The Tamil Nadu government today decided to postpone the Ninth World Tamil Conference, slated to be held at Coimbatore in January 2010, to June or July next year after some scholars sought time to present papers and plan their travel.

A committee headed by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, which reviewed the progress of the meet, took the decision to enable participation of more Tamil scholars from across the world as they needed time to plan their travel, an official release said.

The conference has already stirred up a political controversy with opposition parties questioning the locus standi of the government to organise such an event as well as its timing.

Parties, including the AIADMK and the BJP, have said that the ruling DMK should first ensure the return of Internally Displaced Persons lodged in various camps in Sri Lanka to their homes as they are presently “languishing behind barbed wires”.

AIADMK chief, Jayalalithaa, had said the International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) alone was entitled to organise the event as it had done in the past, including in 1995 at Thanjavur during the AIADMK rule.

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