DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Thursday sought to make a case for the formation of a separate ‘Tamil Eelam' drawing parallels with Kosovo, South Sudan, East Timor and Montenegro, all nations that have come into being in recent years following the United Nations' intervention and referendums.
“The song of freedom is ringing in the ears of Tamils across the world. The blood and tears shed by Sri Lankan Tamils will not go in vain. If not tomorrow, it will come into existence one day,” he said in a statement here.
The DMK had advocated the idea of a separate Eelam as early as 1983, and a resolution adopted in the general council meeting of the party on August 27 that year had stressed that “a separate Tamil Eelam shall be the only remedy and permanent solution.”
“At a public meeting on the Marina sands the next day, I said if the Indian Army entered Sri Lanka to create a Tamil Eelam, the Congress could rule the State and the DMK would not make efforts to come to power for the next 10 years,” he recalled.
He said though the then Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayawardene agreed [in the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987] for a referendum on whether the Northern and Eastern provinces should be merged, he later vowed to campaign against the merger in the event of a referendum being actually held.
The DMK leader said Sri Lankan Tamil leader SJV Chelavanayagam changed the name of Tamil United Front to the Tamil United Liberation Front in the 1976 conference in Vaddukottai with the objective of achieving a separate nation for Tamils. “Unfortunately, he died in a year,” Mr. Karunanidhi said.
He also cited some instances that showed the historical links between Tamil Nadu and ‘Eelam' and quoted from poet Bharathidasan: “Whenever I think about the continuity of the history, I feel a longing for Tamil Eelam welling up in me.”