Karuna reiterates demand for separate Tamil Eelam



Tiruvarur : Making a fresh demand for a separate Tamil homeland, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Wednesday said the August 5 TESO conference will discuss ways and means to achieve it in a peaceful and democratic manner even as he asserted he was ready to die after witnessing its birth.

"A long-pending dream of mine, (Sri Lankan Tamil veteran) Chelvanayagam, and slain Tamils is to witness formation of a Tamil Eelam," he told a public meeting at his native district.

He said the recently revived Tamil Eelam Supporters' Organisation (TESO) will hold its conference at Villupuram where it would discuss ways and means to achieve it in a peaceful and democratic manner, as he ruled out the path of violence or armed struggle, adopted by the now decimated LTTE to obtain Tamil Eelam.

"I am ready to die after that (birth of Tamil Eelam.) I will be relieved. And if I had to die to ensure the creation of Eelam, I am prepared to do that," he said.

On the lines of countries like East Timor and Montenegro, a UN-sponsored referendum must be held for creation of Tamil Eelam and expatriate Lankan Tamils also must be allowed to vote and this issue among others will be taken up at the TESO conference, he added.

Accusing ruling AIADMK of political vendetta, Karunanidhi said the DMK cannot be uprooted by anyone and said electoral performances were not constant.

With leaders like former Telecom Minister A Raja, whom the DMK chief said faced suppression for a year indicating at his 15-month incarceration following his arrest in the 2G spectrum case, the party would only continue to grow as its base was strong, he said.

DMK was even ready to cooperate with government on people's welfare but it was targeting DMK leaders with sole intent of putting them behind bars,he charged. "If people's issues are not addressed, I myself will lead protests everywhere," he said.

Karunanidhi also rued the lack of political decency and said this was the hallmark during the days of party founder C N Annadurai and his contemporary and Congress veteran K Kamaraj.

On the anti-Hindi agitation, which has come into the limelight following a controversial cartoon in Class XII NCERT books, he said DMK took up the movement to uphold the self-respect of Tamils.

Earlier, Raja, in his first appearance at a party function after being released on bail in the 2G case, heaped encomiums on the DMK chief which Karunanidhi said he would accept as only what an elder brother accepts from his younger sibling.

PTI