The charade of hypocrite Tamil parties
Shastri Ramachandaran | Agency: DNA | Friday, July 27, 2012
Tamil political parties are a strange lot. The plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka seems to stir them more than the plight of Tamils in Tamil Nadu or the rest of India. This July, they found enough pretexts to ‘show concern’ for their Tamil brethren in Sri Lanka.
Close on the heels of the Union government extending the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the two leading Kazhagams — DMK and AIADMK — got into the act of demonstrating their loyalty to the so-called Tamil cause.
First off the mark, in mid-July, was Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa. She seized upon the fact that officers of the Sri Lankan armed forces were undergoing training in Indian defence institutions and demanded that they be sent packing. She wanted the prime minister to instruct the defence ministry to desist from providing training to Sri Lankan personnel anywhere in India; and, to send back those who were here. At that time, Sri Lankan officers were taking courses at the National Defence College, New Delhi, and the Defence Services Staff College, Coonoor.
She pointed out that the state assembly had passed a resolution last year demanding action against those charged with war crimes in Sri Lanka during the peak of internal conflict and an economic embargo by India to ensure speedy rehabilitation of displaced Tamils lodged in camps.
With the overblown rhetoric typical of Tamil parties when it comes to such issues, Jayalalithaa said: ‘Tamils across the world feel that the sentiments of the Tamils have been trampled upon by the Indian government not only by its inaction on this resolution, but also by continuing to give preferential treatment by way of providing technical training to Sri Lankan defence personnel.’
Predictably then, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi had to have his 15 minutes of fame. A day after the Union government extended the ban on the LTTE and on the eve of a meeting of DMK MPs and MLAs — to discuss the presidential elections — the party drew attention to its plans for revival of the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation. Partymen triggered a buzz that TESO would revive the campaign for Eelam.
That was enough to make home minister P Chidambaram come calling on Karunanidhi and request him to refrain from bringing up the Eelam demand at the TESO conference, which has been moved from August 5 to 12. This provided the perfect grandstand for Karunanidhi to enact a statesman-like charade.
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