Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday reiterated his party’s demand to accord permanent resident status to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in the State.
In a statement, he recalled his party’s resolution adopted at the Kancheepuram conference in September and his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh immediately thereafter. Quoting a portion of his letter, Mr. Karunanidhi wanted the Prime Minister to take action that would enable the permanent settlement of the refugees in the State.
The Chief Minister gave an elaborate account of his regime’s measures for the welfare of the refugees and improvement of the conditions of the refugees’ camps. Pointing out that the State government allocated Rs. 12 crore, he was hopeful of getting more assistance from the Centre.
While noting that a Tamil periodical’s portrayal of the conditions of the camps disturbed him much, Mr. Karunanidhi said a news item published in The Hindu last month, quoting the United States Consul General Andrew T. Simkin’s statement on the facilities provided to the refugees, contradicted the periodical’s version.