Jayalalitha’s separate Eelam call welcomed by PMK, Nedumaran

April 26th, 2009 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, April 26 (IANS) AIADMK chief Jayalalitha’s sudden support for a separate Tamil homeland as the only solution to the problems of the ethnic minority in Sri Lanka was welcomed by pro-LTTE groups as well as the PMK Sunday.
Tamil nationalist leader P. Nedumaran, a longstanding supporter of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, welcomed the AIADMK chief’s statement.

“Politicians have been supporting the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka and backing the demand for a separate homeland Eelam for our nationality for long. Jayalalitha’s announcement is a welcome addition,” Nedumaran told IANS, speaking on phone from Salem, 250 km southwest of here.

“Our Tamil brethren’s sufferings since 1949 by successive Sinhalese chauvinist governments are well documented. Politicians’ in India have backed the cause from time to time. Regardless of what is said here, the fight for a separate homeland is bound to see victory because of the never-say-die spirit of the Tamil fighters,” Nedumaran added.

PMK founder leader Dr S. Ramadoss welcoming the announcement, said: “At last there is a realistic assessment of the needs of the Tamils in Eelam and their sufferings.”

Jayalalitha told AIADMK supporters in Erode, 370 km south of here, Saturday night that she was moved by the plight of Lankan Tamils forced to exist in concentration camps like slaves and that a separate Tamil Eelam was the solution to the ethnic tangle.

Other parties espousing the same cause too welcomed the clear shift in Jayalalitha’s stand.

“Jayalalitha’s statement has galvanised us because it has been made at the most opportune moment, on the eve of the elections. One only hopes that politicians do not flatter to deceive the cause later as in the past,” an MDMK leader told IANS on condition of anonymity.

“The late chief minister M.G. Ramachandran publicly funded the LTTE in 1985 by giving away almost Rs.40 crore (Rs.400 million) from a nationalised bank within the secretariat here. The Indian government espoused and then betrayed the Tamils’ cause on the basis of political expediencies,” the leader recalled.

The Left parties which have been supporting the need for meaningful devolution of powers within the framework of a united Sri Lanka were guarded in their reaction.

“Every party has a right to speak its mind. A common minimum programme can be prepared only after the election results on the basis of deliberations. Our well-known stand of non-interference into sovereign rights of a nation but proactive methods to fight for human rights and dignity remain unaltered,” a Communist Party of India-Marxist MP told IANS.

Former Director General of Police A.X. Alexander, who has dealt with the Sri Lankan Tamil issue for a long time as an intelligence officer, felt the shift in Jayalalitha’s stand had to be viewed carefully.

Political columnist Cho S. Ramaswamy said it was a road to nowhere.

“A separate Tamil Eelam isn’t possible as the Tamils in Sri Lanka are of four different kinds - those belonging to the north and north-eastern parts, plantation workers of Indian origin, the business community in Colombo and the Tamil speaking Muslims. Only sections of the first kind have been clamouring for Eelam while the others have not,” Cho told IANS.

“Further, there are no programmes for making the demand viable and no possibilities to make the nation possible as neither India (which suffered badly once) nor the international community will back the call,” Cho added.

Lankan diplomatic sources here declined to comment.

Ethnic minority Tamils have been fighting a civil war with Sri Lanka since 1983 for a separate Tamil homeland “Eelam” that has left some 80,000 persons dead so far.

The island is separated from India by a small stretch of sea called Palk Strait.

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