Tamil Nadu politician Vaiko or V Gopalasamy was denied entry into Malaysia and questioned for hours at the Kuala Lumpur airport for hours, reports news agency ANI.
Mr Vaiko, the chief of the MDMK party, was questioned over his alleged links with the banned militant group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Vaiko had left from Chennai for Kuala Lumpur on Thursday night around 11:55pm. The MDMK leader is in Malaysia to attend the wedding of Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy’s daughter on June 10.
According to a statement issued by MDMK, Vaiko reached Malaysia at around 6:30am (local time), but he was immediately stopped by immigration authorities saying that he is banned from entering the country. Malaysian authorities alleged that he belonged to the LTTE movement and there are cases pending against him in Sri Lanka.
Responding to their allegations, Vaiko told officials that he is an Indian citizen and showed his passport. However, denying him entry immigration officials stated that his name is present on the list of dangerous persons.
Despite Penang’s Chief Minister Lim Guan Young and Deputy CM Ramasamy intervening, Vaiko was barred entry into the country. He is now scheduled to return to Chennai at 10:45pm on Friday.
A spokesperson from the MDMK confirmed the incident and said that Vaiko was called a member of the LTTE and not allowed inside the country. “Last time also when Vaiko visited Malaysia. a similar incident happened. But the Central government came to the rescue and he was allowed to enter Malaysia,” the spokesperson said.
In 2008, the MDMK chief was denied a visa to travel to London in the United Kingdom allegedly for his pro-LTTE stance.
Vaiko has been a vociferous supporter of the LTTE and its leader V Prabhakaran. He had last year released a secret letter written by Prabhakaran to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. The letter was given to him in 1988, when Vaiko had visited the jungles of Sri Lanka. Vaiko, who was then a leader with the DMK, had returned with the letter addressed to the then TN CM Karunanidhi.
While Vaiko claimed that Karunanidhi destroyed the letter, he kept the copy for 28 years.
In the letter, in which Prabhakaran addresses Karunanidhi as ‘Annan’, the militant leader brings to the DMK leader’s attention the atrocities committed by the Indian Peace Keeping Force dispatched by the Rajiv Gandhi government. There were widespread allegations of rape and murder by the Indian forces against Sri Lankan Tamils.
“It is our aim to fight the killing of our people by the aggressive Indian Army, which is making our country into a cemetery,” Prabhakaran wrote. The LTTE chief also praised Vaiko in the letter.
The 73-year-old was jailed recently in a sedition case over a speech he had made in 2009.
In that speech, he had criticised the government in connection with Sri Lanka’s war on the LTTE or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He had warned that India would not remain a united country if the Sri Lanka operation was not brought to an end.
Mr Vaiko is among the most vocal sympathisers of Tamil separatists. He was in the DMK of M Karunanidhi in the past.