Bringing the Sri Lankan Tamils issue again to the forefront, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi on Thursday led State-wide demonstrations organised by the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO).
The demonstrators demanded that India boycott the Commonwealth summit to be held in November in Colombo as a mark of protest against the island nation’s reluctance to find a political solution to the Tamil question. They also demanded that the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution be implemented without dilution.
TESO is an umbrella organisations of parties and organisations originally founded in 1986 by Mr. Karunanidhi and revived last year. The former Chief Minister told a large protest meeting here that the Centre should take serious note of the sentiments behind the demonstrations. “Neither the Indian nor the Sri Lankan government should treat this demonstration lightly,” he said.
He recalled that the DMK had pulled out of the UPA government in support of the Lankan Tamils.
The protests, which were held in all major cities and district headquarters, were also aimed at demanding that the Sri Lankan government stick to its promises under the 13th amendment and appealing for intervention to end what they called the colonisation of Tamil areas by the Sinhalese. TESO also wanted to highlight the plight of Tamil Nadu fishermen who faced arrest and harassment while fishing in the waters between the two countries .
Underscoring the need for the Centre to act immediately to stop the attacks on the fishermen and protect Tamils, Mr. Karunanidhi criticised the Union government for maintaining silence on the issue. “How long can the people of Tamil Nadu suffer this. There is a limit to our patience?” he asked.
He said when the LTTE leadership was decimated in 2009 and the war came to an end, bringing great misery and suffering to the Tamils of Sri Lanka, everyone expected that the international community would rush to their rescue. It was with this hope and expectation that such demonstrations were being held. (The Hindu)