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Updated: April 9, 2013 07:01 IST
Kissinger Cables

LTTE could have threatened Karunanidhi, U.S. surmises

R. K. Radhakrishnan
Comment (18)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Tamil Tigers might have threatened the then Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, in 1989 “with a significant increase in the level of militant violence in Tamil Nadu” if he did not “boost their cause,” the United States surmised.

“While all agree that it would be counterproductive for Karunanidhi to continue overt support for the several losers among the Sri Lankan Tamil political groups, his energetic and unwavering and totally uncritical agreement with the LTTE’s every move is raising numerous eyebrows, and alienating members of his own party... One extreme view, to which we do not subscribe, is that Karunanidhi is interested in a Tamil eelam variant for his Indian state. Another, perhaps more credible theory is that the LTTE has threatened Karunanidhi with a significant increase in the level of militant violence in Tamil Nadu, enough perhaps to lead to the imposition of President’s rule, if he doesn’t boost their cause,” says a cable from the U.S. Consulate in Chennai to its Embassy in New Delhi and the State Department (90MADRAS1249_a, CONFIDENTIAL).

In its heyday after ‘driving’ out the Indian Peace Keeping Force, and burning bridges with friends in New Delhi and Colombo, the gun-toting Tigers had a free run in Tamil Nadu, till they over-reached themselves with the killing of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The cable speculates if Mr. Karunanidhi was becoming the LTTE’s elder statesman, and details the understanding of the U.S. Consulate of the situation which led to Mr. Karunanidhi’s change of stance.

Citing Mr. Karunanidhi’s stance against the Indian Peace Keeping Force, his spin on the LTTE abducting Tamil Nadu fishermen and his futile but persistent attempts at forging unity among the fratricidal militant Tamil groups in Sri Lanka, the cable concludes that “the Chief Minister has gone out of his way to demonstrate his commitment to the Tigers — at what would appear to be significant political cost. No political figure here, least of all from the DMK, can explain to anyone’s satisfaction the gamebook Karunanidhi is using. As he becomes more and more of a ‘Tamil eelam hardliner’, some may feel he is burning bridges with Delhi. We are at present baffled.”

Noting correctly that the LTTE “had never been Karunanidhi’s favourite Sri Lankan Tamil militant group, principally because of their close ties with his arch-rival, the late M.G. Ramachandran,” the cable says Mr. Karunanidhi’s about-turn came soon after “mediation talks began in December, and specifically discussions between the LTTE’s Anton Bala- singham and Karunanidhi.” After this, “the chief minister chose to ignore the other groups, advising them to bury their differences with the LTTE and support their obvious power position and assist in developing a viable Tamil political environment.”

When the cable was brought to the attention of a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam functionary, the leader responded that the U.S. and others were free to have their points of view. The DMK had stood for Tamil rights in Sri Lanka, and it had been dismissed from power too.

All main political parties have been changing their approach towards
LTTE more often, depending on situations. DMK is no exception to that.
Jayalalitha is also changing her stance against LTTE and Elam very

But DMK is the only party in Tamilnadu which lost power (in 1991)
because of Elam and LTTE issues. Don't forget that.

from:  thangamani
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:07 IST

@Donga Singh. Are you a hypocrite? Its a shame if people are supporting LTTE and its inhuman tactics adopted in Sri Lanka and many countries. How can one forget the killings of Rajiv Gandhi, Jayawardne and many leaders by LTTE. Tamil Nadu and its people should be patriotic to India first.Arm twisting tactics and mindless opinions will not do any good to Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Its no secret that many political leaders in Tamil Nadu were under threat by LTTE, including Karunanidhi and Jaya. As well the tamils who went to seek asylum in paradise countries of the developed world are funded by LTTE to travel and get settled. In return these tamils, who lead a comfortable life in developed countries are still paying the extortion money to LTTE organisation.

To cry wolf, tamils have no credibility here, given the fact they support anti Indian forces. Tamils should be grateful to India and its hospitality. Tamils should also apologize for desecrating IPKF memorial at Sri Lanka. Stop fretting.

from:  Prasan Saxena
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 09:22 IST

This may be possible as the LTTE was closer to MGR than the DMK leadership in TN.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 04:57 IST

It is very clear that Tamil nadu politicians and leaders are aware of
LTTE move against Rajiv Gandhi, even though our indian forces indirectly
helped LTTE.

from:  Shajith
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 03:21 IST

as usual the US propaganda machine spewing out false propaganda
to divy up the people of India

from:  kudson
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 02:01 IST

Lets all agree that
US is no authority on internal politics and its workings -
particularly in south india.
Its well known that in indian political system - the centre has to
have the support of states to remain in power and state has to have
the central support to continue productive rule - having said that the
centre is and will be a bit more powerful than the states. KK is a
brand of politician who would do anything to remain in power, which is
true to almost all of the politicians currently in the race.

