Nadu politicians continued to use the Sri Lankan Tamil
issue in their election campaigns despite the government
claiming the war has almost ended.
General Secretary Jayalalitha Jeyaram surprised the
Tamil Nadu political circles by supporting the
Tamileelam concept, the same belief that has driven the
LTTE for the last 30 years.
However, it is likely that Jayalalitha’s promise ‘to
carve a separate state for Tamils’ is just plain
statement surprised her rival, namely, Tamil Nadu Chief
Minister and DMK Leader M. Karunanidhi. Jayalalitha is
known for her anti LTTE stand. She has been voicing her
criticism of the LTTE over many years, especially after
the killing of
former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
LTTE glady welcomed Jayalalitha’s latest stance on the
Sri Lankan Tami issue. According to Indian media
reports, Jayalalitha in one of her election campaigns in
Erode, 370 km south of Chennai, last Saturday had said
that a ‘separate state was the only solution for the
Tamils suffering in the country.’ She had said that she
was moved by the plight of the Tamils, who were ‘forced
to live in concentration camps.’
sudden shift in Jayalalitha’s stance was manna from
heavan for pro-LTTE groups and their supporters in Tamil
likes of PMK Founder Dr. S. Ramadoss, who himself is a
LTTE supporter stated that the politicians had finally
realised the need of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.
Another LTTE supporter, Y. Gopalaswamy (Vaiko) of the
MDMK has now joined forces with the AIADMK to contest
However, Jayalalitha to date has not voiced her direct
support for the LTTE, even after calling for a separate
state. The LTTE is a banned organisation in several
countries, including India.
Ramadoss and Vaiko together with Karunanidhi have
initiated several protests and agitations in Tamil Nadu
in support of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka and calling
for a ceasefire since late last year.
Sri Lankan government however has been unmoved by these
protests stating even the Indian central government was
concerned about eliminating terrorism, before a
political settlement could be arrived at.
Karunanidhi too was accused of double standards on the
Sri Lankan issue. He, on a couple of occasions
threatened to withdraw support for the United
Progressive Alliance (UPA) government headed by
Congress, but did not do so. A few days ago, he
commenced a ‘fast’ that lasted no more than a few hours.
He ended the ‘fast’ once the Sri Lankan government
announced that it would stop using heavy weapons within
the safe zones.
Jayalalitha, who was silent when Karunanidhi was at the
forefront, has now come out strongly with her support
for a separate state for the Tamils.
focus at the moment has turned towards the IDPs and
those who are trapped in the Safe Zone.
government has stated that there was no possibility of a
ceasefire and states that the war will end in a matter
of days. The state and humanitarian agencies have taken
steps to accommodate the increasing number of IDPs. The
government also called for international support to
assist in looking after the IDPs.