Karunanidhi on Lanka issues
Onlanka News –
by Walter Jayawardhana

DMK leader Muthuvel Karunanidhi who came under the pressure of  New Delhi had to drop his demand  to create a separate state called Eelam the Times of India reported.

In a Chennai datelined news item the Times of India said , “  Union home minister P Chidambaram on Sunday (July 15) reportedly conveyed to DMK chief M Karunanidhi the central government’s displeasure over a move by the ally to pass a resolution to demand Tamil Eelam at a meeting of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) in Chennai on August 12.”

“The TESO, which comprises supporters of Eelam (separate Tamil land in Sri Lanka) and was revived by Karunanidhi after three decades, is seen as a political strategy to boost the flagging morale of his party, which lost the 2011 assembly polls, as well as to reiterate his importance as a Tamil leader. But such a meeting, to be organised by a key ally of the UPA government, could prove a huge embarrassment for India, whose stated international policy is for cordial ties with Sri Lanka. The nearly half-anhour discussion between Chidambaram and Karunanidhi took place at the DMK chief’s CIT Colony residence in Chennai on Sunday” the Times further reported.

The meeting comes a day after the Centre issued a notification extending the ban on LTTE.

Initially, the meeting between the two leaders was described as a courtesy call ahead of the July 19 presidential poll, DMK sources later confirmed that Chidmabaram conveyed the message that the UPA government considered it ill-advisable for the DMK leader to revive the Eelam call in the state. DMK sources said Karunanidhi, too, conveyed his unhappiness with the UPA government’s stand.

The issue has cropped up a day before a meeting of the DMK MPs and MLAs to discuss the presidential poll. “A lot of preparation and effort have gone into ensuring that the TESO meet is a success. We have sent invitations to all the major political party leaders, including those in the Congress, BJP, Left, JD(U), NCP, TMC and the Shiv Sena. Leaders like Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav, Omar Abdullah and Ram Vilas Paswan have indicated their keenness to participate in the conference,” said a senior DMK leader. The DMK has also invited Tamil MPs from Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile the newsmagazine Outlook said, “Amid reports that the Centre was not happy over a move to pass a resolution favouring a separate Tamil nation at a meet of the revived Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation, Congress today reminded its key ally DMK to keep the larger national interest in mind.

“The DMK is a responsible political party and we do belive and we do expect that whatever they do and whatever they have been doing in the past, they would definitely keep the larger national interest in mind,” party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.

His remarks came in response to a question on the proposed move to hold a conference of TESO on August 12 to discuss ways and means to ensure the welfare of “remaining Tamils” in Sri Lanka in democratic and peaceful ways.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi today said that he was under no pressure from the Centre over the recently revived Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram met him amidst reports that Centre was not happy about a move to pass resolution at the TESO meet here next month demanding Tamil Eelam (separate Tamil nation).

Karunanidhi said the issue had not figured during his meeting with Chidambaram and “he did not discuss politics.”

Regarding the opposition by both DMK and AIADMK to India imparting training to Sri Lankan military personnel, Tewari said that no attempts should be made to politicise the military to military contacts between India and various other countries including those in the neighbourhood.

“There is a need to desegregate two stands and deal with it differently. One is India’s position is as regards the alleged human rights violation in Srilanka, the the other is the service to service or military to military contacts,” he said, adding that the government has gone the extra mile when the supported the resolution in the UN Human Rights Commission on the issue