In an interview to a newspaper, Chief Minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi has criticised the visiting Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, ‘for not fulfilling the assurances he had given to the Central and Tamil Nadu governments on resettlement and rehabilitation of war-affected Tamils in Sri Lanka.’ So what? He has fulfilled the assurances he gave to his Sinhalese citizens. Now the Tamils are at the receiving end.
Karunanidhi charged that the Sri Lankan government was even delaying the distribution of materials sent by the Central and Tamil Nadu governments for the relief and rehabilitation of the Tamils. So was the case in spending the money sent from India, he said. Mr. Rajapaksa should look into all these issues and take steps that would end the misery and bring solace to the affected ethnic Tamil population.
A delegation of MPs and leaders of the DMK, the Congress and friendly parties, led by DMK Parliamentary Party leader T.R. Baalu, would meet Mr. Rajapaksa today and submit a memorandum for the speedy resettlement of Tamils in Lanka. A similar delegation went to Sri Lanka, met a few inmates of camps, met Rajapakse and honoured him with shawls!! What happened? Months after that the situation has not improved a bit – a bit, I mean it.
Over 80,000 affected Tamils are still in camps expecting resettlement. Even those families who have been rehabilitated and settled elsewhere have not been provided with economic development and justice-based reconciliation to work towards a permanent political settlement. Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution on devolution of powers is still a feeble demand and no action has been initiated in this regard.
As an honoured guest, Rajapakse will come and go. The issue of Tamils would remain static forever.