Strongly condemning Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe’s remarks on the ethnic issue and Tamil Nadu fishermen, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Monday said the Lankan leader’s provocative interview to a Tamil news channel would only compound the problem further. Immediately after the Mullivaikkal massacre in Lanka in 2009, Karunanidhi had faulted the LTTE for not supporting Ranil Wickremasinghe in the 2005 Presidential elections. Singing a different tune now, the DMK leader flayed Wickremasinghe for the latter’s allegations against Tamils and militant groups.
When Ranil Wickremasinghe contested the Prime Minister’s post in 2001, he met the Tamil militants and promised to withdraw the Army from Tamil areas and release Tamil political prisoners. Receiving the support of Tamils, he became Prime Minister, but failed to keep his promises, Karunanidhi recalled. The same charge was made by the Tigers when they refused to support Wickremasinghe again in the 2005 Presidential elections. Lashing out at Ranil for justifying the firing on Tamil Nadu fishermen, Karunanidhi wondered whether the law allowed shooting of fishermen straying into the waters of another country. It was difficult to know the boundaries during fishing in the sea, he added.
Also, the DMK leader criticised Ranil’s assertion on Katchatheevu and said the DMK opposed the ceding of the islet to Sri Lanka. In his view, giving such a provocative interview ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit was not correct. Karunanidhi appealed to Modi to use the visit for the welfare of Lankan Tamils. Modi should insist on withdrawal of the army from Tamil areas and return of lands to Tamils, besides stressing on the 13th amendment. Further, Modi should press Colombo to cede police powers and powers over land administration, revenue and fishing to the Tamils. The same issues should be stressed in his address to the Lankan Parliament and in his talks with president Maithripala Sirisena, the DMK leader said.