Tamils intimidated in Lanka, says MK

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Resurrecting his long-defunct Teso (Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation) at a well-attended rally here, DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday called for ‘short, medium and long-term solutions’ to redress the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils, who he alleged continued to face repression at the hands of the Sinhala regime.

The Sri Lankan army, he said, was running a ‘state of emergency’ in the Tamil areas. The short and medium term solutions should include resettlement and rehabilitation of the war-displaced Tamils, besides building infrastructure and civic facilities. Long-term solution would be to find a political settlement that has been discussed and debated for a long time, the DMK chief said.

He said it was distressing that intimidation in the routine life of Tamils had gone up after the recent (US-backed) resolution at the UNHRC session in Geneva asking Colombo to promote Tamil reconciliation. “The nations of the world are very much worried over the pre and post war developments in Sri Lanka. The problem for Eelam Tamils is a problem linked with human rights and dignity”, he said.

The conference passed 14 resolutions prescribing decisive initiatives for securing the Tamil rights in the island and also punishing those responsible for war crimes. One resolution demanded the immediate withdrawal of army from Tamil areas. These resolutions would certainly bring pressure upon the Centre to take up the Lankan Tamil cause, Karunanidhi said.

He said DMK would hold public rallies across Tamil Nadu for ten days from August 20 to explain the TESO resolutions to the people.

The conference venue at the YMCA Ground was packed while the dais had several foreign invitees, besides DMK allies including leaders of National Conference and NCP, as also LJP’s Ram Vilas Paswan and VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan. The conference mood was upbeat following the Madras high court order staying the denial of permission by CoP.

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