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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Karunanidhi: India should press UN for referendum in Sri Lanka

It will enable Tamils in Northern, Eastern Provinces to determine their future

India should prevail upon the United Nations to have a referendum under its supervision to enable Tamils residing in Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka to determine their future, DMK president M. Karunanidhi said on Saturday.
Elaborating on the memorandum submitted by the DMK to the United Nations, based on the resolution adopted recently in the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) conference, he said that the Centre would have understood the importance of the resolution.

DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin and Parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu met the Deputy General Secretary of the UN Jan Eliasson who promised to look into the issues concerning Sri Lankan Tamils.

Asked about the thinking in the Union Government that it could not afford to interfere in the affairs of Sri Lanka as it was a sovereign country, Mr. Karunanidhi said that was why the TESO conference refrained from adopting a resolution in support of a separate ‘Tamil Eelam.’ “We want only a referendum and believe that it will benefit Sri Lankan Tamils and secure their rights.”

Mr. Karunanidhi, who is also the chairman of TESO, said the referendum was necessary to put an end to the “tears and blood” shed by the Sri Lankan Tamils and all the countries across the world should support the cause. India should use its influence to achieve the goal.

In his letter to the UN Deputy General Secretary, Mr. Karunanidhi stated that steps were needed for protecting the lives and rights of Sri Lankan Tamils as “there was no movement towards a mutually acceptable political solution and there were government-sponsored demographic manipulations aimed at eliminating Tamils from their homeland.”

Mr. Karunanidhi reiterated that India should not provide training to Sri Lankan Army.

When told that India continued to offer training despite his objections, he said the Centre would not provide training to the Sri Lankan Army in Tamil Nadu, but in other parts of the country. “Let me just say Tamil Nadu is also part of India.”

The DMK leader said as part of its campaign for a referendum, his party would mobilise international opinion.

Its leaders, including M.K. Stalin, T.R. Baalu, T.K.S. Elangovan and K.S. Radhakrishnan, would participate in a conference to be held in London.

To a question on the current debate on bringing political parties under the Right to Information Act, he said that the DMK would discuss the issue when it was required
The Hindu


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