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May 10, 2000
Thackeray backs LTTE, wants ban lifted
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today reiterated his party's support to the cause of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and said the ban on the outlawed organisation in India should be lifted.
Talking to UNI after a meeting with MDMK leader V Gopalswamy alias Vaiko at his residence Matoshri at Bandra in north-west Bombay late on Tuesday night, Thackeray endorsed the stand of the National Democratic Alliance government, of which his party is also a constituent member, of refusing military intervention in strife-torn Sri Lanka.
''The LTTE are our own people and there is no need to send our army to Lanka to fight them. Let Sri Lanka handle its own internal matter. India's intervention would go against Nehru's Panchsheel declaration of not interfering in the internal matters of another sovereign country,'' Thackeray said. ''Rajiv Gandhi committed that 'foolishness' and had to pay with his life.''
Vaiko gave him details of the LTTE's rise and its cause and the Shiv Sena totally supports it, Thackeray added.
Vaiko had raised the issue of a separate 'Eelam' and spoken on lifting the ban on the LTTE at the recent Tamil Mahasangh conference in Geneva. Similarly, Thackeray had openly come out in support of the LTTE a few years ago, creating a storm.
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