Sri Lankan Tamils Current Affairs - 2020

Sri Lanka Election: Gotbaya Rajapaksa to be sworn in as new President

The former wartime Defence Chief Gotabaya Rajpaksa of Sri Lanka has won the Presidential Election. He took 52.25% of vote against his rival Sajith Premadasa. Mr Rajapaksa won in Sinhalese majority areas and Mr Premadasa had scored in regions that were dominated by the Tamilians.

Highlights

  • National Security was seen as the dominant issue of the state as Islamic Group targeted churches and hotels in the Island. More than 250 people were killed in the state in several bombings in April 2019.
  • Gotbaya is the brother of the former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In 2009, the brothers spear headed the Tamil Tiger rebels where at least 100,000 were killed
  • The country recorded 83.7% of voters turn out.
  • Totally 35 candidates contested in the Presidential Election

India’s concerns

The previous Government had close ties with China. Political experts are worried about the ballooning debt to Beijing. The regional powers especially India is concerned about the extent of Chinese influence in the country. Rajapaksa has told the reporters that he is planning to restore the relations with China. On the other hand, Mr Premadasa was leaning towards US and India.

Falling into debt trap, Sri Lanka has leased the Hambantota port to the Chinese for 99 years.

Indian Government Extends Ban on LTTE for Five Years

The Ministry of Home Affairs in a freshly issued notification extended ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, also known as: Tamil Tigers) in India for a another period of five years.

Key Highlights

Ban: The Union Home Ministry notified extended ban (of 5 years) to LTTE under sub-sections (1) and (3) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967) with immediate effect, thus declared LTTE as an Unlawful Association.

Reasons by GoI: Notification states that-

  • Even after LTTE’s military defeat in May 2009, it continues to adopt a strong anti-India posture and also continues to pose a grave threat to security of Indian nationals.
  • It has continued its disruptive and violent activities which are prejudicial to integrity and sovereignty of India.

Recent Findings:

  • LTTE has not abandoned concept of Tamil Eelam and is undertaking propaganda activities and fundraising for its Eelam cause in Europe.
  • The pro-LTTE groups and Tamil chauvinist groups continue to foster separatist tendencies amongst Indian masses especially in Tamil Nadu. Recently, activities of LTTE remnant cadres and supporters have been traced out in Tamil Nadu.
    • The Diaspora continued to spread anti-India feeling amongst Sri Lankan Tamils through their articles in Internet, by holding Indian Government responsible for defeat of LTTE.

About Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

  • It is a Sri Lanka based Tamil militant and political organization, which was founded in 1976.
  • Its objective is to create an independent state of Tamil Eelam in the north and east of Sri Lanka (areas comprising Tamil Majority).
  • It was banned in India following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 by its members.