Friday, April 10, 2009

Restrain Vaiko

Vaiko's admiration for the LTTE is well known. And his party's concern for the beleaguered Tamils in Sri Lanka is understandable. But his recent
outbursts on the issue are alarming and a threat to social peace. On Wednesday, he warned of a bloodbath in Tamil Nadu if any harm was done to the LTTE leader Prabhakaran. His party Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) even passed a resolution seeking a removal of the ban on the LTTE in India.

The tragic plight of Sri Lankan Tamils is an emotional issue for people of Tamil Nadu. Political parties across ideologies support the legitimate concerns of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Most of them, despite the rhetoric, seem to recognise the limitations of intervening in the affairs of a sovereign country. Much of the political mainstream so far has been careful not to confuse the rights of the Tamil minority with the political goals of the LTTE. However, fringe politicians see these as inseparable and want the rest of us to see things their way. They are free to argue their cause but to threaten violence if the rest of the world doesn't heed them is to abuse the right to free speech. Incitement to violence, however justified the cause may be, is a crime and has no place in democratic discourse. Vaiko should know that sedition and threat to violence are serious crimes since his current ally, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, had jailed him under POTA in 2002 on similar charges. Jayalalithaa and other Third Front partners must caution Vaiko that his threats are unacceptable and liable to prosecution.

>> Full Story