Chennai: Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi has said that Tamils in Sri Lanka have been denied basic rights since long and self-rule for them is the sole solution.
Karunanidhi told media here on Wednesday that the Sri Lankan administration has never let Tamilians to live in peace.
"As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, it will never let the Tamilians in Sri Lanka live in peace. So, right from the beginning Tamilians have been denied peace and they have been demanding self-rule. The right to self-rule must be given to them, this is not a recent demand, but from the very beginning," said Karunanidhi.
Earlier in September, the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend the launch of an international university on Buddhism in Madhya Pradesh had invited the wrath of DMK and other like-mined outfits. Their leaders had warned that this could lead to protests.
According to United Nations panel, tens of thousands of civilians were killed in 2009 in the final months of Sri Lanka`s 25-year civil war, as government troops advanced on the ever-shrinking northern tip of the island controlled by Tamil forces fighting for an independent homeland.
Sri Lanka acknowledged that ``some civilians were killed ``in the last months of the offensive, but said the numbers cited by the UN panel are vastly exaggerated.
Sri Lanka also said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters - a group classified as a terrorist organisation by more than 30 countries - often dressed in civilian garb, making it unclear who was a combatant.