Does any political party really cares for Lankan Tamils?
N ASOKAN | Chennai, July 17, 2012 19:45
Three years have passed since the LTTE's armed movement was crushed by Sri Lanka security forces, yet there seems less efforts on the part of Lankan government to rehabilitate the Lankan Tamils.
The major political parties in Tamil Nadu that have always raised a hue and cry over the conditions of Lankan Tamils do seem to be caring less about the plight of the community. The stand taken by these parties shows whether these parties really care about the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka?.
''The past contribution of DMK and AIADMK till M G Ramachandran was alive, was really commendable in the struggle for the rights of the Sri Lanka Tamils," says Pamaran, a Coimbatore based writer and political analyst.
DMK patriarch M.Karunanidhi, the favorite whipping boy of LTTE sympathizers and Tamil Eelam supporters in Tamil Nadu, has recently made the most experienced circus artists shy by his flip flop on the Eelam issue. Few months ago he had said that he was even ready to die for Tamil Eelam, a demand for separate country for Sri Lanka Tamils. He also revived the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) which he formed in 1985 and dismantled after few years later.
Karunanidhi roped in Dravidar Kazhagam and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi as part of the TESO. He called for UN sponsored referendum among Sri Lanka Tamils to form a separate country for them. But he seems to have lost his 'leader of Tamil race' tag due to his inability to prevent or make a sincere effort to stop the reported massacre of 40,000 Tamils during the end of fourth Eelam war in 2009. His attempt to revive TESO is being seen as another political stunt.
Karunanidhi himself has proved that it was a 'stunt' when he said last Monday that he will not pass a resolution in the TESO conference that is scheduled to be held in Chennai on August 12. "There shall be no call for UN sponsored referendum also. The meet will only focus on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka and stopping the sinhalisation of Tamil lands," said a DMK leader.
Well, this is the practical thing that DMK can now do. The reason for the sudden somersault in the stand of the grand old Dravidian party is due to the meeting between Karunanidhi and Home Minister P.Chidambaram. Home Minister expressed the Union government's reservation over the separate Eelam call of the TESO.
New Delhi feels that a separate country call for Tamils may spell doom for Indian unity as the sections of Tamils in Tamil Nadu too will aspire for a separate nation as it was an age old call of the Dravidian movement though they dropped it back in the sixties and had integrated into the mainstream. The recent communique from the Union Home ministry extending the ban on LTTE in the India clearly shows that LTTE may have the potential to create trouble in the country.
KS Radhakrishan, senior DMK leader who is working to organise the TESO conference, says that the DMK's goal is to make the Tamils in Sri Lanka live peacefully and fearlessly. ''It is the immediate goal. We did not receive any pressure from the Centre to drop the Tamil Eelam agenda," he added.
Now every political party in the state except Congress has asked the Center to sent back the Sri Lankan army officers who were being trained in army camps in India. Parties which are more vocal in raising Sri Lankan issues like Vaiko led MDMK are conducting agitations in front of the military establishments in Chennai and Wellingdon.
''Smaller parties like us could not do anything substantial. In the sixties revolutionary movements in African and Latin American countries got support of the revolutionary organizations of the other countries. But it is history now. Post 9/11, only states can intervene in situations like Sri Lanka. In this case clearly India can only intervene to bring peace or political solution in that country because of its proximity," says former MLA D Ravikumar from Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Party which is one of the most vocal pro-Tamil political parties in the state.
He also adds: ''The Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora is now upset with India and seems to have launched an anti-India campaign as it feels that India aided Sri Lanka in the war against LTTE. But by doing so, they are at loss as India is the only force that can give a meaningful solution in Sri Lanka. We, the political parties here in Tamil Nadu can only pressurize the Union government to act like in the case of UN human Rights Council resolution where India voted against Sri Lanka".
''In case of the political parties in Tamil Nadu, they take one stand when they are in opposition and take a different stand when they come to power. It is the same case whether it is AIADMK or DMK. If it is helping them to garner votes or gain some political mileage they take up the Eelam cause. If it is not advantageous they are ready to drop it," says Pamaran.
Except few political movements which have nothing to do with the vote bank politics, no one really cares for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, he added.
While everyone is busy milking the Lankan issue to their advantage, the real sufferers are the Tamils in the war affected Sri Lanka who are still struggling to make their ends meet. Now it is high time to bring in real peace, dignity to Lankan Tamils through political process.