These things could or could not have happened - but what is true is
that LTTE was without a clear agenda and were faced with complex task
of selling the "Eelam" independence/country to intl community, and
that transition was never to happen. Unfortunate that they were in a
point of no return - which caused millions of lives.

Now all that everybody is doing is cry over the ashes - trying to pin
the blame on SL or LTTE. - "The winner takes it all" the damage and
the spoils.

from:  Murthy
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 00:39 IST

The duty of the News paper is to present the news truthfully.The Hindu
is doing it sincerly.It is not the duty of the News paper shun to these
news, happend in the past, totally blocked is now leaked out is now
published, should be go on. Giving rosy picture of the Government is not
the job of the National News paper like "THE HINDU".They should give
the actual news to the general public.That is all.

from:  T.S.Muralikrishnan
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 22:19 IST

Whoever the diplomat was, he/she has had a close to accurate grip on the politics. The bafflement on DMK's position then was unmistakable for any informed reader. I also feel Karunanidhi after all is a good man.

from:  Karthik
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 18:19 IST

A very credible assessment of Karunanidhi's style of functioning. He has
always been known to place his personal interests ahead of every other
consideration and it may well be true that he succumbed to a threat from
the LTTE rather than that he acted in the interest of Tamil Eelam. He
would have naturally gone to any length to avoid even the slightest risk
to his rule in Tamil Nadu.

from:  N.S.Rajan
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 15:45 IST

LTTE was well treated the way should be.entire Tamil Nadu's
POLITICIANS have forget the people are living in their own state and
suffering poor people in the India.they are such a kind people they
event not worry one in every six of indian living in the slums and
building the houses for Tamil IN Sri lanka.they knew that they are
responsible for creating,funding and providing training and logistic
support to the brutal terrorist group and destroyed sri lanka Economy
over 30 years and kill innocent people in the is great the
understand their moral responsibilities and pay the price for
the same time they also most understand ,it will be difficult to have
their agenda by some much of undue influence to another country.if not
USA,the India was in position to obtain one single vote from entire
Asia for the resolution against the sri was proof their
foreign policy how great.finally since old man had many memory
problems let him do what he likes.who care????

from:  laksiri
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 14:04 IST

This is all old story and could be true due to his other vested interests in supporting LTTE at one time.

Later when carrots were shown by UPA, the same Karunanidhy back stabbed LTTE and helped Indians and UPA supply arms, intelligence and logistics to Lankan army to root out LTTE. In the course Lankans also rooted out millions of innocent tamils to ensure no revival of their kind. No one can hide or forget the 3 hour fasting performed by Mr.Karunanidhy before final battle in Lanka.

from:  Honga Singh
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 12:09 IST

Mr.Karunanidhi's stance on LTTE is well known to himself as no one can say whether he unarguably supported LTTE or supported only the cause of Tamils in SriLanka, but what surprises me most is the haphazard conclusions made in this US cables, how can they be knowing, to be precise, interested in India's internal political affairs and on what basis can we believe these cables, when even the fact that these are really the leaked cables from US embassy also stands debatable.

from:  Srujan
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 11:58 IST

The timing of these so-called 'leaks' is uncalled for. With elections
nearing, I suggest 'The Hindu' focus on meaningful debates.

from:  Richie
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 11:36 IST

In the end it looks like Karunanidhi prioritised the interest of Indian
Tamils rather than dwelling on ego of keeping away his nemesis MGR's
proteage (the Tigers). Not a bad man it seems.

from:  Sanjay
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 10:59 IST

When presenting something, please present it completely. The US cable being
referenced here is dated 1990 April 17, 07:53 (Tuesday). Not citing such a fact
makes it look like this is current news. The US "surmised" this in 1990. What is
interesting to note is that India, specifically Delhi, trained the LTT"E", where "E"
stands for Eelam as it had trained many other Tamil militant organizations with
Eelam in their names as well knowing full well what Eelam stood for. And yet,
Karunanidhi is burning bridges with this same Delhi because he supports Tamil
Eelam? If this doesn't show the blatant two-faced games that Delhi played with
the Sri-Lankan tamils, one wonders what will.

from:  Rajah
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 09:59 IST

One day India is going to pay for what they did to SL by creating this
terrorists in SL and training them to be terrorists. So called Elam will
one day be curved out from. It should be so. Indian Government should go
through the pain so that they understand what others going through.
India is losing all its neighbors because of its selfish behavior, try
to interfere other country's affairs in mean and selfish manner.

from:  Charly
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 09:40 IST

Strange are the ways of politics. That is why, perhaps, it is so,
without any qualms, norms and ethics.

from:  Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 08:45 IST

I am surprised that you publish wikileak US cables as if US embassy
people were and are sole agents of truth and wisdom on Indian internal
political thoughts or affairs. This excessive publicity to US office
and their views on one hand and your indicting editorials on so many
other things US does in geo politics are baffling all of your regular

How does it matter if US embassy informs that Rajiv or Sanjay or
Karunanidhi did this or that. This is nothing but character

from:  Daman Prakash
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 07:02 IST
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