Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi has criticised the visiting Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, for not fulfilling the assurances he had given to the Central and Tamil Nadu governments on resettlement and rehabilitation of war-affected Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Talking to The Hindu from Chennai over phone on Tuesday, Mr. Karunanidhi charged that the Sri Lankan government was even delaying the distribution of materials sent by the Central and Tamil Nadu governments for the relief and rehabilitation of the Tamils. So was the case in spending the money sent from India, he said.
Mr. Rajapaksa should look into all these issues and take steps that would end the misery and bring solace to the affected ethnic Tamil population. He said a delegation of MPs and leaders of the DMK, the Congress and friendly parties, led by DMK Parliamentary Party leader T.R. Baalu, would meet Mr. Rajapaksa here on Wednesday and submit a memorandum for the speedy resettlement of Tamils in Lanka.
To a question he said Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram met him in Chennai a few days ago and discussed the issues to be taken up with Mr. Rajapaksa during the latter's visit.
Meanwhile, Mr. Baalu said about 80,000 affected Tamils were still in camps expecting resettlement. He said the delegation would take up this issue, besides urging Mr. Rajapaksa to expedite the implementation of 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution on devolution of powers.
Mr. Karunanidhi earlier wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stating that nearly 80,000 Tamils were still living in transit camps. “Those families who have been rehabilitated and settled elsewhere should also be provided with economic development and justice-based reconciliation to work towards a permanent political settlement,” he said in his letter.