India’s DMK leader holds conclave on Sri Lankan Tamil issue

Monday, 13 August 2012 00:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Chennai: After Chennai police denied permission to hold the planned Eelam conference in public grounds, India’s DMK leader, M. Karunanidhi has held an assembly on the issue on Sunday in a private hotel ahead of the conference, Indian media reported.

The former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has however given up demanding a Tamil Eelam and instead, has asked for UN to intervene into the rehabilitation and resettlement of the Sri Lankan Tamils in the North.

Both the Central government of India and the Tamil Nadu state government raised objections to certain aspects of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) conference organised by the DMK leader to revive the defunct organisation.  Expecting about 100,000 people the organisers have planned to hold the conference in YMCA grounds at Royapettah in Chennai on Sunday.

However, after the Chennai police refused permission on several grounds the DMK leader has held a conclave in a private hotel.  The DMK has challenged the police decision in the Madras High Court. A divisional bench of the Court is to take up the party’s petition.

The police have said the venue is not big enough to hold the conference of that size and the commotion will disturb the nearby Royapettah Government Hospital.

The officials feared that the large number of crowd and vehicles would cause traffic jams and chaos in the area and cause inconvenience to the hospital and general public.

On Saturday, the DMK had challenged the Chennai Police’s denial of permission to hold the public meeting at YMCA grounds. The Police had cited eleven reasons including lack of adequate space at the venue, disturbance to the, traffic congestion and a possible law and order situation.  The Central government, which has irked Sri Lanka by supporting the UN resolution against the country early this year, has told the Madras High Court that the organisers cannot use the word ‘Eelam’ in the heading of the international conference.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs in a communication has told the organisers that the Ministry has no objection, from a political angle, to the proposed international conference with foreign participants, provided that the word ‘Eelam’ may be dropped from the title of the conference.  Sri Lanka, just returning to normalcy after fighting nearly three decades against a separate Tamil Eelam in the island, sees DMK leader’s efforts to revive a defunct organisation that supports an Eelam as a threat to the country despite his efforts to dilute the concept.