By M.R. Narayan Swamy, IANS,
New Delhi : Just ahead of elections in Tamil Nadu, a pro-Tamil Tiger journal has accused Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and his daughter-cum-MP Kanimozhi of betraying the rebels as they went down fighting two years ago.
Ezhamurasu, which is widely circulated among the Tamil Diaspora in the West, has said that a senior Tamil Tiger leader was in touch with Kanimozhi but neither she nor her father did anything to save the guerrillas.
The journal has reproduced three brief letters that P. Natesan, who headed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s (LTTE) political wing, wrote to Kanimozhi between Oct 14, 2008 and March 30, 2009 – and two from her to the LTTE.
Natesan also reportedly addressed one letter to Karunanidhi but it elicited no response.
The last of the letters from Natesan, according to website pathivu.com, was a virtual SOS to the father-daughter duo, asking them to put pressure on the Indian coalition government – of which their DMK was a key component – to persuade Sri Lanka to call off the punishing military offensive.
Natesan underlined March 30 that if Karunanidhi and Kanimozhi acted “even at this hour”, then the war that was claiming innumerable lives in Sri Lanka’s northeast could be halted.
According to Ezhamurasu, the desperate appeal did not generate any immediate answer although it was crisis time for the LTTE.
When Kanimozhi did respond on April 7, according to the journal, she told the Tigers to lay down their arms, and added that if they took her advice, there was a fair chance of the Indian government coming to their aid.
If this wasn’t possible, then the LTTE could get in direct touch with the Indian government, she said.
Kanimozhi reiterated this in yet another letter, marking copies of both to Home Minister P. Chidambaram and then National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan.
With Tamil Nadu inching towards the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the journal said Karunanidhi staged a “drama” of a hunger strike in Chennai towards the end of April to demand a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.
That of course never happened, and the LTTE was militarily crushed by the Sri Lankan government in the third week of May 2009.
LTTE founder leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who decades earlier used to live in Tamil Nadu, was among the scores of guerrillas killed in May.
Another high-profile victim was Natesan himself, a former Sri Lankan police officer who headed the LTTE’s police wing when the guerrillas lorded over the island’s northeast.
In an acerbic tone, the journal accused Karunanidhi of “gifting death to the Tamil people” when they had high expectations from the chief minister.
Karunanidhi, it said, had acted like a “traitor” to the Tamil cause.
The publication of the letters between the LTTE and DMK leaders comes as Tamil Nadu is set to elect a new assembly Wednesday.