Karunanidhi: Stop genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils; V. Muralitharan: War brought misery to Easterners
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  • The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) president, M. Karunanidhi on October 5 called upon people to send telegrams to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh urging him to intervene immediately and stop the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. In a statement, the DMK president urged the Indian government “to treat the appeal as a distress call and of national importance1.” He further stated that the time had come for every Indian to demand a ceasefire in the island nation to end the ethnic conflict and safeguard the lives of Tamils there. He wanted the Indian government to act immediately and stop the ongoing military attack on Tamils so that peace could return to the troubled regions2. Meanwhile, welcoming Karunanidhi’s proposal on sending telegrams to Dr. Singh, Ramadoss wanted the DMK president to make use of his good offices with the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and if possible lead an all-party delegation to New Delhi. Separately, AIADMK General Secretary Jayalalithaa too criticized Indian government on Sri Lankan issue. She said the Indian government was not just “a passive spectator” in the Sri Lankan ethnic issue but an active collaborator supplying arms, radars and training to the Sri Lankan armed forces3.

    Post-Courier (newspaper) reported that Hong Kong-based agents are charging US$11,800 to smuggle Sri Lankan refugees to Papua New Guinea. The report quoting unnamed PNG intelligence service officers, says the human smuggling operators are charging $31,600 for refugees who want to go on to Australia. These smuggling groups are reportedly using agents in PNG. "But it still looks like they came into PNG to have easy access somehow to Australia because they would not have had an easy way out if they had gone straight to Australia from wherever they came from" the PNG intelligence officers said4.

    Elsewhere, the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) Leader V. Muralitharan popularly known as Karuna Amman in his maiden speech in Parliament after taking oath as the Member of Parliament on October 7 stated that he warmly welcomes the responsibility entrusted upon him by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on behalf of the Tamil people. He said “this will be the beginning of the new era of the local political arena as well as of the Tamil speaking people.” Karuna said Tamils never endorsed the war. “This is the time to forget the past and get together for the development of the country,” he said 5.