The Centre has granted permission to DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin and the its parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu to visit New York and Geneva to hand over resolutions passed at a recent conference of the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) to the UN Secretary-General and the UN Human Rights Council, DMK president M. Karunanidhi said on Wednesday.
Talking to reporters here after a meeting of TESO at the party headquarters, he said that while it was easy for an ordinary citizen to get permission to visit the UN, the Centre’s clearance was mandatory in the case of MPs and MLAs.
The two DMK leaders would leave India after their appointment was confirmed.
Answering a question on the extent of aid received by Sri Lankan Tamils so far, Mr. Karunanidhi, also chairman of TESO, said he had not got any good news on that front and the details would be included in the memorandum to be submitted to the UN.
The presence of military in Tamil-majority areas, Mr. Karunanidhi said, was a clear sign that nothing had changed at the ground level even though the war was over. Asked about reports that all Tamils living in camps had been sent to their homes, he said they continued to face a lot of difficulties.
To a question on protests demanding that the government shift inhabitants of special camps in Tamil Nadu to open camps, Mr. Karunanidhi said the situation raised the question whether they could be safe in Sri Lanka, if they did not get protection in Tamil Nadu. However, he did not want to politicise the issue.
Asked whether he would hold talk to the Centre to shift the inhabitants of the special camp to other camps, Mr. Karunanidhi said the Centre was aware of those who were in special camps. “I only want the Centre to act faster than the Sri Lankan government and help the refugees. It is for the Centre to answer the question and I hope it will extend its cooperation,” he added.
Asked about the reception given to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his visit to India, he said it was a democratic tradition to accord welcome to an elected leader of another country and even to host a feast. “But you are asking why the government should not go against the tradition. We cannot expect such a firm attitude from everyone,” he said, recalling his decision to boycott the reception given to the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) when it returned in 1990.
While thanking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his response to the letter written by Mr. Karunanidhi, the TESO meeting on Wednesday wanted India to move a resolution seeking the UN’s intervention to put an end to the present situation in Sri Lanka.
“The meeting strongly believes that the UN intervention will not only ensure the livelihood for Tamils, but also help them determine their rights. India should take steps for this,” a resolution adopted at the meeting said.