The AIADMK, the main Opposition party in Tamil Nadu, and its ally the MDMK, have announced separately that they would boycott the World Tamil Classical Conference to he held in Coimbatore from June 24 to 27, 2010.
Rejecting Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s invitation extended to all parties, AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa said that in view of the fact that the conference was not in the series of the International Association for Tamil Research’s (IATR) World Tamil Conferences, there was no need for her party to take part in it. MDMK general secretary Vaiko said his party could not attend the conference as the Tamil Nadu government had failed in its duty to protect the Sri Lankan Tamils when the Indian government provided military assistance to the Sri Lankan government.
The two Communist parties, however, have responded favourably to the letter from the Chief Minister asking them to participate in the conference and name their representatives to various committees to be formed in connection with the event.
CPI(M) State secretary N. Varadarajan and CPI State secretary D. Pandian sought more details about the nature of the committees the government intends to form, so that they could name their representatives.
PMK leader S. Ramadoss said he would discuss the issue with his senior party leaders on Tuesday night and write to the Chief Minister on Wednesday.
In her statement, Ms. Jayalalithaa recalled her earlier stand that World Tamil Conferences were held only under the aegis of the IATR. She averred that neither Mr. Karunanidhi nor his government had the locus standi to organise the IATR series of International Tamil Conferences.
“If the 2010 conference was being organised independent of [the] IATR, then it could not qualify to be the 9th International Tamil Conference as was being made out to be,” she said.
Noting that the Tamil people in Malaysia and Sri Lanka were in a state of distress, she said the circumstances were hardly opportune to hold a World Tamil Conference.
She said Professor Noboru Karashima, president of the IATR, had refused to give clearance for the conference.
“Now we are told that the Ninth World Tamil Conference is being abandoned. The IATR has been sidelined. Mr Karunanidhi will hold a conference next year, before the State Assembly elections are due, to show that he too has a Tamil conference under his belt,” she alleged.
Ms. Jayalalithaa alleged that though Mr. Karunanidhi had held office for more than 15 years, he had never thought it fit to host a World Tamil Conference until now.
Mr.Vaiko said the conference was sought to be organised in a manner that would completely discredit the established traditions and rules for holding the World Tamil Conference.