The DMK sponsored Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation's conference (TESO) has tacitly asked for a separate homeland for Lankan Tamils in Sri Lanka, without explicitly defying the Union Home Ministry.
After initially forbidding organisers of the TESO conference from using the word "Eelam" in the conference title, a day before the meet, it made a U-turn and allowed them to use "Eelam" on the condition that the meet should not make any declaration that would threaten the sovereignty of any country India shares diplomatic ties with. Eelam refers to a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka.
But the TESO meet passed a resolution asking for a UN referendum in Tamil areas in Sri Lanka, clearly pushing towards a separate statehood for Tamils, without actually violating centre's strictures. DMK Chief M Karunanidhi founded TESO in 1985 for a separate Eelam for Lankan Tamils and earlier this year he revived this defunct body.
Over the past many years, pro Tamil groups and international human rights activists have been mooting the idea of a UN referendum in Tamil areas of Sri Lanka which would allow them to carve a separate state for themselves on fulfilling UN's linguistic, cultural and social criterion among others.
The meet has passed 14 resolutions seeking greater UN intervention including asking India to move a UN resolution for self-determination by Lankan Tamils.
TESO also sought the Indian government to end its silence on what it calls "the undemocratic developments in Sri Lanka and move a UN resolution for self-determination by Lankan Tamils".
Earlier this year, under pressure from its southern ally the DMK, the ruling AIADMK and other parties, India voted against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, voting in favour of the US sponsored resolution that sought investigations into human rights violations during the final phase of war against the LTTE. While India's stand miffed Sri Lanka, TESO's play with semantics may cause further embarrassment for the Rajapakse government and more discomfort for the UPA government.