Claiming that Tamils in Sri Lanka are being treated like “second class citizens”, DMK chief M Karunanidhi has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that New Delhi should move a resolution in the UN General Assembly and the UNHRC for “bestowing rights” to Lankan Tamils to “decide a political solution by themselves”.
He has also asked the government to employ “all possible diplomatic strategies” to drum up support for the resolution.
The DMK chief’s letter, handed over to the Prime Minister by a delegation of DMK MPs led by its parliamentary party leader T R Baalu today, contained demands which were part of the resolutions adopted at the controversial conference his party organised in Chennai earlier this month to highlight the plight of Tamils in Lanka.
In his letter, Karunanidhi has demanded that all Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in India should be granted Indian citizenship or permanent resident status.
He has said the UN protocol on refugees should be followed in India. He has also asked the Centre to send a team to Sri Lanka to monitor use of Rs 500-crore rehabilitation aid, avoid training Sri Lankan defence personnel and ensure steps to “protect” Indian fisherman from attacks by Sri Lankan Navy.
Karunanidhi has said India should “play its primary role” in implementing the solutions, including release of imprisoned Tamils, free and safe homecoming for the overseas Sri Lankan Tamils, and restoring Tamil tradition and culture.
“The camps and even the localities where Tamils live today are more like military controlled areas with the presence of Army personnel all over the Tamil traditional homeland. Lacking in civic facilities, Sri Lankan Tamils have no democratic space to air their grievances, speak out and protest peacefully. The situation is such that they live in constant fear of apprehension and anguish,” he wrote. (Indian Express)