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Former Malaysian Home Minister defends proscription of LTTE on grounds of “remnants”

Former Malaysian Home Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, defended the continued proscription of the LTTE as a terrorist group, despite more than a decade passing since the war ended, as she claimed “remnants” had fled to Malaysia.

This comes as legal challenges begin to mount against the listing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist group in 2014, five years after the war. In an affidavit-in-reply responding to a legal challenge, she maintained that the group still posed a risk national security posed by remnants of the group that fled to Malaysia.

This news follows the dropping of charges against 12 Malaysian Tamils who were accused of being former members of the LTTE and arrested under the controversial Security Offences Special Measures Act (SOSMA) for their alleged support.

The SOSMA act has been routinely criticised by Malaysia politicians such as the Socialist Party of Malaysia’s Deputy Chairperson, S Arutchelvan. Arutchelvan has called for the repeal of SOSMA and was successful in his campaign against similar legislation such as the Internal Security Act (ISA), which was used to detain people without trial.

Commenting on SOSMA he stated:

“SOSMA has all the DNA of the ISA- which has its origins under British colonial rule […] It was used to detain independence activists, socialists, trade unionists and other social movement activists. When the British passed on their repressive state to their neo-colonial puppets, they kept these repressive powers.”

Arutchelvan also condemned the unwarranted attempt to criminalise support for the right of Tamils to self-determination, human rights and welfare in Sri Lanka.

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