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Vaiko plea to lift Tiger ban

Chennai, Sept. 17: MDMK leader Vaiko, jailed by Jayalalithaa for openly backing the Tamil Tigers, today appealed to the Centre to lift the ban on the outfit.

The NDA legislator’s plea comes a day after the Tigers and the Sri Lankan government have begun face-to-face negotiations in Thailand. Given the general “optimism” about the talks and India’s long-term geo-political interests, the Centre should revoke the ban, he said.

Vaiko was brought from Vellore jail to a court in Thanjavur in connection with an alleged attack on a van carrying an ADMK official during a 1984 byelection. He sent across his message to the media through his lawyer and MDMK spokesman Nanmaran.

In his statement, Vaiko pleaded that with a “new dawn” awaiting the Tamils in northern Sri Lanka, Delhi should do its bit to make the parleys fruitful.

The US, UK and the European Union, had welcomed the peace talks and were eagerly awaiting a breakthrough, he said. Various religious heads in Sri Lanka were also offering prayers for their success.

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