In the light of India’s announcement that it could continue to train Sri Lankan military in the country, key UPA constituent DMK has said there was a ‘doubt’ if India was ‘compromising’ on some issues vis-a-vis Sri Lankan Tamils issue to show itself as a ‘neutral’ country.
In a letter to party men, the 88 year-old leader said that since 1956, his party had been consistently voicing support for Lankan Tamils, irrespective of being in power or not.
For instance, he said it was the party’s stand that India should not train Sri Lankan military personnel in any part of the country but the central government could not “categorically” state the same.
Referring to the January 23 statement made by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Karunanidhi said the former had noted that while keeping Lankan defence men away from Tamil Nadu they will still be trained elsewhere in the country.
The DMK chief recalled that Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony had rejected visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G L Peiris’ contention that Tamil Nadu politicians were cynical in raising objections to training of its military personnel saying sentiments of the people of the state have to be respected.
Karunanidhi has stated that in order to highlight the plight of Lankan Tamils, 14 resolutions were adopted during last year’s pro-Tamil TESO conference which had been handed over to the UN.
The DMK patriarch had also taken up Tamils’ cause with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who, he said, had recognised the need to accord priority for Tamils’ betterment.
Holding that he was “confident” that the March 2013 session of the Human Rights Council in UN will discuss the Tamils issue in detail, Karunanidhi has urged India to take a “strong stand” in support of Lankan Tamils.