It was used in Tamil literature as early as 2000 years ago

Unfazed by the Ministry of External Affairs letter asking the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) conference to drop the word Eelam from the title of the conference, DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Thursday said that Eelam was not an imaginary word, but one with historical significance dating back to 2000 years.

“The term Eelam was used in Tamil literature as early as 2000 years ago,” he said, quoting a line – Eelathu unavum Kaazhaga thakkamum – from Sangam literary work Pattinapalai, which talks about boats moored at Poompuhar, the ancient Tamil port, and was loaded with food items from Eelam and other things from Myanmar.

Mr. Karunanidhi said he was not surprised by the Congress leaders’ decision to stay away from the event.

“It is their decision and we expected them to say that.” Invitations were also sent to Congress leaders. “Our efforts have resulted in the Centre granting visas to participants.”

Will he still go ahead with the conference in spite of denial of permission?

He quoted a Bharathidasan song that stumbling blocks would be overcome.

Sources said that Union Ministers, including Sharad Pawar and Farooq Abdullah, are not participating due to personal reasons.

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