Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka wanted a political solution to the ethnic problem within the framework of united Sri Lanka and no one raised the issue of a separate Tamil Eelam, said CPI(M) MP T.K. Rangarajan, who was part of the Indian Parliamentary delegation that toured Sri Lanka last week.
When asked about DMK president M. Karunanidhi's demand for United Nations intervention and referendum for formation of Tamil Eelam on the lines of East Timor, Kosovo and Montenegro, Mr Rangarajan said the team interacted almost with every Tamil leaders and none of them, including representatives of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), pressed for Eelam.
“At the citizens meeting at Jaffna and also in a session with the Sri Lankan MPs, TNA leader Sampanthan stressed for a political solution within the united Sri Lanka and never talked about Eelam,” he said.
“I am a Sri Lankan and wanted to die as a Sri Lankan,” Mr Rangarajan quoted Mr Sampanthan as saying.
“One issue that moved all of us was the plight of 45,000 Tamil widows. In Batticaloa alone, there are 23,000 widows, 13,000 of whom are under the age of 23. I could not control my emotions when I talked to them,” Mr Rangarajan said.
The Indian delegation took up the issue with Mr Rajapaksa and he had said there were another 30,000 widows of Sri Lankan soldiers who were killed in the war. (The Hindu)