AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Friday questioned the DMK government’s locus standi to host the ninth World Tamil Conference in Coimbatore in January next and its timing, saying Tamils were in a “state of distress” all over the world, particularly in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
The autonomous International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) alone could conduct such World Tamil Conferences and Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s announcement on the next meet “makes no mention whatsoever of the IATR,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
The past eight World Tamil Conferences held in different cities including Kuala Lumpur, Chennai, Jaffna and Paris were organised under the auspices of the IATR, she said in a statement, adding her government in 1995 only “hosted” the event at Thanjavur, organised by Japanese academician, Professor Noboru Karashima, then President of IATR.
“The DMK government has no locus standi to organise IATR’s series of International Tamil Conferences. If the January 2010 conference is being organised by Karunanidhi, independent of IATR, then it cannot qualify to be the ninth International Tamil Conference as it is being made out,” she said.
Ms. Jayalalithaa also questioned the timing of the conference as Tamils all over the world, whether in Sri Lanka or in Malaysia are in “state of distress”.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said the Tamils who organised the first international conference in Kuala Lumpur in 1966, “feel that they are relegated to the status of secondary citizens in that country.” Similarly, she said, Tamils in Sri Lanka, which hosted the fourth conference, were living in refugee camps in their homeland “as their right for self determination has been crushed by the Sri Lankan government“.
Indicating that her party might boycott the conference, Ms. Jayalalithaa said, Mr. Karunanidhi was the first leader of a Tamil political party to boycott an International Tamil Conference in 1981 and again in 1995, as they were hosted by AIADMK when it was in power.