April 18, 2012, 9:01 pmBy Shamindra Ferdinando
The DMK was making an attempt to exert pressure on the GoSL during the ongoing visit by a 12-member Indian parliamentary delegation, on a fact-finding mission, a senior GoSL official said. With the DMK and the ruling AIADMK seeking political advantage over post-LTTE reconciliation efforts, both parties were likely to engage in Sri Lanka bashing, he asserted.
The official was responding to a statement attributed to DMK Chief and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi that India should take up efforts in the UN for holding of a referendum in Sri Lanka to pave the way for a separate state.
The DMK organ, ‘Murasoli’ quoted him as having declared: "At the intervention of the United Nations, some countries have been formed and received recognition. Similarly, a referendum should be conducted amongst Tamils for the creation of Tamil Eelam and the United Nations should take steps towards that end."
External Affairs Ministry sources said that post-war national reconciliation would never be a reality as long as a section of the global community supported those pursuing a separatist agenda.
A senior GoSL spokesman told ‘The Island’ that since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, the Sri Lankan Tamil expatriate community had become the main obstacle to a negotiated settlement. In fact, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), too, had been under the influence of various politically active groups, which spearheaded fund-raising campaigns in support of the LTTE.
‘Tamils for Obama’, which had proudly declared it backed Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary in 2008, recently called for US support for a referendum in Sri Lanka.
GoSL officials said that ‘Tamils for Obama’, at its last powwow with US Assistant Secretary of State, Robert O’ Blake, had called for US support for a referendum in Sri Lanka, on the lines of the vote, which paved the way for the creation of Southern Sudan. The overseas Tamil organization had been campaigning for a separate state for several years and played a key role in rallying around those wanting to avenge the eradication of the LTTE’s conventional military capability.
‘Tamils for Obama’ announced that it handed over a petition to Ambassador Blake, with a copy to Secretary of State Clinton, calling for a referendum in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. According to the group, the petition had received the signatures of more than 31,000 Tamils and non-Tamils, since last June. The petition promoted self determination for Tamils.
GoSL sources emphasized that Western powers had made it extremely difficult for Sri Lanka to push for a post-war political settlement, by throwing their weight behind those who represented the LTTE’s interests, until its collapse on May 19, 2009. Sources said that ‘Tamils for Obama’ had now secured the support of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, as well as her predecessor M. Karunanidhi, for its campaign for a referendum regarding the rights of the people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, to breakaway. The recent US-sponsored resolution in Geneva would boost their campaign, sources said, pointing out that like other eelamist groups, ‘Tamils for Obama’, too, had conveniently forgotten that the Eastern Province was no longer attached to the Northern Province.