|A brief history…
The Ceylon (Srilanka) government (Singhalese majority) began to target minority Tamils in the 70s and 80s . Thousands of Tamils were massacred, their property looted, their women raped and their leaders imprisoned. There was a huge population of Ceylon-Tamils who came back to India as refugees, unable to bear the burnt of the Singhalese army. At the same time, a lot of Ceylon-Tamils took to arms to counter the oppressive Singhalese. They were admired and supported by Tamils all over the world.
It is true that the initial help (both training & logistics) was provided by India during Indira Gandhi's Time. Almost the entire population of Tamils in India and abroad supported them in many ways. At that time LTTE was just one among the many militant organizations. The leaders of these groups were greatly admired by the Tamils for their valour. These groups had their training camps in India and had a free run inside Tamil nadu. Late in the 80s a fight ensued among these different groups to claim dominance. At this stage these outfits took Tamil Nadu (India) to ransack causing huge law and order problems and putting the Indians under difficulty. There were bomb blasts and cases of public shootings between the groups. Indira Gandhi and MGR who nurtured these groups were by then no more. The Indian government began to take a tougher stance against these groups and soon their camps were closed down. Indian governmental support ceased to exist. By this time the militant groups had lost most of the public sympathy in India due to their atrocities. But the sympathy for the Tamil cause in Sri lanka had not died among Indian Tamils. Due to this these groups still got a substantial support from private Indian Tamils and some political organizations.
Soon the LTTE managed to eliminate its competition and emerged as the sole military representative of the Tamils. Rajiv Gandhi, the Indian Prime minister tried to initiate a peace process in SriLanka and sent the India Peace keeping force to the Island. Even though this was accepted by the LTTE at first, things got worse when LTTE saw the presence of IPKF a threat to their goals. Soon fighting erupted and IPKF charged with a lot of human rights abuses was called back. The LTTE showed its extreme anger by assassinating Rajiv Gandhi with a female suicide bomber, one of the most famous assassination cases in world history. This historic assassination was the black-mark event in LTTE history (this was even acknowledged by the LTTE superemo Mr.Prabakaran later). India and especially Indian Tamils were stunned and the sympathy turned to anger against LTTE.The Tigers were banned and could never again gain sympathy among the majority of the Indian Tamils.
But to this day the Tigers have remained one of the strongest militant groups in the world with advanced arms, superior gorilla combat capacity, excellent intelligence network and highly trained cadres of both men and women. The LTTE controls a fourth of Sri lanka which is called “Tamil Ealam” and have their own government in their areas.