Karunanidhi, Congress slam politicisation of Sri Lankan Tamils’ issue


Chennai : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Congress state unit president K.V. Thangkabalu Saturday slammed some parties in the state for politicising the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils.

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“The politicisation of an issue dear to all of is needless and painful,” Karunanidhi said in a statement.

The chief minister’s reaction came after the assault, earlier in the day, on a DMK legislator who placed a wreath on the body of K. Muthu Kumaran, who died after setting himself on fire Thursday to protest killing of Tamil civilians in Tamil Nadu.

Thangkabalu told reporters: “Certain misguided elements were trying to hijack the Tamil cause by pretending to be its custodians despite meaningful efforts by the centre”.

“I am concerned at the rising number of fissiparous elements in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry,” he added.

During the burial of the youth Saturday evening, pro Tamil Eelam slogans were raised by members of the MDMK, VCK and PMK.

Meanwhile, an umbrella organisation comprising MDMK, PMK, the Left and VCK announced a general strike on Feb 4 in support of the “Tamil cause”.

Over 300 sympathisers of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) courted arrest in the vicinity of an airbase in Thanjavur, 300 km south of here, alleging it was the place from where Indian weapons were being dispatched for the Sri Lankan army.

A VCK worker was arrested for throwing stones at a hotel belonging to a Sri Lankan businessman in Puducherry early Saturday, according to the union territory’s Director General of Police (DGP) Alok Kumar Verma.

“We are taking tough action and more arrests are likely,” Verma added.

Sri Lankan establishments in Tamil Nadu continued to be heavily guarded by the police for the second day, according to official sources.