Seeking to rebut criticism that he had dropped the demand for a separate ‘Tamil Eelam’, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday said he would seek to realise his life dream with the help of like-minded people in the future, and the conference he presided over here was only akin to administration of first aid to the “wounded and bleeding” Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
“I am asked why there is no reference to ‘Eelam’ at the conference. My explanation is: our first priority is to dressing the wounds suffered by the Tamils. Following this, within my lifetime, I will struggle with you to realise my dream with all of you,” he told the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) conference held at the YMCA Ground, Royapettah here.
In a resolution, the conference said that as a country protecting a number of nationalities, India could not remain silent on the “undemocratic developments” in Sri Lanka. It demanded that India move a resolution in the United Nations for bestowing full rights on the Tamil community in the island to decide their own political future. “Can there be a better resolution than this that will put effective pressure on India?” Mr. Karunanidhi asked.
The resolution said: “India should, therefore, take necessary steps to ensure a total change of environment in Sri Lanka and a life of equality and peace to the Sri Lankan Tamils by redeeming their political, economic and cultural rights.”
The conference, in which no Sri Lankan Tamil political leader participated, asked the Union government to refrain from providing training to the Sri Lankan military in future in any state.
The meet began at the YMCA Ground here as planned after the Madras High Court gave the go-ahead despite a police order denying permission.
With the portrait of the S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, better known as Thanthai Selva, the Sri Lankan federalist, who first demanded a separate ‘Eelam’, adorning the venue where thousands assembled, the TESO conference began with a troupe singing a song Iruttaraiyil ullathada Eelam, angey elumbukoodaai irukkindraane Tamilan (‘Darkness envelopes Eelam, while the Tamilian languishes like a bag of bones’) penned by DMK president M. Karunanidhi.
14 resolutions passed
Representatives from various countries participated in the conference, which passed 14 resolutions, none of which raised the ‘Tamil Eelam’ demand, but leaders such as Thol Thirumavalavan, president of the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK), were vociferous in the demand and wanted Mr. Karunanidhi to achieve the goal in his lifetime.
A resolution accused the ruling AIADMK of being anti-Tamil Eelam in its attitude and condemned the hurdles it placed in the way of the conduct of the conference.