Karunanidhi clarifies - LTTE is terrorist group (Lead)April 20th, 2009 - 7:16 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, April 20 (IANS) A day after reportedly declaring that Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran was not a terrorist, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Monday did a U-turn saying the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was indeed a terrorist outfit.
As Tamil Nadu was hit by a political storm after Karunanidhi made the initial remarks Sunday, the DMK chief said the Tamil Tigers began as a liberation group but turned terrorist later.
“They did not start off as a terrorist group. They began as a liberation group but it has now become a terrorist organisation,” Times Now TV quoted him as saying, referring to the LTTE.
Karunanidhi also insisted that the people had not forgotten Sriperumbudur - the small town near Chennai where a LTTE suicide bomber assassinated former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally in May 1991.
“We have not forgotten Sriperumbudur,” the chief minister said, speaking in Tamil, adding he had been misquoted a day earlier.
The chief minister, however, maintained that he would keep asking for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, where the military is preparing to overwhelm the last LTTE bastion in Mullaitivu district.
On Sunday, Karunanidhi created a stir by reportedly telling another television channel that he did not see Prabhakaran as a terrorist and that the elusive guerrilla leader “is my good friend”.
He was also quoted as saying that the LTTE’s goal of carving out an independent Tamil homeland was right but the method used to achieve it was wrong.
He added he would “deeply regret” it if Prabhakaran got killed in fighting.
Karunanidhi’s flip-flop came as the Congress, which props the DMK government in Tamil Nadu and which is his sole major ally in the Lok Sabha elections, insisted that the LTTE was very much a terrorist group.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal expressed the Congress leadership’s annoyance on the issue.
“What Karunanidhiji said is his personal view. According to the government of India, the LTTE is a banned terrorist organisation,” Sibal was quoted as saying.
“Prabhakaran is a terrorist … and LTTE is a proscribed terrorist organisation,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi added in New Delhi. He added that the Congress and DMK “agree to totally disagree” over LTTE.
The Sri Lankan conflict has become a major campaign theme in Tamil Nadu, a sprawling state of nearly 70 million Tamils separated from the island nation by a narrow strip of sea.
Karunanidhi’s comments Sunday, including one that “Prabhakaran’s group has taken to terrorism but that is not his (Prabhakaran’s) fault”, drew strong criticism in Sri Lanka.
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- Karunanidhi says can't forgive LTTE for killing Rajiv Gandhi - Apr 20, 2009
- Ahead of elections, pro-LTTE journal attacks Karunanidhi - Apr 11, 2011
- AIADMK unhappy with PM over Sri Lanka (Lead) - Mar 14, 2012
- Uproar in parliament over Sri Lanka's 'war crimes' (Third Lead) - Mar 13, 2012
- Jayalalithaa reiterates her opposition to LTTE - Jul 06, 2010
- Why is Sonia silent on Karunanidhi's LTTE remark: Jayalalitha - Apr 20, 2009
- LTTE a terrorist outfit, no change in position: PM - Apr 21, 2009
- May 21, 1991: The assassination that also killed Tamil Eelam (Comment) - May 22, 2011
- Slain LTTE leader Prabhakaran's mother passes away in Sri Lanka - Feb 20, 2011
- LTTE operating camps in Tamil Nadu: Lankan PM - Mar 10, 2011
- Release Rajiv Gandhi killers, appeals Karunanidhi - Oct 06, 2011
- DMK takes on UPA over Prabhakaran's mother (Second Lead) - Apr 19, 2010
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