(Published in Millennium Post on 21 June 2012)
DMK chief Karunanidhi has faxed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a letter, urging him to condemn a controversial remark by Sri Lankan Minister for Power and Energy, Champika Ranawaka.
On Monday, Ranawaka allegedly warned of “100 more massacres” if the Tamil people of the island were to follow the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), whom he accused of inciting violence.
Supporters of the minister said he was only responding to TNA leader Sampanthan’s speech in Batticaola last month, where he said the TNA would not compromise on its stance that the North-East of Sri Lanka was an “area of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking people.” Sampanthan demanded that the Tamil people be given the right to self-determination in that region.
“Does Sampanthan want to create 100 more Mullaivaikals?” Ranawaka asked, “We are ready to forgive and forget the past and think about the future. But, if Sampanthan is calling us to a fight, our nation would proudly accept the challenge. One Mullaivaikal is enough. Don’t try to get 100 more.”
Mullaivaikal is a coastal area in Sri Lanka where human rights groups estimate 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the last months of the Fourth Civil War in 2009. LTTE chief Prabhakaran’s body was also found at a nearby lagoon.
Karunanidhi’s letter says Ranawaka’s words must be seen as a veiled threat and duly condemned. “The speech has troubled and upset Tamilians the world over,” he has said, “India must ask the Sri Lankan government to deal with the issue with patience and humanitarianism.”
He has also asked the PM to ensure that Ranawaka’s remark is brought to the notice of the United Nations.