How serious is Karunanidhi in his call for Tamil Eelam?

20 April 2012 09:01 pm - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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DMK leader and the opposition leader in the Tamil Nadu State Karunanidhi also recalled his earlier remarks that if at all he had one unfulfilled desire, it was the creation of a separate State for the Sri Lankan Tamils. According to the Hindu newspaper the DMK leader said that many new countries had come into being following the U.N. intervention and referendum. Hence, he said that the U.N. should take steps to conduct a referendum that could lead to the formation of ‘Eelam.' “India should also put pressure on this issue” he had stated.
Before we look into the merits of the poet cum politician’s latest comments on Tamil Eelam, we can pose him the question as to whether Tamil Eelam is really his only unfulfilled desire as he was one of the pioneers of the separatist cause in Tamil Nadu in nineteen fifties and sixties. What about the separate Tamil Nadu demand? Has it been fulfilled? He is still leading the party, DMK that spearheaded the idea of separate Dravida Nadu and later the Tamil Nadu and his party has been publishing its official organ “Murasoli” since the time DMK was agitating for a separate State in Southern India.
In 1963, Indian parliament passed a constitutional amendment prohibiting pro-independence parties and individuals from contesting elections. The pro-independence political party DMK chose to give up the independence demand so that they may continue to contest elections. The many processions and meetings it used to organis in support of independence stopped. Have the root causes for the Tamil Nadu demand been addressed for Karunanidhi to give up the demand?
It is natural that the Tamils in Tamil Nadu are concerned about the happenings in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka owing to the close ethnic and geographic proximity between the two communities across the Palk Strait. However, the seriousness and genuineness of the politicians in that State towards the problems of their ethnic brethren in their own country or elsewhere has been always all too doubtful.
Many Tamil Nadu politicians have been blowing hot and cold in respect of the ethnic issue and the LTTE since 1990s. Earlier it was a race between the two main political parties in the State to be the best supporter for the Tamil Eelam cause. The DMK supported the TELO then led by Sri Sabharatnam while the Sri Lankan born AIADMK leader and the Film star MG Ramachandran who was a close friend and the predecessor of Chief Minister Jeyalalitha espoused the LTTE even by providing money from the State’s coffers.
However, there was a paradigm shift after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE in 1991 and the competition between the Tamil Nadu parties shifted from one to be seen as the best friend of the LTTE to point finger at those who do so. But again towards the end of the war between the Sri Lankan security forces and the LTTE sympathy towards the people entrapped in the war theatre grew among Tamil Nadu people and politicians there were hell bent to exploit the situation.
An “all party” conference convened by the Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi on October 15, 2008 decided that parliament members from the state would resign unless the centre fails to press Sri Lanka to meet six demands including a ceasefire in Sri Lanka within two weeks. Karunannidhi’s daughter Kanimozi and several other MPs symbolically handed over resignation letters to the party leader to be handed over in turn to the Election Commission after the deadline.
With the deadline for the resignation of Tamil Nadu politicians approaching and situation in the State heating up the pro-LTTE parliamentarians there were so restless that they seemed to pray for some miracle to save their parliamentary seats. It was against this backdrop that Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa visited New Delhi and customarily assured of a political solution to the ethnic problem.
Karunanidhi and his comrades were so pleased with the assurance that they “postponed” their resignation offer indefinitely while Sri Lankan security forces continued with what Tamil Nadu leaders called a genocidal war against Tamils.
Before the fall of Kilinochchi to the troops on January 2, 2009 almost all Tamil Nadu politicians were accusing Sri Lankan Government for what they called “genocide” in northern parts of Sri Lanka. Opposition leader, Jeyalalitha Jeyaram too wanted killing of Sri Lankan Tamils to be stopped, while expressing her opposition occasionally to the LTTE.
However, the same month saw a political storm kicked up by Jeyalalitha by a remark made at a media briefing on January 17. She said “The killing of the innocent Tamils can be avoided if the LTTE allows them safe passage to the areas not under their control. She argued that the Sri Lankan army’s intention was not to kill the Tamils. This was a diametrically different version to the one that has been so far presented by the politicians of the state. She dumfounded even her own party by saying that “killing of innocents is inevitable in a war. No country is an exception.” Her arguments were so contagious that even the thus far pro-LTTE Chief Minister of the state Muthuvel Karunanidhi too astonished the world on February 3, 2009 by saying at the party`s Executive Committee meeting in Chennai that LTTE lost the sympathy of his party, DMK as far back as 1987 when LTTE leader expressed his willingness to establish a dictatorial state in “Tamil Eelam” and he is sick of the LTTE.
The timing of this shift of opinion was significant. These parties after agitating for the Sri Lankan Tamils when they were spread out throughout the Wanni  had softened their stance towards the issue when the same Tamil people had been entrapped in the war theatre and were in great danger. With the LTTE controlled area fast shrinking, it had been vividly clear how people were in a perilous situation in that area. This showed how these politicians played politics with the horrors of war and the misery of the people threatened with death.
What the Tamil Nadu politicians and the Tamil diaspora are not concerned about is the fact that their provocative acts and statements have a bearing on the lives of the hapless people in the once war ravaged areas in Sri Lanka. They seem to be ignorant of or not concerned about the security authorities in Sri Lanka being increasingly compelled to turn their search lights towards these people with their irresponsible words and deeds reaching the shores of this country.

