Karunanidhi says ready to drop eelam
Posted on July 18th, 2012

BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Courtesy The Island

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Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 17: Heeding Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s advice, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Chief Muthuvel Karunanidhi has now decided not to push for Eelam or a separate state for Sri Lankan Tamils. Instead, he will focus on ensuring justice for them.

“Now, there will be no protests or agitation in favour of a separate Eelam. The immediate requirement is to heal the wounds of the island’s Tamils and enrich their livelihood,” he declared while talking to reporters in Chennai on Monday.

Readers will recall that Union Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram called on Karunanidhi in Chennai on Sunday and conveyed to him Dr Singh’s advice to refrain from backing the demand for Eelam. The DMK is a partner in the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

The Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO), a forum started by Karunanidhi in the mid-1980s, has urged the Indian government to join hands with like-minded nations to bring political and economic pressure “directly and indirectly” on the Sri Lankan government to ensure justice and rehabilitation of Tamils in the island.

The theme paper for the TESO conference, to be held in Chennai on August 12, was released by Karunanidhi at a press conference in the Tamil Nadu capital. The document wants India to take the lead in creating a “group of nations” to empower Tamils and ensure the settlement of land claims and foster traditional livelihoods.

Karunanidhi denied media reports that the conference is unlikely to take place.

He said copies of the document have been sent to leaders of political parties and others who wish to participate in the conference.

The document made it clear that, without dealing with issues such as “Sinhalisation of Tamil areas, occupation of Tamil areas and houses by the Army and denial of permission to organise social events in Northern and Eastern provinces and violation of basic rights, the rehabilitation of Sri Lankan Tamils would only be an eyewash and a distant dream.”

The TESO document called upon the Union government to provide citizenship to all Sri Lankan Tamil refugees now living in India to ensure that they live peacefully.

(Two decades ago, there were 1,50,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living mostly in Tamil Nadu. About 50,000 of them went back during 1994-95 and 2002-03, the periods during which peace made a fleeting appearance in the island thanks to the aborted peace agreements the regimes of Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe, respectively, had signed with the LTTE.

(Of the remaining 1,00,000, about 8,000 more went back during the past three years. The other 24,000 are thought to have gone to other parts of the globe in search of greener pastures. There are now 68,000 of them left living in the southern state).

The theme paper urged the Sri Lankan government to release Tamils who are languishing in prisons without any legal proceedings against them.

The theme paper suggested that an Indian Navy unit be set up either at Dhanushkodi or at the Mandapam camp in Tamil Nadu to prevent “atrocities unleashed by the Sri Lankan Navy against innocent and unarmed Tamil fishermen.”

“If the solutions and suggestions made by this conclave do not change the attitude of the Sri Lankan government and Tamils are subjected to same hardship and inhuman treatment, the conclave will meet again to decide the future course of action,” the TESO theme paper said.

Karunanidhi said all political parties, including the Congress, will be invited to the conference.

Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Dr Farooq Abdullah, Janata Dal (U) leader Sharad Yadav, former minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Sri Lankan MPs, including Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampathan, and representatives from various countries will take part in the conference, the DMKchief announced.

3 Responses to “Karunanidhi says ready to drop eelam”

  1. Vis8 Says:

    “karunanidhi-says-ready-to-drop-eelam”

    Ha.. he must have started taking medication for hallucinations……. good for his doctor!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Latest news. He now says he will never give up Tamil Elam!

    Somewhat like the president. 13++ promise to Indians, when Indians leave, no 13++!

  3. Dham Says:

    “Somewhat like the president. 13++ promise to Indians, when Indians leave, no 13++!”

    A good one ! This is the difference between Gota and Mahendra ! Good politicians have two mouths not one.

    Ponnaseka said Karunanidhi is a joker. Ponnaseka is alos a joker when he said he is “People’s President”. Oh ! may be not – Tamil Peoples President”

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