Karuna lashes out at Centre on Lankan Tamils issue

Launching tirade against UPA government over Sri Lankan Tamils issue, DMK accused it of showing little concern towards plight of ethnic minorities and failing to see Sri Lanka`s "designs" on matter.

Chennai: Launching a tirade against the UPA government over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, key ally DMK on Saturday accused it of showing little concern towards the plight of ethnic minorities and failing to see Sri Lanka`s "designs" on the matter.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi described as "mere phrases" President Pranab Mukherjee`s mention in his address to Parliament that India was making efforts to resettle and rehabilitate internally displaced people in Sri Lanka.

"Indian government seems not to have understood the unprecedented difficulties and struggles of Eelam Tamils who have lost their livelihood, with it (Centre) trying to dilly-dallying on this issue in the President`s address," he said in a statement here.

In his address to the joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday, the President had said, "We are making efforts in our engagement with Sri Lanka, including in our efforts to resettle and rehabilitate the internally displaced persons there and to ensure a life of peace, dignity and equality for the Tamil people."

"These are mere phrases and are not reflective of the grief of Tamils," Karunanidhi said.

He accused Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa of pretending to India of being concerned about Tamils` welfare and that whatever assistance he received from New Delhi meant for Tamils was actually being used for Sinhalese, he alleged.

Tamil identity, including temples, was being destroyed while their land and property were being usurped by Sinhalese, the 88-year-old leader claimed.

"While many countries are trying to brand him as a war criminal and punish him for the same, one cannot understand why India doesn`t understand his designs," he said.

The DMK patriarch also took a dig at his arch rival and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for condemning the alleged cold- blooded killing of slain LTTE chief V Prabhakaran`s son Balachandran, saying she had moved a resolution in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2002 seeking the LTTE founder`s extradition to India.