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  Comments - 8

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  • Rangan Sunday, 22 April 2012 05:11 PM

    Faqi,

    The issue here is 'Referandum' word. Unlike violence or Terror, which can be handled UN the Rajapase way, the Referandum can not be handled. Because it is a democratic and right.

    The issue will raise up further as long as Sri Lankan state dilly-dally the negotiating the national issue.

    The Referandum of this nature is unlikely in Russia's Chechiniya, China's Tibet and India's Kashmir because they are big boys.

    The author missed the point in that the request was not made to the Sri Lankan state but to UN. India, US and Tamilnadu all work together now against China's influence and what MK said should be seen along these line.

    Indonasia lost East Timor, Serbia lost Kosova and Sudan lost part of it.

    Let us, stop taking nonsense but get together to solve the national issue before it is too late.

    faqi Sunday, 22 April 2012 07:07 AM

    #paths- You are talking nonsense. The Sinhala people would never give 40% of its land mass and 60% of it's beach (maritime area) frontage, for a Tamil eelam? If they want an eelam they could join their brothers in Tamil Nadu where the majority of the Tamils are domiciled. The Sinhala people have only this island, to call their own and they would defend it to the last man. Your nonsensical pipe dream would never be realized.

    paths Saturday, 21 April 2012 03:33 PM

    Undivided India was very big. Religion was Hinduism & Islam. It broke with 2 new Muslim states-Pakistan & Bangladesh. Divided Indis North is HINDI speaking & ethnically ARYANS while South is Tamil speaking & ethnically DRAVIDIANS. Both are religion wise HINDUS. The State system of Govt ensured each state to function as if they are separate countries. And the 60 odd million Tamils r happy with this political setup. Karunanidhi was naturaly concerned at the tratment of Tamils in SL. His call for Thamil Eelam is therefore justifiable given the genocidal policies of SL govt. LTTE was born out of necesity after the pacts & accord reached with the Federal party were not honoured. They blundered killing Rajiv. LTTE is now defeated & inefective. If the Govt does not come to a settlement with the TNA, terorism will resurface. The problem is SL lacks enlightened leadership.

    LASANTHAV Saturday, 21 April 2012 04:25 PM

    SAME AS SRI LANKAN POLITICS AND ELSE WHERE FOR THEIR ONW SURVIVAL. ITS TIME THE PEOPLES IN SRILANKA ( SINHALIS ADN MUSLIM) TO ANDERSTAND IT.

    kumar Saturday, 21 April 2012 09:27 AM

    The so called tamil leaders(Karunanidhi,Jeyalalitha,Nedumaran,Seeman,Vaiko etc) in tamil Nadu and SL are playing politics for their own survival.
    Its time the people in TAMIL NADU to understand this.

    R.Suntha Saturday, 21 April 2012 05:03 AM

    The unresolved National Issue is football for dribbling not only at home but also abroad.Not only that the childish pranks cause death pangs to the poor doormouse as the saying goes.

    Ram Sunday, 22 April 2012 02:12 AM

    Yar! Bring it on! It will be Nadikadal II!

    neil de silva Saturday, 21 April 2012 06:05 AM

    Just because Karunanidi is unable to agitate in India for separation of Tamil Nadu, he is taking the easy way, since Sri Lankan Sinhalese and others are relatively weaker, using the US support. Well will the boomarang he is throwing hit him hard, will he survive his latest pranks? Time will tell.


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