Karuna calls for solutions to SL Tamils issue

Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi today called for "short, medium and long-term solutions" to address the various aspects of Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

Addressing a conclave at the Eelam Tamils Rights Protection Conference here, he said "the short-term and medium term solutions include resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced Tamils, besides reconstruction of infrastructural and civic facilities."

"Long-term solution is a political solution which has been discussed and debated for a very long time," the DMK patriarch told the conclave, a prelude to the international conference scheduled later for the day.

He also expressed anguish that Sri Lankan military runs "a state of emergency" in the Tamil areas.

The pro-Eelam meet called by the DMK has run into rough weather with city police refusing permission, forcing the party to change the venue of its much touted event, even as the Centre did a U-turn saying it had no objection to the word `Eelam` (separate homeland) being used.

A single judge of Madras High court had yesterday declined to hear a plea by Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation, challenging the ban citing security reasons.

The matter will come up before a bench later in the day.
Recalling his fast in 2009 that was undertaken to demand a ceasefire when the war between Lankan forces and LTTE was at its peak, Karunanidhi said he had only given it up relying on the version of the Union government, which in turn "was misguided by Colombo."

Based on the Sri Lankan statement that the war was stopped, the then External Affairs Minister had issued a statement, a copy of which was sent to him at the fast site, he said.

"Since I believed that the war was over, I gave up my fast, but what happened was that the Sri Lankan government misguided the Government of India and indeed the whole world.

I had to rely on the version of the Government of India," the DMK patriarch said.

Karunanidhi`s remarks are seen as the DMK chief`s first attempt to clarify why he called off the fast within a few hours of launching it, in the face of heavy criticism particularly from AIADMK that it was a drama.