peremptory norms of international law, and that accordingly, for these reasons as well, the order made under section 3 is null, void and inoperative in law.
5. Without prejudice to the foregoing and in particular without prejudice to the submissions of the Secretariat on the question of jurisdiction,
(a) the Secretariat submits that the objective of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to secure the right of self determination of the people of Tamil Eelam, cannot in any event be regarded, in law, as an unlawful activity within the meaning of that expression in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967; and
(b) the Secretariat denies that the objective of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is to disrupt the sovereignty and/or territorial integrity of India and the Secretariat further denies that the LTTE has engaged in any activity whatsoever whether directly or indirectly to support that end.