Will continue to seek dual citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamils, says Edappadi

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said the Prime Minister had made it clear that no Indian citizen would be affected by the Citizenship Amendemnt Act

Updated - December 20, 2019 12:33 pm IST

Published - December 18, 2019 01:44 pm IST - SALEM

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami (right) addressing the media at Salem Airport

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami (right) addressing the media at Salem Airport


Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday said the State government would continue to press for dual citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India.

Asked by journalists about the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in State, Mr. Palaniswami said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have made it clear that no Indian citizen, irrespective of their religion in the country would be affected due to the Act.

On the CAA excluding from its ambit Sri Lankan Tamils, Mr. Palaniswami said, “When Jayalalithaa met the Prime Minister after the 2016 Assembly elections, she demanded that Sri Lankan Tamils be given dual citizenship. After her death, I reiterated that demand with the Prime Minister. Also, when the Bill was tabled in the Rajya Sabha, the Parliamentarian who spoke on behalf of the AIADMK, had made this demand clear. The Parliamentarian demanded that Sri Lankan Tamil refugees here must be given dual citizenship.”

Mr. Palaniswami alleged that Opposition leader M.K. Stalin has made false allegations and spoken badly about the AIADMK government at a public meeting in Kancheepuram on Tuesday. Mr. Palaniswami said, “Mr. Stalin alleged that the AIADMK government has betrayed Sri Lankan Tamils.”

In 2009, DMK leader M. Karunanidhi was Chief Minister and they were part of the Central government. “A war was taking place in Sri Lanka then and Karunanidhi went on a fast here (Chennai) demanding to end the war in Sri Lanka. The hunger strike was ended in an hour and Karunanidhi addressed media persons following it. He said that the war has come to an end in Sri Lanka. Trusting his words, Tamils who were hiding in bunkers came out and danced in the streets. Using this opportunity, about 1.5 lakh Tamils were shot and killed by Sri Lankan Army,” he charged.

The DMK is deliberately enacting a drama and acting as if they are working for the benefit of Sri Lankan Tamils, he claimed. “Did the DMK then conduct any protests condemning the Centre or Sri Lankan government when 1.5 lakh Tamils were killed. For them, being in power was important. Karunanidhi wanted his son to be in power and family members to be in power,” the Chief Minister alleged.

He added that the DMK had been in power at the Centre for 13 years and asked why hadn’t taken steps for the granting of Indian citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamils.

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