After Chennai Police denied permission to hold a public meeting of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO), the DMK is holding a conclave on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue at a private hotel in the city ahead of the conference. DMK chief M Karunanidhi today called for 'short, medium and long-term solutions' to address the various aspects of Sri Lankan Tamils issue.
Presiding over the conclave, Mr Karunanidhi refrained from demanding a separate homeland for the Lankan Tamils. He instead tacitly sought UN intervention to look into the issue of rights and rehabilitation of the displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The Centre has asked TESO not to make any declaration that would threaten the integrity of any country India has diplomatic ties with. Karunanidhi said, "The Sri Lankan Army runs a state of emergency in Tamil areas after recent UN resolution. It was the DMK that sought UN intervention on the issue for the first time."
Although the DMK chief had earlier harped on that only Eelam would solve the Lankan Tamils crisis, he backtracked later by saying the conference would focus only on livelihood issues of the displaced Lankan Tamils. This dilution of stand came after the then Home Minister P Chidambaram reportedly briefed him on the implications.
Meanwhile, in a relief to the party, the Madras High court today stayed Chennai Police's decision to deny permission for a TESO conference at the YMCA grounds. Yesterday, the Police had cited eleven reasons including lack of adequate space at the venue, disturbance to the Royapettah Government Hospital nearby, traffic congestion and a possible law and order situation. DMK will now be able to hold the public meeting on Sunday evening.
His daughter Ms Kanimozhi and Union Minister TR Baalu are present among a delegation of around 40 leaders at the conclave. Speaking to reporters today, DMK MP Kanimozhi said, "A separate Eelam is a far-fetched dream and our leader has said this. TESO conference is to discuss the rights and rehabilitation of the Lankan Tamils."
Tamil Eelam, which refers to the creation of separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka, is one of the key issues over which both the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK are trying to garner public support during elections. Political analysts say, after a huge defeat in the Tamil Nadu assembly polls the DMK chief was consolidating his vote bank by using the Tamil card to improve his party's tally in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Around 40,000 to one lakh Lankan Tamil civilians are estimated to have been killed in the final phase of the war against the LTTE. Sri Lanka is already quite miffed with India for voting against the country at the UN Human Rights Council earlier this year. India had supported the US sponsored resolution seeking credible investigations into allegations of violations.