Coimbatore: Noted Sri Lankan Tamil scholar K
Sivathamby today said Chief Minister M Karunanidhi should
extend help to the ethnic minority in post-war Sri Lanka, as a
"leader of world Tamils".
"Karunanidhi is the leader of world Tamils. He should
help Tamils realise their aspirations, He is an important
leader of the Indian subcontinent," Sivathamby told
gathering of scholars at the ongoing World Classical Tamil
His remarks are seen as an apparent bid to urge the CM to
use his good offices to mitigate the sufferings of Sri Lankan
Tamils in the post-war scenario.
The septuagenarian, one of the founding fathers of the
International Association for Tamil Research, which had
organised all the eight World Tamil conferences, is also the
Chairman of the Research Sessions of the ongoing summit.
The participation of Sivathamby, a Professor Emeritus
from Sri Lanka, in the conference here had reportedly been
doubtful for a while due to the scheduling of the event, when
Sri Lankan Tamils were yet to be offered a permanent political
Incidentally, Sivathamby was one of the organisers of the
World Tamil Conference in Jaffna in the early 70s, which was
stopped by some Sinhala groups. The burning of the university
old library then became a turning point in the Sri Lankan
Tamil ethnic issue. The then leader of the Sri Lankan Tamils
Selvanayagam announced that nothing short of a separate
homeland for Tamils in the island could solve their problems.