ibnlive » Politics

Oct 23, 2008 at 11:57pm IST

Vaiko arrested for pledging support to LTTE

Chennai: MDMK leader Vaiko was carted off to jail on Thursday and the reasons were the same as they had been in the past - supporting the LTTE.

Vaiko in a recent speech had said: "If India does not help the LTTE then we will be forced to supply arms to the LTTE."

This is something similar to what he had said in 2003 when he was arrested under POTA by the then Jayalalithaa government.

But in 2008, Vaiko is Jayalalithaa's ally and observers feel Vaiko's arrest is a message from the DMK to Jayalalithaa that their party may spearhead the Sri Lankan Tamil cause but will come down on support for the LTTE.

"We are all for the sovereignity of India but we cannot accept India providing arms and ammunition to Sri Lanka," Vaiko had said.

Meanwhile, DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunaidhi said, "The law will take its own course. Whatever has to happen will happen as per the law."

However, that's exactly what External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee says he cannot do. Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Mukherjee said India cannot afford to severe military ties with Sri Lanka.

And facing the political rage in Chennai was the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner. A group of students reportedly pelted stones at him. The Sri Lankan High Commission in Delhi has now asked for additional security.

The big focus now is the kind of assuarances that South Block can elicit from the Sri Lankans - something that it can use to cool tempers in Tamil Nadu.

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