NEW YORK: India’s Ministry of External Affairs has revoked the Indian visa of Washington-based Dr Muthuvel Chelliah, former president of Federation of Tamil Association of North America (Fetna) on “security reasons” for his alleged links with and support to the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Dr. Chelliah, a native of Tamil Nadu and a well-known supporter of Tamil Eelam who staged several demonstrations and protests against the Governments of India and Sri Lanka in New York and Washington during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakshe to the US, joined hands with Connecticut based Dr. Ellyn Shandler who formed US Tamil Political Action Committee (US-TPAC) to demand separate nation for Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Last year Dr Shandler was denied visa to enter India for her anti-Indian stance and for her fiery speeches at the annual conventions of Fetna in Atlanta and Connecticut under the presidentship of Dr Chelliah.
Dr. Chelliah was president of Fetna for three years between 2008 and 2010 and it was during this term, Fetna took an anti-India stance and strongly criticized Government of India and Sonia Gandhi for the killings of Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The Fetna conventions in the US became a platform of anti-India elements and pro-Eelam leaders who lambasted India much to the embarrassment of Indians attending such conventions. Many of the leading Tamil Sangams across the US have been boycotting Fetna conventions over the years in view of the severe anti-India propaganda at these conventions.
Earlier, another Fetna leader, Dr. Thani Kumar Cheran of Raleigh, North Carolina, was stopped at Chennai International airport on his arrival from the US and prevented from entering after his visa was revoked on arrival. He was a strong supporter of LTTE and organized many fund raisers to help the militant organization headed by late Velupillai Prabakaran in the 1990s.
Dr. Nachimuthu Socrates of Connecticut, another former Fetna President was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2006, for offering to buy arms and ammunition for LTTE to an undercover agent in the US. The case is still pending in the court.
Meanwhile, Pappammal, the 90-year-old mother of Dr Chelliah, in Poravacheri in Nagapattinam district, has petitioned the Madras High Court seeking a direction to authorities to give clearance for processing the visa application of her son.
Pappammal stated that Muthuvel Chelliah was born in Tamil Nadu. He was working as a physical scientist at the Climate Prediction Centre of the National Weather Service in the US. He was president of the Tamil Sangam of the Metropolitan Washington and Baltimore areas in 1992.
Chelliah visited India in 1997 and addressed several public meetings, including one at Bangalore Tamil Sangam. The essence of his speech related to the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. He had not uttered anything against the nation or any politician, she said. She said she did not know why the 10-year visa issued to him in 2002 was cancelled and what charges were pending against him.
The petitioner said that she was desperate to see her son, who had again applied for visa in September 2010 to the Indian Embassy. The application had not been processed since the authorities in India had not taken steps to give clearance to their counterparts because of the misunderstanding of facts, she stated.
India Post News Service