DMK seeks Centre's intervention on Lankan Tamils issue



Chennai: Claiming that Tamils in Sri Lanka were living in an "oppressive environment," DMK chief M Karunanidhi today sought Centre's intervention to "stop this atrocity," saying India had a "moral obligation" to do so.

"The government of Sri Lanka is now carrying out an intensive and systematic programme of erasing the Tamil language, culture, religion and diluting the concentration of Tamils in areas where they had historically been predominant," Karunanidhi said in identical letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

In his letters, the DMK patriarch, whose party is a key UPA constituent, charged that Tamil villages were being renamed, village boundaries redrawn and Hindu temples demolished. There was non-allocation of funds to resettle and rehabilitate internally displaced Tamil families, he alleged.

He alleged that the government was promoting Sinhala settlements on Tamil land and taking over the 'economic life' of Tamil areas, "which impoverishes the Tamils" while army was being deployed in Tamils-dominated areas to 'intimidate' them.

"There are many more tactics employed by the Sinhala government. Tamils in Sri Lanka are living in an oppressive environment," Karunanidhi said.

"The eradication of a great culture and ancient religion is happening in our backyard. As the world's largest democracy and a country of diverse languages and religions, India has a moral obligation to stop this atrocity immediately, by using its good offices. I request suitable action on this," he said.

He also enclosed a list of 89 Tamil villages being renamed in Sinhala, 367 Hindu temples alleged to have been demolished, and 148 mini and 13 main army camps in "Mullaitivu district alone" to "show the level of intrusion, destruction and intimidation Tamils are subjected to."

PTI